Madam Speaker, for the information of the House and also because my fellow Bloc member mentioned a case in Quebec where a taxi driver was killed by a young offender, I just want to say that the act was correctly applied to this person by the courts in Quebec, in that there was a request for transfer to adult court, and in fact, this young person was transferred to adult court. He will be treated as an adult and will be sentenced as an adult, if he is found guilty. So in the present legislation, we have all the instruments we need to do this. The problem is one of enforcement, and I think the Bloc Quebecois tends to emphasize this because the problem is really how the law is enforced.
And this week, I was very surprised to see the crime statistics. If we look at the figures, and all the newspapers reported the Statistics Canada survey which tells us that the crime rate has not increased since 1988, even in the case of young offenders, and I must say this is even more encouraging, and it seems the number of all types of crimes went down during the same period.
I have a question for the hon. member, if he would care to answer. I realize this bill did not come from the Bloc Quebecois, because it would never have made it to the House, but I would appreciate it if the hon. member would explain to the House why we have a bill that is so repressive-we have always had a problem with young offenders, and as long as murders are committed by young offenders, the problem will exist -when the statistics clearly show the problem is not as serious as one would have us believe in this House. There has been no shocking increase in the youth crime rate, so why introduce a bill at the
last minute with stricter sentencing for young people, a bill that will be even more repressive?
Why was it absolutely necessary to table a bill like this in the House? And why reverse the onus of proof so that it will be up to the defence to prove that young offenders should not be tried in adult court where they may get more severe sentences instead of being tried under the Young Offenders Act? Could the hon. member explain why we have this bill, although the statistics show that no further legislation is necessary and that legal circles in Quebec and Ontario are very clear about not tinkering with the Young Offenders Act because it is good legislation, and so perhaps the problem is one of enforcement?