I wanted to touch on one aspect of this whole affair, and I think I can do it now.
First nations have a very specific interest in this, but the people of the Yukon in general have a very specific interest. Under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, people in the north have a right to a legislative assembly and there is equality in this world.
You know, as a person who has lived and worked in this system my whole life, I don't get the same kind of powers and authorities that people could aspire to in the provinces. When you're in a situation where a territory has been given authority through a board—and we see now that that authority is being harnessed, being held back, being moved back into the federal regime—I find this to be abhorrent
We're taking a step backwards from political rights in Yukon. We're taking a step backwards for the people of the Yukon from where they were. It's tough enough living and working in the territories when you don't have the rights, but when you are given something that is your due and then you find later on that somebody wants to take it back, they want to curtail your rights, this is just scandalous in many ways. It's scandalous what this government is doing to the people of the north.
Yes, they can pressure the territorial governments. They hold the gold, and they can pressure the territorial governments to go along with these types of acts. That's what's happened here. It's happened in the Northwest Territories and it's happening now in Yukon. I think it's even more significant in Yukon because they have been taking things away, and that's just not correct.
I wish people across the way would understand the nature of what's going on and how we all are Canadians. We all should have similar rights. Those of us who don't have them should have the expectation of receiving those rights in the future.
This particular act may seem minor to you; it may seem like a minor amendment. It may seem to be not that important. But what people get when they don't have everything is important to people. They don't have all of the rights that you do. When they've had something, it's important that it isn't taken away. In any way that the federal government can consider that they have the moral authority to take something back from us is really unfortunate.
You know, I'm not trying to.... If it doesn't happen today, if you are legislators in the future, it's important that you understand that the goal—