Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak today to Bill C-473.
I listened with great interest to all the contributions of the speakers. I thought the Bloc member for Berthier—Maskinongé summed up the bill quite well. He and I were on a U.S.-Canada parliamentary trip to Washington a couple of weeks ago and had occasion to meet with many congress people and senators where we managed to get Canada's message across that we needed changes in some areas.
Tonight I follow my colleague, the member for Sackville—Eastern Shore, who is very passionate about this subject. It is almost impossible to upstage him because he knows the subject so well. I do not think there is any better expert in the House on this whole area than the member. I sure hope he stays here. I read a story the other day that he might entertain the idea of running for mayor in a couple of years,. That would be a big loss and a big disappointment to members on all sides of the House because he adds so much to this chamber.
He did have some serious observations about this particular bill. He has his own bill, Bill C-208, which if he and the member opposite could somehow get together at committee on this issue, we could get the best of two bills, almost a perfect composition. There is a lot of room for compromise on both sides.
I do like the member's suggestion that these medals should not be viewed as currency. If the heirs of the person who earned the medal no longer require the medal, then it should really go to a Canadian museum. The member pointed out to me that the Order of Canada cannot be sold.
There has been some good solid thinking about this. I appreciate the member dealing with the bill in view of the property rights issue. An important part of the bill would make certain that these medals do not leave the country. The worry that we have is that if the medals are sold on eBay and become a commercial asset, that would in some ways defeat the purpose of the bill.
I personally feel that the special tax incentive in the bill has some merit, although I know my colleague from Sackville—Eastern Shore does not agree with that element of it either.