First Nations Elections Act (Bill S-6)

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. friend from Lethbridge, and I welcome him back to the House. People who are watching may be happy to know that he is recovering well from a skiing accident. Just apropos of my friend’s comment that everybody here can stand up, at least the hon. member for Lethbridge will be able to soon.

My concern, as with many pieces of legislation in this House, is that many of them come from the other place. They are taken apart, bit by bit, and chip away at what should be a transformation exercise relating to a new relationship and a change from the antiquated Indian Act, which has a lot of baggage. I will not get into all of it. I will not have time in this short question.

My concern, and I wonder if the hon. member from Lethbridge would agree with me, is that we would be far better off to have full consultation, nation to nation, Canada to all first nations, in a process that ensures that first nations are full partners in a holistic, comprehensive approach rather than this piecemeal, and I hate to say it, disrespectful approach, to changing legislation that directly affects the lives of first nations peoples.

Jim Hillyer: Mr. Speaker, I would definitely like a holistic approach where every first nation in Canada would come together with Canada and with each other to find one big, holistic solution. Maybe someday that will come. It might be at the second coming. However, in the meantime, we have to get something done to allow each first nation to determine its own path while we are waiting for this great day.