Mr. Speaker, I have been moved to say a few words in the last two and a half minutes of debate.
I too have been a principal, a teacher and a superintendent. I taught both elementary and secondary school. I find that the characterization that my colleagues from Okanagan-Similkameen-Merritt and Crowfoot have put on young people in the last hour is totally without foundation with respect to the majority of those young people.
I found them almost completely and totally honest, ready to learn, ready to admit, ready to be compassionate people. I also met some who, because of upbringing or lack of love in their own life, perhaps nutrition, perhaps the experiences they had suffered which were not of their own doing, were confused and, hence, reacted violently sometimes to the due discipline which we tried to bring out. However, to suggest that we are somehow going to cure this problem by punishing them even more severely totally escapes me.
My colleague from Windsor-St. Clair used the word inconsistent. I find it most inconsistent. My colleague from Okanagan-Similkameen-Merritt mentioned a meeting in a church, which came up with the suggestion, it seemed to me, that we should ignore the teachings of Christ, we should ignore our forgiveness of sins, we should ignore allowing the little children to come unto us, we should ignore doing unto others and asking us to forgive our trespasses by making perfectly sure we made it clear that we branded everybody under 12 who committed a violent, sexual or otherwise untoward crime for the rest of their lives.
We had enough of that this week when we saw an eminent Canadian damned for something he did at 19, like wearing a swastika. If we are going to continue to run our country, our government or make our laws on the basis of what happened 50 years ago, 100 years ago or 1,000 years ago, we are never going to reach the promised land.