I will just continue for a few more minutes because I know members are very interested in what I have to say. They are all chomping at the bit there and I can see the enthusiasm. I am putting members through a very zestful experience right now and that is why there is so much enthusiastic behaviour on the other side of the floor.
I will continue by telling members that the credibility of both the proposed centre and the federal legislative process, while at the same time balancing the need for fiscal responsibility expected of the government, is what we are hoping will be achieved in this new model.
The increased limit would not change the tribunal's role in the centre. It would simply permit a modest increase in the number of claims which would be permitted access to the tribunal decision making authority. The centre would still operate within a manageable fiscal framework with a limited annual settlement budget.
In discussions on Bill C-6, first nations and independent witnesses have expressed concerns that the claims resolution centre would not have the power to compel the attendance of witnesses or the production of documents, while the current Indian specific claims commission, which the claim resolution centre would replace, does have these powers. The other place has proposed an amendment precisely to allow the assembling of witnesses and documents.
The proposed amendment would allow any party, as well as a commissioner, to apply to the tribunal for an order compelling the attendance of witnesses before the commission or the production of documents to the commission.
This is not a demand or a power that is going to be given for the calling of witnesses only from the government machinery, but also for witnesses from industry. It could be that witnesses would have to be called in from the general private sector or from the community. It could be municipal leaders. It could be agents of various institutions. It could be agents of various industrial complexes.