I only speak on behalf of my colleagues who will perhaps have something to say afterwards. We don't support shutting down this bill. This bill was introduced for a very legitimate reason. It's one that remedies the problem that was faced, particularly in this case. I hope members are not going to vote in solidarity on the other side of this. I appreciate that my colleague, Mr. Bittle, is proposing this. I hope they will consider what we heard.
It was pretty compelling testimony by Shelley Wynn about what happened to her husband. My colleague says that it puts certain Canadians at risk. Well, I know the Canadians who are at risk. They are called victims, victims of crime, the people who become the target of these people who should be detained, but aren't detained.
That is one of the disappointments if this thing does not go forward because I think it's very important, when we study the criminal justice system, to make sure that we are looking after victims of crime. I appreciate that the system has to work on everybody's behalf, but how can we better protect law-abiding Canadians, how can we prevent victimization? This is a step in the right direction. I believe this was well thought out by my colleague, Senator Runciman, as well as by my colleague, MP Michael Cooper. They have thought this thing out, and they are remedying something that is a gap that could be, I believe, very easily filled.
Now people say, “Well, you're going to slow down the system.” Well, I have news for you. If somebody is up on a first offence, very quickly the courts can be informed that the individual has no criminal record and hasn't breached any bail provisions. There is no slowdown at all on that. In the vast majority of cases, that information is before the courts. It's before the justice of the peace, the court, whoever is handling that. There is no increase on this. We're trying to catch those times when it doesn't happen.
Now, are there times when it will be slowed down? Yes, I can believe that. For instance, you get somebody—and we've had examples of these people here—who has had 38 or 52 convictions, and they have continuously breached their bail provisions. I have no doubt that it might take you half an hour just to get all that information before the court. Then you would say, “Well, you slowed down the process.” I know we slowed down the process, but we have made the process safer by making sure that the judge, the justice of the peace, or whoever handles these cases, depending on the province, has that information. So, when people say that in some instances it will slow down, yes, right. If this individual has a long, bad record, I think we can handle it. The courts can handle it. We can slow it down long enough to make sure that everybody has all the information on the individual because what we want to do, ultimately, is better protect the public of this country. We want everybody to have a fair hearing, but if you're one of those individuals who continuously breaks the law or has been charged or has had convictions, it seems to me that that is something that should be before the courts.
I appreciate that trying to get this information 30-40 years ago was very difficult. It was very time consuming, no matter who was before the court. Well, that was the 1980s. This is not the 1980s anymore. We can have this information in seconds, and this information is something that should be before the court because we can better protect the people who need protection in this country.
To that challenge here—that somehow this poor fellow has 30 years of convictions and we tell about all the times he's violated bail—I say tough luck. It's something that should be before the court, and they should know every single word of it. If it takes an extra half an hour to read the individual's record into court, good, because I think we're all better off for that.
I say to my colleagues across the room, “Think about the victims. Think about possible victims. Think about somebody like Shelley Wynn.” I don't think I heard any synopsis of her testimony, but her testimony was very riveting, important, and emotional.
If a law like this had been in place, her husband wouldn't have been killed. This matter was before the court. This is the kind of information you have to have.
I say to my colleagues across, we don't always vote unanimously on all these different things, and I would hope that some of them would have a look at this and say, yes, this makes a lot of sense. This makes sense, this is the age in which we live, and information like this should be before the court, and if it's not before the court, then the whole system can be called into question.
It erodes people's confidence in the criminal justice system when they hear something like this, that this information wasn't before the court or it wasn't considered.
Do you want to have confidence in the criminal justice system? Do you want to better protect Canadians? If you want to stand up for victims, this is a perfect example of what we can do. I'm urging my colleagues around this table to do the right thing and to support this.