Yes, Mr. Speaker, I definitely do think so. This is a big country, the hearings are not always held close to victims' residences, and victims are not always able to afford a journey. I have cases in my riding in which it would be almost impossible for those victims to pay to attend these hearings and they have a right to be there.
In addition, I should mention that it is the practice that the Correctional Service of Canada and the parole board have started to allow impact statements, but that is not in law. I have another private member's bill that would make that law.
This initiative started about seven years ago when we developed a comprehensive bill on the Correctional Service, but a comprehensive bill of 35 pages made it easy for the minister of the time and the department to work against the bill. I have split that bill into four different bills, so they are very clear.
The question on this issue is very clear. Prisoners in jail have the equivalent to an ombudsman. Is it not reasonable to ask that the victims have at least the same privilege?