Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak to Bill C-384, which was introduced by my colleague from Châteauguay—Saint-Constant. This bill is innovative. Before this bill, it was a matter of only two locations: places of worship and cemeteries. With the passage of this bill, it will henceforth be prohibited to attack a school. Why? Because that is just as important.
When children go to school in the morning and see their school covered with hateful graffiti, that enters into their subconscious minds and stays with them. It is all well and good to tell these youngsters that people should not do such things, but it can by psychologically disturbing for them.
Even teachers are shocked by this when they arrive for work in the morning or when they see this near a day care centre. They must also take their children to the day care centre and see graffiti on the way. Their children will ask them questions, wondering why there are hate messages and why someone would write that on a school, or anywhere for that matter. These questions will be asked.
I want to share a story. At one point in my life, I was a union representative. A worker once came to me to say that he would like to be able to finish high school. He had worked hard and completed three years of high school in the evenings. Having a job and going to school is very hard work, but it is something that someone who wants to succeed must really make an effort to do.
One Friday, this person went to his supervisor to ask for an afternoon off because he had to take two exams to finish high school, and the diploma would help him move to a new position or a new job. In fact, all companies require a diploma. His supervisor asked him why he wanted to get his high school diploma and if he did not like his current job. The employee replied that he would like to improve his life and earn a decent income to raise his family. The supervisor pointed out that he was black, and that blacks were meant to work in factories and not to hold senior positions, such as supervisors. He did not grant permission, and the worker had to find another way to take his exams and get his high school diploma. The supervisor did not think it was worthwhile to get the diploma because a black person was not meant to hold a senior position.
A grievance was filed against this supervisor, and I do think the employee won.
This bill also includes colleges, universities, community centres and playgrounds. Is it not bad enough that, in the summer, when children go to the playground they go to every day, they see graffiti saying that society should get rid of all blacks—or any community—that nobody should see them and that children should not play with them? That is not what we want to teach our children. We teach them that they have to be kind to one another, that every person is different, and that we have to accept those differences.
What message is graffiti like that sending to children? It might bother them and, as they grow up, they will begin to think that there is a colour difference, a difference they can exploit. I do not see why we should tolerate such things.
My colleague from Châteauguay—Saint-Constant is on the right track. This is perfect timing for this bill. All parties in the House of Commons, the NDP and the Liberals, agree. Recently, the champions of law and order proposed a new bill to curb auto theft. What is more important, auto theft or hate crimes against people? People are much more important.
I see that my time is up, but I know I will be able to continue next time.