An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (Bill C-55)

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, in general, we on the opposition benches are supportive of the revised Bill C-55. However, as the member for Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor noted at the beginning of his remarks, the government had since April of last year to make the changes to sections of the Criminal Code dealing with emergency wiretaps without a warrant. Would the member care to speculate as to why it is that we find ourselves here at the last moment trying to get the bill through the House?

Scott Simms: Mr. Speaker, that is a very good question. It seems to me that the pattern in this particular case, which is similar to what the Conservatives brought about with the Senate reform, is to push it to the very last minute to seek opinion.

What is most bizarre is that the Conservatives introduced Bill C-30, which caused the most trouble, yet they knew that the decision from the Supreme Court was pending. If they had that decision, they would probably have had a better launching pad for Bill C-30. Unfortunately for them at the time, Bill C-30 became a hornet’s nest of opposition across the entire country. They had to scrap it, step back and then wait for the Supreme Court decision to move ahead with Bill C-55, which by the way, may point out that the current legislation is better than they had imagined. It has been tested with the fixes we are doing here today, such as with section 184.4. It points out that the current laws in place were sufficient with a few tweaks here and there, and that is what we are doing with Bill C-55.

Therefore, the hornet’s nest created around Bill C-30 was not really necessary. Apparently, because they pulled the legislation back, I guess they did not even agree with what they wrote, as bizarre as that may sound.