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House of Commons Hansard #24 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was post.

Topics

Jobs and Economic Growth ActGovernment Orders

4:15 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Liberal Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, I see that the hon. member has focused on one very important issue, which is that the budget does not address a vision of where Canadians see themselves going, both domestically and internationally. I am sure that he, like all other members of Parliament, have been receiving information, postcards, lobbying and pressure from all kinds of groups like the Group for Development and Peace and their Life Before Profit campaign.

They ask one simple thing. They ask the Government of Canada to demonstrate that it has a vision of responsibility throughout the world. Since we will be hosting the G8 and G20, they are asking, and I wonder if the member for Ottawa Centre would be in agreement, that we put pressure on the government, because it seems to be susceptible to very little else, to increase support for small scale, sustainable agriculture in the global south.

Mr. Speaker, you come from an agricultural community, and agricultural policies should be and ought to be guided by the principles of food sovereignty. Hunger and poverty can be reduced by giving priority to small scale farmers, to local production for local markets and other needs for the future.

The member will know that current agricultural policies support industrial agriculture and threaten food sovereignty of people everywhere--

Jobs and Economic Growth ActGovernment Orders

4:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Ottawa Centre.

Jobs and Economic Growth ActGovernment Orders

4:20 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is the problem with the budget. We do not see innovation or the kinds of commitments that organizations like Development and Peace want to see, like sustainable agricultural.

In the eighties I was involved in development and in sustainable agriculture. Since that time, we have seen that it works, if we look at the multiplier effect, as I referenced before, in terms of the investments.

The government does not seem to be looking forward at all. It seems to be mired in its own ideology and it seems to lack any understanding of the consensus, particularly on issues around development in the south. It is really important that we look at sustainability and do not always go for the big goal. The big goal has put us into problems in terms of international development. We saw that throughout the seventies and into the eighties. We need to look at sustainable methods, small farming, and that is exactly what the budget did not do.

Jobs and Economic Growth ActGovernment Orders

4:20 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, from my perspective, this budget was all about what was not in it or what was taken away rather than what actually was in the budget implementation act. I think, for example, of the taking away of the federal environmental assessments, which the member spoke to eloquently. The only thing it did not take away, unfortunately, was the $6 billion in corporate tax cuts.

When I think about the opportunity cost of that, I think about the poor seniors in our country. They are the ones I am hearing from in my office. For a mere $700 million, we could have raised the GIS to lift every senior who is living in poverty out of poverty; $700 million for seniors as opposed to $6 billion for corporate tax cuts, when we have one of the lowest corporate tax rates and certainly lower than in the United States.

First, does my colleague agree with me that seniors should have been a high priority in this budget or should have been mentioned for that matter?

Second, as an advocate for the Nortel workers in particular, would he share his thoughts on workplace pensions and what we could do in the House to better protect them?

Jobs and Economic Growth ActGovernment Orders

4:20 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Hamilton Mountain for the work she has done to fight for seniors.

The choice was clear. We could have invested in supporting seniors by putting in a measure that could have been easily done to ensure that when companies go bankrupt, the workers who actually created the wealth, who allowed those executive to get the big bonuses, would actually be referred to in some way. All the government had to do was change the BIA. It could have changed two pieces of legislation and that would have been done. The Nortel workers who have been left out in the cold would have been recognized. Finally, it was about $700 million versus $6 billion. The equation is clear. The government should have at least invested the $700 million for seniors and their pensions.

Jobs and Economic Growth ActGovernment Orders

4:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Crombie Liberal Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to join the debate on Bill C-9, the budget implementation bill. Ten minutes is not long enough to address the 880 page document, a document so omnibus it makes one wonder if there could ever be enough allotted time for that debate.

Last month, I debated the government's wasteful expenditures and I spoke to the shortcomings of the budget: the lack of a job creation strategy; no investment in early childhood development; no national child care plan; no affordable housing strategy; no pension reform; no national vision or legacy; and after having invested $50 billion in infrastructure spending, no real jobs. The bottom line is there are no real benefits for Canadians and nothing has changed.

