Mr. Speaker, the reality is that I am not pleased to be speaking to this bill because I do not think we should even have it on the table. We have a government that does not have the courage to do exactly what it wants to do, so it does what it always does, which is fly a trial balloon so that someone else does the leading and it can just play it and massage it as it wants. It is not being honest with the public about what its true agenda is. We we know for a fact, when we look at the ideology of the Conservative government, that respect for unions is not something it has.
We need to ask ourselves where Canada would be without the labour unions today. The pension systems, health care, a tremendous number of these things were brought to the table in a variety of different forms as a result of the work that unions did. For those who are anti-union and think it is not necessary to have one, I would ask people to think of what the country would be like without one. All progressive countries have a positive working relationship with the unions and have shown true leadership.
However, to bring a bill like this forward and to pretend that it is just a private member's bill, it is like the abortion issue. The Conservatives just keep flying a bunch of balloons on what they truly want to do just to keep putting wedges between people, the same way that we have had wedges on a variety of other important issues. This is just another way to split the labour movement against another whole bunch of people here in Canada. It is that continued opportunity to try to destabilize people and to pander to that 36% who elected the Conservatives.
To ask any other organization in this country to give all of this disclosure, one usually should show some leadership, right? However, that would mean that the government would be saying that everything is open. Instead, we have the exact opposite with the government. The Parliamentary Budget Officer, who was appointed by the Conservatives to help everyone understand the books better and to monitor the spending, cannot get any information and has to fight with the government every day just to get the basic spending and financial data he needs to do his job. Now he is at a point where he has to go to court to force the government to release the information. Now we have Bill C-377 that would tell everyone else that they need to disclose everything about what they do.
Government is supposed to be about leadership and the folks in the current government are going in the exact opposite direction. This is also the first government that has ever been found in contempt, which is an absolute disgrace for this country. The Conservatives do not care what the rules are. We know what they have done on the whole issue of the scandals and the election fraud. They do not believe in respect for the laws of this country and yet they are trying now to force unions to open up their books and divulge information that they would never do in a hundred years. This is all an attempt to break the back of the labour movement. This is just one more step they are using to try to get there.
When people have a decent pension, good health care and all the other kinds of things they want, they do not need to rely on the government for a hand-up when things get tough for them because they clearly have great programs in place. When we start to undo collective agreements, people start to lose all those safeguards they have, which, by the way, they pay for. No one has given anyone anything. All of the folks who work and contribute to the unions, they do not need to belong to any of them. They could be independent and do it on their own. No one forces anyone to belong to a union. People choose to belong to a union because there are a variety of safeguards, which means safer conditions than other job sites, but it also guarantees them support for their families. If someone gets killed on the job there is health and safety precautions, much more so than would be there if they did not have a labour union doing the leadership that it does.
I will get back to the Conservatives who continue to cut all kinds of programs. The second one is to go after the unions, destabilize them and try to break their backs. However, who will pay for all of the services that will be required? Someone will need to pay. I guess it will be downloaded to the provinces when it comes to the social services that are required. It should be a shame on the government and the hon. member who is bringing the bill forward. When he was on the agriculture committee he stood up and supported XL packers--