Bill C-15 has left Indigenous communities divided

Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
2021-05-14 10:17 [p.7231]

Madam Speaker, I am torn on this matter and I am going to be very candid with the minister. I am rarely less than decisive. I fully support the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, but the process by which we come to this place has left indigenous communities, first nations, Métis and Inuit, divided on the matter. The right path, the right way to vote, is not at all clear to me, and it certainly is the case that we cannot wait any longer to take the steps we need to take for reconciliation.
There are a number of very significant first nations policy analysts and a number of legal analysts who are on both sides, and of first nations themselves that say they were not consulted in the development of Bill C-15. It is therefore really important that we hear the different perspectives and we ask the hon. minister if he does not regret that there was—

Hon. David Lametti (LaSalle—Émard—Verdun)
2021-05-14 10:18 [p.7231]

Madam Speaker, I agree with the member’s observation that it is rare that she is less than decisive on a matter. I always appreciate her opinions and I take this question very seriously.
Yes, in a minority government context, we consulted as many indigenous leadership groups in a variety of forms as we possibly could. As I said, they had an impact on the original Romeo Saganash bill before tabling. We continued to consult, and they had an impact on the bill at committee. I commit to the hon. member that I will continue to consult as many indigenous leadership groups as I possibly can, in particular in the development of the action plan as we move forward.

I would just point out to her that although there is disagreement, there is an increasing trend, particularly after the last set of amendments in committee, to be supportive of the bill on the part of indigenous leadership.