Mr. Speaker, as the member knows, the gun registry costs the Canadian taxpayers over a billion dollars and I dare say that this money would have been much better spent enforcing the criminal laws that we have in the country, keeping Canadians safe, putting more police officers on the streets and giving them better tools to do their job.
The Supreme Court of Canada made it very clear that the powers in Bill C-17 are constitutional and protect fundamental rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. For example, the power with respect to investigative hearings has a number of safeguards, including that only a judge of the provincial court or a superior court of criminal jurisdiction can hear a peace officer's application for an investigative hearing and the prior consent of the Attorney General of Canada or solicitor general of a province will be needed before a peace officer can apply for an investigative hearing order. In addition, there will have to be reasonable grounds to believe that a terrorism offence has or will be committed. In addition, the judge will have to be satisfied that reasonable attempts have been made to obtain the information by other means for both future and past terrorism offences.
The nature of these terrorism offences is such that the peace officers often do not know exactly when the terrorism incident will take place, but they have evidence to suggest that people are plotting the terrorism incidents.
On this side of the House we believe we cannot put the safety of the people of Canada at risk waiting for that time when the peace officer is going to say that the bomb is about the explode in a few minutes or an hour from now and then go to the court. We need to be able to act quickly and prevent that from happening to keep people safe in Canada.