November 9, 2006 (39th Parliament, 1st Session)


Mike Wallace


Mr. Mike Wallace (Burlington, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity and I want to thank everybody on all sides of the House who have spoken to my private member's bill. I do not necessarily agree with everybody, but I do appreciate the effort everyone has put into it.
It has been said that there are nearly 100,000 missing persons in Canada, 6,000 missing person cases currently unresolved and about 450 added every year. The data bank will help resolve the issues for many families.
I have heard tonight, and in our previous debate, discussions about jurisdiction, privacy and the definition of a missing person. I assure the House that is why we need to get the bill to committee. We have a number of things we would like to bring forward and discuss. By sending it to committee, that action can take place. I appreciate the words I have heard from all sides of the House in terms of support to get bill to committee so we can properly debate this item.
Since the first hour of debate, a few things have gone on which I want to share with the House about a meeting of the FPT justice ministers in October, although my friend from Etobicoke North mentioned November. This bill and the missing persons piece was part of that conversation. They worked on a number of issues, including the privacy issue and jurisdictional issue as has been presented by the Bloc. More work still needs to be done and that can be done at committee. I look forward to presenting that and making it happen.
All parties basically have said that they are in favour of moving this forward, other than the Bloc. It is not on its merit as a bill, but on its merit on jurisdiction. I just want to quote from Bloc member who spoke in the first hour, the member for Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, who said, “I think this is an excellent idea and it should be implemented”. The idea is good.
I have heard from the Liberals who also believe it is a great idea. They admit that they were working on it before, and I appreciate all the work they have done on this. It is helping me make it happen at this point.
Staff, the Privacy Commissioner's office, the data bank advisory committee, justice and the public safety department have also worked on it. I have to give credit where credit is due. The member for Saanich—Gulf Islands, the Minister of Natural Resources, really worked on this project with Ms. Judy Peterson. She has done a fabulous job to ensure that we are aware of the issues and understand them and can we move ahead to try to rectify those as quickly as possible.
In the end, if we can make it happen, which I know we can, the bill will help bring closure to families with missing persons. It will help law enforcement professionals to do a better job of catching criminals. It will reflect Canada's commitment to be a leader in DNA. We are a leader in the use of DNA now. There is no reason why we cannot continue to create an example for other communities, other countries, as a leader in this area.
I want to thank my hon. colleagues for all their words. I look forward to the debate at committee. I look forward to providing the information and the feedback on all the concerns that they had with the bill. I look forward to support from the departments that have the information and can supply that for me. I look forward to seeing the bill become law some day.

Topic:   Private Members' Business
Subtopic:   DNA Identification Act
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