Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Congratulations. I know that when a bill is presented and it is our turn to consider it, we really hope that our colleagues will be in favour of the bill.
You have chosen a problem that is significant in a number of communities in Canada, there is no doubt. I am receptive—and I think that my caucus could be too—to 50% of your bill. The idea that there should be a specific offence of motor vehicle theft is certainly tenable.
But in return, would you be receptive to the idea that there should not be minimum penalties, but maximum penalties? On several occasions, this committee has heard from people who have studied this question that mandatory minimum penalties have no deterrent effect.
The deterrents are the presence of police on the streets, the ability to conduct investigations and the ability to lay charges. You yourself started your presentation by saying that, at the end of the day, few vehicles were recovered and so there were fewer convictions than you would like. We can certainly understand that.
If we support the idea of having a class of offences specifically for the theft of motor vehicles, including cars, would you in turn be open to the idea of maximum, not minimum sentences? My view is that it is always desirable to leave a little judicial discretion to judges.
The Bloc Québécois is not comfortable with the idea of minimum sentences.