Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for giving me this opportunity to explain how we might be able to deal with the issue of fisheries, which is typical.
I think that the problem with the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development or the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, is that they decide on programs here, in Ottawa, without ever going in the field to see how these programs are experi-
enced, to see the level of poverty the aboriginal people live in. Were they to do so they would find that aboriginal people often have the solution to their problems. Decisions are taken in Ottawa, but the solution is self-government. We have to give aboriginal peoples the opportunity to take matters into their own hands, to develop windows of opportunity which will pull them out of the dependency they have been kept in for 125 years.
They were always told: "Do not worry, we will give you money". That does not solve the problems. The government committed itself to some movement in this area, but I am anxious to see how they are going to switch from talk to action.
In the Far North, another very good example mentioned by my colleague, the minister said last week that he had reached his objective, he had made me 60 per cent federalist on the issue of financing in the Far North. I know, Mr. Speaker, at 2.15 p.m. it is Question Period, not Answer Period. Still, I would have liked a more accurate answer. I know that the federal government spends $14 million in the Far North, but the grocery basket is still double what we pay here. The costs are twice what they are here, but the salaries are probably about half.
I went to Iqaluit and I made a speech on food distribution in the Far North. I took Madam the Acting Speaker shopping in the Northern Store in Iqaluit. I made a note of the prices. The pack of three one-litre bags of milk was $12, while here it costs only $5 or $6 and we earn twice as much as they do.
There are solutions and they all involve self-government of aboriginal people. The Bloc Quebecois will support any government initiative in this regard. I join the hon. member for Chicoutimi in urging the hon. member for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce to promote this idea among government members. We must not alter social programs, especially not social programs geared to native people.