Mr. Speaker, inmates in Correctional Service of Canada penitentiaries regularly use their blood, vomit, feces, urine, semen or saliva as a weapon against correctional officers. The rate of hepatitis C among inmates is 20 to 50 times higher than in the general population, and the HIV infection rate is 5 to 40 times higher.
Every incident that occurs leaves correctional officers and their families in limbo, since inmates can refuse to have their blood analyzed to determine their state of health. These men and women who serve the public deserve our respect and our protection. They are not asking that every prisoner be required to give a blood sample, only those who, by their actions, have threatened the most fundamental right of correctional officers—the right to life.
What is the Minister of Public Safety waiting for to respond to this appeal and pass appropriate legislation?