Mr. Speaker, in some respects it may be difficult. I always get laughed at when I say this. If one is not a lawyer, he or she may not be able to appreciate this. Then I get all the boos about lawyers, but it is true to some extent. I am not being arrogant. We have to appreciate how important it is to have quality representation before the judge so the judge can make good decisions. It is about as simple as that.
This preceded me because I am not quite that old, but perhaps the best way to describe it is like this. Before we had legal aid in Canada, broadly based and broadly available, judges who practised and made judicial decisions in our criminal courts found it difficult to make good decisions when the accused was unrepresented. The Crown prosecutor would present the case for the state. No one was there to challenge the prosecutor, to put forth legal arguments, to present evidence in a better fashion than the untrained individual could.
It is the same thing when we get rid of the court challenges program. It is like cutting legal aid. We will not have qualified people in front of the judges to present good evidence and good legal arguments. It is just not going to happen.
It is a shame that this has happened. Hopefully, the government will be gone shortly and we will reinstate the program.