Madam Speaker, because I overlooked it during my earlier remarks, I would like to note that you were also a member of that committee and your name does appear on the very comprehensive report, “For the Sake of the Children”. I commend you as well for the interest you have shown over the years on this subject. As colleagues from all parties have noted, this does cross all party boundaries and partisan politics.
I want to end the debate this afternoon by thanking my colleagues from the other parties: the Canadian Alliance member for Saskatoon--Rosetown--Biggar for her kind and supportive comments; and the New Democratic Party member for Winnipeg Centre for his comments about this important issue, and the support of the intent of the motion.
I note as well the remarks made by my colleague from the Bloc Quebecois. It is unfortunate that there are times when one province or another, especially in Quebec, has better family law than in other parts of the country. If we had been able to have a good debate on this subject and Quebecers could have heard the Bloc and other representatives from Quebec present their case, I think it would have been a service to other provinces to note that perhaps there is some superiority in the laws, particularly in Quebec, dealing with families of divorce and separation which we could have incorporated into other parts of the country. However that was not allowed to happen.
I want to note my disapproval, frustration and sadness with the remarks made by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice as he spoke on behalf of the Minister of Justice and said that yet again parents and primarily children would be asked to wait longer. He used the term May 2002 before another step would be taken on this issue. I say shame on the government for not acting on this issue.
The member also said that to support the motion would be inconsistent with the government's comprehensive strategy of working with the provinces to pursue co-ordinated, multifaceted initiatives and other glowing terms. The reality is that nothing further will be done immediately to address these injustices despite, as he termed it, the laudable intentions of my motion.
The same arguments were used on February 23 when I introduced Bill C-237 that dealt with shared custody or shared parenting. The federal government was not concerned about the federal intrusion into provincial jurisdiction when it imposed Bill C-68, the gun registry, and yet it seems to be very reluctant to do it on behalf of children.
There is only one chance left and I will take it now. On behalf of children across Canada, I seek unanimous consent of the members present on this Friday afternoon to make Motion No. 186 votable.