moved for leave to introduce Bill C-343, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (motor vehicle theft).
Mr. Speaker, it is a great honour for me to rise today. This is the first private member's bill I have introduced in my career as a member of Parliament.
The bill is in response to a growing concern in Regina and throughout my riding of Regina—Qu'Appelle with the alarming rate of car theft. Regina at various times has been the car theft capital of Canada. We have experienced various rashes of criminal gangs stealing cars for either joyriding or to strip them down and sell them. Unfortunately, our legal system does not have a lot of deterrents for those criminals.
The bill would establish a three strike system. On the person's third conviction or any subsequent conviction thereafter, the case will be prosecuted by indictment and there will be minimum prison sentences. What it means is that no longer will criminals be able to steal several cars and not ever face any prison time. The bill establishes a clear signal that on the third offence the person will go to jail.
I appreciate the support of my colleagues on this bill.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)