Mr. Speaker, I am not going to make a speech. I want to clarify a few of the points that were brought up in the speech by the hon. member for New Westminster-Burnaby.
First, with respect to the hybrid offences where it can be summary or indictable, in some cases the reason we want to have hybrid offences and proceed in a summary conviction is that the courts will not convict certain offenders on indictable offences. It is quite true that in many cases charges are not even brought where there are indictable offences, whereas if there were summary offences we would at least get the cases to court to get a conviction.
It remains with the judge as to the penalty. The fact of the matter is it may be a reduced penalty but in many cases a reduced penalty is better than no penalty at all. We want to have that flexibility.
With respect to the increase in the maximum on property offences from $1,000 to $5,000 that could be heard in provincial courts, it is the opinion of the Minister of Justice and myself that we want to have more of these cases heard in provincial court. They can be done more quickly. We have the expertise and the provincial court judges to hear them.
Because we are increasing from $1,000 to $5,000 does not mean there is going to be five times more work for the provincial court judges. There is going to be an increase, but there is going to be a corresponding decrease in the higher courts in the country. We feel it is going to be more efficient. We are going to have the same high level of justice. It is going to be less costly.
The other point concerns the national registry on the DNA. The hon. member makes a very good point. However, the reason it was not included is that there is a discussion paper now circulating on DNA. The Minister of Justice promised to give until November 20 for submissions on this discussion paper.
He is undertaking that new legislation will be brought forward, if not by the end of the year then early in the new year. This whole question of a registry is being reviewed along with other questions on DNA.
At this point I would like to move that we now move into committee of the whole. I think we will have unanimous agreement among all parties to proceed that way.