Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak on behalf of the Bloc Québécois about this private member's bill, Bill C-279, An Act to amend the DNA Identification Act (establishment of indexes).
The summary says:
This enactment amends the DNA Identification Act to provide for the establishment of a human remains index and a missing persons index to help law enforcement agencies search for and identify persons reported missing.
Hon. members know the effort that the Bloc Québécois makes to defend the interests of Quebeckers and, at the same time, defend areas of provincial jurisdiction. Once again, this House is debating this sort of bill. I will read a comment made by an analyst with the Parliament of Canada about Bill C-240, which was introduced during the previous Parliament and covered the same ground as Bill C-279, which is before us today. The analyst told us that the bill introduced by the member in question—who shall remain nameless—was ultra vires Parliament, because it concerned a local area of jurisdiction.
That means simply that this bill does not come under federal jurisdiction.
We can talk and talk in this House, but the government always turns a deaf ear. Before, it was the Liberals; now, it is the Conservatives. The government is always ready to encroach on areas of provincial jurisdiction. It is no wonder so many Quebeckers want to leave Canada and form their own country, Quebec. We are sick and tired of this constant interference. We are tired of investing time, money and energy in areas that do not come under federal jurisdiction. In fact, 23%, 24% or 25% of the money comes from Quebeckers.
The federal government has enough problems with its own areas of jurisdiction, as we can attest. Since the Conservative government was elected, we have watched it invest in the army, in arms, in law and order. The Criminal Code is a federal responsibility. The government has enough problems with its own areas of jurisdiction. It should let the provinces pass their own legislation and their own regulations in their own areas of jurisdiction.
As I said, the Bloc Québécois did not say that, it was a researcher from the Library of Parliament who said that this bill does not come under federal jurisdiction.
Earlier, my Liberal colleague openly admitted that there was a problem with jurisdiction. When there is a problem with jurisdiction, you do not table such a bill. It is simple. That avoids debates and, in the opinion of his colleagues, would avoid giving the Bloc Québécois a reason to argue. Too often, in this Parliament, we are right. In the case of this bill, we find quite simply that this is not a matter falling under federal jurisdiction.
It is not that there are not some good debates. Solving the fiscal imbalance is a good debate. It is a debate that we should have in this Parliament. We would be pleased to have members from the other parties table private members' bills in order to deal with the fiscal imbalance. Some would say that they cannot table such bills because they entail expenditures and therefore require royal recommendation.
However, this small bill, C-279, also requires royal recommendation given that it entails expenditures to create an index. When fellow members table bills requiring royal recommendation,they know that entails expenses and requires additional authorization. That also means that it requires supplementary budgets and that it is not a sure thing that it will be adopted. That is what it means.
Thus, the members should work on solving the problem of Quebeckers, namely the fiscal imbalance. The Bloc Québécois has never hidden the fact that the amount needed to resolve the fiscal imbalance is $3.9 billion. It is that simple. Any colleague from the other parties can table a private member's bill and ask for resolution of the fiscal imbalance, which is $3.9 billion for Quebec and some $12 billion for all of Canada. They would be helping one another out, they would be helping the citizens of their provinces and, at the same time, would perhaps ease some of the tension that exists between Quebec and the rest of Canada.
Members will have gathered from what I said that the Bloc Québécois will oppose Bill C-279. The reason for that is quite simple: the establishment of a registry for DNA identification or the establishment of indexes do not fall under federal jurisdiction; it is an area of provincial jurisdiction.
We are very respectful of the Constitution of Canada. As members know, Quebec has not signed the new Constitution. The ROC, the rest of Canada, gave itself a Constitution and cannot even abide by it. It is no wonder that Quebec did not sign it: that document was unacceptable to the people of Quebec.
I hope that everyone has noted the Bloc Québécois' desire to clarify its position. The Bloc Québecois is finding increasingly intolerable the introduction of bills having to do with areas of provincial jurisdiction. So, this is a nice, friendly warning to our colleagues and friends from other Canadian provinces: they have to respect provincial jurisdictions in the private members' bills they introduce.
I will repeat to make sure that it is clear. I am not the one saying this, because I am repeating what the analyst from the Library of Parliament said about Bill C-240, which was identical to Bill C-279. The analyst said that Bill C-240 was ultra vires the powers of Parliament as it would deal with a matter of local concern. The same is therefore true of Bill C-279, and that is why we have not requested any specific analysis from the Library of Parliament staff. We already had their analysis on Bill C-240.
So, it will come as no surprise to the hon. member who introduced Bill C-279 that the Bloc Québécois will be voting against that bill. I realize that this may sound persnickety and that the Bloc Québécois may appear to be fussy about this point. But if we want each level of government, both the federal government and the provinces, to have their jurisdictions respected, the first thing to do is to read the Constitution over. It is all set out very clearly in there. It was very clear to the analyst, and I hope it will be very clear as well to my hon. colleagues, that Bill C-279 does not fall under federal jurisdiction.
This brings me to the issue of the federal government's jurisdiction. As we know, some money was spent and more will be spent in the future. We can also see that this Conservative government, guided by its right-wing republican conservative vision, is investing a lot of money in the military and in defence material. Of course we cannot blame the government for doing that, because this area comes under its jurisdiction. The federal government is responsible for looking after the army. I think the Conservative government has clearly understood that, and this is why Canada is investing increasingly more in this area.
The problem is that we do not have debates in this House on the kind of armed forces that we want. When missions are sent to Afghanistan, there is no debate in the House, and the government does not seek the advice of hon. members. For example, when we go to Kenya to represent the Government of Canada and talk about the environment, as is the case now, there is no debate. Yet, the Bloc Québécois asked for a debate. The leader of our party rose in this House and asked the Prime Minister for a true debate, so that we can at last state our position to the Minister of the Environment, who will arrive in Kenya without the Canadian government's position.
This is not the first time the Government of Canada does not have a position. When the Liberals were in power, they did not have one either. The problem is, some might say we were lucky because at least they showed up. It is true that the current Conservative government has often been absent from major international meetings and during international talks.
I see that I have only one minute remaining, so I will wrap things up.
So Canada will show up in Kenya with empty pockets and empty hands because the Canadian government does not have a position and does not want to respect the Kyoto protocol. Obviously, the Conservative government is on the oil company payroll. This probably comes as no surprise to the people who watch and listen to what goes on in this House—they know the Conservative government is under the oil companies' collective thumb.
I doubt this is news to anyone. However, given the serious global warming problem we are facing, it is time to set aside our personal interests, take into account the common good and stand up for the best interests of all Quebeckers and Canadians who want the federal government to have a real agenda to meet the Kyoto protocol targets, rather than pass bills like C-279.