The bill has a couple of important amendments which I would like to read into the record. Clause 6 reads:
The Airworthiness Investigative Authority shall make available any on-board recording obtained in the course of an investigation of a military-civilian occurrence
Clause 6(a) reads:
to a coroner who requests access to it for the purpose of an investigation that the coroner is conducting;
Clause 6(b) reads:
to any person carrying out a coordinated investigation under section 18 of the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act; or
Clause 6(c) reads:
to a board of inquiry convened under section 45 of the National Defence Act by the Minister, if he or she requests that the recording be made available, the occurrence did not take place in or over Canada and it involved an aircraft operated by the Canadian Forces.
Some implications still have to be reviewed and discussed and one relates to whether or not the addition gives more power to request flight recording if an accident happens on non-Canadian soil.
The proposed legislation would provide Transport Canada with the required tools to maintain and enhance the safety of the Canadian aviation system.
I think it is extremely important for Canadians to know that the Government of Canada in the last Parliament, over a two or three year period, spent an enormous amount of time consulting thoroughly with all the stakeholder groups. This is an extremely important piece of legislation and, quite frankly, I am pleased that the current government saw fit to introduce and reintroduce what was Bill C-62 into this Parliament because it is the right thing to do.
However to suggest somehow that the Conservatives did the work and they somehow put this bill together is absolutely incorrect. It is also incorrect with regard to Bill C-5. Bill C-5 was a reintroduction of the last government's bill to create the Public Health Agency of Canada.
I hope the President of the Treasury Board will rise on questions, but with regard to Bill C-2, which he sponsored, there are amendments to the whistleblower act. The whistleblower act was Bill C-11 in the last Parliament. It passed at all stages, had the unanimous consent of all parties and received royal assent but the present government has not proclaimed it. It is the law in Canada but it is not in force. The reason being is that the government wants to take credit for that as well. There is a little bit of a pattern here.
The changes put forward in Bill C-6 reflect new strategies being implemented to regulate aviation safety, including an increase in penalties that may be imposed under the act. I think the parliamentary secretary did a very good job in outlining that section.
The key amendments also include the voluntary, non-punitive reporting programs which would allow individuals and operators to confidentially report on a voluntary basis certain regulatory violations. This is an extremely important issue. I am sure that as we get into the speeches from other members that they will be able to amplify on one of these important provisions. It took an awful long time to develop the provisions of this bill which would meet the needs of Canadian aeronautic safety.
These changes are essential to advancing aviation safety, as we all recognize. The Liberals will support this bill. It was our bill, but that does not matter. It is not a partisan bill. It is a public safety bill, aeronautics safety, amendments for public safety. It is the right thing to do and I hope we have the support of all members.
There may be some modifications or amendments and that is appropriate. This is at second reading. We will have an opportunity to go to committee and maybe have further consultations with the various stakeholders to see if there is anything else that may have come up in the interim since the consultations ended.
The reason we are here is to make good laws and wise decisions, and part of that is to have debate and informed debate, not to somehow suggest that someone has good ideas and someone else does not. That is not the case. It just happens to be a bill that was in process in the Parliament of Canada. It is the right thing to do to have brought it back and I thank the government for bringing this bill back to the floor of Parliament so that we can deal with this important public safety issue.
The introduction of the amendments in the Aeronautics Act is a culmination of these extensive consultations. I hope the Minister of Transport will ensure that we have the necessary consultations or final consultations through the committee process and that they are open to any amendments that may come forward to further enhance and improve the bill.
The Canadian Aviation Regulatory Advisory Council's primary objective is to assess and recommend potential regulatory changes through cooperative rule making activities concerning Transport Canada's civil aviation regulatory mandate.
We are quite happy that this bill has been brought forward. We want to continue to participate as much as necessary to ensure that the bill is as good as it possibly can be. I am sure the government will recognize that it was the work of parliamentarians not just in this Parliament but in the past Parliament as well and regardless of party, there should be no shame in saying that we did good work in the last Parliament.