Mr. Speaker, my intervention in this debate today is going to be relatively short but I hope important.
I would like to caution the government, the minister, the committee about the danger of some of the aspects of this particular bill. I want to use a specific example which came to mind when I was listening to the debates.
I was thinking of little Randy. Randy was a young boy about two years old who lived for a while with a very close member of our family as a foster child. In order to reunite him with his sister, he and his sister were adopted by a couple. Imagine how shocked we were when we heard that Randy and his sister and their adoptive mother had been murdered. It really hurt our hearts. I can hardly speak of it now without the emotion of that occasion returning.
One of the things in this bill is the government proposal to get into the mind of the perpetrator of the crime to find out what motivated him. We really do not know what motivated the person who did that evil deed.
I am greatly offended when I stop to contemplate that someone would venture to say that a person took the life of another person simply because he had a different coloured skin, simply because he had a different religious background, simply because he had a different sexual orientation. If that could be proven and that person is now subject to a more harsh sentence than the person who took the lives of Randy, his sister and his mother, leaving that husband and father bereaved in that way, I am deeply offended.
I believe this government makes a colossal error by starting to say that we are going to base sentencing on what we think was in the mind of the person.
I would like to also say something with respect to sexual orientation. The hon. member has talked about that. He has added to what other people have said imputing somehow to the members of the Reform Party an improper motivation, which I think is against the rules of the House in any case. He has said that we somehow hate these people because we are talking about these ideas.
Again, I have some level of resentment being told that I cannot openly and honestly debate an issue without getting into
name calling. That is wrong. I believe we ought to have total freedom of speech in this place particularly if we are going to be able to debate and to bring in laws which are absolutely the best for the future of this country and for its citizens.
I do not know how to communicate to the member and to all the members of that community that we do not hate them. A friend of mine was of that particular orientation. His funeral was this year. The hon. member can say that I hate homosexuals and he is totally wrong. In the case of this friend of mine who died this year of AIDS I know and every thinking person in Canada knows that if he would have behaved sexually he would not have had that disease.
I would like to promote very simply that what we need to do in this country is promote sexual fidelity. We need to promote a lifestyle which is healthy, right and good. In no way should we be promoting a lifestyle which has such dangers, even according to what the Minister of Health has said in this House.
I would like to urge all of the members of this community to recognize that we are trying to do what is right, we are trying to do what is good. To legitimize the homosexual lifestyle in this way is a wrong direction.
Further to that, it is again misguided. I remember when I was a young man. Members should all recognize looking at me sideways now that I have a propensity for a little wider girth than others. I have had that all my life. I was some 180 pounds when I was in grade 8. I remember coming into the big city school as a farm kid from Saskatchewan. One day some of the mean city kids beat me up. The best I know the reason was that they were taunting me for being fat and then they proceeded to beat me up. It was not a happy experience. It was many years ago and I still remember it. It was a traumatic event.
By the same token, I do not believe that any citizen in this country for any reason whatsoever should be subject to being beaten up. It is my understanding that there are laws in place right now which would provide for punishment for people who do things like that. I submit to the different people who are classified specifically in this Bill C-41 proposal that they are already included. If you are beaten up the person who did it should be found and punished in a substantial way so that there is a deterrent to this type of thing.
I think we should simply say, as the Reform Party always says, a good country, our nation is going to be strong if we can come to the place where we treat our citizens equally without regard to how they are classified into subgroups, without regard to what race they belong to, without regard to whether they are male or female, without regard to any of these other classifications.
I implore, I beg, I plead for the minister and the committee to think very carefully of the implications that are being included in the proposal that is being given here.