Mr. Speaker, I remind the government that former students of Indian residential schools are still looking to it for leadership.
There have been 3,700 lawsuits launched by former students against the government. We are still waiting to see how it plans to respond and help these people. There is a strong possibility that more lawsuits will be launched, so there is a need to know how the government will deal with this problem.
As well, churches named in the lawsuits are still waiting for a signal from the government on how it plans to deal with these legal charges. Some churches have gone broke paying lawyers while waiting for answers and are preparing for bankruptcy because of the government's inaction. This is unfair not only to the churches but to those former students who need to move forward to rebuild their damaged lives.
Most important, we must ensure that whatever is decided, healing and reconciliation of the victims is the first priority.
Billions of dollars are at stake in this issue. I call on the government to provide that leadership and tell all Canadians how it plans to bring closure to this tragic chapter of our history.