Mr. Speaker, the hon. member who just spoke a minute ago asked where the Liberals were during the last three or four years. I would just remind him that in the last three or four years we were not in government. In the last three or four years we did not have Rahim Jaffergate. In the last three or four years nothing like this occurred so that we could bring in this motion, for example, or this suggestion.
Legislation develops as our country changes and society changes. Things happen and we address them. If there is higher crime, we bring in legislation to address it. I am puzzled today because I know the Conservative government introduced certain pieces of legislation to address crime and justice issues. I and my party thought they were good pieces of legislation to help our country and protect our society and we supported them.
I want to read into the record the motion from my Liberal colleague from St. John's South—Mount Pearl, which reads:
That, given the apparent loophole--
And the key word here is “loophole”. We just simply discovered that there is a loophole, something that we did not know two, three or four years ago.
--in the Lobbying Act which excludes Parliamentary Secretaries from the list of “designated public officer holders”, the House calls on the government to take all necessary steps to immediately close this loophole and thus require Parliamentary Secretaries to comply fully with the Lobbying Act, in the same manner as Ministers are currently required to do.
There was a friendly amendment from my Liberal colleague from Beauséjour. He spoke in question period and clearly outlined that when anybody approaches any minister or any parliamentary secretary with a proposal, that it is a violation of the act. The Conservatives' justification is that they were asking but they did not receive money.
I have always believed that Canadians are rather smart people and they will be able to read through this. While they were checking around to see what moneys were available, they submitted their proposals and they are saying that they did not receive any money. That is because the proposal, supposedly, so far, has not been accepted. They justified it that way.
What would have happened if the proposal, hypothetically, moved forward? What would have happened if one of the many proposals that were put forward by Mr. Rahim Jaffer was accepted? Then they would say, “Put the brakes on. Let me go register and then I will come back”.
Canadians will not buy that and they do not buy that. If the Conservatives believe they represent the people, they should be checking with their constituents. Canadians are not buying that. As I said earlier today, it is like when people go to rob a bank and there is no money in the vault, would the cops come in and say to the robbers that because there was no money they can leave?
We talk about premeditated activities. Premeditated murder is an example. If somebody is charged with premeditated murder, what does that mean? That means that somebody is making an attempt to do it. They did not murder the guy so that is okay, they can get off because they did not murder him.