That is not very polite. I do not think it is very polite to tell me to keep talking. I think I was doing well until I was interrupted.
The employees have the right to go on rotating strikes: the Minister herself said that she received only a few calls and emails. That is what she said in the House of Commons and to the media. One might almost think she was not satisfied and that things were not sufficiently stirred up, as if they had to be stirred up in order to pass a bill. The public was not complaining. I received no calls from people unhappy about the rotating strikes. But as soon as the lockout was in place, down came the hammer and the bill was tabled. We have worked hard all weekend, and I raise my hat to the members who remained in the House of Commons and fought all weekend to give the union and the employer the chance for further meetings. That is democracy.
I hope all Canadians are proud of us. The day we cease to have a Parliament, our country will become like those to which we send our soldiers to bring democracy. The House of Commons belongs to Canadians, and this is where the debate must occur. It has occurred, and we are proud of that fact. We gave the union and the employer the opportunity to meet. However, it is impossible to reach an agreement when the government gives the employer a better offer in a bill, which is completely undemocratic, in my opinion.
Perhaps the Conservatives consider today a funny day in history. They can continue to attack the workers. This government has just sent employers the message to not bother negotiating, because the government will solve their problems. It is inviting employers to turn to the government for help; it will pass bills that will never be in the workers' favour.
That is why I am asking what the workers ever did to this government. Why does it not like them? Why does it not like the people who have provided services to us for the past three or four days, the security guards, and everyone? The next time, it will be CBC/Radio-Canada, and then it will be CN. All of them will be paying at the checkout in the next four years under this Conservative government. Is that the kind of society we want? Do we really want to attack workers?
Even if it bothers the Conservatives, I want to thank the unions who work day after day and who have the mandate, under Canadian legislation, to represent workers. Political parties need leaders, but so do the unions. So let us respect our laws and our leaders, the people with the mandate to do things for the society. If the government did not want this lockout, all it needed to do was call Canada Post to get the locks taken off the doors. It would have been easy.
The public will see that the Conservatives are wearing big smiles on their faces today. On the one hand, 33 million people were affected by the lockout, but so were the 45,000 postal workers because of this government. Who will it be next time? Perhaps it will be citizens, seniors, the disabled or the workers. And it will be because of the Conservative government.
We even asked the Prime Minister to suspend the House of Commons for one day, for the Quebec holiday, Saint-Jean-Baptiste day. Once again, he said no. Just for that, he should be ashamed. He has no respect for Quebeckers. Does he not like Quebeckers, as one of my colleagues just said? He does not like the workers, but he likes big business.