January 31, 2011 (40th Parliament, 3rd Session)

NDP

Bill Siksay (Interjection)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Bill Siksay

Mr. Speaker, I think there are many ways to make our communities safer.
We have seen clearly, time and time again, that crime prevention programs actually work, better education programs work, more opportunities for citizens work, and better jobs work. There are all kinds of things that make our communities safer that have nothing to do with keeping people in jail longer or putting people in prison longer.
We have seen that rehabilitation programs in prison work, but we do not often give them the kind of importance they need. We have seen that treating people for drug addiction often makes our communities dramatically safer, and yet we do not put nearly enough resources into that.
Instead the government thinks that it can be tough on crime and put more people in jail for longer, and somehow that makes us safer. Even the Americans who were the champions of that kind of policy are turning their back on it. Some of the most outspoken proponents of it are turning their backs on it, because it just does not work.
There is proof, time and time again. There is research, time and time again. Unfortunately, that does not make an impression on the current government.
Those kinds of things are really important to all of us. The cost of incarcerating people could be used in so many other ways that would actually make our communities safer. We could engage citizens in other ways to make our communities safer. Restorative justice that engages people, victims of crime, people who have committed crime, representatives of the community from the get-go is a way of making our communities much safer. The government has no interest in that kind of program.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Criminal Code
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