Brian L. GARDINER

GARDINER, Brian L., B.A.

Personal Data

Party
New Democratic Party
Constituency
Prince George--Bulkley Valley (British Columbia)
Birth Date
August 18, 1955
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_L._Gardiner
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=ed774e94-e674-4013-82e8-6584672e4e5f&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
administrator, manager, publisher

Parliamentary Career

November 21, 1988 - September 8, 1993
NDP
  Prince George--Bulkley Valley (British Columbia)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 4 of 96)


June 1, 1993

Mr. Brian L. Gardiner (Prince George-Bulkley Valley):

Mr. Speaker, I will be veiy brief speaking on the motion before us.

For the record, I would like to compliment the member of our caucus from Mission-Coquitlam who has done an excellent job as our labour critic. As that definition implies, she has worked closely with all parties in the House, from time to time with the minister, with members of the trade union movement and with the government, particularly during disputes. The hon. member is a credit to this House for the work she has done helping the trade union movement and understanding what the duties and obligations of Parliament are as well. I think that is important to say at the start of my comments on Bill C-101, the act to amend the Canada Labour Code.

We have no dispute with some parts of the bill that the government is amending today. There have been consultations for some time now with the trade union movement and others in the public on changes to this legislation which we can support. However what has become an unfortunate trend with this government and maybe all governments is that often the good will is taken a good distance further than expected.

The particular amendment we have been discussing allows the minister when he or she deems it in the public interest to force a vote at anytime, perhaps during a dispute, on what has often been called the employer's last offer. This is an example of the government, having sought advice and having received some input, proposing some positive changes. Then it takes it a step further to

really lose a lot of the support and good will it might have had in trying to pass this legislation.

My concern focuses on a couple of points in this bill. I agree with one of the previous comments about how the public interest is defined, keeping in mind that often it is a very nebulous thing in the affairs of public life, the government, business and labour. It is often very difficult to pin down.

In this bill the government has virtually left that entirely at the discretion of the minister to determine what that public interest is. We could speculate on what a minister of the day might determine to be in the public interest in terms of imposing such a vote. I think it would be wise for this House to be able to consider a definition of the public interest so that we do have a sense of the framework for when the government might impose such a vote.

I am also thinking on this particular point that timeframes are very important in any management and labour dispute. Timeframes are important because often at the last minute a resolution can be reached and then some time may pass before resolution of a dispute is met.

It is without some indication from the minister and the government in the legislation as to just when a particular motion or effort by the minister can be used to impose a vote that needs to be clarified. It is not in this particular amendment which has been seen to be odious and that is a concern as well.

As a final point I have a concern about these final offers. We all know how many final offers there can be. There can be one in the morning, one in the afternoon and then maybe one late at night. Abetter clarification is needed in terms of what that final offer might be.

Assuming the government will be supporting this legislation and putting it through the House, I do not know necessarily how the government will determine when that final offer is. Must it be registered with the minister to determine officially whether that is the final offer? What about the timeframe I referred to earlier? The timeframe imposing the vote on a final offer may go stale by the time a particular vote is held on a contract proposal.

It is important to seek further clarification from the government. If it chooses not to and proceeds as is, that is unfortunate. As I mentioned earlier this government takes the good will too far and loses the opportunity to

June 1, 1993

gain the support it might have been able to get for this legislation.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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June 1, 1993

Mr. Brian L. Gardiner (Prince George-Bulkley Valley):

Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak on some of the work my colleague from Okanagan-Shuswap has done on Bill C-62. It is very significant legislation to amend legislation regarding the telecommunications industry in Canada and in particular the amendment he is proposing regarding the input and output of provisions given to the CRTC. I think this is very important. It may not seem so terribly significant here but the implications for some of these regulatory changes are very dramatic in the way

Government Orders

they affect the household and in particular the question about inside and outside wiring.

I think the amendment proposed by my colleague is entirely reasonable. It is not suggesting the CRTC must act one way or the other. The government would have the option at the very least to continue to give the CRTC the authority to decide whether or not it wants to be able to continue to regulate this. I think it is an entirely reasonable amendment from my colleague and one I hope the government will consider.

One of the implications of a decision like this was mentioned earlier by another speaker and that is the announcement by the telephone company in British Columbia of a number of lay-offs. We may debate some of the politics surrounding deregulation in the CRTC's ruling not to give a rate increase and Unitel's movement and others into the long distance field. That is the reality of deregulation and that is the direction we are seeing with this kind of legislation.

We just have to look to the United States to see what we will end up with. There was a shake down and now the large telephone networks may be firming up their roles in the field in the U.S. Costs have gone up and there is confusion in the marketplace. There are additional costs to the consumers from companies to pay for their advertising.

We think sometimes the beacon of deregulation is going to free up that marketplace for the consumer but where that has been done and we have seen the results of it over the course of time they have been failures.

I guess the best and current example we have in Canada is the deregulation in the airline industry where we were supposed to have a host of airlines. We are now down to two at best and who knows how long they will continue to exist.

I think it is an example of pointing out some of the concerns we have about the moves by the government in this legislation. I think it is a reasonable amendment. I hope the government will consider it.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   TELECOMMUNICATIONS ACT
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May 31, 1993

Mr. Gardiner:

My question was for the Minister of Justice.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   KEMANO PROJECT
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May 31, 1993

Mr. Brian L. Gardiner (Prince George-Bulkley Valley):

Madam Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Justice and it relates to the growing scandal surrounding the controversial Kemano water diversion project in northern B.C.

We have learned by way of a letter from officials in the minister's department that the department has issued a gag order on former and current employees of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. It possibly prohibits them from appearing before the B.C. Utilities Commission inquiry into the Kemano project.

My question for the Minister of Justice is this: What is the government hiding? Why will he not allow these employees to appear before that commission and give full testimony and evidence on this project? Will the minister lift that gag order?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   KEMANO PROJECT
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May 28, 1993

Mr. Gardiner:

Madam Speaker, I appreciate the member's question.

A lot of information could be provided on this matter. Briefly, the people that I feel for the most, and I hope others do who have seen some of the videos and information on this, are the Cheslatta people whose graveyards were flooded and whose village was burned to the ground by Alcan and by the Department of Indian Affairs. It is a tragic black mark on the history of native people in northern B.C. They have been diligent in attempting to get the information out about this project, using every opportunity that they have.

The invention of the fax machine has been a great aid in telling the world about their concerns. The Cheslatta people have presented to the utilities commission review their interest in what that review should do. They have compiled vast amounts of information on this project, as have a number of the other bands throughout the area. The Carrier-Sekani Tribal Council was part of some of the legal action, which I did not have time to go into today in my speech, against this government in attempting to get a full environmental review.

The Carrier people and in particular the Cheslatta and the people in Stony Creek, Nautley, all throughout that area have been following this issue. It directly affects their lives. For the government of the day to not listen and to turn a blind eye to those people is reason enough to open up the books and files so we can get to the truth of this matter. This will go a long way to rectify what has turned out to be a very black day in the history of northern B.C.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S. O. 81-WATER
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