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House of Commons Hansard #12 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was post.

Topics

Privacy CommissionerRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I have the honour to lay upon the table the report of the Privacy Commissioner on the Application of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act for the year 2010.

Pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(h), this document is deemed permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics.

Senate Reform ActRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Edmonton—Sherwood Park Alberta

Conservative

Tim Uppal ConservativeMinister of State (Democratic Reform)

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-7, An Act respecting the selection of senators and amending the Constitution Act, 1867 in respect of Senate term limits.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Interparliamentary DelegationsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Daryl Kramp Conservative Prince Edward—Hastings, ON

Mr. Speaker, as co-chair of the Canada-China Parliamentary Association and pursuant to Standing Order 34(1) I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the reports of the Canadian delegation of the Canada-China Legislative Association respecting its participation to the co-chair's annual visit to China held in Beijing, Xining, Lhasa and Chengdu, People's Republic of China, April 1 to 11, 2010; and the 13th bilateral meeting held in Beijing, Tianjin, Nanjing, Changshu and Shanghai, People's Republic of China, September 9 to 19, 2010; and the co-chair's annual visit to China held in Beijing, Chongqing, Dali and Kunming, People's Republic of China, March 11 to 19, 2011.

I am also pleased to present the reports of the Canadian delegation of the Canada-China Legislative Association and the Canada-Japan Inter-Parliamentary group respecting its participation to the 17th annual meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum, the APPF, held in Vientane, Laos, January 11 to 15, 2009, the 30th General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, AIPA, held in Pattaya City, Chonburi, Thailand, August 2 to 8, 2009; and the 31st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, AIPA, held in Hanoi, Vietnam, September 19 to 25, 2010.

Criminal CodeRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Bloc Ahuntsic, QC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-235, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (failure to inform).

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to introduce this bill, which would amend the Criminal Code to make it an offence not to report to the authorities instances of sexual or physical abuse of a child. This is a small bill that has only a few clauses. I hope that all of my colleagues here who want to protect children will support this bill.

This bill would make it an offence to fail or neglect to inform the police or social services of a situation in which someone has reasonable grounds to believe that a child is being sexually or physically abused.

I believe that we all have the responsibility to protect the children in our society, and if we do not do so, if we remain silent or look away, we are just as guilty as the individual committing the crime. I urge all of my colleagues to support this bill.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Public Health Agency of Canada ActRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-236, An Act to amend the Public Health Agency of Canada Act (National Alzheimer Office).

Mr. Speaker, my bill, an act to establish a national Alzheimer's office within the Public Health Agency of Canada, aims to reduce the rising tide of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias in Canada.

The bill calls for the office to develop a national plan to address dementia in conjunction with the provincial and territorial health departments with special goals and an annual report to Parliament; take necessary measures to accelerate the discovery and development of treatments that would prevent, halt or reverse the course of dementia; encourage greater investment in all areas of dementia research; coordinate with international bodies to continue the fight against dementia globally and to build on Canada's existing contributions in this field; assess and disseminate best practices; improving the quality of life of people with dementia and their caregivers; and make recommendations to support and strengthen Canada's dementia care workforce.

I hope all hon. members will support the bill.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Fisheries ActRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-237, An Act to amend the Fisheries Act (deposit in lakes).

Mr. Speaker, I always remind the House that the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans is just that, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, not the minister of mining or agriculture or forestry. The number one job of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is the protection of fish and fish habitat. When we allow mining companies to perfectly destroy a healthy aquatic system that is wrong.

What this bill would do is stop mining companies from using lakes as tailing ponds. If they wish to have their activities they need to do what they did in the past, which is set up independent tailing ponds free and clear of any freshwater aquatic systems that, in any way, destroy the actual habitat of fisheries in this country, because that simply cannot be going on any more.

This bill, hopefully, will be accepted by all members of the House in order to protect fish and fish habitat now and in the future.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Income Tax ActRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-238, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (in-home care of relatives)

Mr. Speaker, this bill is one I have been introducing now since 1997 when one of my constituents actually had to purchase an awful lot of equipment for his dying wife. He was told to institutionalize her but he said, "No. If she is going to die she is going to stay in her own home”. The doctor told him the various things that he would require, which were an additional tub, oxygen measures, different types of food, et cetera. When he tried to claim those on his taxes, many of those items were not tax deductible.

If he had put her as a ward of the state, the cost to the government would have been a tremendous amount of money. He could not understand why he could not claim some of these things to provide care for his wife.

