moved for leave to introduce Bill C-441, An Act respecting the Office of the Commissioner for Young Persons in Canada.
Mr. Speaker, after four failed attempts, I finally have the honour and privilege to introduce this bill, which seeks to establish a commissioner for young persons.
I would like to thank the dozens of stakeholders from such organizations as Children First Canada and OXFAM-Québec, as well as former parliamentarians, such as Senator Landon Pearson, who helped me draft this bill. The commissioner would have four main roles.
The first is to ensure respect for the rights of children and young people, including first nations, Métis, Inuit and other youth across Canada, and conduct investigations when necessary. The second is to raise awareness of the rights of children and youth. The third is to work at the national and international levels with provincial commissioners and advocates as well as first nations, Métis and Inuit governments. The fourth is to conduct studies and make recommendations to the government.
This idea was suggested nearly 30 years ago. The United Nations recommended three times that the government establish such an office, and the provincial council of commissioners and advocates is calling for one. I am proud to have the support of a number of organizations, such as the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador, Children’s Healthcare Canada and UNICEF Canada.
I hope that the government will create a commissioner for young persons as quickly as possible, before the upcoming election. Since the Liberals have already introduced a similar bill three times, I think they already agree.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)