Mr. Speaker, at the closing of my comments just prior to 12 noon, I had indicated that the principle of Bill S-6 was something we could support. The concept behind the faint hope clause is a good one and I suspect we need to look at ways in which we can provide those types of incentives for individuals who are behind bars to reform and change their behaviour so that they can integrate into society in a better and more peaceful fashion and become a more productive citizens.
I also drew a comparison to something else that the government was doing over the last number of days which has a very profound impact. I did not make reference to the specific programs and I want to do that because I want to appeal to the government, to the Prime Minister, to deal with this issue in that the bill we are debating right now would not necessarily prevent crimes from taking place while, on the other hand, the government is cutting back on programs that would in fact prevent crimes from taking place.
I believe the member for Winnipeg Centre rose today with regard to a member's statement on the issue. My colleague from Winnipeg South Centre raised the issue in question period. It is the issue of the anti-gang programs that are being proposed to be closed because of the government's failure to recognize the value of these programs.
On the one hand, we are looking at a bill that would have very little impact on preventing crimes, whereas, on the other hand, we have a government that is looking at allowing for a circle of courage, an oasis, youth outreach projects, turning the tides. These are all youth gang prevention programs that could have an impact on preventing crimes from occurring. The government needs to put more time on dealing with programs of this nature and on how we can bring in and spend tax dollars in such a way that we would prevent crimes for occurring, as opposed to putting so much focus on trying to give the image that the government is being tough on crime. When I look at Bill S-6, I believe the government is just trying to send a message more than anything else.
I, too, sympathize with the victims of crimes and want to get a sense of fairness in certain situations. That is why I believe there was a need to review the whole issue of the faint hope clause. However, at the end of the day, I would be remiss if I did not emphasize that the government is cutting programs and allowing them to disappear by its lack of commitment and lack of action in dealing with what I would suggest is crime on the streets. The government needs to reassess whether it just wants to talk about getting tough on crime or whether it wants to actually act on it.
I can tell members that there will be a negative impact as a result of the government not funding the programs to which I have referred. There will be more crime in our streets. I would suggest that it will go well beyond just Winnipeg North and the province of Manitoba.
When we have an idea and when we have a program that is effective, we should be supporting it.