Doug Rutherford

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More Correspondence

June 2011
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My last blog post was the letter I sent to Ryan Leef, our newly minted MP, regarding back to work legislation for Canada Post. He did respond rather quickly, as well he should as the main thrust of his campaign was that he would vote against party lines if asjked to do so by his constitutents. Here is the remainder of the conversation.

Thank you for your note Doug and Clara,

I am sure you can appreciate that I am receiving many emails from Yukon residents and businesses who support the back to work Legislation.   I have asked the Opposition (twice in the early hours this morning) to end the debate (which I think was essential, but is now just repetitive) and bring their proposed solutions to a Committee of the Whole.  They have refused to do so. 

I will continue to ask for this to move to a Committee of the Whole so I can hear the proposed solutions of the Opposition and see what would be in the best interests of all Yukoners, which now includes Postal Workers, residents, charities, and small business.

Thank you for taking the time to email me.  I am keeping record of all who contact me, and am reaching out to both sides of this issue. 

Kind Regards,


Ryan Leef, MP

 Our response to this was:


We seriously suspect, given the strong support Yukoners have shown for CUPW in the current lockout, that you have not received letters spefically stating “Break the union.” Rather, we assume, they reqested the resumption of mail services.

The fastest way to do so is to order Canada Post to end the lockout and allow good faith bargaing. This would allow a win-win situation without the jackboot tactics of enforcing back to work legislation.

Doug and Clara Rutherford

 I found his response to this, in spite of the fact that this would expedite what all seemed to wanting, very disappointing and simply a “party talking point” response.

Hi Doug,

Yes, some are just asking for an end…others, (including CUPW Members) are asking for the Legislation as they feel the Union has “mislead” and “bullied” them. Again, having to take all sides into account, I am continuing to reach out to both sides for balanced information so I can make an informed choice based on Yukoners wants, needs, and expectations. As the view is quite polarized, I want to move quickly but not in blind haste to ensure the choice and contributions I make best represent the Yukon. I appreciate your point about the support you see by Yukoners to CUPW.

Thanks again for forwarding your position.


 Guiven the somewhat sheep-like response, particularly since there are a few problems with the legality of the points he brought forward, we decided to send another reminder.


We have issue with the terms “mislead” and “bullied” here, particularly if these reference the offer made to Canada Post and not relayed to the union membership. We see that those members of parliament making this point should learn a bit about labour law. Presenting an offer to the membership that has not been endorsed by the bargaining committee is termed bargaining in bad faith and is illegal under the Canadian Industrial Relations Board regulations.

 We suggest that you place yourself in the shoes of those who this legislation will affect, a vital step in the process of any legislation. We want to know if you, as a new member of parliament, are willing to accept 18% less salary than members who were sitting in the last election. And, are you intending to change your pension plan from a defined benefit to a defined contribution program? If you are not willing to accept these conditions you are legislating on others, we strongly suggest you allow the process of collective bargaining to resume.

 Douglas and Clara Rutherford

His response was, simply:

Thanks again Doug. Points taken. Might be moving into the Committee of the Whole now, so we’ll see what comes up.


In the end, he voted for the legislation. Needless to say, he has yet to public announce he is taking a pay cut and changing his pension plan. I would ask him to table the letters he received to get him to actually prove he received lots of requests to legislate the postal workers back to work, but I assumed he was lying with his campaign and don’t see much sense in rubbing his nose in it. Oh, well. I’m assuming that in four years time, we will probably have a new government and anything else would be a vast improvement…


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