Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his intervention and for his interesting points expanding on much of what has already been said.
I would like to ask the member a couple of questions as I make comments about what he just said. One of those questions would be on the point of whether or not the member found it surprising when this bill went to committee that the minister revealed no effort had been made either by him or by his department to make those affected by the bill aware that it even existed.
That came as an absolute surprise to me. I just could not believe it. When we actually contacted Mr. Figueroa, he expressed such surprise. He did not even have the faintest idea that the bill had been produced.
With respect to the number of persons required to constitute a party, the number two, as suggested, was of course suggested in a ruling of the courts in Ontario. The courts there used much of the same logic that the member who just stood has used in justifying two as the number. Had he been able to get his amendment onto the floor today, we could have had a good discussion about that and determined whether that was a much better solution than the single person.
Unlike the minister, I am not afraid to try amending this number upward, because most laws are to a great degree based on good faith. If the people who wanted to challenge the legislation previously are no longer interested in challenging it because there is a number that suits everybody, then the courts will not strike it down because they will not get the opportunity to do so. So that is a shame.
In closing, I do just want to mention that unfortunately, as the member indicated earlier today, we lost an opportunity during the committee hearings to amend the bill to the number 12. I feel quite bad about that. I usually sit on that committee. Unfortunately there was a critical situation away from Ottawa which I did have to attend and the government refused to postpone the meeting for me. There was some confusion with the substitute and unfortunately a situation arose that we feel bad about. Anyway, that is water under the bridge, but I did want to get that on the record just so that the member did not feel there was some ill will toward what was being proposed at the time.