Mr. Speaker, I would first like to thank all my Bloc Québécois, Liberal, NDP and Conservative colleagues in the House of Commons for taking part in this important debate on reducing violence on television during prime time, especially the hours when children are watching.
Although Bill C-327 was important a few days, weeks, months and years ago, it is even more vital today, in light of recent events. Eight years ago today, on April 20, 1999, the tragic events at Columbine High School left 12 students and several teachers dead and many people injured. Today, we mark the eighth anniversary of that tragic event, which teaches us that we must fight against all sources of violence in our society. Like it or not, television is an important medium that conveys our social values. I believe that we need regulations that establish a middle ground between total freedom of expression and total censure. We are not suggesting censure. Our approach is designed neither to censure nor to allow total freedom of expression, but to strike a balance so that programs with violent content that are intended for viewers 13 and over are broadcast after 9:00 p.m. That balance is there.
As we all know, after the Columbine massacre, another tragic event took place at Dawson College, where a young woman, Anastasia De Sousa, was killed. The crazed gunman who entered Dawson College was inspired by a number of violent films and events. That fact cannot be denied.
Most recently, this week, the greatest tragedy of its kind in the United States took place at Virginia Tech university. In 1999, Virginia Tech's communications department published a study showing that a person exposed to violent programs for a certain number of hours would begin to seek violent solutions to conflicts with others.
We should have reacted back in 1999 when Virginia Tech researchers sounded the alarm. Today, Bill C-327 proposes a balanced solution to reduce violence in our society by reducing violence on television. I hope that my colleagues here in Parliament will keep the tragic events of the past few years in mind and support Bill C-327.