|These comments are direct quotations from the Hansard
Grain Handlers Walk Out
Mr. Howard Hilstrom
(Selkirk—Interlake, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, the walkout of
grain handlers at the port of Vancouver has been going on for over two
months. Now picket lines at Prince Rupert have completely shut down the
movement of grain out of the west coast. Due to the drought, this is one
of the worst years that farmers in western Canada have ever had. Now the
government will not even ensure that their meagre grain crops can be
shipped to customers.
Why will the government not help powerless farmers caught in the middle of
Hon. Claudette Bradshaw (Minister of Labour, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I
am quite concerned about the dispute and the farmers. On this side of the
House, I had a meeting with several ministers today on that account.
Our conciliators are meeting with both sides. We urge both sides to go the
table so they can create a good collective agreement. That is what
democracy is all about.
Mr. Howard Hilstrom (Selkirk—Interlake, Canadian Alliance): Mr.
Speaker, is this situation not just hunky-dory? We have farmers who are
locked up and grain workers who are locked out.
Farmers cannot afford to have the Prince Rupert port closed down.
Producers view this lack of action as just one more example of the
government's inattention and disregard for western Canadian farmers.
When will this member of the government step in and use final offer
arbitration as a means of solving this dispute?