Bill C-9 would do nothing to address these concerns. In fact, it confuses the matter even more. What is worse is the underhanded and sneaky insertion of amendments that deserve their own independent worthy consideration and their own debate.

Instead of dealing with the real problems facing Canadians, the Conservatives are ignoring the cries for job growth and job creation. Over 300,000 Canadian jobs have been lost and Canadians remain out of work. The budget offered no solution to compensate for lost jobs or for the 8% of Canadians who are unemployed, or a staggering 11% of Mississaugans. To inflict further pain, the Conservatives will impose a $3 billion job-killing small business tax. Even the CFIB reported that this measure would kill more than 200,000 jobs.

Today, however, I want to concentrate on the government's underhanded tactic of inserting amendments into the bill. Let us be clear. These amendments are not sellable as orders in council or regulation changes. These proposed changes merit their own introduction and their own debate.

As the Liberal critic for crown corporations, I would like to focus on part 15 of this omnibus bill. The Conservatives' steps taken toward the deregulation and the privatization of our crown corporations are vivid and they are clear. I quote from part 15:

The exclusive privilege referred to in subsection 14(1) does not apply to letters intended for delivery to an addressee outside Canada.

This would not be the first time that we have seen an amendment to the Canada Post Act. It is not even the second. It is the third time. Since 2007, the Conservative government has been unsuccessful in trying to pass the same bill that would eliminate Canada Post's exclusive privilege, the first step toward deregulation of an $80 million industry.

At least the first two times, the bills were given their fair share of independent debate, but never passed second reading. The unexpected election of 2008 put an end to Bill C-14. Six months into the next session the government introduced Bill C-44, with the exact same wording. The unexpected prorogation put an end to that bill as well. Once in 2007, again in 2009 and now most recently in 2010, the Conservatives seem transfixed on the road to deregulation.

My colleagues from Hamilton Mountain and Elmwood—Transcona have misspoken the facts. My party has never introduced legislation on remailers. They should do their homework and stop misleading Canadians. They have misinformed Canadians on at least two occasions and I want to correct the record.

The Conservatives, however, continue to fight dirty with trickery, chicanery and underhanded tactics probably hoping people will not notice. Well people have noticed. Canadians have noticed. The Canadian Union of Postal Workers, CUPW, has noticed. It too knows the drill. When such a large and omnibus bill is tabled, there are many issues that do not get a full and proper debate. I quote from a CUPW release:

It appears that the federal government has grown impatient with the democratic debate that accompanied earlier bills and is attempting to ram deregulation of international letters through Parliament by attaching it to a budgetary bill.

That sums it up. The federal government has grown impatient. It is ignoring the democratic debate process and ramming the deregulation of our crown corporations down the throats of Canadians. The government has lost touch with Canadians.

As the Conservative agenda continues to push for deregulation and privatization, it threatens Canada Post's ability to provide affordable, accessible and universal services for residents across Canada. In 2004 the Ontario Superior Court ruled that Canada Post had the legal right to exclusive privilege of both domestic and international mail.

Canadians still value a stamped and sealed envelope which carries strong sentimental messages for their most special occasions such as birthdays, weddings, funerals or other holiday occasions. Canadians value the affordability as well of our postal system. Our country has one of the lowest basic letter rates, at 54¢ per stamp, whereas the U.K., Japan and Germany charge 70¢, 80¢ and 90¢ respectively.

What do the countries with the higher rates have in common? Each one of those countries have deregulated its postal industries.

As the Conservatives continue to push for privatizing parts of Canada Post, they also threaten the delivery to higher cost regions, such as remote and rural areas. With the one price policy, Canadians know that sending a basic letter from Ottawa to Montreal is the same as sending a letter from Halifax to Vancouver, from Iqaluit to Point Pelee.

However, Canada Post reports that the reserve market of letter mail, representing nearly half the company's revenue, is steadily declining. The parcel industry alone reached $10 billion. Canada Post holds 12% of that market. Canada Post boasts the capacity to be a major leader in direct marketing, but now it only maintains close to 10% of this growing industry.

