Mr. Speaker, let me first thank Lorne Waldman. I believe it was his evidence and that of others like him that enabled all of us to make the improvements that we were actually able to make to this legislation. I want to publicly thank him and others for making the contributions they did.
On the question of the shortage of applicants, I do not know whether the number 50 means that there is a shortage of applicants with respect to the role of special advocate. Everyone knows that the special advocates have to be in the vicinity of Ottawa or Toronto, mostly for these matters. Everyone that knows the requisites in this particular case, knows that one needs to be experienced in areas of constitutional, immigration and criminal law.
There are very few lawyers in this country who are equally familiar with all those three areas of law. Therefore, I think there could be a shortage of applications for that reason.
Also, I was talking to a very learned Queen's counsel in British Columbia the other day and he told me that in British Columbia they are finding it hard to find senior counsel who can do ad hoc criminal work, prosecutions. That tells me that lawyers are not necessarily going into certain areas of specialization as they ought to, in numbers as they used to.