moved for leave to introduce Bill C-289, an act to amend the Young Offenders Act (public safety).
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to introduce my first private member's bill. The bill seeks to make the protection of society the first and guiding principle of the Young Offenders Act.
In the name of public safety, the bill allows for the publishing of all names of young violent offenders. It also seeks to change the minimum age of criminality from 12 to 10 years of age. It provides young people, who at this tender age get mixed up in crime, with the opportunity for guidance and rehabilitation that is necessary for them to get back on track.
In June 1997 the justice minister promised to make amending the Young Offenders Act a top priority. That was almost four years ago and nothing has been done. There have been a number of futile attempts but we are still saddled with what the minister, in her own words, calls “easily the most unpopular federal bill”.
I ask for all members to help with the bill for the sake of our children and grandchildren.