Mr. Speaker, I sit on a lot of committees with the member for Calgary Northeast. Ten plus twenty is thirty. The member is absolutely right. I am very glad he was able to work that out. That might have something to do with that stroke in intensity he was studying in Singapore. It takes a fair bit of time.
I go back to some of my personal experiences in court cases involving young offenders. It is a very serious thing to go into a prison to do a parole hearing. I appreciate that the simplistic approach applied by the Reform Party is well meaning. Some Reformers are very intelligent former Conservatives and Liberals. I know they cannot get elected out west except by running under Reform so I appreciate that they are doing that and I wish them well as long as it is not well in my riding.
I could talk about the young man who was hung by his heels at age 14 by his parents, who was sexually abused and beaten as a child, who was not taught values, who dropped out of school so he could run away and get away from everything. When he was arrested and incarcerated, he met people who deal with young offenders. They took him under their wing and taught him values he had not been taught before. He got away from his substance abuse and alcohol abuse. He got away from the abusive nature that surrounded him. Today he is a productive member of society.
I know that does not happen all the time and that the Reform Party does not want to talk about it, but the fact is the Young Offenders Act served a purpose that does not serve the purpose of Reform. Reformers cannot build unless they can teach everyone that everything is hate, hate, hate, punish, punish, punish.
The fact is that if we are to rehabilitate people, we do not do it by putting them in boot camps or by putting them in a caning camp or whatever the member wanted. We have to teach them values. We have to teach them the societal things expected of them. If young people are to be productive members of society, they have to be taught values. That simply is what changes people to be productive members of society and that protects society.
I was impressed with a criminal I met who was a musician. When money machines first came out and PINs had to be punched in which had a different tone to the pad, this man could stand behind someone making a withdrawal with their card and he could pick off their pin number because he had a musical ear. He could play any instrument. He was a very talented person. He would follow that person home, find an undetected way to break into their house and steal that card out of their wallet.
If the card is not in our wallets, we often think where did we leave it. We take a couple of days and think somebody else might have it, whatever. Just before midnight or just after 2 a.m. your bank account has been cleaned out by that person. The reason was not because he was a thief but because he was a heroin addict. How do we get a person like that into methadone treatment and let them put their talent to work in society? That same young man is now playing in a band and is very productive. These are a couple of examples the Reform Party cares to not notice.
When we talk about the Young Offenders Act and about rehabilitation, we talk about people who suddenly come into a society where values are taught and they offend only once. They do not become repeat offenders. Repeat offenders are a shame and there has to be a way to deal with them.
If we can save the majority of young offenders, which the Young Offenders Act did and which the Reform Party does not want to mention, we have done society a great justice. I believe Bill C-68 is a good start in changing the Young Offenders Act so we will have a youth criminal justice system that will stand the test of time.