Mr. Speaker, for those who are listening, we are having one of those but discussions in the House of Commons; that is, I agree but something else is changing my mind.
It is a wonder Canadians can listen to this. It must be frustrating for them. What is wrong with this philosophy is that members on both sides agree and yet the government stands up and says that it agrees but that it cannot do that right now for some reason. The difference between this side and that side is that we want to see some action, not just words.
I have long felt that the country is into a moral and ethical crisis on a number of issues, some of which were mentioned. Even on the issue of prostitution, which the government says should not be legalized, the Liberals have a bill in the House right now that would anticipate legalizing prostitution under the name of harm reduction. We have heard that before on drugs.
I am here to say that prostitution is not a form of harm reduction. It is a form of abuse of women. The difficulty I have is that on that side the members say that they do not feel that prostitution should be put into legislation, and yet they are working on it. That is one of those but discussions.
It is the same with the age of sexual consent. I just heard the parliamentary secretary say that the age of sexual consent was too low and that she was more than prepared to raise it but that we could not do it right now because we have to work on that one. The Liberals have had 10 years in government. If they are prepared to raise it, why can they not raise it?
I could give a litany of the issues I have dealt with concerning younger kids under the age of sexual consent who are living with four or five men over the age of 30 and 40 who are using them to sell drugs, using them for sex and using them to sell themselves. Does the House know why they do it? They do it because 14, 15 and 16 year olds are young offenders.
The government says that the age of 14 and over is the age of sexual consent. That is the problem with it. We have been explaining that for 10 years. Yes, the Liberals agree with it but they will not change it.
We have seen a litany of other issues in the House. Drugs is one of the issues in which I have been involved from day one. The government says that it does not agree with drugs and that it does not want to promote that idea, and yet it promotes the idea of an injection site, not just in Vancouver but in Toronto and Montreal as well.
What the government is saying is that it disagrees with people using drugs but then it promotes the idea of having a place to shoot up in a bubble zone around that place. What kind of contradiction of terms is the Government of Canada presenting to us? These are contradictions.
I want to talk about pornography but I also want to mention the sex offender registry, the legislation that I actually wrote three and a half years ago. When we as an opposition party introduced it in the House of Commons all we heard was that we do not need it because we already have it. Guess what the Liberals did? They created a sex offender registry, after being dragged through the knot hole by every victim's rights groups, police associations and the Canadian Alliance. It is unbelievable that they can stand there and say that we can have this, but.
I want to talk about pornography which is the topic of the motion introduced by my colleague. One of the interesting things in Bill C-20, the bill on pornography, is the issuance of maximum sentencing. The government did the very same thing with the marijuana legislation; maximum sentencing.
By the way, Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar.
Maximum sentences are okay. However it is minimum sentences that are the problem. When we bring up issues in child pornography legislation and say that we will toughen it up and give maximum sentences, that is the upper limit.
I want to bring forward a case, and although I do not like reading it I ask the House to consider it. If the government were to give maximum sentences for child pornography and not minimum sentences, then why on earth would a judge hand out such a sentence. Let me read this case to the House.
Members of the OPP child pornography unit are outraged that the Ontario Court of Appeal shot down the crown's attempt to appeal a house arrest given to a Newmarket man convicted of possession and distribution of vile and disgusting child pornography.
Randy Weber, the man who had the pornography, was convicted last February of possession and distribution of images of little children being bound, gagged and forced to have sex with men. He was given a conditional sentence of 14 months, otherwise known as house arrest. He was basically told to go home and think about what he had done.
The government has been telling us that it is going to give maximum sentences. What is the good of a maximum sentence if the judge will not apply it? A conditional sentence for something of this nature is unacceptable.
To continue on, among the images viewed in court by the justice was one that revealed a four year old child, weeping and struggling, with her hands bound and her neck leashed with a dog collar while an adult male sexually assaulted her. Another image revealed an eight year old girl, tied, gagged, blindfolded and hung upside down. The video clip with sound revealed a toddler who could be heard weeping and yelling “stop, stop, stop”. The judge on that case gave the minimum sentence: a conditional sentence. The man was told to go home and think about what he had done.
If the government really believes that child pornography is a bad thing, then it must do something constructive about it. It should not talk about giving maximum sentences if the courtrooms of Canada are only giving minimums.
What I just read to the House is totally unacceptable. The government should be doing something about this. It should raise the floor on the sentences. People with this kind of disgusting behaviour should not be let off with conditional sentences.
What is wrong is that there are many of these cases. The government has said that Bill C-20 would provide maximum sentences but that is not good enough. That is just a charade.
The government has talked about providing maximum sentences in drug cases. The Prime Minister has agreed to maximum sentences but that an individual can have a joint in one hand, a fine in the other and pay that fine any time he wants and nobody will pay any attention to the drugs. Maximum sentences are not good enough. Minimums are the order of the day.
A control room operator at the Bruce nuclear plant was sentenced to one year in jail yesterday for possession and distribution of disgusting, degrading and haunting computer images of child pornography and nude women who appear to have been hideously murdered. The court heard that computer images showing children being raped by adults were among some of the things that had actually happened. The fellow received a year in jail and will be out within six to seven months. That is all the time he has received for that crime, and yet the government has said it is looking after this issue and will give maximum sentences.
The problem is that our society has a moral and an ethical crisis on its hands and the legislation being delivered into the House of Commons is not adequate.
I will give members one last situation.
I visit prisons on fairly frequent occasions. I walked into a maximum security prison the other day where sex offenders are imprisoned. On the floors, the ceilings and the walls of these cells were very explicit pictures of women and children. I asked the warden why this was so. After all, they have rules that say they cannot have these on the cell walls. He apologized and said that they would be taken down. Where are the rules from the government?
I know my time is over. I can only say, that these bills, which come through the House, are so much drivel unless they actually mean something to the average Canadian and victims on the street, and they do not.