Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his comments. I thought some of his suggestions were on the mark, particularly in changing some of the language we use in talking about this serious offence.
He quoted some statistics. I have the same statistics in my pile of papers too. Many Canadians are in favour of the government doing something about this yet the sad part is the numbers are still rising.
In our role in providing leadership it is necessary in using the blunt instrument of legislation to demonstrate that this is not acceptable. It may be that this blunt instrument is a little difficult to understand by such gentle natured people as Canadians. Until families begin to talk about the seriousness of drinking and driving and encouraging their own members not to do that, it is going to be the government against somebody else. It is when Canadians themselves are involved in this fight that we will begin to win it.
I grew up in an era when a few drinks to get you home was a standard thing for many people. It resulted in three members of my high school graduating class being full blown alcoholics by the time they graduated.
I am not getting into the whole drinking problem but this relates to the driving part of it. Once we become insensitive to the drinking, then the driving follows along.
I want to thank the member for his comments and to encourage other members to think of this as a holistic matter in which all of us are involved, not just the government passing a law.
This is probably the blunt instrument that may hold up the sign to say “We intend to take this seriously but we expect Canadians to understand and begin to take this internally into their own lives”.