Thank you, Mr. Chair. Having sat through this morning's testimony, I was taking my cue from and responding to some of the issues that were raised. I wasn't creating any new issues at this stage. I really appreciate your intervention, and I will carry on.
First of all, in order for a piece of legislation like this to have received the thorough oversight and the kind of in-depth study it deserves, the second reading stage needed to have gone on a little longer so that we all could have participated. Having failed at that, here we are before this committee, and once again the government wants to limit the amount of time we're going to be spending on hearing from experts.
This may come as a surprise to many, but I'm not an expert in everything, nor do I have the kind of detailed knowledge that the RCMP, CSIS, SIRC, law professors, judges, or past prime ministers are going to bring before this committee. I'm actually looking forward to hearing that testimony, because I really believe in informed decision-making. If you believe in informed decision-making, then you want to hear from the experts, and they will have a perspective. But I also want to hear from people who have been impacted by our current legislation, because they will also point a pathway to us as to where some of the dangers lie. If we don't do that, I feel that we would be negligent in our duties. I believe it is very much our duty to push for extra time to hear from a variety of witnesses.
I just heard the parliamentary secretary say that there is an additional two-hour meeting to hear from two ministers and all their departmental staff. With most of the committees I've been sitting at, when a minister comes, they have four, five, or sometimes six staff with them. You put about 12 people together and you give them two hours? I really don't know what you could call that kind of testimony or investigation except “flyby”. This is not the kind of legislation where you want to have flyby testimony, a flyby discussion, and a flyby debate.
For me, there are many problems, but right now I know that we're dealing with a subamendment to the amendment. As a teacher, I always appreciated good behaviour, and I do appreciate the fact that the government has taken a baby step. They have taken a baby step. They've gone up from three to eight. They just have to take another baby step to go up to 25 and we'll have an agreement, and we can get on with studying the bill. It behooves me to acknowledge that, but I also have to say that it does not go far enough.
When it comes to terrorism, every one of us wants to fight terrorism. It doesn't mean that this bill is the only way or that this bill contains the magic pills that everybody is looking for. I want to mention for a second my community out in Newton, Surrey, where we are very concerned about terrorism. I live in a community that was very personally impacted by the act of terrorism that took place with the Air India flight, so much so that some people lost their sisters and others lost their brothers, aunts, and uncles. We gather annually at the memorial and we remember all those who passed away. Books and poems have been written, but people are still waiting for justice. Every year we remember where we were on that particular day when that happened and how families have been impacted.
I also live in a community where there is a very large Muslim community. They are very worried by the kind of targeting and the kind of finger pointing that is being done towards the community and about the community being told that they are not doing enough.
Let me assure you, Mr. Chair, that in my community, the BC Muslim Association has been doing a stellar job at taking on the topic of radicalization of youth.