Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak of a serious concern in the minds of many Canadians, namely the often inadequate protection of society from some of the criminals who fall within the terms of the Young Offenders Act.
Under the present legislation these individuals may commit serious violent crimes and subsequently not be profoundly inconvenienced by the response of the criminal justice system.
The Young Offenders Act needs to be revisited in the light of 10 years of experience and the results thereof which are often not laudable when dealing with crimes of a violent nature.
Later today I will be presenting a petition which thousands of Canadians have signed throwing their support behind the Pinard and Racine families in their crusade to have youths convicted of serious crimes severely punished and kept in custody longer than they are at present.
The Pinard family lost its eldest daughter, Carrie, to senseless violence on August 10, 1992 in a Toronto apartment building. A companion, Cheryl Racine, was scarred for life both physically and mentally. This tragedy is an example of our inability to eradicate the use of guns in our society and to control violent behaviour in general, especially among our youth. We have yet to find the balance between protecting our society and helping our troubled youth. At present neither benefits.