Public Service Labour Relations Act

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the parliamentary secretary for his work on the bill, and his compliments on my remarks. I appreciate that. I know he was listening intently, as he did two previous times, so I am sure he heard certain elements of my speeches before.

Unfortunately, I would have to give my friend a 50% grade on Bill C-7. Two elements were elucidated upon by the Supreme Court, and the Liberals fail on one and pass on the other. What we see in Bill C-7 is sufficiently independent from management. It is taking the shortcomings of the staff relations program and fixing it.

Where the Liberals fail is on employee choice, for two reasons, and it gives me no great pleasure to give them this grade. The first is that they cannot make a decision unless they are informed on the full extent of the elements of Bill C-7, including the exclusions. We are all hearing from men and women of the RCMP that they do not understand why certain elements of the collective bargaining context are excluded so they cannot make an informed decision on their bargaining agent.

The second element of why they fail—the employee choice element of the Supreme Court decision—is the secret ballot vote. Our previous government did an outreach exercise in the form of a questionnaire to members. However, to really find out what members think, the members have to understand what is before them, and it is clear not enough of them do, and they have to weight the decision and vote, free from pressure from management and free from their partners in some cases. The way we do that in a democracy is with a secret ballot. I am not sure why this modest proposal is being ignored by the government.

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