Mr. Speaker, I want to thank all my hon. colleagues from the bottom of my heart for their tremendous remarks and thoughtful considerations on this.
The hon. colleague from Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan referenced a passage that I was going to reference at at the very end, a favourite, which was when the master teacher himself said about those who inherit the Kingdom. He said, “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.”
Those words ring true in my heart as we come to the conclusion of the debate on this. The difference that a compassionate heart can make, that hope can make and that coming alongside those who perhaps feel that they will be forever defined by what once was perhaps a very regrettable and hurtful decision they made at one time in their life and they live in the shadows of that feeling.
I am glad to share with the House on this occasion that I personally have witnessed and met many who have changed direction in their life and they have gone in a much better direction because there were people who came to where they were and shared a message of hope, offered a hand of friendship and provided an opportunity when probably perhaps they thought they may not get another one. This bill would go a long way in providing a framework.
The aim of the bill is to provide a structure through which the best of the best programs, both here at home and internationally, can be fostered and developed so we can all attain the shared goal of reducing recidivism among our incarcerated population and help them successfully reintegrate back into the community. We do that through these kinds of effective partnerships.
I thank everyone and I hope we can speedily get this off to the Senate and see it become law sooner rather than later.