Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for his comments. I know he has personally wrestled with this issue. He spoke earlier this week at a reception hosted by EGALE. I want to signal the extraordinary contribution which has been made by EGALE, John Fisher, the late Les McAfee, and others in this long journey.
The member has shared with this House in a very personal way the fact that his son, J.R., is gay. One of the important elements of this legislation is to ensure that those who apply for jobs within the federal jurisdiction are not discriminated against on the basis of their sexual orientation. The son of the hon. member for Edmonton Southwest could apply for a job in a bank, on a railway, in telecommunications or some other job within the federal jurisdiction and he could be turned down. The employer could say that he does not want him because he is gay and he might hurt his business, or maybe the employer would let him work at the back of the shop but not at the front.
I would plead with the hon. member. Does he not understand? Does he not recognize that if this bill does not go through his son, his own flesh and blood, would have no recourse in law other than that which is pursuant to a court decision which may be in conflict with another Alberta court decision? Does he not recognize that we need this legislation to at least prohibit that kind of discrimination, not just against his son but against all gay and lesbian people in this country?