Even in the international remailing market, Canada Post stands to lose $40 million to $80 million. This lost opportunity is one the government should not give up on. However, with the Conservatives when trouble looms, privatize. Privatization is their motto.

In July 2006 the minister responsible for Canada Post at the time stated in a letter to CUPW:

The activities of international remailers cost Canada Post millions of dollars each year and erodes the Corporation's ability to maintain a healthy national postal service and provide universal service to all Canadians.

Since then, that has changed. In 2007 the Conservatives tabled Bill C-14 to modify the exclusive privilege of Canada Post Corporation so as to permit letter exporters to collect letters for transmittal and delivery outside Canada. Inserting an amendment to Canada Post Act in the budget is underhanded and blatant trickery. This is another example of the Conservative Party's iron curtain of transparency at its best. The week Bill C-9 was introduced was a bad week for Canada Post and a bad week for Canadians.

The Conservatives' attempts to deregulate and privatization did not stop with this sneaky Canada Post amendment. In the same week they announced the slashing of 300 Canadian jobs in Edmonton, Winnipeg, Antigonish, Fredericton and Ottawa. The jobs come at the expense of privatizing Canada Post's call centres. The call centres will obviously be outsourced to overseas markets. This guarantees 300 Canadian jobs lost as a result of this announcement.

Union after union complains that the Conservatives do not care. Again, when trouble looms, they privatize. Public Service Alliance of Canada spokeswoman Janet May told CBC News that “the changes are part of a broader effort by Canada Post management to move the company further toward complete privatization”.

In a press release the other week, PSAC, the largest union of its kind said:

Canada Post is in its 15th year of profit...“So to an average Canadian, does it make sense that part of your postal system is getting privatized?”

No, it does not and PSAC is correct. It goes on:

The union said it also worries about the loss of people's privacy if they have to offer up personal information to a private company—especially if the call-centre work is outsourced to a U.S. company.

The list of opponents to the deregulation and privatization goes further. There are other groups that are impacted as well. Organizations representing the blind are concerned. Right now Canada Post offers free mailing of Braille documents and sound recordings. Opening up the market to unfair and unlevel competition would inevitably result in slashing services in order to compete. Senior citizens on fixed incomes need to know that they have reliable access to affordable mail services to suit their needs. Canadians everywhere depend on universal access to reliable postal service.

If it is necessary to radically alter a fundamentally Canadian industry owned by our taxpayers our, citizens deserve a full committee analysis before the current government potentially deprives so many residents. Canada Post can rightfully claim to be one of Canada's most trusted brands in Canada and its services have connected our expansive land. Canada Post must serve all Canadians, regardless of economic ability or geographic location, ensuring that all citizens are valued and have an equal opportunity to the services that the state provides.

The Conservatives have created a slippery slope that threatens this very premise.

Jobs and Economic Growth ActGovernment Orders

4:30 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to hear the Liberal member is firmly onside in opposing the deregulation of Canada Post. I do take issue with the fact that she suggested that I had said the Liberals introduced a bill to do the same thing. I said no such thing yesterday. I did suggest that the notion of starting down this partial deregulation did start with the Liberal caucus when it was in government, and I stand by those comments.

The Liberal member for Mississauga—Streetsville spoke about her opposition to the changes to Canada Post. Could she assure me that she and all of her Liberal caucus colleagues will be here when we vote against the budget? The only way to stand up against something in the House is to be in our seats to vote against it.

The three opposition parties obviously have enough members to defeat this budget. If she really believes the changes to Canada Post must be defeated, could she tell the House today that she and all of her Liberal colleagues will be here on the day of the budget vote to defeat it?

Jobs and Economic Growth ActGovernment Orders

4:35 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Crombie Liberal Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am quite certain I was present for the debate when the member for Hamilton Mountain stated correctly into the record that a previous Liberal minister had introduced the bill on remailers. I wanted to correct that statement.

