Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Act

Madam Speaker, I thank my friend who I know is passionate about the subject. However, it concerns me greatly that he would suggest that the Government of Canada would act in an untoward manner against some of its own people. I am sure he can pluck a few Public Service Labour Relations Board decisions showing an employer trying to resist unionization. We are talking about the government. That is why his colleague was at this briefing. That is why the officials said that the normal course for certification in the public realm is by secret ballot.

What I find interesting is that these decisions have shown that the old Wagner model is wearing out, and the very fact of exclusivity for a union is now at risk. As a labour lawyer himself, the member should look at that. What is nice about Bill C-7 is that the government recognized the unique nature of the RCMP. Therefore, the traditional public sector unions cannot just move in and try and unionize this workforce; rather, it has to be a unique bargaining agent looking at the needs of the workforce. That is where labour law is going. It is looking at the unique needs of the workplace and the people at the front lines. Therefore, we respect the fact that Bill C-7 has tried to get that balance right.

Its one major omission is the secret ballot right that most public sector employees have enjoyed, which the Supreme Court has indicated is fundamental. I truly hope that the government realizes this oversight in Bill C-7 and moves to correct it. Then we would have something important for our men and women in uniform that could move quickly through this place.

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