Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Act

Madam Speaker, I thank my friend from Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo for her interventions, which are always very on the mark in this place, and for her support for our men and women in uniform, the Canadian Armed Forces, the RCMP and our veterans.

Today is indeed budget day. I did a poll yesterday. It is now going to be known as “red Tuesday“ because the red team is taking us into the red in a dramatic fashion. That needs to be part of the background to Bill C-7, because any analysis will show that this would put more pressure on the framework, in the range of tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars potentially per year. Therefore, we need to get this right by providing employee choice first.

As I said in my remarks, we should be looking at the unique needs of policing, and the court has said the unique needs of a workplace must be reflected in its bargaining agent. We should be looking at health care, mental health support, and a whole range of service conditions and issues, apart from just the salary piece, given the unique role of the RCMP and some of the impacts on our men and women with respect to their front-line service.

Therefore, I hope that the government recognizes its omission of true employee choice in Bill C-7 and makes that fix, and that it and the minister work alongside the commissioner of the RCMP to ensure that bargaining, and the well-being of our people, are not just with respect to salary negotiations but also in terms of safeguarding the employees’ wellness in uniform and afterward.

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