Mr. Speaker, I am glad to see that I managed to get the Secretary of State for Amateur Sport out of his lethargy.
I would remind him that, when I spoke earlier, I made a connection between the charter of rights and freedoms, the 20th anniversary of which the members across the way were celebrating a few days ago, and the fact that Bill C-55 threatens this same charter of rights and freedoms. You will also remember, Mr. Speaker, that I mentioned in my previous remarks that, in connection with the charter of rights and freedoms, some have a tendency to forget to mention the shameful events surrounding the unilateral patriation of the constitution, a view that was obviously shared by the member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord when he stated, on December 15, 1999, “He [the Prime Minister] was also, along with Mr. Trudeau, behind the unilateral patriation of the constitution in 1982, despite the near unanimity of the national assembly against it”.
I will go even further. Regarding the unfair and revolting Bill C-20, the so-called clarity bill, the member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, at a time when he had more spine, stated, on February 22, 2000:
The Liberals absolutely do not want to consult the public to find out what it thinks of this measure...Arrogance, contempt and indifference toward the House of Commons and toward all Canadians are now part of a behaviour that is beginning to spread throughout this government.
On March 20, he said:
—the wondrous Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs—
I hope that he has since patched things up with him.
—found a means for getting a bill passed for the sole purpose of disgusting everybody in Quebec and showing the rest of the country “Here we are teaching Quebecers a lesson, here we are putting them in their place”.
It did not take him long to change his tune, because only a few months later, he became a Liberal member. It appears as though he liked being taught a lesson, and now he seems to want to teach Quebecers a lesson himself.
I could go on and read pages and pages more like this, but I do not want to unduly embarrass my colleague from Chicoutimi--Le Fjord. I would like to provide my colleague the Secretary of State for Amateur Sport with an opportunity to return to his coma, and all my other colleagues a few moments to focus on Bill C-55, currently before the House.
In my earlier remarks, I talked about the very serious concerns raised by Bill C-55 in terms of respect for the human rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms and, more recently, by the Canadian Charter of Rights and freedoms.
For example, when the Minister of Defence is given the authority to designate, on his own, security zones, the size of which is not defined, around military establishments or equipment, when we think of the powers that are given to cabinet members and even to bureaucrats—people who are not accountable under the principle of ministerial responsibility, which the Patriotes fought for in 1837-1838 and won since we have this responsible government today—that constitutes a very serious violation of democratic freedoms.
As I was saying earlier, the same applies to personal information regarding air travelers to which CSIS and the RCMP will have access. This bill raises very serious concerns.
I urge all members of the House, including Liberal members who share our views but who cannot speak up because of the very hermetic, monolithic and strict party line imposed by the Liberal Party, to make their views known and to encourage the government to go back to the drawing board, as it did with Bill C-42, and come up with a bill that is much more acceptable than this one in terms of respect for rights and freedoms.