Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Liberal Party, I guess all of us are rather frustrated that we find ourselves in this particular position. On basic principle, we would all hope that collective bargaining would achieve a desired outcome that would not involve the Government of Canada insinuating itself into a situation that is, at the same time, local as it is macro.
I listened to the minister's answers, and I recall the days that we sat on the manpower and immigration committee when we were looking at resolving a lot of issues dealing with human resources. I know that his heart appears to be in the right place and he wants to take the appropriate actions. It is very non-partisan of me to say that, and I kind of hesitate to pay him a compliment, although he is quite deserving.
He must feel as frustrated as I that his erstwhile allies on the NDP side, who claim to have a righteous position on principle, have eschewed the opportunity offered to them to take a look at the greater interests of people working everywhere in the country. It must be terribly frustrating for him. I feel badly for him.
Before I start to shed a tear, I would like to tell him that the next time he is sitting at the cabinet table to take a look across--and I do not know what the seating order is--but to take a look at his other erstwhile ally, and that would be the Minister of Transport , who has also absolved himself of the great responsibility of looking at the transportation infrastructure needs of this country that led to this mess in labour relations at CN with its employees.
I am not going to pick sides between CN and the union. As I said, from our perspective we are looking at a situation that says that the country is crying out for the intervention of Parliament in a situation that has wide, national impact. While we do not want to see the government come in with a heavy hand, we have to, at this point, get to the nub of the matter. Are we going to ensure that people get back to the table or not? I think that is what the NDP would like us to consider as its sole position.
I am hoping that the Minister of Labour will agree that the measures that he is about to take are going to ensure that people get back to the table and reassess their position. It might not be the philosophical position that the NDP and its moralist rant would like to see happen, but those members have been wrong before many times, so it has become a bit of a litany.
I am wondering whether the minister has already taken the measures necessary to alert both parties that this kind of measure that Parliament is considering today is expected to receive their immediate attention, so we can get on with taking care of the nation's business and that they can be full partners in that, not like their erstwhile parties way off to the left of the fringes.