Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I want to welcome our witnesses this morning. Both of you have mentioned that Canadians have given us a strong mandate for safe streets and communities. That is correct. But Canadians give every government a strong mandate for safe streets and communities. Indeed, governments have an obligation to protect their citizens, so the question really then becomes how do governments go about doing that?
Even before this legislation was tabled, we had a serious problem with prison overcrowding. Indeed, in some provinces it had reached 200%. Recently the United States Supreme Court said that a threshold of 137% and above that, in prison overcrowding, would lead to cruel and unusual punishment. How do you address this question? Because if we had a serious problem before this legislation, that problem may be exacerbated by the legislation. How will the provinces, on whom this will be off-loaded, be able to deal with this?