BC Teacher’s Strike

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP): – Mr. Speaker, I provided notice to you yesterday under Standing Order 52(2) to request an emergency debate on a situation of grave concern involving a labour strike in western Canada, and specifically the federal government’s mandate to meet and report on its international obligations under the ILO treaties, specifically ILO Convention No. 87 signed by Canada in 1972. That convention ensures the freedom of association and the protection of workers of the right to organize.

In B.C. the provincial government unilaterally imposed a contract on teachers in the absence of fair collective bargaining and flies in the face of a recent ruling of an ILO tribunal that found the B.C. government to be in violation of the convention, which is very troubling.

In Brooks, Alberta there is a serious situation of intimidation and continuing violence undermining the basic rights of workers to organize and bargain for a fair agreement. This situation, I believe, requires national attention and action to meet our international obligations under the ILO.

Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I implore you to consider the urgent situation and the need for Parliament to act and to meet its international obligations. Therefore I hope that you will agree to my request for an emergency debate.