Frederick Blake Jr.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, this motion is somewhat premature, as we have been told. This should have been done next week, if we needed to. Now this motion cannot be brought up again during this session. Cabinet is putting a lose-lose situation. If Cabinet votes for this motion, they will be seen as negotiating in bad faith at the negotiating table. Also, if they don't support the motion, they will and have already been labelled as not supporting our employees, which is far from the truth.
I will support this motion, but it is very difficult to after how our Premier was treated by union members at his constituency meeting on Tuesday night. That was bullying at its finest, Mr. Speaker. Let's hope this never happens again.
Now to the negotiations. It seems we may have hard negotiators on both sides who aren't willing to complete negotiations. If that is the case, we need to change negotiators on both sides and remember we have a common interest.
Mr. Speaker, every one of my constituents who have reached out to me all don't want to strike. Many of them just want to continue working and provide for their families, as we have the second highest cost of living in the Northwest Territories. Just to be clear, the somewhat threatening e-mail we all received yesterday from the union had nothing to do with my decision.
At first, I wasn't going to support this motion, as it should have taken place next week if we needed to, although it would be perceived that we don't support our employees if we don't support the motion.
Let us work together to ensure we reach a fair deal for our government employees. The residents of the Northwest Territories rely upon us. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.