I want to thank the minister for coming before the committee today, and I also want to acknowledge the very good document that was presented to us. It would actually be really nice if the minister would answer every question that is in that document.
Since the minister is only here for one hour and we have limited time, I'm going to pose four questions to the minister and I would appreciate it if answers to whatever questions the minister can't answer today could be supplied to the committee in writing.
First, on the first nations water and waste water, I noted in the research document supplied to us that the first nations water and waste water action plan, which ended on March 31, 2012, was actually not formally renewed, even though there is additional investment. In light of the national assessment report, is the department considering comprehensive additional investments, aside from what is allocated annually for increased capital expenditures, for on-reserve water and waste water, and if so, how much? If not, why not?
The second question I have has to do with the specific claims. I know the minister is well aware that there is a review process coming up next year. I know there is additional money under vote 10, but could the minister indicate what the difference is between a concluded claim and a settled claim?
On page 85 in the supplementary estimates (B) there is an indication of readiness for first nations education legislation. We know we already have one piece of first nations education legislation in British Columbia, and I wonder if any of that allocated money will be going toward funding the B.C. First Nations Education Act, because I understand that negotiations are still lagging.
My final question is the one that it would be useful for the minister to respond to today. I understand that on the disclosure of documents to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, currently $2.38 million in the budget is going in the supplementary estimates (B) from the department to the RCMP. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada interim report indicated there are various concerns around the delays, and I understand the commission has to finish its task by June 30, 2014. The minister in question period today indicated that these documents will be provided in 2013, but it wasn't clear on what date in 2013.
The commission has indicated that in order for them to meet their mandated obligations and enforce compliance of the parties' obligations to produce relevant documents, it's unlikely this document completion process will be completed without a significant shift in attitude on the part of Canada, and those parties have been reluctant to cooperate.
Minister, I wonder if you could start with the issue around the document release and perhaps tell us exactly and what efforts will be made, and when, in 2013 to accommodate the commission being able to meet its mandate by June of 2014.