moved for leave to introduce Bill C-312, an act to provide for the settlement of labour disputes affecting west coast ports by final offer arbitration.
Mr. Speaker, for quite some time now, since August 25 to be exact, 650 grain workers have been locked out of the port of Vancouver. Grain handlers have been working without a contract since January 1, 2001, nearly two years. Therefore, the bill would do something to alleviate that situation.
At a time when western Canadian farmers have suffered through one of the worst droughts in Canadian history and one of the poorest harvesting seasons when what they have managed to grow they have not been able to harvest, now they are trying to market some of their tough and damp grain through the Port of Vancouver but are unable to get it there and it is rotting in their bins. It is time something was done about this and my bill seeks to rectify that problem.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)