Madam Speaker, I congratulate the member for Waterloo—Wellington. I have been parliamentary secretary for a little over two years and I have never had to replace the minister in the late show as often as I have in the past session. Both times have been because of the member's interest and I know he is very tenacious and I compliment him on this.
The member has made a very clear case and a lot of the concerns he has expressed I share and I know the minister shares. I want to reassure the member for Waterloo—Wellington that the ministry of the solicitor general is in no way considering privatizing correctional services. We have to date almost 12% of certain aspects of corrections being privatized. I do not think the hon. member would argue that maybe laundry facilities or fire protection equipment, services of that nature, might be privatized.
The examples he has cited, especially in the United States, of privatizing certain facilities have certainly not demonstrated that they are successful in actually reducing costs. I agree with him that we have to be very prudent.
There is one other point that has not been addressed. I would be very concerned if we are going to move and transfer the power to actually punish citizens in the hands of the private sector. That to me is a very serious concern, more than the actual cost factor.
I want to reassure the hon. member that there is no interest on behalf of the solicitor general to privatize correctional services facilities. If we were to do such a thing, I am sure there would be a full debate and an inquiry into the pros and cons of it. That would have to be done.