Mr. Speaker, if you might indulge me for one moment, this is my first time rising to speak on a debate, so I would like to thank the good members of my riding of Burnaby—Douglas for electing me to this place. I would also like to thank my family, who supported me all the way through the election, as well as my lovely wife Jeanette, who has been by my side right through and still may be watching me on CPAC from B.C.
I would also, if I could, beg your indulgence for one more moment. My brother-in-law is very ill, and my thoughts are with him tonight. So if I am a little rattled, I am thinking about him.
I found this debate over the course of last night and this morning fascinating. I am not from a union family. I have been a short time in a union. However, to hear the passion that has been spoken on both sides of the House I think is a credit to the House. It is fantastic that we can come to a place like this, that we can express our opinions and debate each other, most of the time in a civil way. I think the decorum that has come to this House is really something we should all be proud of, and I hope we can keep it up, even though we are dog-tired.
As I said, I am not from a union family at all. In fact, my father is a management consultant. He has worked for very large companies, such as IBM, Westinghouse, and a lot of others. My own experience in life has been through private and public sector work.
One thing that is of great concern to me is what events like this do to the morale of large companies, of large organizations. I am very concerned that the tug, the pull, the struggle between the workers and the management is going to cause long-term damage to a very important Canadian institution, whatever the outcome. I hope that comes into the conversation at some point, the long-term impacts this will have.
I am not from a union family. I am not in the private sector. I am in the public sector, a university professor. What I do, essentially, is public policy analysis. That is my thing. So I feel a little over my head when I hear all the terms and phrases, conditions and ideas that are being used here. However, I have learned a lot, thanks to the contributions from both sides of the House.
What I am trying to figure out is what the problem is here. In public policy analysis, what we do is try to identify a problem first, work through a number of options, come up with viable solutions, and then try to implement those solutions.
Fom what I can see here, the problem that is facing the government, and indeed the whole House, is the problem that workers have been locked out from Canada Post.
This has been a gradual escalation. There have been tensions between the workers and the management. This has gone on for some time. There were rotating strikes. From what I can understand, there was not a full strike. Then the management decided to lock out the workers.
There has been some dispute in the House as to whether it has been a strike or whether it has been a lockout. So just to make sure of my facts, I decided to go through the various news sources to figure out whether it is a strike or a lockout.
I started with my favourite source, which is the National Post business section. It does say, indeed, that this is a lockout, that the employer has indeed locked out the employees.
I went to the business section of The Globe and Mail, and it indeed says it is a lockout as well.
I went to the CTV News website. It says it is a lockout.
I went to CBC News, both radio and television. They are saying it is a lockout.
So from what I can understand, the problem that is facing the government is that a crown corporation, which is at arm's length from the government, has locked out its employees.
I was struggling for a while. I thought maybe it was a strike and maybe the government is portraying the facts as they should be. I thought maybe this is a strike and this is the problem why the government is moving so quickly to force this measure through the House. But indeed it is not a strike. It is a lockout. I think this side of the House has tried to make that point time and time again. I think it is time we should recognize that this is what we are facing here, and that is indeed the core of the problem that is facing both the government and us here on this side of the House.
What we are debating here this morning is Bill C-6, an act to provide for the resumption of postal services, restoring mail delivery. There is a lockout at Canada Post, and the government has decided to force the workers back to work. That is the government's policy solution.
I have been puzzling through the discussions that have been going on in this House. I have been puzzling through the explanations as to why this is occurring, the effects this is having, and trying to decide whether indeed this is the best solution.
In public policy, there are essentially nine instruments that any government can use, or perhaps a combination of these instruments, in any kind of policy situation. They can be put in any kind of order, but how I like to organize them is in order of coercion. I like to organize them in a sense of how much muscle the government has to use to get its will through.
The first thing that—