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House of Commons Hansard #69 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was cloning.

Topics

Report of Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission

10:05 a.m.

The Speaker

It is my duty, pursuant to section 21 of the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act, to lay upon the table a certified copy of the report of the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Nova Scotia.

This report is deemed referred to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Halifax West Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 26 petitions.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Canadian Alliance Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the second report of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

Pursuant to Standing Order 97.1 the committee is requesting an extension of 30 days to consider Bill C-231, an act to amend the Divorce Act, which puts limits on rights of child access by sex offenders. This was referred to the committee on October 21, 2002.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalMinister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the second report of the Special Committee on the Modernization and Improvement of the Procedures of the House of Commons.

If the House gives its consent I will be seeking concurrence in the report later today. The report contains two recommendations: first, to extend the deadline for the final report to June 13, 2003, and second, to allow staff to travel with the committee.

Employment Insurance ActRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-406, An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce a bill to amend the Employment Insurance Act. This bill is similar to another bill previously introduced.

Its intent is to change the name of the Act back to its original name, that is the Unemployment Insurance Act; to specify certain payments that are excluded from earnings; to allow benefits to continue while a claimant is on training to improve employability; to cancel the waiting period; to include dependent contractors; to alter the duration of benefits; to change the added benefits respecting local unemployment; to provide additional benefits for permanent layoff; to create a separate unemployment insurance trust fund to replace the present employment insurance account, which is a part of the Consolidated Revenue Fund; to replace the present Commission with an independent commission to be the trustee of the fund and the administrator of the Act; to remove the different status of re-entrants and new entrants; to place the burden of proof on the Commission to prove “arm's length” status and “just cause for leaving a job”; to ensure that every office and telephone access has an HRDC representative available.

In this bill I am calling for a total of 14 changes to the Employment Insurance Act, particularly because of its $42 billion surplus. The bill would be good for all Canadians.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalMinister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, there have been consultations among the parties and I believe you would find unanimous consent for the following motion. I move that the second report of the Special Committee on the Modernization and Improvement of the Procedures of the House of Commons, tabled earlier this day, be concurred in.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

(Motion agreed to)

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Halifax West Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

Is that agreed?

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rick Borotsik Progressive Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to table today from constituents of my riding. The first one is a very prevalent petition. It deals with an issue which is before the agriculture committee of the House today. It is a petition which would like to draw to the attention of Parks Canada of a serious problem in Riding Mountain National Park with respect to the elk herd and tuberculosis which is being spread now into some domestic herds.

I would like to table this petition on behalf of my constituents and I wish that Parks Canada would respond to this, and ensure that it deals with the issue immediately.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rick Borotsik Progressive Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

The second petition, Mr. Speaker, is one that we have had in the House a number of times. I would like to reconfirm it through constituents of mine. It is a petition concerning child pornography.

The petitioners ask the House to protect our children and ensure to take all necessary steps to protect them against pedophilia and sado-masochistic activities involving children. I reconfirm to the House that there are numerous Canadians wishing to stress the fact that we must protect our children.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Peter Goldring Canadian Alliance Edmonton Centre-East, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to present a petition put forward by many Canadians.

This petition calls for support for ethical stem cell research which has already shown encouraging potential to provide cures and therapies for illnesses and diseases. The petitioners call upon Parliament to focus its legislative support on adult stem cell research to find the cures and therapies necessary to treat the illnesses and diseases of suffering Canadians.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is most appropriate on a day when we will be debating Bill C-13 on reproductive technologies that my petition also has to do with the issue of stem cells.

This petition has been signed by a number of Canadians. We have had thousands upon thousands of Canadians who have signed it. These Canadians concur, as I do, that human life begins at conception.

The petitioners would like to bring to the attention of the House that Canadians do support ethical stem cell research which has already shown encouraging potential to provide the cures and therapies for the illnesses and diseases of Canadians. These petitioners would like to inform the House that non-embryonic stem cells which are also known as adult stem cells have shown significant research progress without the immune rejection or the serious ethical problems associated with embryonic stem cells.

The petitioners are calling upon Parliament to make good laws and to focus its legislative support on adult stem cells to find the cures and therapies for Canadians.

Points of OrderRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn Progressive Conservative St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, during question period on Friday past, the government House leader accused the hon. member for South Shore and the Progressive Conservative caucus of breaching the provisions of an embargo on the statement made later on Friday by the Minister of Justice concerning the firearms registry.

First, I would point out that my caucus has been leading the fight for more statements to be made in the House by ministers. It would hardly serve our interests or the interests of Parliament to violate the embargo by which we are given advance access to the minister's words in order for us to provide a coherent and informed response to what the minister is to say in the House.

