Hon. Keith Martin
Madam Speaker, the hon. member asks a very good question that comes to the root of the challenge that we had in the construction of this particular bill.
I believe I can give the hon. member the assurance he seeks. I completely agree with the concern that the member has. Groups such as various antivivisectionist groups would like to basically prohibit all types of animal research. They will try to push this issue as far as they can and the member is correct.
We have made sure that this is not the case in this bill. We constructed this bill very clearly to prevent exactly the concern he mentioned, which is also our concern.
If I may give the member some level of comfort, which I think is what all of us have to have, the approval of research based groups which are at the sharp edge of the antivivisectionist movement in the world approve of this bill. They feel comfortable with this bill, that it will not be utilized and applied by the courts in such a manner that it will affect their ability to engage in the research that they do for the betterment of not only humans but in the veterinary sciences as well.
We have these other groups that are at the sharp edge of antivivisectionist groups that would like to do exactly what the member mentioned. However, they approve of it. I think that if any groups were to feel uncomfortable at all about any part of this bill, it would be those groups that are involved in the research and those types of activities that are most of concern to the hon. member.
We brought those groups on board. We have given them the opportunity to look very carefully at the amendments. Those amendments have passed mustard with them. As a result, we feel very confident that this particular bill will not be used in the courts by antivivisectionists, as the hon. member mentioned.
Subtopic: Criminal Code