Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak in favour of this bill. After listening to the comments from the hon. member for Joliette, it seems the Bloc is more concerned about the dangerous offender than the victim, or the young child who has been abused, injured or sexually mistreated, or the mother or father of that child, or those potential children who might be abused. If we pass this legislation, this could otherwise be prevented.
As we know, safe streets and communities are important to all constituents in Canada. We are rightly proud of the history of having safe streets and homes, but times are changing and Canadians are experiencing not only an increase in crime, but an increase in a crime of the most heinous kind, one that is violent and abuses the sanctity of people, particularly children. They have called upon the government to take action. They have called upon the government to pass legislation not only in this area, but in other areas as well. We cannot ignore this problem. We must roll up our sleeves, do the job that needs to be done and work in committee to get the bill passed.
During the last election, we promised Canadians that we would crack down on crime, and that is exactly what we propose to do. We promised, we made a commitment and we are moving on it. We have tabled Bill C-27 in that regard.
In a nutshell, Bill C-27 deals with dangerous offenders and provides for ways of dealing with them. In particular, it also deals with section 810, peace bonds, which can put certain restrictions upon them should they ever get released.
To make it clear, many are calling upon the government to take action. Recent events in the area of Whitewood, Saskatchewan have brought many constituents together. They have presented a petition to the government asking for action. They have said that dangerous offenders should not be out on the loose or if they are released, they should be subject to some of the severest of conditions, so the public is not endangered by their actions. They have not only united the community in that area, but all of the constituency that I represent, including Saskatchewan, as well as provinces beyond.
We have received petitions signed by up to 24,000 to 25,000 Canadians who urge this government to take action. Today, I had the opportunity to file those petitions. It is fitting that we would do it on the day we are introducing Bill C-27, the dangerous offenders legislation. Let us see what they call for in that petition.
They have asked the government to proceed with changes to the justice system in legislation that would result in harsher penalties for convicted pedophiles. They have asked for mandatory or compulsory electronic or other forms of monitoring of pedophiles upon release from custody. They have asked for compulsory public notification and movements of convicted pedophiles. They have asked that we ensure repeat offenders are designated as dangerous offenders.
Why has this situation incited such an interest in the many constituencies, people and communities of Canada? Because the public is fed up. People have had enough of this easy justice, especially where people have been convicted of the same serious offences on at least three occasions, offences that require two or more years of jail time. They are saying there comes a point in time where something needs to be done. These people need to be contained or released under very strict conditions.
I am quite pleased to say that the Government of Canada has responded to the petition that my constituents have filed, and its response is interesting to note. It says that the Government of Canada is fully committed to protecting children from sexual offenders. In the last Parliament, Bill C-2 introduced mandatory minimum penalties for many sexual offences committed against children. These offences are, therefore, not eligible for a conditional sentence of imprisonment.
Also, a number of criminal law reform initiatives have recently been introduced in this regard, including: Bill C-9 to restrict the availability of conditional sentences, which I just mentioned; Bill C-22 to increase the age of protection; Bill C-27, regarding dangerous and high risk offenders, about whom I speak today; and Bill S-3, regarding improvements to the national sex offender registry.
As introduced, Bill C-9 would toughens penalties for a number of sex offences, including offences against children, by making it clear that the conditional sentence is no longer available. Who could argue against that? Bill C-22 would better protect against youth adult sexual predators by raising the age of consent from 14 years to 16 years.
Who opposes this legislation? The opposition parties, the Liberal Party, the Bloc Party and the New Democratic Party have been obstructionist in committee. They have taken clauses out. They have watered them down. They have made them almost of no effect, when just the opposite is what the people of Canada expect. They expect us to get at least that tough, and tougher. They try to use the argument that it might not be constitutional.
However, these individuals, these victims, need protection, and that is exactly what we are about to do. Most Canadians are calling for us to take that action. It would be a good point for the opposition to take that into account, get behind us and have this legislation passed, as opposed to delaying it in committee.