Mr. Speaker, I am so glad the member for the Bloc explained his principles, his good sense, his logic and his understanding of the problem. The problem is that there is no problem. He just told us that in the Quebec general election a grand total of four people showed up wearing veils and they were dealt with under the existing law. Where is the problem?
He says that we are going to correct the situation. What situation? There is no situation.
The problem is that we are being asked to pass a law that is entirely unnecessary. It makes no sense. It was not a problem during the Ontario general election, which has exactly the same rules. It was not a problem during the Quebec general election nor during the Quebec byelections. We do not have a problem.
We have a method of dealing with it. We ask for pieces of identification, which do not need to be photo ID. We ask, in case of doubt, that people take an oath that they are who they are and they will suffer the penalties if they are not who they are supposed to be. We are not here to pass unnecessary legislation where there is no problem.
Worse than that, we are not here to pass coded legislation, legislation that singles out only one group. People often use the phrase “the veiled voting bill” as opposed to the visual identification bill or whatever other Orwellian phrase we are currently using.
It is singling out a specific group of people, Muslim women, who are not part of a problem, who have not asked for this and who are now being asked to say that even though they did not ask for it, they will go along because they want to go along. Why should any group of innocent people in Canadian society who are being singled out for a non-problem be asked to swallow themselves whole simply to get along? What we want is for everyone to participate in society as full members, certainly for newcomers, including Muslim women, veiled or unveiled.
Meanwhile, there are real problems. One real problem is being addressed by Bill C-18, which is leaving a million people off the voters lists. That strikes me as a bit of a problem and yet we are investing all of this energy in a non-problem that has the sideswiping effect for a group of innocent women in this country.
This is a totally ridiculous bill and it is, of course, completely illogical. People can vote by a postal vote and there is no problem at all. People can vote stark naked. They can vote with a blanket over their heads. They can vote under water blowing bubbles as long as they do not get water on the paper. They can do all of that and there is no connection with visual identification. We cannot insist that every Canadian needs to have photo ID because there is no photo ID that all Canadians are required to have.
By the way, Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Don Valley East, who has much to say on this point.