Second, I have determined that the member for South Shore had no access to the embargoed statement before the Minister of Justice rose in the House. There was a violation of the embargoed information, but it was not from anyone associated with this caucus.

Let me quote from three short news stories that were carried in the media before question period began on Friday. Hansard shows that the Speaker called for oral questions at 11:15. Broadcast News carried a report at 10:45 as follows:

Responsibility for the federal gun control program is about to be shifted. Sources say the Justice Minister Martin Cauchon will announce today that it will be administered by the Solicitor General, who's responsible for the RCMP.

At 10:57, another account from Broadcast News reports statements made by “a bureaucrat”. Believe me, Mr. Speaker, “bureaucrat” is not a description that anyone would give the member for South Shore. The statement reads:

Responsibility for the federal gun control program is about to be shifted. Sources say Justice Minister Martin Cauchon will announce today it will be administered by the Solicitor General who's responsible for the RCMP. The program is expected to cost one billion dollars--500 times its original cost estimate.

The gun control registry has been denied further money by Parliament, but critics note it continues to function. A bureaucrat, asking not to be identified, says the Solicitor General's Department is a natural fit for gun control because of its day-to-day contact with law enforcement. Responsibility will be transferred from the Justice Department on April 1st.

At 11:07, again before question period, there is another story and it is similar to the original one so I will not repeat it, but it is here. Let me repeat an important sentence, “A bureaucrat, asking not to be identified, says the Solicitor General's Department is a natural fit...” Those words are important.

In his news conference following the ministerial statement in the House the Solicitor General, reading from a prepared text, said, “...it only makes sense to move it to the Solicitor General portfolio; it is a natural fit...”, and a few sentences later he said, “it is a good fit with the police services”.

In this case, the glove fits. And since the glove fits the government there can be no acquittal. A reasonable person would conclude that the words of the anonymous bureaucrat and the Solicitor General match because the same person was familiar with both texts.

It is clear the embargo had been breached by the spinners from the Government of Canada, not by the member for South Shore. The government used an embargo to silence members of Parliament and then breach the agreement itself. The government House leader's response was to attack the integrity of members of the House without providing evidence of his charge against the member for South Shore.

The member for South Shore had asked a question on this exact topic on Thursday. The minister's answer was less than informative. It was perfectly natural that when he saw the report of a change of policy the member for South Shore would again ask a question based on news media reports. He was shown the media reports and asked his question.

I was the member of our caucus who was in possession of the advance copy. I received it by fax at 10:08. I believe there are other members of the House who can say they received calls from the media at 10 o'clock asking for comment and with sufficient detail that it is reasonable to conclude that the embargo had not been respected by the government.

I should add that no one saw the copy that our party received except me.

On Friday, the leader of the government accused the member for South Shore of breaching a solemn undertaking. He said:

Mr. Speaker, this is the second time in only a few weeks that we have had an instance on the floor of the House where members have been given a document under embargo and before the embargo has expired it is being raised in question period.

This is despicable. The hon. member should know that this is wrong. It goes against all our rules which we are all called upon to respect.

On Friday, after question period, the member for South Shore indicated that he drew his question from media reports that were available before the beginning of question period. He had not seen nor was he aware of the embargo statement. He was following up on his previous day's question on public information, information that came from government in violation of its own embargo.

I agree with the government House leader, this is despicable, but it is not the conduct of the member for South Shore that is despicable. The heated the words of the government House leader should be withdrawn and an apology offered.

What is more, we expect the government to give an undertaking that it will stop the practice of trying to silence members of the House by the use of embargoed documents while its own officials violate the embargo themselves.

Points of OrderRoutine Proceedings

10:20 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalMinister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I want to respond briefly to what has been raised.

First, if anyone has breached the embargo, whether it is on my side of the House or on the opposition side, it is equally wrong. Let that be clear. I will never state that is okay if indeed such a thing is committed by anyone on our side.

I am informed by the minister that is not what happened. Of course, whether an official representing either staff of an opposition party or the government committed this deed, we will never know I suppose.

The fact remains that at approximately 10 o'clock some members of the House were given a statement to be made by the minister two hours later and within minutes it found itself in the media somehow. Everyone acknowledges that sequence of events did occur. Before 10 o'clock in the morning and before the document was given to members of the House it had not been leaked to the media, at least not that we know of. Moments after it was given to some members of the House it did appear in the media. That we know.

