Mr. Speaker, I recognize that the previous speaker is an expert in legal matters, and I do not profess to be one, but many times throughout his speech he attempted, in my opinion, to polarize this very important issue. I believe that is very unfortunate.
He gives the impression that the only thing our government is doing to address youth crime is to put in these two measures. He did acknowledge that youth crime is on the rise, so it is pretty obvious to all of us in this House and it is certainly obvious to people in my riding that something needs to be done.
Our government has invested over $22 million in programs that address prevention and rehabilitation measures, and we are not discontinuing restorative justice programs. In fact, I had the privilege in my riding of meeting with people who are working on restorative justice initiatives and they are doing great work. However, even those people recognize that restorative justice systems do not work in every case.
Why would we take away one of the tools, which will have an impact on reducing crime, and simply place it in a total toolbox of resources that will be helpful in addressing this issue, when over 12,000 of my constituents, one on one, through emails, through forums I have conducted or even on-line forums, have asked for some significant change to the Youth Criminal Justice Act? Why could we not use all of these methods and really address the issue?