Mr. Speaker, I have two answers to that. First, anybody who has practised law for any length of time and knows what goes on in our criminal courts would think that it is a joke that one is only going to get six months in jail after a third theft. That is what the bill does. It has another condition to it. It is also required to have the prosecutor move by way of indictment. Otherwise, the mandatory minimum does not apply. On the third offence, an application must be made by way of indictment.
Again, this is so typical of the ideology that drives the Conservative Party. It puts out a big dramatic statement that we are going to solve all the car theft problems by imposing a mandatory minimum of six months and it expects the Canadian public to believe that. I do not believe that and I do not think the Canadian public is going to buy it.
The second reason why we are systematically opposed to mandatory minimums is because we trust our judges. I can point to any number of cases that I have seen over the years where judges blew it. They made a mistake. They are human. However, in my belief, they are still the best judges in the world. I have a great deal of faith in their ability to look at the individual case and decide to give someone two and a half years instead of six months.
In the vast majority of cases, that is the kind of penalty the repeat offenders are going to be looking at, certainly with anything involving organized crime. They are going down for hard time and probably going to federal pens. The problem with putting a six-month mandatory minimum into it is that that then becomes the target. That is the one that the judges start adhering to. It is a useless piece of the bill.