Mr. Speaker, I knows this goes in Hansard so I hope not too many people read it. It is not often that I agree with my Alliance colleagues but on the issue of whether the bill is about animals or children I agree with the hon. member. He says the issues should have been talked about in separate bills. He is absolutely correct. We New Democrats say the same.
A former colleague of ours, the hon. Chris Axworthy who is now the Saskatchewan justice minister, introduced a bill in the House many years ago to protect children from Internet pornography. Another former colleague of ours, Mr. Gordon Earle, introduced an even broader bill. Bill C-210 would have expanded that protection to material which advocated, promoted or incited racial hatred and violence against women or other minorities.
I will pick up on what the previous member was saying about whether the current bill is about animals or children. Many Canadians are confused about this. If the House were at all mature or responsible it would never in its wildest dreams have combined the two issues.
When it comes to cruelty to animals there are many debates about that topic alone. It is of concern to farmers, hunters, aboriginal communities and people in urban centres. When it comes to the issue of child pornography the mere act of discussing it on the Internet incites debate throughout the country.
It is folly to think we can debate the two issues in the same bill. It is simple nonsense. Only the Liberals could do something like that. It is incredible that they would even attempt to get away with it. If they had separated the bill as some of my colleagues had asked them to prior to the summer recess, strong child pornography legislation might be in place as we speak.
However we went through the entire summer without further debate. The government twiddled its thumbs and sat on the issue. As a father of two young girls, it is imperative that the House of Commons and all legislatures across the country do everything they can to protect our children.
One of my concerns in taking over Mr. Chris Axworthy's bill and reintroducing it into the House has been that with the rapid rise of Internet use an awful lot of children have been inadvertently getting sucked into a trap by pedophiles. It is one of the greatest sins anyone can commit on a child.
Children have a fascination with television sets and the Internet. No matter how well parents or guardians protect their children, look over their shoulders and examine everything they do on a computer, no one can be there 24 hours a day to watch what children do.
Pedophiles are extremely intelligent at using the right words and terminology to entice our children into these traps. There are far too many examples where children of all ages have been sucked into that trap and dire consequences have been the result.
What do we have? We have a bill in the House of Commons which combines the protection of children with cruelty to animals. We must be the laughingstock of all legislatures in the free world when it comes to this type of debate. There is probably no precedent in the Commonwealth or anywhere else where a government in its right mind has combined the protection of animals with the protection of children.
What are we saying about children? Are we comparing them to cats and dogs? Are we comparing them to cattle? Are we comparing them to game? Is this what we are doing? That is the impression the omnibus bill gives. It is simple nonsense to think we can have a rational debate on these or any other subjects in the bill.
We cannot presume to tell Canadians, after the bill is passed by Liberal majorities in the House and Senate, that we can protect children. It does not make sense.
We ask the government to quickly split the issues into separate bills. It could put the cruelty to animals issue in one bill, the child pornography issue in another, the gun issue in another and so on. This way there could be fair and equitable debate in the House of Commons.
As a father of two young girls who is extremely nervous about the big, bad world in terms of Internet pornography I urge the government to look at the previous bills, Bill C-212 and Bill C-210. They are already done up. The government can take them, steal them or do whatever it wants but it should incorporate them into its legislation and do so quickly. I am sure that after reviewing the bills all members of the House would support their measures and pass them quickly.
If we can pass a retroactive pay raise within a couple of days, surely to God we can pass legislation to protect our children from the infamous pedophiles and dangerous criminals who are out there.
Mr. Speaker, I thank you for the time on behalf of my children and all the children of Canada. The government and all legislators should do what we can to protect children from danger on the Internet and elsewhere.