This bill would remedy that. If people have a dying relative in their home, they should be able to claim what is required as a tax deduction to prevent the person from becoming institutionalized.

This would allow people who are in the dying phases of their lives to at least die in their own homes with a sense of dignity. It would also allow caregivers to deduct the equipment and purchases that they require in order to make a dying person's life more comfortable at the end.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Criminal CodeRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-239, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (peace officers)

Mr. Speaker, I hope the justice minister is aware of this particular one because one of the things that offends me greatly is the lack of respect for our police officers and men and women in uniform.

What this particular bill would do is that when someone commits a crime of murder against one of our peace officers, he or she should be held to the maximum extent that the law requires, which is 25 years without a chance of parole. We may even want to think about making it longer because when one takes the life of a peace officer whose duty is to protect us and our families, that is something that I, personally, and I know that many members of Parliament from all sides, simply cannot accept.

I am hoping that the justice minister will actually take this bill and maybe make it a government bill in order to move it forward to ensure that our peace officers get the respect that they deserve.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Income Tax ActRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-240, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (services to a charity or public authority)

Mr. Speaker, when people make a donation of some kind to a charity, they get a taxable receipt. However, if they provide services to that charity it is not necessarily tax deductible.

What I am trying to do in this bill is to say that if people provide various services in kind for a charitable organization then the services that they render should be tax deductible. For example, people may lend their car to a Lion's Club so that its members can drive a person to a medical appointment. That vehicle saves them a lot of time, money and effort and the owners should be able to deduct some of those services that they have rendered in kind for tax deductible purposes. That would encourage more people in the future to give not only their cash but also their time.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Canadian Bill of RightsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-241, An Act to amend the Canadian Bill of Rights (right to housing).

Mr. Speaker, all of us know what it is like to have a home, to have shelter where we feel safe and secure and where our families and our neighbours are safe and secure. Can anyone imagine not having a home?

We were just in Vancouver where we were told that on any given day there are 50,000 people on the streets. In Canada, right across the country, there could be well over 100,000 people without shelter. Shelter in this country should be a constitutional right. Every Canadian citizen should have access to shelter, be it an apartment, a condo, a house or whatever, but they should have a right to safe, affordable and secure housing.

We would like to amend the Constitution by ensuring that this definitely becomes a constitutional right of all Canadian citizens.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Canadian Forces Superannuation ActRoutine Proceedings

June 21st, 2011 / 10:15 a.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-242, An Act to amend the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Superannuation Act (increase of allowance for survivors and children).

Mr. Speaker, this comes right out of the Royal Canadian Legion playbook, to be completely frank, and all the veterans organizations.

When a veteran or RCMP member dies, his or her spouse gets 50% of his or her pension. I wonder if everybody in this room or average Canadians could live on 50% of their salary tomorrow.

My bill asks for an increase to survivor benefits according to the Royal Canadian Legion mandate and other veterans organizations. We would hope to get very speedy passage on this one because the survivors who looked after our heroes are the ones who now need looking after. They require a little bit more income near the retirement stage of their lives or that of their children.

We are hoping the bill will be passed very quickly.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Survivor's Annual Allowance ActRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-243, An Act to amend the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act, the Judges Act, the Members of Parliament Retiring Allowances Act, the Public Service Superannuation Act and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Superannuation Act.

Mr. Speaker, as a married man, you know this all too well. What happens, and pray it never happens, if a wife passes away when the husband is 54 years old? If the husband remarries at age 58, for example, lives for 20 years and then dies, the second spouse gets the pension.

However, if that husband had the audacity to remarry at age 60, live for 20 years and then pass away, his second spouse gets zero. That is called the gold digger clause. Some people call it the Anna Nicole clause. It has been around since the Boar War. The British government was worried about young women marrying older veterans for their pensions.

I have a lot of Camp Hill veterans that say that if young girls want to marry them, they have time, so those young girls should come on over and marry them.

The reality is that it should not be up to the government to tell people whom they remarry and when. The last surviving spouse should be entitled to the pension. We should not put it at age 60. It is discriminatory. It needs to change. This is something that affects all federal public servants, including ourselves, throughout the entire country.

We would hope that all members of Parliament, even if it is for self-respect, will get this done. When we lose a loved one, it is a terrible day, but if we have the good fortune to love again and remarry and live out our final years before we pass away, our second spouse should not be abandoned.

