Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I'd like to thank the witnesses for being here this morning.
I have no doubt as to the sincerity of your remarks today. From my 30 or so years in politics, I can tell you that, even though we are now living in the computer age, we've learned absolutely nothing. Forty years ago, I was working with people who were 50 and 60 years old at the time and who had been in the field for 40 years. When election time came around, there were lists of electors with people's phone numbers, and they were the right phone numbers. Back then, it was easy. Everyone had phone books and they were very thick. When we received the list of electors with people's names and addresses, we could look them up in the phone book. In many cases, a single household would have four, five or six voters, all with the same telephone number. That's no longer the case today.
Unfortunately, the number of land lines has dropped significantly every single year since I entered federal politics, and this will be my fifth election. Today, only 30% to 40% of people have land lines. All the rest of voters have cell phones. We don't have access to cell phone numbers, making it increasingly difficult to reach all voters. One riding can have 90,000 voters. We can knock on 10,000 doors, but let's not kid ourselves, we also have to spend time reaching out to people by phone.
Nowadays, we hear a lot about profiling. We assume people vote a certain way because they have certain views, but we can't just call them on the phone. We assume they think a certain way and we use social networks like Facebook to reach those people because we can't talk to them otherwise.
Do you think we should be allowed access to the cell phone numbers of people on the list of electors? It's fairly easy to get the phone numbers of people with land lines, but we can't get cell phone numbers, and the issue is only going to get worse. Is that something we should ask for, as lawmakers?
My question is for all three of you.