I would go back to the point I made about influence, sir. I'm not a constitutional lawyer. You guys have access to constitutional expertise that would be far more effective than mine. The reality is that it has to start somewhere. The way legal systems evolve is that you introduce a concept and the legal system evolves it in a way that's consistent with the way that system operates, so I'm a lead systems architect. When I look at this problem, I don't look at the barriers provided by the Constitution.
My analysis is frankly pretty straightforward: does Canada want to fight this crime? Does Canada want to make a statement? If it does, there are a number of ways within the constraints of federal jurisdiction that we can do it. We can look at our customs laws. We can look at our tax laws. We can look at the Human Rights Act. As long as those are amended in a manner consistent with the way they operate in the constitutional framework, you don't really have a constitutional issue.
To your point, you have a more difficult problem with a brand new law, because you are going to have the provinces saying, “Hang on, you're going a little too far here.” Maybe there would be a constitutional challenge, but let's think about the issue we are dealing with here: child labour and human trafficking. Is it really going to be in anyone's interest to mount a constitutional challenge to that? Maybe. We can't discount it. If you amend a federal law to orient the system against human trafficking, isn't that going to influence the provinces?
Rather than focusing on what we can't do, let's focus on what we can do. We're stuck with a constitutional divide, but if the federal government sets an example within the constraints of its powers, that's going to have an impact on the provinces.
We are having this discussion because the Modern Slavery Act has had that effect on Canada. I told the U.K. Parliament that this was exactly what would happen, and it has. The way legal systems develop, they're like people. They're jealous. They're greedy. They look at each other. They want the money—