That's a really broad question, but a really important question. I'm very much looking forward to ensuring that we, and I, take a very comprehensive, very broad interpretation of the Prime Minister's mandate to me, in terms of looking at and doing an overall review of the criminal justice system, including sentencing reform, and in doing so, recognizing that we need to identify measurables or signals that we are making progress. One of those signals, and this is further identified in my mandate letter from the Prime Minister, is to look at the overrepresentation of indigenous persons or other marginalized persons who have been discriminated against for many reasons that deal with higher level or upstream societal realities, whether that be poverty, marginalization, lack of housing, etc. It's also to look to having a review of the criminal justice system that addresses those social concerns so we do not have a justice system that is a catch-all for our social ills, so to speak.
In terms of individuals who suffer discrimination based on their gender identity or their gender expression, or individuals who are in the justice system because they have a mental illness or addiction, or that they are indigenous, we need to be very mindful that the criminal justice system disproportionately impacts these individuals. We have to and are committed to doing better to address these broader societal issues, in terms of looking at the criminal justice system broadly, and ensuring that when individuals find themselves in the justice system, we create and provide off-ramps for them, and also have preventive measures.
I guess in terms of discrimination generally, and the recognition that we want to continue to live in a fair and just society, I consider it the most essential part of my mandate as the Minister of Justice.
Having come from a population that has been discriminated against historically and to a certain degree is still discriminated against, I think the most important thing I can do in my role as Minister of Justice is to recognize and acknowledge where discrimination exists, and do my part to build consensus among parliamentarians and raise awareness among Canadians that it is not acceptable. Our society would be the better for it when we do as much as we can to eliminate that discrimination wherever it exists.