Mr. Speaker, I agree with the member that there are many important elements of the bill which have the full support of the whole House. Unfortunately this debate has focused on the VIP particularly with regard to whether or not a certain group of widows will be covered. This raises an interesting question.
The member just said that the minister should take appropriate action to correct the bill. The bill is at third reading stage and there is no way at this point to make corrections to it unless the bill is recommitted to the committee for a specific purpose. I do not think that would be useful simply because it may kill the whole bill. I doubt that anybody would want to see that happen. The alternative would be to have assurances that the Senate would make the appropriate changes laid out by the House.
Since members have known about the matter of extending benefits to all widows for some time, why is it that the committee did not make an amendment deleting the existing regulation which set a date to which benefits would be paid and replacing it with a clause in the bill that would make a clear statement that benefits would be available to all widows? That is where members want to see this going. That is a statement of intent of the bill. The real question is why is that statement of intent of the bill buried in the regulations instead of being in the legislation itself for all to see? We cannot get out of this at this point in time. We need a compromise.
Would the member agree that the compromise would be to seek assurance from the minister through collaboration with members in the House to seek those changes in the Senate? The bill would then reflect that which I believe the House would support.