Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank all of my hon. colleagues for taking the time to participate in the debate on this important piece of legislation. Bill C-394 is legislation that Canada needs in order to make our streets and communities safer for everyone to enjoy.
This is not about politics or partisanship. It is my belief and hope that when it comes to protecting our youth and our most vulnerable citizens, we are all on the same side. Our youth are our future and it is our responsibility to provide an environment in which they can reach their greatest potential.
The realities of a gang lifestyle are heartbreaking. Such things as death, guns, drugs, violence, substance abuse, criminal activity and prostitution are all too common in this environment. This is a place that no person should ever find themselves, yet far too many still do. It is our responsibility not only as elected representatives but as citizens of this country to work together in an effort to make our future safe for all.
This proposed legislation is an important tool that our criminal justice system needs in order to address this growing concern. The act of gang recruitment affects those directly involved. It is a danger to families, communities and the safety that every Canadian holds dear. Young Canadians, regardless of where they grow up, should be able to grow and explore their potential in a safe environment.
It is an unfortunate and disheartening reality that youth today are targeted by active and violent gangs. The means by which these gangs recruit our youth are both inhumane and life-altering. This reality necessitates the quick passage of Bill C-394 because one person recruited into a gang is one person too many. It is time to take action so that families do not have to live in fear and communities across this country can enjoy the safety and security that we all deserve.
As this bill is at third reading and will soon be voted on, I would like to take a moment to thank everyone who has been involved in the development and progression of this bill.
I would like to sincerely thank my very hard-working staff, both in Brampton and in Ottawa, for their support; my colleagues for supporting this bill from the beginning; and community stakeholders across this great nation who met with me, including front-line police officers and justice officials who supported this bill from the beginning and even took the time to testify before the justice committee.
I would like to thank my constituents, the wonderful citizens of Brampton—Springdale, for the honour of allowing me to represent them here in this House and for providing me with incredible feedback and support toward this bill.
Finally, I would like to thank the countless number of youth I had the opportunity to meet and who inspired me to create this piece of legislation so that their future and the future of coming generations could be protected.