Mr. Barry Devolin (Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, CPC)
Madam Speaker, I listened carefully to the hon. member's presentation. Members in my party are supportive of this bill. However, we think there are a couple of important amendments that need to be added to the bill.
I heard a reference to hunting and fishing organizations that may not be supportive of the bill. Why are they not supporting the bill when so many other organizations are? I had the opportunity to meet with members of the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters last week. They have some concerns with the bill. I would not say that the federation embraces the bill. I think it would be fair to say that the federation is prepared to live with the bill if there were a couple of important amendments.
There is a concern as to what happens when Parliament passes a law. Members of Parliament state that this is what we are trying to do and this is the balance we are trying to strike. The reality is that at the end of the day it is the courts that will decide in terms of what is or is not prohibited by that act.
It is widely known that animal rights activists have stated quite categorically that it is their intention to push for amendments as far as they are possibly able to do so. That is actually the root of the discomfort for many people with this bill.
What comfort would the parliamentary secretary offer to an organization such as the OFAH in terms of the courts not interpreting this in a way that he does not intend and that does actually infringe on activities that are considered very mainstream?
Subtopic: Criminal Code