moved for leave to introduce Bill C-218, an act to amend the Criminal Code and the Young Offenders Act (capital punishment).
Mr. Speaker, the purpose of the bill is to impose the death penalty on adults convicted of first degree murder. Canadians are demanding fundamental changes to our criminal justice system, and almost 70 per cent have called for the reinstatement of capital punishment.
The bill provides additional safeguards against miscarriages of justice by allowing questions of both fact and law to be considered throughout the appeals process. Evidence for whether capital punishment is a deterrent for other murderers is not conclusive, but at least criminals guilty of premeditated first degree murder will not be back on the streets to kill again.
Too many Canadians have died at the hands of violent criminals who show no remorse for the victims of their crimes. These people will never be rehabilitated, no matter how long they stay in prison.
The bill also addresses the growing public concern over light sentences for violent young offenders. It calls for a range of stiffer minimum penalties for youth convicted of first degree murder.
I recommend that the government allow a free vote on the bill and encourage all members to seek actively the views of their constituents on this important issue.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed.)