moved for leave to introduce Bill C-354, an act to amend the Criminal Code and the Young Offenders Act (capital punishment).
Mr. Speaker, first I would like to thank the hon. member for Yorkton-Melville for seconding my bill.
On June 21, 1994 I introduced Bill C-265. On March 4, 1996 I introduced Bill C-218 and on May 14 it was granted just one hour of debate. Today I will try yet again.
The government continues to ignore the opinion of the majority of Canadians on the issue of capital punishment for first degree murder. It refuses to hold a binding national referendum to let the people decide.
This bill, were it to come to a true free vote, would be the next best thing if MPs were allowed to vote the view of their constituents, rather than their conscience or their party's position.
In addition to reinstating the death penalty for adults convicted of first degree murder, the bill also imposes a range of stiffer minimum sentences for youths convicted of first degree murder. Too many Canadians have died at the hands of violent criminals who exhibit no remorse for their horrendous crimes. Those individuals will never be rehabilitated no matter how long they remain in prison. In my opinion, breathing is too good for the likes of Clifford Olson and Paul Bernardo.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed.)