House of Commons photo

Track Joyce

Your Say

Elsewhere

Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word is rcmp.

Liberal MP for Vancouver Quadra (B.C.)

Won her last election, in 2015, with 59% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Act March 22nd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I am struck by how much repetition there is from the Conservative members. I take that to be a huge compliment to the bill itself, because the basic premise of their concerns has to do with the secret ballot or mandatory vote regimes. In their previous attempt to undermine and weaken the union movement, they were foisting that method.

What our bill does, in fact, is provide the board with great discretion in determining the very best method to satisfy itself that a majority exists to certify a bargaining agent, whether that method is a vote or a card check. There is greater flexibility. The bill increases the democratic rights of our RCMP members and in fact makes it possible for the situation to be considered.

I would like to ask the member if it is not possible that there might be employer interference in a secret ballot or mandatory vote regime, which neither we nor the RCMP members themselves would want to have? Would the current board flexibility not actually address that by giving them the choice of applying either a card check or a secret ballot?

Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Act March 22nd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo for her remarks, and particularly for highlighting the changes to the Government Employees Compensation Act, which, as the member mentioned, will provide more seamless support for injured RCMP members.

Unfortunately, the member then brought back the issue of the right to secret ballot for union members. She was part of a previous government that put forward Bill C-525. The very organizations that represent public sector members were almost unanimous in believing that it was the wrong way to go. They claim that the card check method is more likely to be free of employer interference. Therefore, suggesting that the right to secret ballot is good for employees is contrary to what the representatives of those employees are saying.

Why would the representatives of government employees speak out so strongly against Bill C-525 when it was passed, if it were in the interest of the employees, or in this case in the interest of RCMP members?

Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Act March 22nd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for his remarks, and to discuss the RCMP Act and the powers of the commissioner under that act to make certain determinations about work, disciplinary measures, working conditions, conduct, and so on. The members have the ability to grieve decisions under the RCMP Act. I would like the member's comment on the concept of having limited the bill to the basic working terms and conditions of employment, which is the requirement of the Supreme Court of Canada, and the very tight timeline to deliver on it.

Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Act March 22nd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Carleton for his comments, and especially for confirming that Bill C-7 itself is reasonable, fair, and constructive, and we do look forward to comments and proposals at the committee level.

The member used most of his time to talk about Bill C-4 and to talk about Bill C-525, which his government put forward. I would like to remind the member that there was a huge amount of controversy and comment that Bill C-525 was pushed through without consultation, in contrast to Bill C-7, in which there was extensive consultation. That is one point I want to make before I get to my question.

The second is this. If the member is so proud of Bill C-525, which would require a mandatory vote, why did the previous government hide the report that its very own department tabled, showing that a mandatory vote is detrimental to labour relations in comparison to the card check method. The card check method does enable the public service members to indicate their preference around being represented by an employee organization.

I find it stunning, given that the Conservatives hid the evidence that suggested their bill was a bad one, and they never consulted on it, that this would be the key thing that the member would want to push for in this House. It just defies belief.

We have the NDP saying the card check is the only—

Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Act March 22nd, 2016

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the comments by my colleague, the member for Winnipeg North, who also touched on the comments by the member for Durham about Bill C-4, which is seeking to rescind Bill C-525. On this side of the House, we believe that Bill C-525 had a negative effect on rights and freedoms in the workforce.

It turns out, interestingly enough, that just when the former Conservative government was pushing forward Bill C-525, claiming that it would not adversely affect the rights of workers to unionize, its own internal labour program research department had conducted a study showing that it would adversely affect the union movement and its ability to organize. That study was hidden. Our minister, just yesterday, tabled that study at the human resources, skills, and social development committee.

I would like to ask my colleague what he believes the role of evidence should be, and the role of openness and transparency about this evidence, in making decisions around legislation for the benefit of the rights and freedoms of the Canadian workforce.

Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Act March 22nd, 2016

Madam Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for Elmwood—Transcona for his interest in the well-being of the RCMP members and reservists, and for his work on this subject. He is calling for a vastly expanded scope to the bill.

To his expression of hope that the government will engage in this discussion with an open-minded committee, the answer is yes. Our government sees committees as the place for members of Parliament of all parties to put forward their ideas and have those discussions, and the government will listen to what the committee members are proposing. It is a different manner of running committees than the previous government.

As the same time, the bill has never been intended to look at the entire scope of all of the issues, as important as many of them are. The member mentioned harassment. The government has taken several direct steps to have a review of the policies around harassment. There are a number of things being done, and more to come, on some of the issues that the member has raised.

I would like to ask the member whether he sees the bill, with the scope that it intends to cover, which is the interpretation, application, and terms and conditions of employment and the ways of being able to grieve those, as a major step forward from where we are today with no collective bargaining powers by the RCMP members. Or, does he see this as a positive step forward, notwithstanding that it does not cover everything in the terrain that may take a much longer time period to work through a new regime?

Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Act March 22nd, 2016

Madam Speaker, I appreciate the comments by the member for Durham and all the work he does on behalf of the RCMP and the Canadian Armed Forces. However, his comments confused me.

He is insisting on a secret ballot. Bill C-525, which the Conservative government brought forward, made it more difficult for employees to unionize, harder for unions to certify, and easier for unions to be decertified. That is the bill the Liberal government is repealing with Bill C-4, in which case the board will have a choice. It will be at the discretion of the board whether there will be a secret ballot or a card check, and the board can make sure that the members' interests are reflected in the choice made.

The secret ballot makes it harder for the collective bargaining process and provides less freedom for the members. Why is the member insisting on that as the mechanism?

Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Act March 22nd, 2016

Madam Speaker, the principle of the bill is empowering RCMP members to have the same rights and freedoms as other police forces across the country and the right to collective bargaining.

At this time, details around the manner of certification are being debated in the House on another bill, so the exact mechanisms that move forward with Bill C-7 would depend on the outcome of that bill.

However, I can assure the member that this is about freedom and opportunities and equality for RCMP members and reservists.

Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Act March 22nd, 2016

Madam Speaker, as the member may know, there is other legislation before the House that impacts the actual mechanisms of certification.

The bill reflects the wishes and the direction that the consultations with 17,000 regular members of the RCMP showed was their priority, so they will have the opportunity to have representation. Should they choose it, they will have an opportunity to have their representative bargain on their behalf.

The bill really shows respect for RCMP members, who will have the opportunities that most other police across the country already have.

Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Act March 22nd, 2016

Madam Speaker, I thank the member for the question and for his deep interest in this new phase of freedom of choice for collective bargaining for the RCMP.

What the bill includes is those matters that are subject to collective bargaining. The operational realities of the RCMP mean that some of the working conditions are actually part of the commissioner's responsibility to manage, and those will not be included in this bill. Therefore, what is included is consistent with what will be on the bargaining table between the RCMP members and reservists and the employee representatives who are representing them.