We are hoping the bill will pass very quickly to get rid of the marriage after 60 act, which is what the bill hopes to do.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Assistance to Students Visiting Military Memorial Sites Abroad ActRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-244, An Act to propose and examine a program giving financial assistance to high-school students visiting military memorial sites abroad.

Mr. Speaker, anybody who has had the opportunity to travel overseas and see the great sites of our heroes in France, Belgium, Hong Kong, and Italy knows what a moving experience that really is. Unfortunately, an awful lot of Canadians do not get that opportunity.

This bill would encourage the federal government to work with the provinces, territories, schools, municipalities, aboriginal groups, et cetera, so that in the lifetime of a student, he or she would get at least one opportunity to travel overseas to walk the grounds of those cemeteries where our war dead are buried.

We have 118,000 Canadians who have passed on fighting for our country, buried in over 70 countries around the world. What a great thing it would be for Canadians to have at least an opportunity during their school life to visit these gravesites.

I believe this could be encouraged by working co-operatively to find the resources. By working with other sectors, as well as the private sector, we could allow for every student, at least once in their student life, an opportunity to visit our heroes who had fallen in other countries.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Income Tax ActRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-245, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (expenses incurred by caregivers).

Mr. Speaker, I could not help but notice that the Conservatives have adopted some aspects of this bill in their budget. However, in typical fashion, they never go far enough.

This bill would expand the expenses provided for caregivers to allow them to assist and give of their time when they care for someone who is under palliative care or rehabilitation services. It would also allow those individuals time off work to provide that care.

Imagine a child diagnosed with cancer and only six months to live. What are those parents prepared to do? They would take time off work and care for their child during the last six months. If they could not afford to take time off work, they may lose their job, so not only would they suffer the loss of a child but they would suffer financially as well.

We simply do not think people should go through that alone. This bill would provide assistance with some of the costs in caring for an individual in their final stages of life or in severe rehabilitation services.

We hope that this bill and all the others, which are some of the finest pieces of legislation ever to grace the floor of the House of Commons, get passed all bundled together very quickly.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Nuclear WeaponsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

NDP

Alex Atamanenko NDP British Columbia Southern Interior, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions signed by constituents of my riding.

The first petition states that over 200,000 civilians were killed in the first atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 with tens of thousands of additional human beings severely injured. However, there are over 27,000 nuclear weapons that still exist today. Of the 26,000 nuclear weapons held by the United States and Russia, 3,000 are on a 15-minute warning launch status and threaten to destroy us.

The petitioners call upon Parliament to establish a department of peace to reinvigorate Canada's role as a global peacebuilder and seek the abolition of nuclear weapons as a top priority.

Nuclear WeaponsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

NDP

Alex Atamanenko NDP British Columbia Southern Interior, BC

Mr. Speaker, the second petition talks about a review of NATO's nuclear weapons policy and the fact that over 25,000 nuclear weapons are at risk of accidental or intentional use.

Canada is a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The International Court of Justice in July 1996 determined that the use and threat of nuclear weapons is, for all practical purposes, contrary to international law. However, NATO states still rely on policies involving nuclear weapons for their defence.

The petitioners encourage the Government of Canada to call for an urgent review of NATO's nuclear weapons policy to ensure that all NATO states fulfill their obligations to renegotiate and conclude an agreement for the elimination of nuclear weapons.

Employment InsurancePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Madam Speaker, there are some people who deserve our utmost admiration. One such person is Marie-Hélène Dubé, who is known to my colleagues. She started a petition calling for changes to section 12(3) of the Employment Insurance Act, which provides for a maximum of 15 weeks of benefits in the event of illness. This aspect of the law has not been amended since 1971. We believe it should be changed from 15 weeks of benefits to 52 weeks. It is not right that a person suffering from cancer only has 15 weeks of benefits.

On behalf of more than 75,000 petitioners, I am presenting this petition and urging the government to take note of it because we have had many petitions from the beginning. I presented a petition with 30,000 signatures about the same issue last March, and it is time something was done about this.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:25 a.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:25 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Is that agreed?

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:25 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Resumption and Continuation of Postal Services LegislationGovernment Orders

10:25 a.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

moved:

That, notwithstanding any Standing Order or usual practice of the House, a bill in the name of the Minister of Labour, entitled An Act to provide for the resumption and continuation of postal services, shall be disposed of as follows: (a) commencing when the said bill is read a first time and concluding when the said bill is read a third time, the House shall not adjourn except pursuant to a motion proposed by a Minister of the Crown; (b) the said bill may be read twice or thrice in one sitting; (c) after being read a second time, the said bill shall be referred to a Committee of the Whole; and (d) during consideration of the said bill, no division shall be deferred.

