Mr. Speaker, that took some time but I think it was worth waiting to hear my speech. I appreciate the fact that you would call in a number of people who would be able to partake.
I was saying that Bill C-6 is important legislation that will apply to all federally regulated private sector areas in Canada. It will also apply to crown corporations. It will cover federal entities which are not covered under existing federal privacy legislation.
I also want to note this very important point because it gets to the very essence, the very pith and substance of what the bill tries to do. With respect to interprovincial trading of personal and private information and the international trading of information, it wants to control that and make sure there is a system in place where that kind of privacy is assured. That is very important. I think Canadians wherever they are across Canada want to see us take a lead role in this area.
I think I noted prior to the quorum call but I will emphasize and reassert the fact that in a recent poll, and I think the polling has been consistent with what Canadians have wanted, 80% of Canadians have indicated that they would like to see us have this kind of legislation. It is important in that sense that we act quickly and accordingly because it underscores the willingness and the urgency of the Government of Canada to move in this all important area in a way consistent with the values of Canadians.
When reading the legislation it seemed to me that it was consumer friendly and rightfully so. It was something that ordinary Canadians wherever they are in Canada could listen to and deal with.
In reading the bill and taking a close hard and fast look at it, I found it was not something that was burdensome and cumbersome to industry, especially small and medium industry. Small and medium businesses are the engines for Canada. We do not want to put something in place that would be cumbersome and which would detract from their ability to do what they do best, which is to be entrepreneurs and to make profit. Profit in entrepreneurship is what makes this country great. As a result of their good efforts and as a result of what entrepreneurs do in small and medium businesses, they create jobs which in turn helps the economy.
Canada's economy is going pretty much at full tilt these days as a result of the good management and sound fiscal and monetary policy of the government which has done the right things. It is appropriate that we move in that sense accordingly. It underscores the commitment of the government to work in a manner consistent with what Canadians not only want but quite frankly deserve. This makes for better lives for them and their families. That is part and parcel of what we on the government side want to provide for all Canadians wherever they live in this great country.
The member for Calgary Northeast is heckling, caterwauling and bellowing, as members of the Reform Party often do. I am sorry, I guess that party has gone through two name changes. It went from the Reform Party to the CCRAP and now it is the alliance party. Whatever those members call themselves, their party is really the same old thing recycled. We understand that for who they are and for what they represent.
Quite frankly I think Canadians reject their extremist views. They reject what they try to do repeatedly, which is they try tear at the very fabric of Canadian society, tear people apart, tear regions apart and tear populations and groups and all kinds of Canadians apart. Canada is not like that. Canada is above that.
I listened on Monday past when the member for Calgary Northeast got up on a tirade. This was from the very people who said they were going to bring a fresh start to parliament, a new way of doing business, a new approach. The member accused me, among other things, of being unchristian and not following in the footsteps of Christ. I reject that. Never mind I am a devout Christian, but I reject the kind of nonsense the member opposite would try to spew out.
He or she who is without guilt will cast the first stone. Those people opposite who live in glass houses should be very careful in terms of what they do and how they do it. I think it is written somewhere very important, and the hon. member should listen accordingly and attentively for a change, that judge not lest ye be judged.
The hon. member should think hard and long about the kind of venom he is prepared to spew. He should think hard and long about casting judgments on other people. That is so typical of that holier than thou group that sits opposite, no matter what its name is. That is so typical of who those members are and what they represent, extremists to the nth degree. People of their ilk and those who associate with them understand fully that they will go nowhere fast.
Fair-minded, compassionate, tolerant Canadians see through that party no matter what it calls itself. They see through those members for who they are and for what they represent.
I want to get back to the issue at hand, Bill C-6, and how very important it is with respect to the agenda of the Government of Canada in terms of providing safety and security regarding the privacy issue for Canadians.
The government has been very intent on ensuring that the legislation deals with issues of concern to the Quebec government. We have tried, and I think we have been very successful, to complement the Quebec legislation in this area with respect to covering international and interprovincial flows of personal data.
The Government of Canada is committed to work consistently and hard when it comes to dealing with the government of Quebec because it has made some good notations in this area. As a result of good, solid federal-provincial co-operation on this very important Bill C-6, we will be able to work constructively. After all that is what Canadians want.
We can talk a great deal in this House of Commons. We can talk at the federal level about what we should or should not do. We can talk about the great issues that confront Canada, but Canadians wherever they live in this great country of ours, in all the regions, expect governments at all levels to work together. They expect their federal government to take a lead role often.
