Safe Streets and Communities Act (H)

Ms. Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I would like the member to expand on how this bill protects children or fails to protect them. I note that some of the strong critics of the bill with concerns have included the Canadian Paediatric Society, and the Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates, particularly looking at the changes within the Youth Criminal Justice Act.


How do we ensure that we protect our young people, as everyone here wants to? We do not want children at risk from sexual predators. We do not want children at risk from exploitative child pornography. However, neither do we want to have a bill passed that the experts in child welfare find so badly wanting.

Ms. Jean Crowder: Mr. Speaker, I will quote again from the report about early childhood and education, ECE. It states:

Studies have repeatedly shown that high-quality ECE reduces the delinquency rate among disadvantaged children and increases their success rate in completing high school and obtaining employment. In fact, quality ECE benefits all children, regardless of social class and parental employment. One reason for this is that ECE provides the opportunity for early identification and intervention in cases of children with special needs.

Again, we need to talk about the root causes of crime, which does not seem to be on the government’s agenda. We need to talk about that early intervention. We need to talk about providing those supports to children, whether with special needs, learning disabilities or those who do not have all the supports they need at home. We need that early intervention to help these children stay out of the criminal justice system.

As the article points out, this is for children from all social classes. This is not just with respect to poor children.