Mr. Speaker, I commend my hon. colleague from Kamloops for his well thought out speech and I appreciate his attempt to have this private member's bill deemed votable, as I did myself. Clearly he has far more respect for the democratic process than any Liberal MP in this House, which brings to me to the comments of the member for Scarborough East who stated that the bill is a waste of time.
That comment is insulting and is typical of Liberal arrogance. More importantly, it underscores their soft on crime approach and their reluctance and unwillingness to deal with the criminal element in our society.
Why do they insist on protecting criminals instead of law-abiding citizens? Why will they not enact legislation which makes our communities and our society safer?
We have been pressuring them to remove section 745. It is the provision that allows first degree murderers to be released on to the street after serving only 15 years in prison. That is a Liberal policy. The conditional sentences say to criminals who have committed violent acts “Just don't do it again and we will let you go”.
Then there is the Young Offenders Act. The member for Mississauga West ranted on and on about how radical the Reform Party is for wanting to have young offenders named.
I live in a nice community in Saskatoon. I submit that I have a right to know if some youth who lives on my street is a criminal. If one of my neighbour's kids engages in some criminal activity, breaking into people's houses, stealing cars or is trafficking drugs, I have a right to know because I have a family. It is shameful that the Liberal member for Mississauga West would stand in this House and say it is okay to deny Canadians the right to know when people living beside them are criminals.
He also said that it was his preference to defer to judicial discretion, which is also the preference of all Liberal members of parliament. As we know, recently a court in British Columbia ruled that it is a violation of our constitutional rights to not be allowed to possess child pornography. As we know, Reform Party members found that absolutely disgraceful and we urged the government to invoke the notwithstanding clause to override the judge in that case because possession of child pornography is a crime and it must be considered a crime. Did the Liberals stand to defend the children who are the victims of child pornography? No.
Sixty-eight Liberals signed a letter asking the Prime Minister to do exactly the same thing which we asked for two weeks later in the House, but the Prime Minister cracked his whip and the backbench flock of sheep stepped into line. Their approach to crime is absolutely disgraceful and all Canadians ought to know that this Liberal government is refusing to act to make our streets safer.
My private member's bill today is a simple, straightforward attempt to target the criminal use of firearms. What could be simpler? What could be more straightforward?
The member for Scarborough East said that it panders to our emotions of fear. We do have fear. I talk to elderly people all the time who say that at night they are scared to walk down the street. When they see a group of young people approaching, they get scared.
What kind of culture have we created in our society? Why do we not act now to implement laws which change that? Why do we not enact laws that target the criminal use of firearms instead of law-abiding citizens who use firearms for legitimate purposes?
Make no mistake, Mr. Speaker, as you know and as all members of the House know, the purpose in passing the Firearms Act was not to crack down on crime; it was to confiscate legally owned firearms from all citizens in Canada.
I want to conclude by saying that it is very unfortunate that the undemocratic Liberal members of parliament refuse to allow my proposal for a 10-20-life law to come to a vote in the House.