Thank you, Mr. Chair, and thank you to the presenters today.
I have a few questions. The first one is for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. I listened with real interest when you talked about the issue of housing and how it affected employers. You pointed to domestic abuse as something that has resulted from poor housing.
I just sat on a committee that reviewed the issue of suicide in aboriginal communities across the country, and the numbers that we found and the despair that people are exposed to are horrific. There are many issues that are causing the despair among our youth, but housing was pointed to as one that was fixable.
It was mentioned many times that if we could fix the issue of housing, which has worsened over the years, we'd solve 50% of the social issues that are challenging us. Housing is a factor in domestic abuse, but in our aboriginal communities it's also a real factor in sexual abuse. It's also a factor when it comes to suicide. It limits our people being able to hang onto gainful employment. Students have a hard time studying, and it causes lower grades.
I'm assuming you have some research you could share with us.
Mr. Chair, maybe she could provide that to us.
My next question is for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. I represent the Northwest Territories. Almost all our communities are aboriginal. We really have a challenge, because the way we live has changed. Many things are causing that, and our culture is being diluted. A lot of our elders say that our youth have to live in two cultures now: they have to have a foot in both worlds. Some of the elders of the Tlicho Nation say that you have to be strong like two people, because you have to be able to know how to hunt, fish, berry pick, trap, and all these traditional pursuits that we've done historically, but at the same time you have to have a full-time job to look after your family.
We were quite happy to see the flexibility in the labour code changes. We know there was a lot of work done with indigenous governments and people in terms of consultation. I wonder why you're making a recommendation not to go ahead. Have you talked to indigenous people? Have you gone out and consulted with indigenous governments, first nations, Métis, and Inuit? There was a lot of work done on this, and I'm not sure where you're getting your direction from. I'm assuming....
I'll let you answer that.