Thank you very much, Mr. Chair. I'm bringing greetings from Alistair MacGregor, who is our critic and is not here, obviously, but is looking on with a lot of interest at the discussion today.
I'll take just a little more time with the first amendment and the third amendment than I might with the others. I wanted to start off by saying that of course the NDP supports the principle of the bill. We believe very strongly that we need to ensure that our highways are safe.
That being said, you'll know, Mr. Chair, that there were concerns raised by some of the witnesses about some of the constitutional aspects. There was a concern that the bill in certain areas might be considered unconstitutional. Having gone through, in the previous Parliament, at least a half a dozen cases where committees approved bills that were subsequently thrown out by the courts, it would seem to me to be very important, though we have a lot of work to do, to work through and make these adjustments to the bill so that we can ensure that this balance is there, that there are no elements that could be considered unconstitutional, and at the same time, making sure we're getting a bill through that will stand the test of any challenges.
We entirely support the principle of the bill. The amendments that we're offering are designed to make sure that the bill is appropriately balanced, and that it withstands any challenges that could happen.
The first amendment that the NDP is offering simply moves to delete a section that speaks to drug recognition evaluation. As you'll recall, Mr. Chair, a number of witnesses, including the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, raised concerns about this provision of the bill, given the fact that there is a fairly high likelihood that individuals who may not be guilty could be falsely accused of being impaired because of the inability of the test to be accurate.
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association said there was a 20% likelihood that individuals who had actually not consumed any drugs would be falsely accused of being impaired, and they went on to say that the non-active metabolites of some drugs stay in a driver's system long after their impairing effects have worn off. These limitations could mean that somebody might receive a positive test when they are in fact innocent, and it's for that reason that I put forward, on behalf of our critic, amendment NDP-1.