Mr. Speaker, what does the New Democratic Party want? When it becomes clear that two groups cannot reach an agreement, at least not in the foreseeable future, and that Canada's economy is suffering a little more damage every day because of rotating strikes, it is our responsibility to act.
I would like to point out that in February, the strike lasted 14 days. Why? What happened then? There was a conflict between the American and Canadian branches of the United Transportation Union. When the strike began, Canadian National went to the Canadian Industrial Relations Board, saying that the president of the Canadian union did not have the right to call a strike—only the American union could.
When the matter came before the Canadian Industrial Relations Board, the Americans refused to recognize the lawyer who was negotiating. They wanted their own lawyer. Five days passed while the lawyer representing the American union prepared the case. For those five days, Canada's economy was paralyzed as everyone waited to find out whether the strike was legal. In the end, those 14 days of strike action reduced our exports by about $1 billion. That is what it cost Canada's economy. That is why, as soon as it becomes clear that the parties cannot find a solution, we cannot let things go on.
As for these rotating strikes, are we supposed to wait 32 days, 64 days, or 100 days? We must act now. We know—we can see that the situation is deteriorating. It is our responsibility to act, and we are doing so in the best interest of all parties, in the interest of the employees and in the interest of our country's economy.