That is probably the best question ever, especially for me.
I wanted to speak more about the amendments that we presented.
We often feel that the government opposite rejects outright the amendments that we put forward and believes we propose amendments just for fun. That is not at all the case. We take our role as legislators seriously.
I am still wondering why the government rejected these amendments given its philosophy and its basic principles with respect to Bill C-36. In one of our first amendments, I made suggestions about the application of the Criminal Records Act and the criminal records of individuals—the same people the government called victims—convicted of offences for which they will no longer be prosecuted but exempted. Why would the government not suspend their criminal records?
I also do not understand why the government refused an amendment to make an addition to the preamble. Although we often say that the preambles are not the law, they convey the spirit of the law. Our suggestion seemed to be in keeping with the government's comments.
We suggested that the following be added to the preamble:
Whereas the Supreme Court of Canada decided in Attorney General of Canada v. Bedford that certain provisions of the Criminal Code have a grossly disproportionate effect on persons who engage in prostitution by putting their health and safety at risk and making them more vulnerable to violence;
That was the whole point of the Bedford decision. We thought it was important to highlight that and once again underscore how important it is to look at issues such as poverty, housing, health care needs and other socio-economic problems affecting women who are in the sex trade because they lack other options.
These amendments were not dangerous. They reflected exactly what we heard from witnesses, who testified because the government asked them to.
That is where it becomes clear that Bill C-36 is, sadly, part of the Conservatives' ideology. It does not address human trafficking. Frankly, it brings a proverbial sledgehammer down on those who are already vulnerable.