Mr. Speaker, I listened carefully to my colleague's speech. I find it rather strange that he presented us with a series of valid amendments or suggestions regarding the bill. Unfortunately, after going through the whole list, he said that under current House procedures, they were out of order. His intentions were good but, as we know, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
In conclusion, he noted that the union had proposed amendments at the very last minute, and that in future there should be some kind of dialogue with the department and the minister beforehand.
In this regard, if we look at the history of labour relations in the federal public service, we see that dialogue is not the government's forte. It has always favoured strong arm tactics. What is happening today is that we have this bill and everybody will have to comply with it. I think the government is not giving unions the chance to engage in dialogue beforehand so that the act contains provisions that suit everybody.
What I see happening here is the government coming in at the very last minute and saying that the act is 35 years old and has to be revamped, without consulting the unions. Then, it tells them that they should have given notice earlier because now the proceedings in the House are so far advanced that amendments are no longer possible.
Should my colleague not acknowledge that in addition to its role as legislator, the government is assuming the right to impose its will? As he mentioned earlier, they want to clean up the public service. They come and say, “Here is what we have cooked up. You cannot change one iota of it because the procedures of the House will not allow it. End of discussion. Now you have to comply”. I find that the government is pretty heavy-handed with this bill.