Madam Speaker, it was with interest that I listened to the discussion and to the gentleman on the opposite side when he gave us details of what alcohol cost Canadians each year. It would seem to me that if we threw the stuff away we would get our deficit in order in a short period of time.
I do not doubt the authenticity of the statistics at all. I believe they are true.
What bothers me more than anything else in listening to the debate are the words “we must use compassion”. I am a compassionate person but I have had experiences in my life of picking up dead children at the scene of an accident, of going to homes of teenagers who have been killed. It is very difficult to move toward compassion when you see the person who caused the crime, who caused the death, go to the courts and within no time at all be out on the street with a minimum fine and a minimum restriction.
What bothers me is listening to a teenager who has been given an alcohol charge saying “I wonder who the judge will be. I would sure like to get that one because he is not as hard”. It reminds me of the cowboys lining up to draw a horse. They want to get an easy horse because an easy horse is easier to ride.
We must be more conscious of what we are dealing with here. The people who brought this to our attention came as a lobby group. They did not come asking the government for money, as most lobby groups do. They did not come asking for anything but that we take an honest look at this national disgrace. They called it a national tragedy. It is a disgrace and Canadians can no longer allow it to go on.
When you ask people what they think of our courts, our courts are going down this way every day because of the decisions being handed out. On my way driving in to the House of Commons I heard a report about a man who had been bludgeoned to death. The police picked up the perpetrator's trail, followed the blood trail to a house and arrested him. However, it has been thrown out of court because the proper procedure for the search was not followed. That sort of decision is an example of the decisions which are ripping the guts out of Canadians. The decisions brought down in alcohol related incidents are doing exactly the same thing.
Abraham Lincoln said that alcohol has many defenders, but nobody has ever come up with a defence.
When this motion goes to committee we must listen to what our constituents are saying. Do not worry about the legal part of it, first of all we should listen to what our constituents are saying. They will support the resolution which is before us with an overwhelming majority and with a great deal of enthusiasm.
It is fine to say that an accident happened and that it really was not the driver's fault because he was not in control of himself. He was in control of himself when he started to drink. When he started to drink he was cognizant of the fact that he could cause harm to himself and other people. I do not think for one moment that Canadians are going to continue to listen to our courts using that as an excuse, permitting those who perpetrate a crime to walk away free.
I was driving in Saskatchewan the other day when the news reported that two young ladies had been shot in a service station at night. I used to work in that area. Then the names were reported and it shocked me. The one person involved with that double murder is now walking the streets of Saskatchewan. The people of that town are livid because of the decision of the court.
The court is saying that people were not really responsible. They must have been responsible when they started drinking. They must be responsible for the deeds which they have done.
I hope when we go to committee we do not let bleeding hearts take over and not honour the commitment of this motion. I hope we do not put anything in the way of the Canadian public receiving justice when it comes to this very serious topic.
I know very well from my experience that we need a victims' bill of rights. Everybody seems to have rights nowadays. What about victims' rights? Why are we so afraid of victims' rights? Why are we so afraid of the mother who has lost a three-year-old child? Does she not have any rights?
We know more than four people are killed needlessly every day. Let us suppose that one MP is killed every day for the next 300 days. Just think about it. Are we more important than our constituents? Not one bit.
I know this much. If four of us were killed in a traffic accident, if we were clobbered by a drunk driver, and the next week if four more of us were killed, we would be very quick in this House to come up with something which is a lot stronger and a lot more punishing than what the MADD organization is proposing.
We should not place ourselves above our constituents. Sometimes I think we do. My constituents are important to me. I know what they are thinking about this. Every newspaper in my constituency carried my article in support of MADD. I received very good reports from that article.
They want something more than what we have at present. If we come out of committee with no changes and with nothing more than what we have at the present time we have failed abysmally. We have to show the Canadian public now that we in the House are serious. We are the highest court in the land. We make the decisions and the judiciary carry them out.
I am not saying we should not allow a judge leniency. I am saying that we have to make the message clear to the Canadian people. The message we are giving right now is not a very good one. Let give all the emphasis possible as legislators and bring some credit back to the House. We will gain respect quickly if the motion goes forward and we do something more than what I fear may happen.
I will be supporting the motion and I wish it all the best in the final result.