Resumption and Continuation of Postal Services LegislationGovernment Orders

10:25 a.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Conservative

Kellie Leitch ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Madam Speaker, just weeks ago our government indicated in the Speech from the Throne that our priority remains focused on jobs and growth. We also noted that the global economy remains fragile and risks to our recovery persist.

After many months of collective bargaining and mediation, a labour dispute between Canada Post and more than 50,000 employees representing the Canadian Union of Postal Workers urban operations unit has resulted in work stoppage, an event that, if unresolved, could jeopardize Canada's economic prosperity.

Canadians gave this government a strong mandate to complete our economic recovery. It is my view that the Government of Canada must take decisive action now before further damage is done to our economy.

Our government introduced Bill C-6, An Act to provide for the resumption and continuation of postal services. The measures in this proposed legislation are in response to an extraordinary situation facing Canadian families, workers and businesses.

For many Canadians Canada Post remains a vital part of how we connect to each other, even in this digital age. It is also an important part of small and large businesses across Canada. Reliable postal services aid in putting money in the pockets of families and Canadians in need. They play a role in how bills get delivered and paid on time, and ensuring that parcels arrive at their destinations.

As we can see, there is far more at stake here than just mail delivery or good labour relations between Canada Post and its unionized workers. As a result of this long-simmering labour dispute, this has now become a matter that puts Canada's fragile economic recovery on the line. That is a risk that Canadians do not want to take, nor is it one that they should have to endure. They are counting on the Government of Canada to act and that is why we introduced this proposed legislation.

I will take a couple of minutes to outline the intent of this bill, along with the proposed economic risks entailed by this work stoppage. I will also explain why it is important that we take decisive action now rather than wait any longer.

This act would provide for the resumption and continuation of mail services at Canada Post. It would bring to an end the growing uncertainty that has characterized so much of this dispute for the last several months. The act would also impose a four year contract and new pay rate increases. It would mean a 1.75% increase as of February 1, 2011, 1.5% as of February 2012, 2% as of February 2013, and 2% as of February 2014. It would also provide a final offer selection, a binding mechanism on all outstanding matters.

Furthermore, in making the selection of a final offer, the arbitrator is to be guided by the need for terms and conditions of employment that are consistent with those in comparable postal industries and that will provide the necessary degree of flexibility to ensure the short and long-term economic viability and competitiveness of the Canada Post Corporation, maintain the health and safety of its workers, and ensure the sustainability of its pension plan.

The terms and conditions of employment must also take into account: first, that the solvency ratio of the pension plan must not decline as a direct result of the new collective agreement; and second, that the Canada Post Corporation must, without recourse to undue increases in postal rates, operate efficiently, improve productivity, and meet the acceptable standards of service. It is a decisive approach aimed at resolving this labour dispute. While the measures it calls for are not an ideal way of resolving this dispute, it would do what is necessary to safeguard Canadian families, businesses, seniors and workers.

Some might argue that we should wait, that we should let collective bargaining run its course no matter how long it takes. That is unwise. The risks to our economy are too great to ignore. Since talks between CUPW and their employer broke down, our country is now facing a potentially serious situation. Let us be clear about what has happened as a result of this labour dispute at Canada Post.

An integral part of what keeps Canada in business and what puts money in the pockets of many citizens is slowing to a standstill. Ask the small business owners who invoice and get paid through the mail. Ask a company that relies on the mail to issue bills, process orders and receive payments. Ask Canadian publishers and direct marketers whose livelihoods rely on the mail. Ask taxpayers who are waiting for their tax refunds and HST rebates to arrive. Ask citizens in the far north who rely on mail as an essential service of goods, such as prescription eyewear, dental products, drugs, legal documents, and still make payments by mail.

Our citizens cannot afford to be left waiting. They certainly should not be the ones who should bear the brunt of a labour dispute that shows no sign of being resolved through collective bargaining.

As of June 17, the minister received a total of 1,800 letters and email enquiries. Of those, 1,027 requested back-to-work legislation: 692 Canadian citizens; 328 businesses; and 7 charities. The remainder represents 561 employees and 212 citizens expressing concerns.

