Evidence of meeting #104 for Indigenous and Northern Affairs in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was consent.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Corrina Leween  Vice-Chair, First Nations Major Projects Coalition
Rebecca Knockwood  Fort Folly First Nation, Mi'gmawe'l Tplu'taqnn Inc.
Derek Simon  Legal Counsel, Mi'gmawe'l Tplu'taqnn Inc.
Aaron Bruce  Legal Advisor, First Nations Major Projects Coalition
Niilo Edwards  Executive Director, First Nations Major Projects Coalition
Susanna Cluff-Clyburne  Director, Parliamentary Affairs, Canadian Chamber of Commerce
François Dufresne  President, Forest Stewardship Council of Canada
Pamela Perreault  Coordinator of Aboriginal Initiatives, Forest Stewardship Council of Canada

5:25 p.m.


Romeo Saganash NDP Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, QC

Am I going to say no to a Liberal?

5:25 p.m.


Mike Bossio Liberal Hastings—Lennox and Addington, ON

How liberal of you.

5:25 p.m.


Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Nobody says no to a Liberal.

April 26th, 2018 / 5:25 p.m.


Romeo Saganash NDP Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, QC

Since I feel that I have to reply to some of what you said, in answer to some of the questions that were asked with respect to what could be changed or improved in this proposed legislation, I agree with many of the suggestions that have been made to this committee by many people. Many made suggestions for change in order to strengthen the bill and not to reduce what's being proposed. But, in general, it's a legal framework for the future. It's not a bill that proposes to change the laws that we have today. It's for the future.

If you want a new legislation on first nations' control of first nations education, then the standards are the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. That's what the legal framework is. If you're going to get rid of the Indian Act and replace it with something else, then you have the standards in the UN declaration to follow. Those are the minimum standards. That's what a legal framework means. I think we need to understand that aspect of what is being proposed here.

I agree that proposing clarity will help business, the environment. Mr. Dufresne referred to a situation in northern Quebec. I come from northern Quebec. There's a separate, distinct regime for forestry in northern Quebec, distinct from the rest of Quebec, and that's normal because the Cree territory is covered by a constitutional regime called the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement. Our thoughts when we negotiated that were that if companies continued to cut the way they cut before 2002, then that industry was not going to survive. What we proposed in exchange for the Quebec regime was with the objective of maintaining that industry in northern Quebec, and our traditional territory, for the long term. That was the idea.

Does your membership view forestry development in the same way, especially in light of using it as a framework, or as a guidepost, to use your expression? Do they view forestry development in that way with a long-term vision of that type of development?

5:25 p.m.

President, Forest Stewardship Council of Canada

François Dufresne

Most certainly, and I'm glad you asked me that question.

Madam Chair, I'd also like to say not to be afraid to be bold with this new law and aim for the long term, and I'm sure the first nations will be the first ones to respond positively to build that future together. I think UNDRIP is a great opportunity for that.

To support Ms. Cluff-Clyburne from the Chamber of Commerce, a lot of these members are also members of FSC on a voluntary basis in order to build that future with FSC respecting the same UN declaration, and they are not shy to take that bold step to implement that. Under one principle, it's very simple. First nations occupy the territory of our natural resources; they're the first ones to be impacted and too often the last ones to benefit from it. I think this needs to be changed for the greatness of this country.

Thank you.

5:30 p.m.


The Chair Liberal MaryAnn Mihychuk

All right. That concludes the time allocated and we've had a good, in-depth discussion of how forestry is both business and conservation, and indigenous, so now we have three legs to the stool.

The Chamber of Commerce, your insight and clarity is refreshing. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has had some wonderful pieces, and now you've done it again for this one, so I really appreciate your time and effort to participate in this.

Merci beaucoup.

The meeting is adjourned.