Thank you, Madam Chair.
I just want to come back to the comment made by certain members—including yourself, Madam Chair—to the effect that we could be responsible for some unfortunate incidents that might occur. It is clear to all of the witnesses and to colleagues seated at this table that the safety of the public is our main focus.
Draft legislation, Bill C-54, was tabled during the previous Parliament. Since then, there has been time to do some impact assessments. These would have helped us to determine either that the bill would be damaging to the research, university and scientific community or conversely, that there was no cause for concern, that everything would be fine and that there would be no brain drain as we saw happen in the United States because here, we were going to take a different approach.
However, it is clear that such studies would have proved invaluable to avoid our heading off in many different directions. The concerns that were expressed could have been addressed. When we had our first briefing with the Agency when Bill C-11 was tabled, we were told that consultations had taken place, that everyone was satisfied and that there was no cause for concern. However, as we started to hear from witnesses, concerns were voiced by many different parties.
Madam Chair, the crux of the problem is the fact the government has chosen to focus more on criminal provisions and on putting in place parameters and regulations, insisting that people will be reassured by this. However, the reality is that hundreds of research facilities, universities and hospitals that do research are today asking themselves what will happen to them once Bill C-11 is adopted.
As parliamentarians and as a responsible committee, we should have taken their concerns into account during our study of the bill. It is unfortunate that today, as we proceed with the clause-by-clause study, we are not in a position to reassure the vast majority of the witnesses who came here to testify. That is what saddens me the most today.