Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his presentation today and for indicating that he will support this motion.
He asked if we could be doing more other than making penalties stronger. The fact is that we do quite a bit of educational work in schools and in the media. Some very effective advertising is being run on a constant basis. In particular as we approach the heaviest drinking season of the year, the ads will pick up considerably in an attempt to educate people to not drink and drive.
In spite of all we are doing now, the number of impaired drivers is still rising. The number of accidents and deaths is still rising.
What we are saying in the motion is that to complement what is being done in the education area, we have to consider the effect that stronger deterrents will have. As I stated earlier, if ever there was a case for deterrence, impaired driving is the case. Surveys have shown that the reason some people stop drinking and driving is because they fear being stopped by the police and being charged.
The reason some people continue to drink and drive is because they do not fear the charges. The charges are too light. They have no fear of having licence suspensions because they will drive anyway and a strong deterrent does not exist when they are picked up for driving under suspension.
Deterrence has a huge role to play. If we are going to examine the Criminal Code we must be prepared to examine the effect increased deterrence will have, as well as continuing on with the educational side of it and the treatment side of it.
I am a big advocate of mandatory treatment. When someone is imprisoned for a substance abuse problem whether it be alcohol or drugs, the judge must have the authority to impose mandatory treatment.
I hope I have answered my colleague's questions.