Mr. Speaker, it is always a pleasure to rise and address the House. Once again, today, we have in Bill C-93 another progressive piece of legislation that is going to have a very positive outcome at the end of the day, from coast to coast to coast.
I have heard a number of members across the way ask why we are bringing forward this legislation at this time. I can tell people who may be following the debate that, in the last three or three and a half years, we have had a government that has taken very seriously issues such as cannabis, tax breaks, or a wide selection of different areas of concern. We have been introducing legislation from virtually day one, all the way. I would suggest that we could see even more legislation.
Canadians have an expectation that the government, and in fact hopefully the opposition too, will recognize that every day is a good day to be sitting, and when we are sitting, we should be doing work on behalf of all Canadians. This is just another good day. We are debating legislation that ultimately will have a very positive impact on Canadians.
The question I just posed to the member opposite, the Conservative shadow minister, is something that I think Canadians are very much interested in. The New Democrats very clearly want expungement. Let us make this so that it really makes sense to our constituents.
Imagine, Mr. Speaker, any one of our constituents living in Canada who want to go down to the States today. If they were to go to the States and the government said they could have an expungement, as opposed to a pardon, what we would be telling our constituents is that it is as if the act never took place. They can go across the border and if the issue is ever posed to them, they could say it never took place. They do not have to say anything about it.
That would be a huge mistake, I would suggest, because they could find themselves in a position where an immigration or customs officer in the U.S. could make accusations of misrepresentation or possibly even accusations of lying. If they attempt to do that, they could be in a great deal of trouble, especially if they want to enter the States that day or in the future.
That is just one example that I think has to be talked about of why an expungement is not necessarily what the NDP is trying to portray. A pardon does the job that is being requested. It allows our constituents to cross the border in a legitimate fashion.
There have been consultations between border controls in both nations. Most importantly, we know that we can actually implement this policy for those individuals. We are talking about providing a pardon for an estimated 250,000 Canadians. That is a quarter of a million Canadians in all regions of our country who would now be eligible to receive this pardon. Some members asked why we expect only 10,000 Canadians to actually go through the process. We have confidence in our civil servants and believe these are the numbers that we have been told. If in fact they are too high or too low, the government can adjust, much like I can adjust to my time having expired.
I will continue my speech at the end of question period.