Mr. Speaker, as I said a few moments ago, with all due respect, I disagree with the member adamantly. We have had significant debate. The bill has been in committee three times, not twice. It has been before both the House of Commons and the Senate for over one year. We have had significant consultation with people across the country about the good parts and the bad parts of the legislation and what people like and do not like.
We believe that to improve the lives of first nation citizens, it is the duty of the Government of Canada not to sit on its hands but to develop modern tools of governance, modern tools and institutions that will meet the needs of first nation citizens and meet the needs of their leadership.
In my 15 years here we have not accomplished any of that through a legislative process. What we have done is skirted the issue. We have been afraid to be bold and move forward with new initiatives.
I am surprised that the opposition would take the position that we should do nothing, that we should continue to allow first nations to be stuck in the mud and to live in poverty when there are many ways that governments can help.
The legislation would make a difference to first nations people when we can fast track claims and bring them forward for use in the communities on economic development and social opportunity.