Madam Speaker, in light of Bill C-30, it is absolutely crucial that we reopen the debate on the importance of privacy protection. The opposition parties understand the need to modernize our legislation; however, Bill C-30 goes too far and directly infringes upon section 8 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which protects us against unreasonable search or seizure. When a minister proposes bills like this, we need to have a debate and I am happy we are talking about this issue here today.
Many civil society stakeholders, privacy commissioners, my colleagues and I wrote letters to the Minister of Public Safety to share our concerns and those of our fellow citizens regarding clause 16 of the previous version of this bill, Bill C-52. The minister had the opportunity to correct his bill. We told him about the problems we saw with it and about our concerns. Did he make any changes? Yes, he made some. We heard the minister say so earlier in his speech; clause 16 reduces the number of identifiers from 11 to 6. That is true, but as my colleague from Surrey North pointed out, the minister also added provisions to the bill in a rather backdoor fashion. Paragraphs 64(1)(q) and 64(1)(r) give the government the power to prescribe and add identifiers to the list. Has the bill really been corrected? No. Only superficial changes have been made. I have a serious problem with this.
When we shared our concerns about this bill, we also spoke about judicial oversight. There was not enough. We had a problem with giving access to Internet users' private information without judicial oversight. Has the government alleviated this concern? I would say no. Yes, the government has put a system in place, but it is an internal audit system. For Canadians who are concerned about the protection of their privacy, this is just a semblance of judicial oversight. It is not enough, and Canadians are not satisfied with these measures.
If the minister had taken the time to read our letters and listen to the concerns of Canadians and privacy commissioners, he could have fixed these mistakes. Instead, he is covering them up by sending the bill to committee. He also accused us of supporting child pornography. We see a minister who had the opportunity to fix his bill and to protect our right to privacy but did not do so.
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms exists for a reason. It must be respected. The protection of privacy exists for a reason. It is set out in section 8 of the charter. It is the House's responsibility to make decisions. And when it does, it must take into account what is written in the charter. It is our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It must be respected, particularly when we are making decisions and laws in this chamber.
When I see bills like Bill C-30 introduced in the House, I wonder whether this government really respects the charter. In fact, this is not the first time that the Conservatives have introduced a bill that goes against the legislation that protects our rights and freedoms. Rather than listening to the opposition and to Canadians who are concerned about their privacy, the Conservatives accused us of supporting child pornography. They accused mothers, fathers, grandparents, privacy commissioners and their former colleague, Stockwell Day, of supporting child pornography.
In a democracy like ours—I know that these days it is feeling less like a democracy than usual—it is unbelievable that a government can accuse its own voters of supporting child pornography because they are against a bill. I thought we were living in a democracy and we had the right to speak out against things and protest.
We are living in a high-tech world. Everyone has a BlackBerry, an iPhone, an iPad, laptops. We carry our cellphones with us. Through this bill, the government is giving itself a tool that can determine our geographic location at all times. The government is telling us that the same information is available in the phone book, but the last time I checked, the phone book did not provide my geographic location at all times. It had my address, my phone number and my name, but not my Internet protocol address or my Internet service provider identification number.
It is a real problem: our minister is telling Canadians that this is the same information that we find in a telephone book, which is absolutely not true. This is information that will allow the government to take away the anonymity of the Internet user. These days, the Internet is used as a discussion forum, a forum where people can discuss their concerns.
I want to thank the House for this discussion. I hope that all hon. members of the House will stand up and support this Liberal opposition motion to protect the privacy of their constituents, those who elected them.