Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for this important question.
The issue of public good, which is central to the debate, is what is so unfortunate because the public good can never be served where there is tolerance for child pornography, which is what has happened. The legislation does not close the loophole. Albeit the loophole has been narrowed and is not as broad it is still open to misinterpretation. I do not think the public good could ever be interpreted as allowing for child pornography to exist in any form. There has to be a clear signal and putting down some clear stakes in the ground on this issue is what the legislation should be aimed at.
The second part of my friend's question speaks to the exercise of the notwithstanding clause which is, to use the vernacular, the nuclear bomb within the charter that would obliterate an area of law for a substantive period of time. It is a final step. I would suggest that all preferable routes should be pursued. I suggest that the legislation, with the work and input of my hon. friend, is the answer if we can amend the legislation to get it right. If members of the House of Commons and members of my friend's government would support amendments that would close that loophole we would not have to go the route of invoking the notwithstanding clause.
I am one who is not suggesting that we should never use the notwithstanding clause. It is there for a reason. Members of Parliament should be aware of situations when the notwithstanding clause should be invoked. I strongly suggest that if the legislation is not corrected and remains in such a way that it will leave this type of abuse open then we should use the notwithstanding clause. The Government of Canada should seriously consider doing that. If that is what is needed to protect children then by all means.