Mr. Speaker, the motion before us is a very important one. We have discussed this subject matter on a couple of occasions. Bill C-20 brought substantial debate to this place with regard to matters such as artistic merit, public good, exploitation, et cetera.
The essence of the motion is that all defences for the possession of child pornography be eliminated. It is an excellent idea and we should do it. We understand that law enforcement officers and others who are working to resolve or deal with the issue would be authorized to have possession, but it is those who would exploit children through that possession who are the targets.
I am told that a total crackdown on child pornography is happening in other jurisdictions, for example, in the U.K. From the type of responses it is getting, it is sending out a strong message of deterrence and a message that embraces public protection. It is probably the biggest change from what I can see in the Canadian experience. That is why I believe that in itself it is what we should be doing in Canada.
In our justice system sentences available to judges should send a message of deterrence, keeping in mind the balance necessary at least to try to rehabilitate. In this case, with regard to the issues of child pornography and individuals who engage in the manufacture, production and proliferation of child pornography, just as those involved in pedophilia and sexual assaults, the chances for rehabilitation are very small.
Mr. Speaker, I neglected to mention I am going to split my time with the member for Pickering—Ajax—Uxbridge.
If there is very little chance of rehabilitation, then clearly the emphasis has to be put on public protection. I think that is what the member for Wild Rose has been telling this place for years. It is about time we listened to him.
There was a question posed during the debate on Bill C-30, which I think in itself was a very good debate. The question was what possible public good or merit could be found in something that exploits children? How is it that lawyers actually come up with this terminology? How do they think the public would respond when someone is trying to play both sides of the fence rather than taking a position? What ever happened to a proactive legislative system that addressed problems in a proactive way, rather than trying to be all things to all people at all times? It means that we more often fail than we pass the test of whether or not our legislation is effective.