Mr. Speaker, one of the most difficult issues facing Canadian society is the litigation concerning aboriginal schools. It brings the Government of Canada, a number of major churches and aggrieved aboriginal complainants into the courtrooms of the nations to settle one of the most vexatious issues of our time.
The courts, however well-meaning, are among the least qualified forums for settlement and reconciliation. At the end of the day, if it ever comes, a lot of money will change hands, a small number of lawyers will do very well, the complainants less well, the churches will be bankrupt and our society diminished.
There will be no healing in the lives of the complainants. The money will dissipate with alarming rapidity and the healing so necessary in the lives of litigants will happen outside the courts, if at all.
Courts by definition exaggerate the distance between litigants, exaggerate lines of hostility and protract issues. It is the nature of the beast and, arguably, the last place to deal with the issues.
I call upon the Government of Canada to follow the lead of South Africa and set up a truth and reconciliation—