Mr. Speaker, it is a thoughtful motion but what we have before us is a bill that is based on headlines. Whenever one cites names like Graham James, Karla Homolka and Clifford Olson in public, one is sure to get a very emotional reaction and probably a pretty universal one. The crimes committed by those people were egregious and the idea of pardoning, deleting records or giving benefits to any of them shocks the conscience.
I am in agreement with the member that it is emotionally irrational to completely throw out the system that has been in place and has been approved by all governments, Liberals and Conservatives, over the years because of headlines. What I would like to know, maybe through the motion or through the hearings on this bill, which I think accomplishes the same end, is what evidence there is when a person gets refused a pardon.
We know it is a small number of cases, some 400 or 500 out of 20,000, but there are still 400 or 500 people who apply every year and do not get pardons and I wonder why. Is it because their offences were so egregious that it shocks the conscience? What are the reasons? This is the kind of pith and substance we will get to in the committee and hopefully we will make some good changes out of it.