Mr. Speaker, first of all, I would like to thank the hon. minister for his work, and the team's work, with respect to the background and consultations. I was present with the minister at one of these consultation processes in my own area, where we had educators, parents, and police officers. The overwhelming support that came forward, I believe, has certainly been reflected in the construct of this bill.
Drawing on my own experience over some 40 years in law enforcement, I can say with all honesty that this bill has been a long time in the making. The whole issue of victims' rights has been neglected over many years. The overwhelming majority of effort over the years has been in the area of the victimizers, the accused, the kinds of rights and entitlements to which the accused are given from the beginning to end of their involvement in the system.
I would also like to indicate that the bill is nothing new; it is something that the system has been trying to do. However, what is new is the mandated codification, if you will, of processes, regards, and concerns about the plight of victims and their role in the judicial system.
I would like to ask the hon. minister if he could briefly highlight the degree of consultation and involvement of partners in the criminal justice system that has enabled him and his people to deliver what I believe is a timely, long-awaited, and badly needed address of our victims' plight in the system.