Mr. Speaker, a couple of things the parliamentary secretary mentioned in his remarks on this motion I thought were proper. He mentioned the idea of public interest exceptions and to have certainty whenever possible in these clauses and take most of the arbitrariness out of it. In government bills generally it is a very wise move.
For example, in this amendment it states:
Notwithstanding section 77, where the act for which a licence is being sought is administered by a collective society referred to in section 70.1.
(a) the application shall be made to the collective society;
(b) the collective society shall determine whether the conditions set out in subsection 77(1) have been met;
Is that the proper way to do it? Is the collective society that is making the application the one determining whether the terms and conditions have been met? That is not normally done. It collectively can make its application but it is not the one that determine whether everything has been met. It would be an outside body or an outside arbitrator. I am not sure exactly what is meant by that because it seems to me it is a self-fulfilling prophecy in a sense. I am not sure that is a wise way to term it. However, again we cannot debate that. I just raise it as a concern.
I also want to point out that although the parliamentary secretary is interested in certainty in the bill, there is a trend in a lot of government bills to move away from certainty and toward decisions made outside parliamentary consent, this clause notwithstanding.
In bills that state "that regulations may be referred to a standing committee for examination"-not will, but may. Parliament may examine this at a certain interval, not that it will or it shall.
I agree with the parliamentary secretary. These should be exceptions and not the rule. Increasingly in the legislation before us we find that power is taken away from Parliament and given to the front benches. When we talk about changes, whether it is regulatory changes on gun control, or at the discretion of the minister under the new wheat board bill, that directors of the wheat board shall not be liable to prosecution for Criminal Code violations at the discretion of the crown. That is too much power to leave with the government. It should be left with Parliament or at the very least with a committee, some public forum where at least questions could be asked.
However, in this group of amendments, 7, 54 and 57, because of the inability to cross-examine, I would have to agree with the member for Kootenay East. It is impossible to agree with these given that I am not convinced the intent is obvious. As the parliamentary secretary has mentioned, it introduces the uncertainty that a bill should not have and that we should move away from that whenever possible.
Lo and behold, I am going to agree with the Liberal government on this point. We will be opposing this amendment. I will oppose the bill too. I am sorry I cannot cross-examine the Bloc member. Perhaps he has answers to some of my questions.