Mr. Speaker, the member has asked if the government will do the right thing and the answer is absolutely yes. The government will do the right thing. The government will make changes so Canadians are not subject to fines and jail time because they do not want to tell the government how many bedrooms they have in their house or how much yard work they did last week. We think that is wrong. We made changes in instituting the new national household survey that changed this. I agree with the hon. member. The government will do the right thing and make those changes.
There is a lot to disagree with in terms of the hon. member's statement. The hon. member talked about one complaint from Richmond Hill. That is interesting. I have a letter from the member of Parliament for Richmond Hill who talks about receiving a few letters of complaint from constituents.
They are primarily concerned with the great detail of personal information they are required to fill out and therefore a potential invasion of privacy.
The hon. member talked about one person who complained. The member of Parliament for Richmond Hill, that member's Liberal colleague, goes on to say “I share this constituent's concern”.
Maybe that one complaint that the member is talking about is her own colleague's complaint. It looks like there are more in his riding. That is why he wrote the letter, but she may want to take that up with the hon. Liberal member for Richmond Hill who is concerned about the great detail of personal information his constituents are required to fill out.
In regard to the committee hearings, I may be wrong but I do not believe the hon. member is a part of the committee. I do not remember seeing her there. She has her facts wrong as well. Almost half of the witnesses who were before committee were in favour of the move the government was making. They may not have received as much coverage. Certainly Liberal members of committee did not listen too closely to what they had to say. They were not concerned with that. They moved a private member's bill to reinstitute a system of fines for people who did not want to share information regarding their religion or how many bedrooms they had in their house.
We did hear from witnesses who thought the government's move was the right move. We heard from Darrell Bricker, who is a statistician. He said that he was confident a voluntary system could gather the same quality of information.
Speaking to what the Liberals have proposed, the Liberal member for St. Paul's has proposed a system that would institute a fine of up to $500 for any Canadian who does not want to tell the government what his or her religion is.
The Conservative position, with a new national household survey, is to treat Canadians like adults. We still have the census where we require Canadians to fill out information on where they live, how many people live in the household, their gender, their marital status, those kinds of things, basic demographic information that most Canadians would acquaint with a census. We still have that mandatory census.
What was the long form, we are calling the national household survey. It asks questions like how many bedrooms in the house, how much housework someone did, how much yard work he or she did last week, how much time was spent with his or her kids, his or her religion. We are not going to threaten Canadians who do not want to answer these questions with fines and jail time.
Our positions are clearly different. The Liberal Party talks about the fact that most of the people who are unlikely to answer the survey come from vulnerable groups. We on this side of the House think it would be inappropriate for us to threaten vulnerable Canadians, such as a single mother living near the poverty line. We do not think we should tell her that if she does not answer a question—