I am in no position to take any lectures from the member on voting against a budget that I oppose. Certainly, the NDP was responsible for bringing down the Paul Martin government. As a result, we do not have national child care. We do not have the initiatives on Kelowna or Kyoto because the NDP did not support the Paul Martin government.

Jobs and Economic Growth ActGovernment Orders

4:35 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Liberal Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, I applaud my colleague's intervention and the very clear and eloquent fashion in which she pointed out some of the deficiencies of the bill. It goes beyond sneaky that the government would place its agenda in a bill that is 880 pages long and not its vision, as my colleague from Mississauga—Streetsville has rightly pointed out.

There is no vision, no sense of purpose and no sense of direction. There is no purpose to government in that 880 page document. It is a cut and slash, privatize, eliminate government from the life of Canadians type of document. There is very little there that one could say represents a step toward the future or a step toward a more expansive Canada, one where citizens and communities take care of each other and develop a format or procedure whereby individuals and government interact. There is none of that at all.

However, we are immediately going to have government members saying that we voted for this, that it is in the budget, that it is in the book. Remember that humourous little skit “It's in the book? I do not know whether it can tell us where it sees a vision of Canada in those 880 pages. What line would it refer to? Where in that book do we find protection for Canadian jobs, for stimulating Canadian jobs and for providing a future for Canadians?

Maybe my colleague from Mississauga—Streetsville can tell us whether that is empty rhetoric and garbage in that 880 pages or whether it is a document worthy of any consideration.

Jobs and Economic Growth ActGovernment Orders

4:35 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Crombie Liberal Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would concur. It is absolutely 880 pages of empty rhetoric. There is no investment in jobs. There are no jobs, no job creation, no protection for the jobs of today and no creation of the jobs of tomorrow. There are no investments in education, national child care, R and D, innovation or employment insurance. There is no lasting vision or legacy.

We will have nothing to show for $50 billion in infrastructure spending that is lasting. That is even if we are certain that $50 billion will have been invested at the end of the day. We all know the stories about the lapsed money, the money that is committed but is never actually spent or sent out.

Jobs and Economic Growth ActGovernment Orders

4:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I have two points of order. First, I will go to the chief government whip on his point of order.

Business of the HouseGovernment Orders

April 13th, 2010 / 4:35 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of State and Chief Government Whip

Mr. Speaker, I move:

That, notwithstanding any Standing Order or usual practices of the House, during the debate tonight on the motion to concur in the first report of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, the Chair shall not receive any quorum calls, dilatory motions, or requests for unanimous consent; at the end of the time remaining for the debate, or when no member rises to speak, all questions necessary to dispose of the motion be deemed put and a recorded division be deemed requested.

Business of the HouseGovernment Orders

4:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Does the hon. chief government whip have the unanimous consent of the House to move this motion?

Business of the HouseGovernment Orders

4:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Business of the HouseGovernment Orders

4:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Business of the HouseGovernment Orders

4:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Business of the HouseGovernment Orders

4:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

(Motion agreed to)

Business of the HouseGovernment Orders

4:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Eglinton--Lawrence on a point of order.

Business of the HouseGovernment Orders

4:35 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Liberal Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, members in this place often get carried away with the intensity of debate, but I know that my colleague from Mississauga—Streetsville probably wanted to put a cap on everything that she said by saying that this is a government of squandering and spending and tax--

Business of the HouseGovernment Orders

4:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. The hon. member has been a member of this House longer than I have and I know that is not a point of order, but a continuance of debate.

Resuming debate, the hon. member for Châteauguay—Saint-Constant.

The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-9, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 4, 2010 and other measures be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Jobs and Economic Growth ActGovernment Orders

4:40 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Freeman Bloc Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, I wanted to speak about the implementation bill for the Conservatives' March 4 budget. This is my opportunity to inform my constituents and the people of Quebec about the negative impact many of these Conservative budget measures will have on our social and economic well-being.

