Safeguarding Canadian Citizenship Act

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, the hon. parliamentary secretary has told us tonight that we can trust that Bill C-24 is compliant with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, because it would not be before the House if it had not gone through justice department lawyers, and the fact that it is before us means it is charter compliant.

Could he explain how so many bills passed in the last little while have gone before the courts and been struck down? Is it only a recent practice that the Conservatives are letting justice department lawyers look at the legislation? Will the government please table before us any justice department opinion that is prepared to disagree with a large number of lawyers who have looked at this bill, me included, and looked at the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and are finding the bill, on its face, non-compliant?

The fact that it is before us and the tautology that because it came through the Department of Justice it must be okay is absolutely proven false by the fact that so many bills are being struck down, bills that were passed in this place in a hurry, like Bill C-24.

Costas Menegakis: Mr. Speaker, although the premise of the member’s question is way off, her mathematics are off as well. She said “so many bills”.

I wonder if the member could look back to when we formed government in 2006, look at the large number of pieces of legislation that have gone through the House, and then look at the very few, not many, that have had an issue. We are happy to respect what the courts say.

The member is making it sound as if this is an overwhelmingly huge problem. I have every confidence in the Minister of Justice and in the legal professionals who have advised us on this bill prior to bringing it to the House. I am confident that it is charter compliant. I am sure we will see that in fairly short order.

I urge her and everybody else in the House to pass this legislation swiftly. It is good for Canada and it is good for Canadians. Over 83% of Canadians are supportive of the important measures in this legislation.