Second, there is a belief, which I cannot share and which the hon. member seems to espouse, that if someone leaked it to the media then that gives a right to breach the embargo and raise questions in the House about something that is under embargo. I do not share that view. If that is what is going to happen, all that the House has to do is cause one member to breach the embargo, thereby relieving all other members of any obligations they might have had. That is wrong. That will lead to us to not being able to give information to members of the House, and that too would be wrong. I would not subscribe to that either. I want to continue to be able to do that.

Evidently there are days of the week in which this is less complicated. For reasons that we all know, those days are Tuesday and Thursday because the statements in the House occur very early in the day before a question is asked and, as a matter of fact, almost before any proceeding takes place in the House. The chance of a member rising in this place and saying “The embargo has been breached and I am free to raise it now”, does not really occur on Tuesday and Thursday. However, it will always occur on Monday, Wednesday and Friday because of the sequence of routine proceedings, with which we are familiar.

I do not want to create a situation in the House where we can only share information with MPs on Tuesday and Thursday. Why are MPs not entitled to the same thing every day of the week? Those are the conditions that we all have to create in this place.

I do not believe that I accused the member for South Shore of leaking the material to the media. If someone says that I have, then I will gladly apologize for that. I will do it now in anticipation if that pleases the House, but I do not believe that I did.

However once there is an embargo and everyone in the House knows there is an embargo, to raise it during question period and put the minister in a position where he cannot answer because there is an embargo, but then those asking the question can breach that and ask the question because they know the minister cannot answer, is not fair. That is what all of us have to realize. That is the point I am making and the point I have made continuously.

I want to continue to work with all colleagues and to continue to offer embargo documents. I think I have gone some distance in the first modernization report, at the insistence of members, and rightfully so, that more statements be made in the House. When a statement is made in the House, it is provided to hon. members under embargo so that it can be first known in the House. How can I do that if it continues to be leaked all over the place?

We do not know where it originated. The hon. member is correct and I acknowledge that. No, we do not know. All we know is that it had not leaked and, seemingly within moments after sharing it with some members of the House, it appeared on the Internet sites of some media outlets. That is the only thing we do know. Whether it is a bureaucrat working for a minister who is alleged to have given it to the media between 10 a.m. and 10:08 a.m. or thereabouts, or whether it is someone working for a member of the House who used that angle to get to the media outlet, we will never know.

Regardless, I want to continue working with colleagues. My point was never to insult the member for South Shore and if I did I will gladly apologize for that. That is not the point.

The point here is that once there is an embargo we all have an obligation to respect it. If anyone breaches that embargo by asking a question about something that is under embargo, obviously the minister will not breach his own embargo. It is totally unfair. Let us all realize that and hopefully we can continue to give documents to hon. members under embargo.

Points of OrderRoutine Proceedings

10:25 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rick Borotsik Progressive Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to speak to the point the House leader raised. I accept his apology on behalf of the member for South Shore. I believe that he was unjustly accused by the member. I suspect that the member will continue to try to make sure that the House is operated in a proper fashion, but perhaps, before he accuses members, he should look at the internal operations of the ministerial departments and not just simply accuse members of the opposition.

The member for South Shore had raised those very questions previously the day before. He had no understanding that there was an embargo on that information. I do not suspect that the member would like to have all members of the House contact him to make sure there is an embargo on any kind of information that is in the newspapers.

I am certainly accepting his apology to the member for South Shore but I sincerely hope it does not happen again to my members or any other member on this side of the House.

Points of OrderRoutine Proceedings

10:25 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

I have listened very carefully to the arguments that have been presented. First, no rule of the House has been broken because, as members know, embargoes are part of the practice and tradition of the House.

I thank you for your representations but in the end it will be up to the House leaders themselves to sort this problem out and renew an agreement that has been reached before in order for these things not to happen again.

The House resumed from February 11 consideration of Bill C-13, an act respecting assisted human reproduction, as reported (with amendment) from the committee, and of the motions in Group No. 6.

Assisted Human Reproduction ActGovernment Orders

10:30 a.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. As you probably have noted, seven of the eleven motions under Group No. 6 have been moved by myself. I have spoken to this group but I did not get a chance to complete my comments. I would ask for the unanimous consent of the House to have a further five minutes to address those points as the last speaker before we move to questions.

Assisted Human Reproduction ActGovernment Orders

10:30 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

Is it agreed?

Assisted Human Reproduction ActGovernment Orders

10:30 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Assisted Human Reproduction ActGovernment Orders

10:30 a.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I thank all hon. members for their kindness.

I want to raise one issue with the House. In providing report stage motions to the House, the mover of those motions has an obligation not simply to identify those motions but also to explain to the House, for the benefit of all members, as to why those motions are there and what information they should have to assess whether a report stage motion should be considered and passed by this place and become part of the bill.