I already had the opportunity to speak to the budget in the House and to point out the Conservatives' serious lack of compassion and desire for social justice. The current budget implementation bill naturally confirms that the Conservatives are more determined than ever to protect wealthy taxpayers and to make the middle class pay for the budget deficit. Furthermore, the Conservative government has reaffirmed its intention to plunder the EI fund and to begin the process of privatizing Canada Post.

This privatization is particularly worrisome to me and to my constituents, especially the people of Saint-Mathieu-de-La Prairie, because the future of their postal outlet remains uncertain after months of endless talks and discussions regarding the renewal of the local postal concession.

We need to remember that the current government introduced Bill C-44 in June 2009 to take away Canada Post's exclusive privilege concerning international mail. Fortunately, this bill died on the order paper when the House was prorogued, but the same measure is now included in the budget implementation bill. This is still more proof of how devious this Conservative government is and how it wants to completely deregulate the crown corporation.

The Bloc Québécois strongly opposes the privatization of Canada Post to any degree. The crown corporation must remain a public concern in order to maintain universal services and consistent rates throughout Canada, including in rural areas that are threatened with losing this essential public service.

On another note, in denying the huge socio-economic challenges that more than half of Quebeckers have been grappling with since 2008, the Conservatives are showing a total lack of compassion and vision. Seniors and women are the notably missing from this budget implementation bill, which contains nothing to improve the guaranteed income supplement and nothing to promote pay equity. Clearly, this government is continuing to take an arrogant attitude toward the less fortunate. This disdain for the more vulnerable members of society is especially hard on older workers, who are left in the lurch by the Conservatives' 2010 budget.

What does the budget the Conservatives brought down on March 4, 2010 have for older workers? Nothing. Yet for years the Bloc Québécois has been calling on the federal government to bring in a new income support program for workers 55 and over who cannot be retrained and who are victims of massive layoffs.

There will always be workers who cannot be retrained, and they need an income support program. In its 2006 throne speech, this same government promised to create such a program by adopting a Bloc amendment that called for an income support program for older workers. What has happened since? Absolutely nothing.

On October 28, 2009, there was a vote on the Bloc Québécois' Motion M-285, moved by my colleague, the member for Bas-Richelieu—Nicolet—Bécancour. Only the Conservatives voted against the motion. Older workers still do not have access to a proper program for older worker assistance. The Conservatives are ignoring them and they are among those who have been left out of this budget, which is utterly lacking in compassion for society's poorest.

The Conservative government would rather maintain generous tax measures for banks and big corporations than help the people who were hardest hit by the recent economic crisis. In response to the crisis, the Bloc Québécois submitted dozens of proposals during its pre-budget consultations, such as bringing in a heavy tax on the excessive bonuses that some companies give their executives. We would like to see that kind of heavy tax along with a measure preventing companies that pay such bonuses from deducting those expenses from their corporate income taxes.

The Conservative government is refusing to consider these measures even though Quebeckers have said that they fully support them.

The one thing that this bill and the budget it seeks to implement make absolutely clear is that Quebec has nothing to gain from remaining in the Canadian federation. The bill does not include a measure to compensate Quebec for harmonizing its sales tax even though Ottawa has already agreed to generous compensation for all of the other provinces.

The Conservatives have also turned down Quebec's urgent requests for more federal transfers, particularly for education. In fact, as a percentage of GDP, primary transfers from the federal government to the provinces for health care and social programs will decline between 2010 and 2015.

The Conservative government is also sticking with its decision to unilaterally cap equalization payments. No doubt it believes that the vast majority of people do not really understand the issue.

I would like to briefly explain the concept of equalization for the benefit of my fellow citizens.

First of all, I should point out that Quebec's current government considers this to be an extremely important matter, so important that it discussed it at length in its latest update on federal transfers published in the March 30 budget plan.

What is equalization in Canada? It is simply a means of distributing a portion of federal revenues in order to reduce the socio-economic inequalities between the provinces. Like many other federations around the world, Canada's federal government created an equalization program in 1957 to try and close the fiscal gap between the provinces.