Witness health care for example. Canadians expect the federal government to take a lead role in that, to work constructively with other provincial and territorial partners and all stakeholders. Canadians expect this not only in health care, but in e-commerce and all areas of importance. Canadians are typically people who like to see partnership and co-ordination instead of the politics of blame and finger pointing like Mr. Harris is doing right now on health care.
Imagine what Mr. Harris is doing. It is outrageous when we see the kind of finger pointing that is taking place on health care. It really should not happen. Canadians quite frankly expect more from their premiers. What they should be doing as provincial and territorial partners is coming together and meeting constructively. Instead of the politics of blame, they should be looking forward to the politics of hope.
The politics of hope underscore what Canadians want, which is for all people, Canadians of good faith wherever they are in this country, to work together. They expect their government leaders to work together constructively to ensure that the right thing is done at the end of the day. Why do they do that?
Canadians know that this is an enormous country geographically and in many other ways, with huge physical and human resources. They know too that with a small population it is incumbent upon governments wherever they are in Canada to work together to ensure that the Canadian way is respected, that Canada's great values, symbols and institutions are ultimately respected in a way which is consistent with what Canadians expect from their leaders and their governments.
I want to take a moment to talk about the code in terms of Bill C-6, and the 10 principles that are inherent in that code. The 10 principles are noted as follows.
Number one relates to accountability. Accountability is very important. Canadians expect their governments in legislation on all matters to include accountability and transparency in a manner consistent with what we believe as a government. All Canadians expect it in legislation and rightfully so.
Number two is to identify purposes and make sure it is done in a manner consistent with the kind of information collected. Again Canadians expect that that be done in the very important area of privacy. I think it is important and expected that government include it.
Number three in the code is consent. Consent of the individual is required because people in Canada genuinely deserve privacy. They want it and they need it. People expect that if there is to be a sharing of knowledge it will be done with consent. I think that underscores exactly what the government is prepared to note and put in by way of the ten codes.
Number four is the limited collection code principle. It will be limited to what is necessary for the purposes of identifying organizations or others for a lawful purpose. That too is an important principle and one which underscores the commitment of the government to do the right thing in this very important area.
Number five is the limited use, disclosure and retention principle. It is used because it is important to note and it is important that Canadians have this, by way of principles, codified. Personal information shall be retained only as long as necessary for the fulfilment of the purpose for which it was collected. Again, I think that too is important.
Number six is accuracy. Canadians expect the information given to be accurate. The mechanisms are built in whereby if there is misinformation it can be corrected. I believe that Canadians expect that kind of accuracy to be part and parcel of this very important bill.
Number seven is the principle of safeguards. The information will be protected by security safeguards appropriate to the information presented. That too underscores the commitment of the Government of Canada to ensure that safeguards are in place and that those kinds of checks and balances are part and parcel of this very important bill.
Number eight is openness, which concerns itself with the readily available information to individuals of policies and practices relating to the management of personal information. Again, this is part of transparency. This is part of accountability. This is part of openness. This too underscores the government's wish to ensure that this is in place in a meaningful way.
Number nine is individual access. Upon request, I should note because it is important, that an individual shall be informed of the existence, use and disclosure of his or her personal information and shall be given access to that information. An individual shall be able to challenge the accuracy and completeness of the information and have it amended as appropriate. That is important. Again, Canadians want to see that as part of this law. It is a principle which we are prepared to put in place.
Finally, number ten is the challenging compliance principle. Again, an individual shall be able to address a challenge concerning compliance with the above principles to the designated individual or individuals for the organization's compliance. That too is a good principle and is part of the approach of the Government of Canada.
Taken in total, these ten principles are very important and they underscore the level to which the government is prepared to act. I believe it is ultimately in the best interests of all Canadians.
I want to talk a bit about the role of the privacy commissioner and the important role that he plays in this all important Bill C-6. I think it is incumbent upon all members of parliament, from all across the country, to understand that the role of the privacy commissioner will be consistent with what Canadians expect and want and, quite frankly, the role which they have become used to. I think it is important that we proceed in this very important area in a manner consistent with the values of Canadians. I think it is important that we do so and that we do so as soon as we can because this is an important bill and we need to pass it expeditiously.
There is a five year review built into the bill. That too is important and again underscores the role of the government to do the right thing in this all important bill.
Therefore I urge all members of the House to get on with the business at hand, to support Bill C-6 and to recognize it for what it is; that is, a good piece of legislation which follows on what the Prime Minister said in October 1998 and follows in a way which I believe Canadians not only can identify with but also support.
I would ask all members of the House to move expeditiously to pass this bill as soon as possible, knowing that it is the right thing to do.