This is a question for Mr. Wilkinson, again with reference to the minister's speech and the bill itself and with sustainability as the topic. I want to quote the Northwest Territories premier, from a statement he made yesterday, and I want to add a little bit more into the record. The premier said:
For too long now policies have been imposed on us from Ottawa and southern Canada that, despite good intentions sometimes, and ignorance other times, are threatening our economic potential and the decades long work that we as a government have taken on Indigenous reconciliation. Whether it be ill conceived ways of funding social programs, or new and perplexing restrictions on our economic development, our spirit and energy are being sapped.
He goes on:
New funding approaches that distinguish between peoples may help to improve outcomes on reserve in southern Canada, but could divide Northern communities.... Restrictions imposed on our vital energy and resource sector—40 percent of our economy and source of middle class jobs and incomes for many of our people—are driving companies away, and with that go the jobs that sustain healthy families and community life. Staying in or trying to join the middle class will become a distant dream for many.
We've heard the minister talk about sustainability. We've heard a lot of talk—there is always a lot of talk in Ottawa—but policies such as the ones you're proposing are affecting real people's lives in these northern communities. They affect northern indigenous communities in my part of the province in northern British Columbia, and really across the north—any rural part of Canada.
Please explain how this is sustainable.