Probably the one motion that is most significant in the group of motions I put forward, to which I did not speak to very long, was the motion that dealt with regulations. The bill would provide that all regulations associated with it would be reviewed by Parliament, and I believe that is most appropriate.

However members should also know that the experts, the health and justice officials, confirmed before committee on more than a couple of occasions that it would take about two years before the reproductive agency and the regulations could be set up and promulgated. Therefore, half of the bill, particularly the controlled activities, would not be in place and enforced until after these regulations were in place.

The other aspect is that a qualifier is in virtually every clause in the controlled activity section stating that it would be subject to the regulations or as in accordance with the regulations, and it probably occurs more than any other statement in the entire bill. In fact public policy positions on key elements of the bill are buried in the regulations.

My specific point of which I ask members to please take note is that there is another clause in the bill which states that any new regulations, after the initial wave of regulations, or any amendments to existing regulations need not come before Parliament. As a consequence, the bill currently states that we could put forward only a handful of housekeeping regulations in the first wave, and then immediately thereafter come forward with substantive regulations which would change fundamentally the purpose and the public policy statements of the bill.

I am urging members to look carefully at this. If there are to be regulations in which public policy will be buried, in other words trying to get through the back door through order in council that which we cannot get through the front door, being Parliament, then I believe that motion would change the bill to ensure that all regulations on the bill, no matter when they occur, would properly come before Parliament.

Assisted Human Reproduction ActGovernment Orders

10:30 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Andy Burton Canadian Alliance Skeena, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today as this is my opportunity to speak to Bill C-13, the reproductive technologies act, which is being debated currently at report stage.

The bill has sparked a good degree of concern from constituents in my riding of Skeena. I have received numerous letters, phone calls and e-mails expressing various degrees of concern for the details contained in the bill.

I would like to begin by outlining the concerns of my constituents, the concerns expressed by my party, the Canadian Alliance, and my personal concerns with the bill.

I do not disagree with everything in Bill C-13. There are in fact areas that I do support. I fully support bans on reproductive or therapeutic cloning, chimeras, animal-human hybrids, sex selection, germ line alteration, buying and selling of embryos and paid surrogacy. I also support an agency to regulate the sector, although we do want changes.

The Canadian Alliance opposes human cloning as an affront to human dignity, individuality and rights. We have repeatedly spoken out against human cloning, urging the federal government to bring in legislation to stave off the potential threat of cloning research in Canada.

In September 2001 we tabled a motion at a health committee meeting calling on the government to immediately ban human reproductive cloning. The Liberals deferred a vote on the motion. Their preference was to deal with cloning in a comprehensive reproductive technologies bill.

I would like to address what exactly the bill itself says. The preamble states:

--the health and well-being of children born through [assisted human reproduction] must be given priority...human individuality and diversity, and the integrity of the human genome, must be preserved and protected.

We support the recognition that the health and well-being of children born through assisted human reproduction, or AHR, should be given priority. In fact the health committee came up with a ranking of whose interests should have priority in decision making around AHR and related research: one, children born through AHR; two, adults participating in AHR procedures; and three, researchers and physicians who conduct AHR research.

While the preamble recognizes the priority of AHR offspring, other sections of the bill fail to meet this standard. Children born through donor insemination or from donor eggs are not given the right to know the identity of their biological parents.

The bill's preamble does not provide an acknowledgement of human dignity or respect for human life. Bill C-13 is intimately connected with the creation of human life, yet there is no overarching recognition of the principle of respect for human life. This is a grave deficiency.

Our minority report recommended:

That the final legislation clearly recognize the human embryo as human life and that the Statutory Declaration include the phrase “respect for human life”.

We believe the preamble and the mandate of the proposed agency should be amended to include reference to this principle.

I would like to now move on to the area of the bill of most concern to the constituents who wrote to me from Skeena riding, and that is research using human embryos. With regard to research using human embryos, the bill would allow the experiment under five conditions.

First, only in vitro embryos left over from the IVF process can be used for research. Embryos cannot be created for research with one notable exception: they can be created for purposes of improving or providing instruction in AHR procedures.

Second, written permission must be given by the donor, although donor is singular, and research on a human embryo if the use is necessary, and necessary is undefined, and all human embryos must be destroyed after 14 days if not frozen. We have some concerns with some of those issues.

Embryonic research is ethically controversial and it divides Canadians. As an example, numerous petitions containing thousands of signatures have been tabled in the House calling for ethical stem cell research. Embryonic stem cell research inevitably results in the death of the embryo. For many Canadians this violates the ethical commitment to respect human dignity, integrity and life.

