This is something I worked on as a local government representative for 10 years before I ran for election. It was something that I supported Jean Crowder on when she had her own private member's bill along the same lines in the previous Parliament. It was a significant election campaign item in my community, and my team has been working for almost two years to build us towards the point of this debate.
If we lose this appeal and if we also lose the secret ballot vote in the House of Commons, I still have the ability to have a one-hour debate on a non-votable item. I also take comfort in the fact that the minister has heard the call on both coasts, and there's lots in the minister's bill that would move us forward.
The minister's focus on penalties and criminalizing abandonment have a lot of parallels with your former colleague, John Weston, who tabled his own private member's bill in the dying days of the previous Parliament. Criminalization of the problem is not something I've ever heard coastal communities ask for; however, our community sees that we've had an impact.
It's still conceivable that I could pull another PMB out of the air, but this is certainly the issue that resonates most strongly with my community, and we've had a failure of federal action for over 15 years that I would like to be part of remedying.