Madam Speaker, I have a whole lot of time for the comments of the member for Windsor—Tecumseh. He and I have worked together for many years on justice issues.
I want to direct his attention to a section of the bill, which, to me, manifests in some way kind of a cynicism. It has led me to the conclusion that much of the bill is part of a sequence of a shameless litany of posturing and pretence on the part of the government, that what it is doing by tweaking little pieces of the Criminal Code every two or three weeks is somehow increasing public safety, that by increasing a sentence in some minor way, the bad guys out in the street will know.
I asked a question in the House to see how many members knew what the sentence would be for an armed robbery, and nobody knew. We are the legislators and we do not even know what the existing sentence is, yet we think the relatively uneducated criminals out on the street will know the penalties. I do not think so.
The impact of clause 8 of the bill says that the mandatory minimum, which the government is flaunting as the centrepiece of the bill, cannot even be asked for, used or applied unless the attorney general of the province gives notice before the plea, before the arraignment—