Mr. Speaker, every time there is a labour dispute obviously there are complicating circumstances. If the situation were easy and clear-cut, the parties would work it out themselves.
Here we have the situation of a private corporation in very difficult bargaining with its bargaining agent. Surely where there is a situation where the agreement is not being achieved by the two parties and that is creating an impact on the economy, the appropriate response by the government is not to come down with a sledgehammer. The appropriate response on the part of the government is to work with the parties to see where the roadblocks are and to do everything possible to assist those parties to come to a freely negotiated collective agreement.
If there were no economic impact in a dispute, I guess one would have to ask what pressure does either party have in taking either lockout or strike action. There is always consequences in a dispute.
The question, though, is will these parties have a democratic right to find a freely negotiated solution with, ideally, the assistance of the government, or will the government come down in an untimely fashion and take away that democratic process by forcing this vote with closure today?
It is not a good precedent for the government to embark on this course of action and I would urge it to reconsider.