Mr. Speaker, Bill C-7, the new youth criminal justice act has finally left this place. Unfortunately for Canadians it will, in the opinion of many, ultimately turn out to be worse than the much reviled Young Offenders Act that it is intended to replace.
The provinces who must administer the youth law have said that the federal government failed to properly consult and that no proper cost analysis was ever conducted.
The new act is riddled with discretions and loopholes. Its sheer complexity will lead to delays and soaring legal aid bills to the taxpayer. Violent and repeat offenders will be eligible for extra judicial measures. That is another term for avoiding court in favour of community programs.
Maximum custodial youth sentences for serious violent offences will actually be reduced. Murder, manslaughter, attempted murder and aggravated sexual assault will be presumed serious enough for adult sentences, maybe. Sexual assault with a weapon, armed robbery and kidnapping will not.
The government has taken over seven years to produce legislation that is doomed to failure. Unfortunately it is mainly our youth who will pay the price, and that is sad.