MP Report - Canada Post back-to-work legislation filibuster
MP - Stormont, Dundas, South Glengarry
Guy Lauzon said, "I hope Jack Layton and the NDP have learnt a lesson from this experience. When they began their filibuster 70% of Canadians supported Canada Post back to work legislation. The percentage rose to 84% by the end of the filibuster.
Ottawa - Jul. 4, 2011 - Last week I had the experience of living through the longest filibuster in Canada's Parliamentary history. This filibuster came as a result of the introduction of a bill by our government to enact back to work legislation to end the Canada Post Strike. Although this event lasted 58 hours, twice as long as the 29 hour duration of a similar filibuster in the mid 90s, it was totally unnecessary. Nothing was accomplished. After 58 hours of speeches and ranting and raving by the opposition parties, Bill C-6 passed exactly as it had been introduced by Minister Lisa Raitt 3 days earlier.
This legislation was introduced because the disruption in postal services was having a devastating effect on Canada's fragile economy. We are slowly getting our economy back on track after experiencing the worst global recession in 70 years. The last thing we needed was a disruption in postal services. Small businesses by the thousands urged us to resolve this issue immediately. They were unable to send out monthly statements and receive payment for the goods and services they provide. Most small businesses operate on a very tight cash flow and were hurting because of the strike. They must pay suppliers and their employees. They cannot afford to go even a week or two with no money coming in. Charities and individuals also suffered greatly during the work stoppage. Many low income constituents had cheques held up in the mail. One Ottawa charity reported receiving only $20,000 during a fundraising blitz. The same fundraiser last year netted them $200,000. These are just 2 examples of how the strike affected our economy.
I believe the NDP Official Opposition used this work stoppage for self serving purposes. They wanted to impress on labour unions and their base NDP supporters, despite that fact, that postal workers from across the country were contacting MPs from all parties insisting they wanted to return to work immediately. We also received thousands upon thousands of emails and phone calls from average Canadians and small business owners urging us to get the legislation passed quickly.
After the bill passed 3rd reading on Saturday evening, the truth came out about Mr. Layton's motives. He told reporters the filibuster was a great team building exercise for his caucus members. He also said it gave his new members a chance to make speeches for the first time. He did not however, mention the cost and inconvenience to the Canadian taxpayer. I am sure the overtime bill for the Parliament Hill staff will cost taxpayers a significant amount. The financial costs to small business owners, charities and individuals are immeasurable. All this for a team building exercise?
I hope Jack Layton and the NDP have learnt a lesson from this experience. When they began their filibuster 70% of Canadians supported back to work legislation. The percentage rose to 84% by the end of the filibuster.
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