"Mr. Broten: — Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, it has been suggested that during the recent CUPE strike the Minister of Employment and Labour made a call to Peter MacKinnon, the president of the University of Saskatchewan. When reporters asked about conversations between Mr. MacKinnon and the minister, he replied, quote, “All I’ll say, there was a range of what I would term as quiet diplomacy. And I won’t give any specific details of that.”
To the Minister of Advanced Education, Employment and Labour: what quiet diplomacy did he conduct during the CUPE strike, and exactly what does he feel is an appropriate level of involvement with one side of the table during a labour dispute?" (P. 46 - Hansard - December 12, 2007).
In his response, Mr. Norris did not deny that during the strike he spoke to U of S President, MacKinnon. It's hardly a coincidence then that shortly after CUPE 1975 rejected the University's "so-called final offer", Premier Brad Wall all of the sudden started to threaten back-to-work legislation.
So my questions are:
1. Who Said What to Whom, and When
2. Did the Minister of Employment and Labour really only speak to one-side?
3. Is "Quiet Diplomacy" code for "We did what the University asked us to do"?
I commented about this matter in an earlier post on this blog.