The money paid out by the federal government comes from taxes paid by all taxpayers, including taxpayers in Quebec, who finance their share of federal equalization.

This was how Canadian equalization functioned until just recently.

Now let us take a look at some of the myths circulating about how Quebec unfairly benefits from this program. As the Quebec government has said, some people are claiming that Quebec has always benefited substantially from the equalization program, which is nothing more than a transfer of wealth from one province to another. But it is a program paid for exclusively by the federal government and all Canadian taxpayers contribute to it. Residents of Quebec, through their taxes, pay their share of equalization, as do all other Canadians. In fact, out of all the provinces that received payments last year, Ontario is the only one that received a smaller equalization payment per capita than Quebec. Quebec is not unfairly benefiting from the equalization program, far from it.

Others claim that Quebec is able to fund its innovative social programs such as daycare and pharmacare because of equalization money. They also claim that this money comes in part from Alberta's tar sands development, insinuating that it is the Alberta oil industry which enables Quebec to offer generous social programs. Quebec finances these innovative social programs on its own.

Equalization certainly plays an important role in Quebec's budget, but it does not use that money to fund its visionary social programs. Quebec taxes its citizens more than the national average, specifically to fund its programs, like the $7 a day child care program and drug coverage. This political choice simply reflects our collective desire to create a Quebec, a society that is more equitable. Quebeckers have opted to give themselves public services and they finance them themselves through higher taxes, which they pay to the Government of Quebec.

Quebec could have fewer social programs and lower taxes, but it would receive exactly the same amount in equalization payments. So Ottawa must reverse its decision to change the equalization formula and give back to Quebec the money it is entitled to. It must eliminate the equalization cap and treat Quebec fairly and equitably, taking its water resources into account in the equalization formula.

In light of everything in the bill, the Bloc Québécois cannot support it.

Accordingly, we will vote against the bill.

Jobs and Economic Growth ActGovernment Orders

4:50 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Liberal Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

Mr. Speaker, I have a quick question for my hon. colleague regarding equalization payments. I am not quite certain as to how she envisions the formula. Is it purely on a per capita basis regarding Canada's social health transfer, or is it something a bit different that would allow building upon that formula?

Jobs and Economic Growth ActGovernment Orders

4:50 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Freeman Bloc Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.

Currently, Quebec receives $1,111 per capita in equalization. Prince Edward Island receives $2,400, New Brunswick, $2,226, Manitoba, $1,673 and Nova Scotia, $1,452.

Quebec and Ontario are the two provinces that receive the lowest equalization payments per capita under the current formula.

Jobs and Economic Growth ActGovernment Orders

4:50 p.m.

NDP

Jim Maloway NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I was particularly interested in what the member had to say about the provisions in Bill C-9 regarding the removal of Canada Post's legal monopoly on outgoing international letters, or the remailer situation.

Members of the House know that this bill was introduced on two previous occasions as Bill C-14 and as Bill C-44. The government was not able to get either one of those bills passed through the minority government. The government has taken advantage of a situation and it has simply added this bill, totally unrelated as it is, to an 880-page budget implementation bill. It has nothing to do with the matter at stake. One wonders whether the government has a wish for defeat and an election, whether that is what it is doing.

I have seen this before. The Filmon government in Manitoba did the same thing in a similar minority situation. Every year it would bring in a big omnibus bill like this, throw in a whole bunch of surprises and dare the opposition to call an election. If that is what this is all about, then let us call a spade a spade.

The government is trying to privatize Canada Post by stealth. This is just the thin edge of the wedge. This mail is going to be sorted in places like Jamaica, where the wages are a fraction of what they are here. Once the remailers get peeled away, it is only a hop, skip and a jump from there to when the entire postal corporation gets turned over to private hands, as part of the privatization of crown assets program.

We are on the same side as the Bloc on this issue. The Liberals are saying they support where we are going with this as well. This whole business has to be exposed. The fact that in the last two days no government members have stood up to speak to their own bill says volumes about what is happening in this House.