Mr. Speaker, on April 16, I raised a question in the House concerning the strike in Voisey's Bay in Labrador. There are also ongoing strikes in communities such as Sudbury and Port Colborne.
They have been on strike now for nearly 10 months. They are nearly one year out of work. I would ask members of the House how they would feel if they had limited income and very little support for 10 months. It would be a difficult time. Families are suffering. Communities are suffering. I know of individuals who are losing their homes or who are in danger of the breakup of their relationships. Strikes, by their nature, when they are prolonged, have a very detrimental effect on individuals, families, and communities.
While these people are on strike, the company in question, Vale Inco, which I understand is now known as Vale--it has taken “Inco” out of its title altogether--has been bringing in scab labour to fill these positions. With scab labour in place, we have to ask the government what the bargaining power of a union is for these workers.
Today I had the opportunity to attend a rally with the United Steelworkers and some of its locals. They are a group of determined individuals who are fighting for their equality, for some fairness, and for their rights as workers, which are basic human rights.
Every time we ask the government what it has done, what steps it is taking to defend Canada's interests and the interests of our workers, it hides behind a flawed Investment Canada Act, and it hides behind the issue of provincial jurisdiction.
I ask the government what message it can send to all those workers about one concrete step, one thing the federal government has done, to defend national interests, to protect our natural resources so that they are exploited for the benefit of the people of Canada, and to protect workers' rights? What steps has it taken to ensure that this strike ends and that there will be a just settlement for the workers at all these locations? I particularly think about my workers back home in Labrador and those associated with the mine in Voisey's Bay.
I ask the hon. member that question.