Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have this opportunity to speak on Bill C-37 regarding the amendments that are before the House today.
As members are aware undoubtedly, numerous motions were passed by the Standing Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs following very lengthy testimony on Bill C-37. We had before the committee approximately 40 witnesses.
The government today has tabled further motions, eight to be exact, to which I would like to speak. Seven of these motions involve technical improvements to the bill and one addresses a more substantive issue.
These suggestions have arisen as a result of further review of the bill and from recent consultations with the provinces, the territories and youth justice professionals.
The Minister of Justice recently met with his counterparts, provincial and territorial, in Victoria, B.C. The provinces, as members know, administer large aspects of the Young Offenders Act. They requested changes that would be in their interests primarily in the administration of this act. We were most willing to comply because we want the act to work as well as it possibly can.
Motion No. 1 serves to clarify which provisions of the code will apply dealing with the preliminary inquiries where a youth is charged with murder and the matter is going to be dealt with in youth court.
The existing language of Bill C-37 speaks to proceedings being regulated by the provisions of the Criminal Code relating to juries and trials of indictable offences. The revised language is specific as to the relevant provisions of preliminary inquiries as well as the initiation and conduct of jury trials.