First Nations Elections Act

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I understand what my colleague means about the Conservatives’ current political strategy, that it is based solely on marketing.

However, I find it hard to imagine that a federal government would ignore its constitutional obligations to hold serious and essential consultations on Bill C-9. No effort was made to hold such consultations.

Why does my colleague think that the Conservative government does not feel it is necessary to comply with the Constitution Act?

André Bellavance: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for the question. It is always hard to put ourselves in the government’s shoes, when we do not think or operate the same way. We can only imagine or assume what they were thinking.

This government has no regard for the Constitution or even democracy and has not had any since being elected in 2006. Things became even worse when it won a majority in 2011.

As I was saying, aboriginal, first nations “clients” are not worth sitting down with properly, in accordance with the Constitution, as my colleague said.

With or without the Constitution, the government must sit down with the first nations to make the necessary changes with respect to transparency, good governance and accountability, but also to ensure that this is a real agreement signed between the two peoples. That is what should have been done.

Why did the Conservatives not do that? We are constantly asking them that. They have done the same thing in many other cases, such as the appointment of Supreme Court justices. There is a whole slew of cases where there is no respect for the Constitution, the Quebec people, first nations or Canadians in general. They might negotiate a little more, but only when there is something in it for them and it can win them votes. Otherwise, it is my way or no way.