Mr. Speaker, I heard the minister say he was establishing an open system. It is not; it is a completely closed system. For example, it is closed, as far as the ceilings on claims is concerned. With the Senate amendment, the ceiling will be increased to $10 million. And yet, the average individual claim settlement in the past 30 years was over $18 million.
He says it is an open system. But it is closed, as far as accepting the first nations' individual claims is concerned. The minister will be the sole judge of whether or not such first nations claims will be accepted. He says it is an open system, because it allows court challenges if the commission does not work properly. Well, yes. Once again, he will decide on whether individual claims that are referred to the Department of Justice are acceptable.
We know very well what will happen with the Department of Justice. Technical evidence will be introduced. Things can be drawn out for 15 or 20 years. There are still 1,000 individual claims that have not been settled by the existing process. Things will not improve with the process proposed by Bill C-6. No additional resources are being allocated to settle the hundreds of individual claims that already exist.
The minister says that there are no systems in the world comparable to the one we are going to establish. Of course not. Apartheid ended in Africa some years ago, and he is recreating apartheid for the first nations.
Bill C-6 is goes against all the work that has been done since 1982. We are talking about a commission that is independent from the government, a government that is both judge and party. The first nations understand that. The minister must stop saying that he is speaking for the first nations and the chiefs of the first nations. Less than a month ago, in Vancouver, there was a first nations summit meeting. The chiefs present, including the grand chief, were unanimously opposed to Bills C-6 and C-7, and most of them were opposed to Bill C-19 as well.