Mr. Speaker, yes, I too have seen from small towns to big cities the fact that we need to believe in our young people because they are our best allies against illegal drug use in order to keep our streets safe. I have seen very effective holistic approaches that deal with drug addictions.
I have seen young people living on the streets who are trapped in a cycle of addictions and violence, yet their lives completely turn around when they discover self-confidence, when they discover, in the case of the hon. member's riding, being able to carve.
In downtown Toronto there are programs to teach young people art, whether it is mural painting, making music, or sketching or even small things like making jewellery so they can sell it. It gives them a sense of self-confidence.
Once they have that sense of self-confidence and a feeling of pride of who they are and that they are no longer living in a cycle of poverty, that they have some means of employment or some hope so that they can go back to school or return to their families, then we see their lives turning around.
They feel they no longer need drugs in order to feel that they are important. I have seen young people who abused themselves and abused drugs because they did not feel important. They did not feel loved but once they found the power within themselves it liberated them to have the confidence to say no to drugs, to say no to that cycle of living on the streets and living in violence.
However, these kinds of programs are very holistic. They are not cheap because they deal with the people as individuals, as human beings rather than as criminals to be removed from society, thrown away in jail or locked up so we will never have to look at them again. This approach of locking them up and throwing away the key, and these young people do come back out on the street and they become hardened criminals, makes the entire matter far worse.