Mr. Speaker, I too am quite concerned that we are not hearing from speakers on the opposite side. Members opposite drafted the bill and should be here to defend it. Their non-participation and indeed their ambivalence to this whole thing perhaps could be interpreted in a couple of ways.
Maybe they think the legislation is so great that there is absolutely no way it could be improved upon, although I do not know how they could get that idea, because every one in the House who has spoken on it so far today has suggested improvements to the bill. Perhaps they are so ashamed of it that they just want it to slip through the House like a dose of salts, with nobody noticing it. Otherwise why is someone from that side not responding from time to time?
The other question my colleague raises is the one about wilful intent. I spoke to that at some length during my remarks but I would not mind actually expanding on that just a little. He talks about the ritual slaughter of animals by certain religious groups, which absolutely does date back to the time when history began to be recorded.
We have customs whereby the native people are still allowed to carry out their whale hunt. The Inuit are allowed to kill a certain amount of whales by harpooning them. I wonder if that has been considered in the bill.
I keep going back to two points. We have to consider what has been accepted practice for literally hundreds of years. We also have to be very cognizant that whatever we put into the statutes has to be tempered with copious amounts of common sense.
Perhaps common sense is not something that is very easily divined. We can argue that what is common sense to my knowledge is not necessarily common sense to others and vice versa, but the generally accepted term of common sense should be applied in liberal doses to this particular act.