Adult stem cells are a safe, proven alternative to embryonic stem cells. Sources of adult stem cells include umbilical cord blood, skin tissue, bone tissue, et cetera. Adult stem cells are easily accessible, are not subject to immune rejection and pose minimal ethical concerns. Adult stem cells are being used today in the treatment of Parkinson's, leukemia, multiple sclerosis and other conditions. Embryonic stem cells have not been used in the successful treatment of a single person.

Research focus should be on the more promising and proven alternative. Our minority report called for a three year prohibition on experiments with human embryos, corresponding with the first scheduled review of the bill.

Bill C-13 states that embryonic research can be undertaken if the agency is satisfied that such research is necessary. During its review of draft legislation, the health committee recommended that such research should be permitted only if researchers can demonstrate that, “No other category of biological material could be used for the purpose of the proposed research”.

During the committee's review of Bill C-13, we tried to restore the spirit of this recommendation with an amendment specifying that healing therapies should be the object of such research. The committee rejected this amendment and the Speaker rejected it coming forward for report stage debate.

Bill C-13 specifies that the consent of the donor to a human embryo is required in order to use a human embryo for experiments. The bill leaves it to the regulations to define donor. However there are two donors to every human embryo, a woman and a man. Both donors should be required to give written consent for the use of a human embryo, not just one.

With regard to the regulatory agency, the bill outlines the following. It creates the Assisted Human Reproduction Agency of Canada to issue licences for controlled activities. A board of directors would be appointed by the governor in council. The bill was amended in committee requiring board members to have no financial interest in any business regulated or controlled by the bill. The health minister is now trying to remove one of the new clauses which she says would prevent almost anyone from serving on the board. An annual report, though not specified in Bill C-13, is required through clause 74, which adds Bill C-13 to a schedule of the Financial Administration Act. The agency would produce the annual report which would be tabled in the House by the minister.

The concerns that we have with clause 25 are that it allows the minister to give any policy direction she likes to the agency and the agency must follow it without question. If the agency was an independent agency answerable to Parliament, such political direction would be more difficult. The entire clause should be eliminated.

The Canadian Alliance proposed amendments specifying that agency board members be chosen for their wisdom and judgment. This was a health committee recommendation in “Building Families”. We want to avoid an agency captured by interests. Members must be able to work together to pursue the greater good, not merely represent certain constituencies. The Liberals rejected their own recommendation when our amendment came up during Bill C-13 review in committee.

The health minister wants to delete one of the clauses requiring board members of the AHR agency to come under conflict of interest rules.

The health committee got it right. Board members should not have commercial interests in the field of AHR or related research, fertility clinics and biotech companies. Imagine an employee or investor in a biotech company with financial interest in embryonic stem cell research making decisions for Canadians on the regulation of such research, including the definition of the word “necessary” as specified in clause 40. Or imagine a director of a fertility clinic making regulations on limits on sperm and egg donations, numbers of embryos produced for IVF treatment. Such conflict of interest needs to be prevented in this legislation.

The health minister says subclause 26(8) would prevent almost anyone from serving on the board. This was clearly not the intent of the health committee.

With regard to donor anonymity, Bill C-13 states that although the agency will hold information on donor identity, children conceived through donor insemination or donor eggs will have no right to know the identity of their parents without their written consent. Donor offspring will have access to medical information of their biological parents.

Donor offspring and many of their parents want to end the secrecy that shrouds donor anonymity and denies children knowledge of an important chapter of their lives. The Liberals claim to want to put the interest of children first. In this case they think the desires of some parents should trump the needs and interests of children.

In its review of draft legislation, the health committee recommended an end to donor anonymity. The Canadian Alliance minority report said clearly:

--where the privacy rights of the donors of human reproductive materials conflict with the rights of children to know their genetic and social heritage, the rights of the children shall prevail.

This is absolutely essential.

When the issue came up during the review of Bill C-13, the Liberals defeated an Alliance amendment to end anonymity in a close six to five vote.

There are a number of other issues, however, in conclusion, I would like to say that with specific regard to these amendments debated today at report stage of Bill C-13, I will at this time be voting in favour of most of them.

However, with regard to the entire bill, I must reiterate that I have some very serious concerns which I have outlined here today. Unless and until those concerns have been addressed and the changes are made to the bill, I will be voting against it.

My vote against Bill C-13 will be made in good conscience, knowing that my party, the Canadian Alliance, has done everything in its power to try to improve the bill and knowing the government has once again used its majority in the House to push through what it knows is flawed legislation.