Mr. Speaker, I commend my hon. friend for his comments. They were very precise comments that delved into ways in which the legislation could have been improved. I would also attach myself with his complimentary remarks to the member for Surrey North who found out in a firsthand way the tragedy that can be invoked for families and victims in the criminal justice system.
My question, specifically, is about a reference that he made to lowering the age of accountability to 10. I have a slightly different take on this. I would like to get his reaction. It deals with the element of transfers.
Currently in our justice system we have the ability to transfer a person who fits the definition of a young offender, that is a person between the ages of 12 and 18, into the adult court system, whereby there is judicial discretion based on evidence to take the person and try them as an adult.
I would like to suggest to him that a system that would apply similarly where a young person aged 10 or 11, who had committed a serious offence and had escalating behaviour as identified by police or counsellors, could be transferred through a courtroom based on evidence and submissions made by interested parties and stakeholders before a court of competent jurisdiction, by using the same principles of transfer. A child could be brought into a court system where the circumstances permitted, for the good of the child and the community.
This would be of great benefit and would enhance our current system. It would enhance public protection, deterrents and rehabilitation, all those elements of our criminal justice system that we want to encompass in this and future legislation. I would like to get his remarks on that suggestion.