Air Service Operations Legislation (A)

That, notwithstanding any Standing Order or usual practice of the House, a bill in the name of the Minister of Labour, entitled An Act to provide for the continuation and resumption of air service operations, shall be disposed of as follows:

  1. the said bill may be read twice or thrice in one sitting; 
  2. not more than two hours shall be allotted for the consideration of the second reading stage of the said bill, following the adoption of this Order; 
  3. when the bill has been read a second time, it shall be referred to a Committee of the Whole; 
  4. not more than one hour shall be allotted for the consideration of the Committee of the Whole stage of the said bill; 
  5. not more than one half hour shall be allotted for the consideration of the third reading stage of the said bill, provided that no Member shall speak for more than ten minutes at a time during the said stage and that no period for questions and comments be permitted following each Member’s speech; 
  6. at the expiry of the times provided for in this Order, any proceedings before the House or the Committee of the Whole shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this Order, and, in turn, every question necessary for the disposal of the stage, then under consideration, of the said bill shall be put and disposed of forthwith and successively, without further debate or amendment, and no division shall be deferred;
  7. when the Speaker has, for the purposes of this Order, interrupted any proceeding for the purpose of putting forthwith the question on any business then before the House, the bells to call in the Members shall ring for not more than thirty minutes; 
  8. the House shall not adjourn except pursuant to a motion proposed by a Minister of the Crown;
  9. no motion to adjourn the debate at any stage of the said bill may be proposed except by a Minister of the Crown; and 
  10. during the consideration of the said bill in the Committee of the Whole, no motions that the Committee rise or that the Committee report progress may be proposed except by a Minister of the Crown. 

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I listened to the hon. minister’s presentation on the Air Canada labour disputes with two unions representing the pilots and mechanics.

I share the concerns of the hon. member for Cape Breton—Canso that we in the House repeatedly are interfering in independent collective arrangements between employers and employees in areas that do not represent essential services.

As inconvenient and disruptive as it would be, and I agree with the minister, I have tremendous concern for people who have planned March break vacations, but where does this stop? We are clearly undermining free and fair collective bargaining rights.

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in the B.C. hospital workers case that collective bargaining rights were human rights, and I am afraid we are undermining something very essential to the health of this society.

Hon. Lisa Raitt: Mr. Speaker, the member brings up a good point of when interventions occur. Taking a look at the history of Parliament since 1950, Parliament has intervened between 31 and 35 times with respect to these matters. Normally they are in the transportation and the logistics field. That is just a reflection of the reality in 1950, as it is now. We are a large geography. We depend upon our interconnectivity, both in air and rail, and we have to ensure that we keep both people and goods moving.

That is compounded by the reality of the economy and the economic recovery today, and that is why we need to intervene in this matter.