Mr. Speaker, in my opinion, we will not disagree much today. We have reached consensus and I think we have covered the issue.
The name of the game is simple. Are we fed up enough to be bothered? The issue is we have to respect the citizen.
We have all been interrupted by phone calls during supper time or when we are watching television. It is irritating. At some point consumers need to be protected. Obviously there are important situations that we must continue to protect.
My colleague from Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques mentioned the health care sector. When business relations have been established, whether in insurance or life insurance, it is essential and important to keep them. It was time to clean house with this type of bill.
You will not be surprised to learn today that, unless I am mistaken, all the political parties were in favour of these two amendments. They are two simple amendments regarding protection that will impose harsher penalties on certain people who might abuse the public. Some might say it is more flexible in terms of dollar amounts, but we now have a maximum fine. In that vein, it is important to mention that the fines for offending companies can be between $5,000 and $15,000.
All this telemarketing is intrusive and almost abusive. Personally, I think the consumer is king and needs to have an opportunity to protect himself. Canada is not the only country with a national do not call list. It is a good idea to provide a tool like this.
There is something else that I also find interesting. I am not a great fan of the CRTC. In my opinion, it is in need of an in-depth reform. There are certain things that should be done differently. However, we do need a body to manage telecommunications and cultural institutes. At some point, we will have to take a very serious look at this issue.
We all remember the satellite radio issue. That really bothered me, and I was not afraid to speak my mind, as usual. With the tools that we currently have, the CRTC will, of course, have to ensure that it implements this bill and its proposed amendments. I think that fines are a very good idea. It goes without saying that having administrative monetary penalties will help us deal more effectively with these people. We will be better equipped.
I will not go so far as to say that it is a cure-all, because we should show some restraint. When my friend and colleague from the Bloc Québécois has an opportunity to make a remark on Canada, I suppose it is only fair to let him do so. However, we should not forget that some good things are done on the North American continent. There is real cohesion as regards crime or certain other issues.
The purpose of these amendments was not only to increase transparency and accountability—and I will discuss this later on—but also to provide tools to really protect the public.
The other thing is that we have a do not call list. We all agree on this. Why? Because we gave ourselves reasonable verification tools. We also made sure that after three years we will be able to conduct the required review not only of the fines, but of the bill itself. We will see how well everything worked and then we can make changes as needed.
It is good to have this national do not call list. Obviously there are exemptions for the health sector and for existing business relations, as was mentioned earlier. The intention is not to impede the business sector. I am a former life insurance agent. Selling life insurance is a long process that does not happen overnight. Changes occur in our personal lives. There are needs in the financial services sector. It is necessary to maintain constant contact and to distinguish that from the abuse and irritating people who call proposing all sorts of things. There is nothing more irritating than listening to a machine. At first it seems like we are talking to a person and then, two minutes later, we realize that a machine is trying to make us jump through all sorts of hoops. At some point, things need to be done properly.
I want to say one last thing. I am entirely in favour of both amendments and I wish the hon. members of this House a good weekend.