The Canadian National Institute for the Blind stated:

With 70 per cent of its funding coming from donations, more than half of which arrive through the mail, CNIB is now facing an estimated loss of $250,000 in much-needed funding for this time of the year.

The charity has also experienced $30,000 in unexpected costs associated with communicating its contingency plan to clients, donors and library users.

One stakeholder, a leading provider of integrated mail and document management systems, is requesting a rapid intervention of the government to ensure reliable postal services and supporting the view of Canada Post as an essential service.

Many Canadians are beginning to see the repercussions of a work stoppage and are requesting a government intervention for the resumption of postal services.

It has been nearly 14 years since Canada last had a work stoppage at Canada Post. The numbers speak for themselves. A work stoppage could result in losses to our economy of between $9 million and $31 million per week. The work stoppage at Canada Post is expected to have an immeasurable impact on our economy.

Canada's gross domestic product could shrink by up to 0.21% for every day of work stoppage. That means every day more jobs at risk, more productivity lost, more challenges for businesses and more uncertainty for consumers.

Every other avenue has been tried to help bring a full and lasting resolution to this dispute. Parliament must do the right thing and intervene.

The parties have negotiated for direct collective bargaining from October 2010 to January 2011. When those talks stayed at an impasse, a conciliation officer was appointed. The conciliation period was extended into early May and during that time, the conciliation officer met again with the parties. Throughout the month of May, a mediator from the labour program's Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service met frequently with the parties.

Unfortunately, despite all of these efforts, an agreement between the parties has yet to be reached.

While the best solution may have been the one that the parties reached themselves, we must do what is necessary to protect our recovering economy and safeguard Canadian families, workers and businesses. We must act now to keep the businesses of Canada moving. That is what this proposed legislation would do.

It is my hope that all members of the House will join me in meeting our shared responsibility to Canadians and give this proposed legislation the support it deserves.

Resumption and Continuation of Postal Services LegislationGovernment Orders

10:35 a.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Madam Speaker, I would like to ask my Conservative colleague a question.

We see the direction the government is going in. She says that the government is taking action to protect the economic recovery. It seems that nothing will stop it and that the government is going to use the excuse of the economic recovery.

I will be giving my speech shortly and voicing my opinions about this matter, but I would like to ask the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development a specific question. In this back-to-work legislation, why is the government offering lower wages than Canada Post had offered? Canada Post had proposed a 1.9% increase for January 2011. Now the Conservative government is telling Canada Post that its offer is too high and that it will make further reductions. Why punish the workers like that? Does the Conservative government hate the workers? Have we reached the point where the Conservative government is going so far as to include in a bill a proposal—it is more than a proposal because it will be the law—that will give workers less than what Canada Post had offered? What is behind this? I would like to understand because I do not understand it, unless the government hates the workers.

Resumption and Continuation of Postal Services LegislationGovernment Orders

10:35 a.m.

Conservative

Kellie Leitch Conservative Simcoe—Grey, ON

Madam Speaker, I think it is incumbent upon all members of the House to act in the interests of all Canadians.

With respect to the wage increases, the proposed legislation includes wage rate increases consistent with other federal public sector collective agreements. The wage rate increases are the result of concessions in the public sector negotiations that take into consideration the future economic viability of Canada Post.

Canada has weathered an economic crisis and it is the federal government's responsibility to intervene in this unique circumstance to ensure the effects of this strike do not cause further negative impact on the Canadian economy, including its consumers, its charities and its businesses.

Resumption and Continuation of Postal Services LegislationGovernment Orders

10:35 a.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Madam Speaker, I welcome the member to the House in her role as parliamentary secretary. It is sort of a dirty file to be handling the first time around but, nonetheless, it is her job at hand.

Organized labour in this country has really had a taste of what to expect over the next four years with the government, first with the legislation for Air Canada and now with this piece of legislation. There are a number of egregious aspects to this particular legislation in the guiding principle where it compares Canada Post to a private industry, which is totally unfair and shows the lack of understanding the government has for the function of Canada Post.

As my colleague from Acadie—Bathurst indicated, the parameters put around the salaries actually offer less than what Canada Post had on the table already. It is rare to see salary parameters in a piece of legislation but ones that are less than what was on the table initially is mind-blowing. The government just does not understand. Then, the fact that it is final offer arbitration is of concern.This is an all or nothing crapshoot.

In ignoring the requests of CUPW to this point which have obviously been ignored in the legislation, would the Conservatives at least comply with the one request that the appointed arbitrator is one agreed upon by CUPW?