The practice or the habit on this side of the House has been to invite members to vote as they see fit. I have no difficulty supporting this resolution in matters of this kind whether it is a resolution or a private member's bill.
I do not regard reference to other legislation that we have introduced as beside the point. I do not pretend it is enough but I also do not think that the discussion is complete unless we refer to it.
The Young Offenders Act, Bill C-37, allowed for the first time, and it was quite remarkable, victim impact statements to be introduced. I am sure the hon. members would agree with that proposition.
In Bill C-41, section 745 was amended to permit the victims to participate in the hearing. That arose directly out of a meeting I had with Marie King Forrest whose husband was a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer in Saskatchewan who was murdered. The offender was bringing a 745 application and she was not able to take part. As a result of that, I amended Bill C-41 to include a specific provision that would add to section 745 of the code a statement that victims' perspectives must be taken into account when those applications are brought.
In the case of Daviault and the Supreme Court of Canada, where there was self-induced excessive intoxication, there was an allegation of sexual assault. There was a victim in that case. In the name of that case and the name of the principle for which we felt we should stand, we introduced Bill C-72 to say self-induced intoxication should not and cannot be an answer in that circumstance. That involved a victim.
In the DNA bill, Bill C-104, I remember Mr. Manning being on the Hill a year ago and bringing his circumstances as a victim very forcefully to our attention. He and other victims were the beneficiary of that legislation.
I do not agree with the hon. member that the legislative steps that have been taken are separate, because they are very much a part of serving the cause of justice, including the perspective of victims, and I say they very much reflect the commitment of the government to that cause.
Many references the hon. member makes quite correctly to the ways the system falls short in being fair to victims have to do with administration and therefore provincial responsibility. Provinces across the country are having to reduce expenditures because of fiscal restraints. Crown attorneys are being laid off, court staff is being diminished and services are being reduced.
One challenge we will face in living up to the statement of principles adopted eight years ago is to achieve the principles with diminished resources. I emphasize for my friends opposite and for the House that it is a very important part of all this. Whether we have the resources federally and provincially to provide the kind of services that are required will be a challenge. It will mean giving priority to these efforts and reallocating money from other purposes. I believe it is the right thing to do.