Regardless of whether it was in the budget document, I think that this is not a good provision to have as part of an omnibus piece of legislation, especially to have it in the last section. That is no criticism on you. I'm simply pointing out a few things for the record. This is quite a change of approach.
Given the fact that the Governor in Council can add to a schedule and add or delete other crimes, we are giving a tremendous amount of discretion. Considering that, this should be a separate bill or part of one of the other omnibus bills—I think it's C-75—where at least the justice committee could hear this directly and take a look at this to see if this is the right approach.
I have deep concerns. Even the fact that you can have the bribery of a foreign official, to me that is not just an average, everyday, white-collar crime. That is something that someone who is politically connected or at a very high level in business can do. I share many of Mr. Fergus's concerns that some people will view this as a way to remediate your way out of jail if you are connected. I have some deep concerns here. I would really hope that we could talk about separating this out or at least have the justice committee review this, because this is a fundamental departure from the way we handle the Criminal Code.
I'm all for new thinking, but to have this as the last division in an omnibus bill—believe me, I have no issue with having justice as remuneration as part of a budget bill. You need to put it somewhere. To have a stand-alone bill for such a small section on something that is so routine—I get that—but this is not an appropriate use, in my understanding. This does not help the economy. In fact, it may encourage some people to push the envelope.
Mr. Chair, I don't know what to say other than maybe we should probably consider hiving this off and sending it to the justice committee. I'm not sure that's going to do me any good though.