Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to make some closing comments on Motion No. 504 on the prevention of violence against women.
I would like to thank all members who spoke on my motion. Actually, it really is not my motion at all; it is the motion of my constituents, delivered by me as their representative. I am pleased with the unanimous support of moving this motion to committee.
I would like to pay special thanks to the member for Macleod and congratulate him on what may have been his first speech in the House. I am not really sure, but it could very well have been.
I want to reiterate the motive behind my choice of this topic for my private member's motion—the choice of my constituents.
In 2010, in my riding of Sault Ste. Marie, there were 258 criminal charges laid for domestic incidents. Each year, across Canada, more than 40,000 arrests result from domestic violence. Overall, men were responsible for 83% of police-reported violence against women.
As a man who believes in equality, I simply do not believe that violence by men against women and girls should be tolerated. It has become epidemic and shows no signs of slowing down.
There is so much more proactive intervention that could be done to minimize the chance of our children becoming violent offenders, so that the cycle of violence is broken.
I believe that if best practices and prevention are implemented at appropriate stages in an individual's life, then domestic violence can be dramatically reduced.
Before we can implement these best preventive measures, we must first determine that those best practices in education, social programs, and policies that exist in Canada that prevent violence against women are identified. By passage of this motion, that identification would be the task of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women.
I have heard from some opposition members that this motion would not go far enough and that we need to move beyond prevention. That may be the case; however, identification of best practices in prevention and implementation of those would be an integral part of any plan; so let us get that piece completed as soon as possible. As a matter of fact, I believe it is the most significant piece, as do the many groups I spoke with in my riding on whose behalf I table this motion.
As my honourable colleague the member for London North Centre stated so eloquently in her speech on the launch of my motion:
As we debate this motion here today, let us keep in mind how often women and girls are tragically denied the peace, safety, and comfort of a day without violence or just the threat of violence, which can be just as damaging.
I am proud to stand here today. There is no necessity for this to go to a standing vote. By a majority tonight, we could move this right to committee, and I would be more than happy to do that.