Obviously, the difference between Australia and Canada is the Constitution. We can all agree that they are not the same. This must be taken into account. In Quebec, we are faced with a reality specific to Quebec that must be taken into account.
I am trying to understand. I am in favour of good environmental assessment. I try to cut red tape, because that is the issue. We also need to come up with different regulations, in an area where we must respect existing treaties and the duty to consult with First Nations, to ensure that this does not take forever. Because one of the issues is that…
you want a timeframe. You want to make sure that we have a time limit, but at the same time you have to protect the environment, you have to be respectful of the consultations. They are players. In my book, this is key. We didn't have that convention for nothing in 1975, and there's a reason that it's in the Constitution of 1982.
But at the same time, David, when we spoke in the past about the oil sands, that's the same thing.
What I'm looking for is to protect the strategic resources, to make sure everybody benefits out of it, but at the same time you need a process, because there were some tables regarding the water monitoring and all that. Sometimes less government might be interesting, but we need government. So this is the difference between smart regulation, cutting out the red tape, and seeking some results and protecting the environment--and protecting the people who are living in that environment.
Where's the beef? Do we need to put more money in the environmental assessment because we're cutting the budget? We can talk about all the philosophy we want, but if we don't have the resources, it means nothing. We can have a nice law with nice regulations, but if we don't have the resources to do so, it will create some other problems. We'll finish that in court, and we all know lawyers will get richer.
If you have one recommendation from both sides, how can I cut the red tape and be respectful of the Constitution? There's a reason that there's
… shared protection. Once the Northern Development Plan becomes reality, it will hit us head on. It will be an opportunity to show how the federal government, provincial governments, First Nations governments and industry can work together.
How can we manage it? Is it just a matter of resources and saying, “Okay, we put that in that law. You respect the first nations. You have to work with them--consultations, money, and that's it--in a timeframe.” Would that be appropriate to do?