Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his question. I hope that he and I both enjoy our lives after our time serving here in Parliament. I am sure we will.
I agree with my colleague. The bill could indeed speed up the process. As a lawyer, there were times when I had to wait all morning in a courtroom because of various procedures that unnecessarily had to be done in person. Some of these procedures could easily have been done remotely, virtually or in writing.
These days, the courts are constantly working to improve the flow of the legal system. I think the proposals in Bill S-4 are a step in that direction. As I said earlier, people are travelling unnecessarily. When we know that a hearing postponement is going to be requested in a case and that the lawyers all agree on this request for postponement, is it really necessary for everyone to travel there, to clog up the court and to take up five, 10 or 15 minutes of the court's time just to hear everyone tell the judge that they all agree?
I think this could all be done remotely and efficiently as long as everyone agrees. If a litigant is at home and cannot follow the proceedings in an efficient and intelligible way, then that would be counterproductive and would create unwanted frustration.
Yes, remote proceedings, like all the provisions set out in Bill S-4, will be a useful tool if used with the consent of the parties and with discernment.