Certainly. This is mostly from my own personal experience and it's a little dated, but I still have a great deal of interaction with people who work at the department. Part of my practice is dealing with designations, leasing, and that sort of thing.
As I see it, there are two challenges there. One is that the complexity of the transactions going across a land management leasing officer's desk is getting greater. For those non-FNLMA first nations or self-governing first nations, you're getting potentially more complex transactions and there's a need to seek Department of Justice assistance. They're part and parcel of that. You have your DOJ lawyers, and then you have your lands managers dealing with these complex issues and not being able to deal with them oftentimes in a very timely manner.
That's a resourcing issue that I see in terms of transactions I'm doing for my clients, for instance. The turnaround time for me is in terms of weeks, versus the turnaround time for the department and for Justice, which is calculated in months. There's that opportunity which may be lost, given the delays that come out of that.
It oftentimes is a situation where this person is overworked and they have too many things on their plate, or it's the Justice lawyer. Sometimes it's hard to tell where the roadblock is, but it seems to me that there doesn't seem to be enough competent bodies to address these issues.
There's a fairly large turnover in the lands department. I might be dealing with a lands officer today and then the next day it's somebody new, and trying to get that person up to speed as best I can is often a challenge.