Evidence of meeting #34 for Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was land.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

4:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Chris Warkentin

Unfortunately, Mr. Wilks, you're out of time, but I think we'll have time to get to follow-up questions later on.

We'll turn to Ms. Hughes now for five minutes.

May 3rd, 2012 / 4:40 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Thank you very much.

Aanii. Bonjour. I'm really happy to see you here.

I believe I was at one of your powwows when the land code vote was happening. I could see all the signs and I knew that people were engaged. Discussion at the powwow was about the land code; that was good.

You are right—this is part of what I was going to mention—that you are right on the Trans-Canada Highway, and the opportunities could be endless for you. I think the surrounding communities in the area help as well. It's not as if you're there and there's nothing else; there are lots of other opportunities.

I want to touch base, because there was discussion about matrimonial real property coming forward. I think my colleague across was talking about the government MRP law at first, and you talked about the one that you're actually designing. I know that Anishinabek Nation was not supporting the government's MRP legislation. I'm not sure whether you may want to comment on that.

The other thing I wanted to ask about was with respect to specific claims. You mentioned some other outstanding...negotiations, I would say, and you talked about flooded lands. Is that under a specific claim?

4:45 p.m.

Director of Operations, Mississauga First Nation

James Cada

Flooded lands fall under the specific claims act, yes.

The other one was started, I believe, around 1999 or 2000; it was around the ILA highway negotiations. That one was supposed to be a quick administrative fix, and.... It's this day and age; we're nearing completion. I think our biggest problem is getting the legal counsels to get together.

4:45 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

That is one of my questions. What are they telling you, when you're asking for an update on this and asking what the reason is for the slowdown? What are they telling you?

4:45 p.m.

Director of Operations, Mississauga First Nation

James Cada

You don't really want to know what my suggestion would be for the reasons.

As far as I'm concerned, there are no major issues. It is a coordinating effort; it's one of getting the legal team together along with the full table.

I hope you can understand that Ontario has, I would say, about seven representatives; they have the MTO, the MNR, and then the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs. AANDC, on the other hand, basically only has two; one is the negotiator and the other the Department of Justice.

At the last call, we figured they really only need maybe two more meetings. It's just a matter of getting them to meet.

4:45 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Right now, because it's so new, partnerships are not being forged with other businesses, or are some businesses saying they have an interest, and once this is settled you should let them know, as they're looking at bringing their businesses to your community?

4:45 p.m.

Lands and Resources Manager, Mississauga First Nation

Keith Sayers

Again, we had some discussion on solar energy with one of the initial proponents. Once we determine our next steps in that regard, then, yes, we would be engaging in negotiations with that proponent to bring a solar farm to Mississauga First Nation. There are other issues with that, which are outside the process, on Lake Huron right now.

4:45 p.m.

Director of Operations, Mississauga First Nation

James Cada

The other issue.... The ones we are getting a lot of interest on are outside the reserve boundaries and in our traditional lands—mining and so on. As I said, there were three mines in the existing area. Obviously, they were closed for a reason, and that was due to poor quality.

4:45 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

I want to go back to your ATR. I know you got the order in council, but has it been signed off by the minister?

4:45 p.m.

Director of Operations, Mississauga First Nation

James Cada

The additions to reserve were—

4:45 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

When was it done?

4:45 p.m.

Director of Operations, Mississauga First Nation

James Cada

That was March 25, 2010. It was signed off by Privy Council.

4:45 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Okay.

4:45 p.m.

Director of Operations, Mississauga First Nation

James Cada

That was the OIC granting the lands reserve status.

4:45 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Okay. One of our other witnesses said you were still waiting for the minister to sign off on it.