Mr. Speaker, I want to point out that the Bloc Quebecois produced a dissenting report for a good reason. After this cross country tour, as the hon. member said, and after investing tens of thousands of dollars in this study, the Liberals apparently gave the impression, after considering how Quebec treated its young offenders, that they would support an approach that was proposed by Quebec in the sixties and would fully support the demands of the Bloc Quebecois, demands which simply reflected the wishes of all Quebecers.
Instead, at the very last minute, the Liberals preferred to pay lip service to certain principles and make recommendations that were more like campaign promises, in an attempt to satisfy part of the electorate in English Canada. One thing I cannot tolerate is that the government made a concession on the minimum age of young offenders by lowering it to 10 and 11, with the agreement of the attorney general. It is up to the government to set standards and pass legislation that is enforced across Canada. If it does not want to do so, it should get out of this area and hand it over to Quebec, which is what we want, or the other provinces.
However, as long as we have a Constitution and certain rules, the government has an obligation to pass legislation on young offenders that will be enforced uniformly across this country.
By the way, some Liberals told me I was a whiner because I was proposing recommendations that reflected Quebec's historic demands regarding this issue. That is one of the reasons why I decided to produce a minority report. The government would not listen.
As far as age is concerned, I do not think the age should be lowered this way, even with the consent of the attorneys general of the provinces. In Quebec, attorneys general will certainly not agree to lower the age and make 10 and 11 year-olds stand trial. In Western Canada people may think differently, but I think this is unacceptable.
As far as cost sharing is concerned, one of Quebec's demands which has been on the desk of the Minister of Justice for many months and many years, is the $77 million it costs Quebec because we properly enforce the Young Offenders Act. Before the government makes recommendations as it has done in the majority report, I think it should pay what it owes Quebec and write a cheque for $77 million. But we can get back to that during the election campaign.
My third item is the federal government's tendency to intrude in a number of areas where it has no business to be. It is not up to the federal government to tell the provinces what to do with the money it pays them for the administration of justice. This is a provincial matter, and in this case, it is up to Quebec.
I realize that members from English Canada do not like listening to what I have to say, but I say it with all the facts in hand, and I have the satisfaction of having done my duty.