Mr. Speaker, just to be blunt, the member is wrong.
We have dropped the youth crime rate in this country over the last 20 years by roughly 12% to 15%. The system as it is now has had that effect. That moved away from exactly the kind of system where we used incarceration much more extensively. It was a training ground for people to come out better criminals than when they went in.
The member is wrong when he says that it is not working. He is also wrong when he says that the youth have serious knowledge. We can find, in any community, particularly in our big cities, the odd individual who will say that he or she will be treated more leniently because he or she is a youth and not an adult. That knowledge is in a very small group and usually within the gangs.
They know that but how do we deal with it? We do in fact. People can be incarcerated under the Youth Criminal Justice Act for up to 10 years. We do have the penalties in those more extreme cases and our courts are using them. The problem is not there.
The problem is that we do not have enough police officers. The government has not complied with its promise to the Canadian people to put 2,500 more police officers on the streets. It has not put one new police officer on the street. If the government had done that, it probably would have driven down the youth crime rate, especially the serious, violent ones involving gangs.