Mr. Speaker, it was clear back in November 2018 that this Liberal government took its marching orders from the Canada Post Corporation management when the government passed its anti-worker back-to-work legislation. Now that the Canadian Union of Postal Workers has been once again stripped of its right to strike, we see that management is retreating from what was previously offered at the bargaining table. Why would they not? Management knows that there is undemocratic legislation passed and backed by the government that hurts the workers' right to take action.
I believe that the people of Canada are seeing that there is a trend here with this Liberal government. When well-connected corporate insiders at SNC-Lavalin need the scales to be tipped in their favour, their friends in the PMO are just one phone call away. When the Canada Post Corporation needs anti-worker legislation passed again, the PMO is just a phone call away. When insiders need someone, they know that this Liberal government, like the previous Conservative government, is on their side. When workers need a champion, they know that New Democrats are with them.
We know that the legislation imposed by the Harper Conservatives back in 2011 was subsequently deemed in violation of the union's charter rights, yet our sunny ways Prime Minister had no qualms about following in Mr. Harper's footsteps to once again violate the union's charter rights. The members opposite, in debate, said, “No, no, this legislation is different.” Well, I believe them on one point. I believe that they spent more time than the previous government did to write legislation that would get around the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and workers' rights to take action. Despite the Prime Minister's continued charade of supporting the collective bargaining process guaranteed under the charter, he has demonstrated no interest in resolving CUPW's concerns around workload, pay equity, health and safety, and harassment.
Let us examine just one of the issues this government has no interest in resolving. Workplace injuries at Canada Post have increased by 43% over the last two years, largely as a result of postal transformation, which requires workers to walk longer routes carrying heavier loads. Today the disabling injury rate for a letter carrier is eight times the average for the rest of the public sector, a sector that includes longshoring, mining, road transport and railways.
Workplace injuries are avoidable and preventable. It is unconscionable that CUPW members must endure this kind of risk just to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads, food, I might add, that workers are unable to share with their families, and homes they are unable to enjoy and in which to find rest, because there are not enough hours in the day to walk the routes Canada Post expects them to walk and maintain family life.
I believe there is a way forward. I challenge members to look into the initiatives around deliveringcommunitypower.ca. There they will find bold ideas to expand our affordable public services and deliver more. Our postal services can deliver medicines to those who cannot travel and help those who stay in their homes by delivering groceries and other necessities. We can expand postal offices to include charging stations for electric vehicles, make post offices community hubs for digital access and social innovation, and connect communities and climate-friendly businesses to customers. We can also expand Canada Post to offer postal banking that invests in our communities and helps to maintain those services people depend on.