Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise on the debate on Bill C-2, especially after the previous member spoke.
We saw that the amendments provided by the Green Party followed the same basic line of debate it has shown on other bills in this House. If we do not agree with the Green Party members, then we must be wrong. Those Canadians who disagree with the opposition must all be wrong.
Not to shift too far off topic, but we saw that very same approach in a recent debate about the Rouge Park, in my riding. Farmers, who had land expropriated from them by the Liberal government 40 years ago, asked for their land to be protected so that they could farm forever. That is what the people in my community wanted. That is what the farmers wanted. That was what they all asked for. What did the Green Party members want? They did not care what farmers wanted or what the people in my community wanted. They actually wanted to listen to someone else. They wanted to listen to outside influences and those environmentalists who want to throw these farmers off of their land.
That is why I find the comments of the leader of the Green Party so troubling. My word. In this bill, we are asking people to consult with the community before they put something in their community. Imagine that. What did the leader of the Green Party say? It was that consultations are just a way of finding objections. That is all they would do. They would just find objections.
Let me get this straight. We are not supposed to consult, because people might be opposed to what is being forced on them in their community. This is obviously not something we are going to do on this side of the House. I am sure she would agree, and members of the opposition would agree, that if what they are talking about is supported throughout Canada in communities across this country, including in my own small-town community of Stouffville and Markham, then really, there should not be a lot of objections.
Honestly, we have to take in the opinions of the people who actually live, work, play, and pay taxes. We have to take in the opinions of the business owners, the people who create jobs and create economic activity and opportunity. We have to put them in the line of consulting on something like this. That is why we brought forward this legislation, which, of course, respects those aspects that were brought forward by the Supreme Court.
The member said that we had to add a letter to the alphabet. It went from a to z, and then we had to add z.1. Yes, absolutely. It is because we want to make sure that the people who are proposing these sites and the places they are proposing to put these sites meet certain minimum standards.
The member talked about having to provide resumes of the people who would be working there. Of course we are going to want to make sure, as this legislation would, that the people who work in a proposed facility have the ability to do what they say they are going to do. If we are going to bring illicit drugs into small towns, villages, and communities across this country, then I think the people who live in those small towns have the right to know that this is what is coming to their Main Street and that these are the people who would be working there. Do they have the ability to do what they say they can do or what they are being hired to do? Do they have criminal records?
I think it is just common sense that if we are going to bring this type of facility into small towns and communities across this country that we know the people who are sponsoring this and that the people who will be working within the facility have the ability to do what they say they are going to do in a professional manner and can protect the communities in which they apply to do this. I think most Canadians would agree with that.
The member took exception to the fact that the bill would also ask that the proponents seek comments from the local police chief. Far be it from me to suggest it, but obviously the local police chief and the local police know the community. In my town of Stouffville, in York Region, Chief Eric Jolliffe and the local superintendent of No.5 District actually know what is happening in communities.
When a proposal for a development is brought forward in my community, I know it is done by the town. However, I often go to the police and ask what they think about what these people have brought forward in terms of development, safety, and how police, fire, and ambulance would work.
When we talk about bringing controlled substances like heroin into a community, people might want to ask police if it is the right spot to do it. What are the things the community needs to be worried about? I do not know of any Canadians who would suggest otherwise. Actually, I do. Opposition members would, because they are afraid that there might be instances when the community does not agree, local police do not agree, the people who live in the community do not agree, and business owners who hire young people do not agree. Opposition members are afraid there might be objections. In fact, the leader of the Green Party suggested that this is the reason there should be no consultations whatsoever and that Canadians should be completely left out of the process. Clearly, that is not something we are going to do. We are going to involve Canadians in these decisions.
As part of this legislation, we must also provide information on security measures and record keeping. If a community accepts a facility like this, I think it stands to reason that it is going to want to know what security measures will be put in place so the community can be assured that it is safe for the people who live in the community and safe for the people who will use the facility. That is obviously an important part of the process of making sure that communities are involved.
As I said earlier, the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands talked about criminal record checks being too onerous and that it is impossible to find out who is going to be working in a facility. I suggest that if people are going to be hired in a facility like this, it is probably a good idea to get criminal record checks to make sure that the people can work in that facility. That is a common-sense addition. I think most Canadians would agree with that, with the exception of the opposition.
The bill would also allow the minister to put a notice of application on a proposed site. In Ontario, as in all jurisdictions across this country, when someone applies for a liquor licence, a notice goes on the window so that the community knows and can comment. It is common sense. People need to know what is going on in their communities.
Apparently the opposition does not agree that when someone is proposing a heroin injection site, there should be a notice for the community. Imagine the surprise of people in the community when all of a sudden the site opened up. People would ask why they were not told what was going on. Imagine the people who would then try to use this facility in an area where people in the community were not consulted. They would have to face the fact that people might be protesting because they were upset by the process that went on.
Obviously, keeping people informed of the process from start to end is a good idea. Letting municipal politicians, those elected municipally, know what is going on and having the opportunity to comment, I think Canadians would agree, is a good idea.
The bill would allow for inspections. Once a facility like this opened, if it was doing good work, people would want to make sure it continued to do good work. Again, that is a very common-sense addition.
The things that have been brought forward in this bill would strengthen the ability of communities across this country to participate in something like this if that is what they wanted. It would allow them to have a say. It would not push things on communities they did not want.
It has been the hallmark of this government, since we were elected in 2006, to listen to the people who pay our bills. When Canadians send almost 50¢ of every $1 they make to politicians at all levels, and thankfully, under our government, I think tax freedom day is now 28 days earlier than it was before, all they ask for is a say in the things we are doing.
When something like this is going to be put in a community, if it actually helps, if it makes a big difference, it should be the proponents who are prepared to stand by what they are doing. They should be the ones to bring the community onside. It should not be forced on any community.