Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Edmonton—Leduc for his question. I know he has a very broad interest in this subject matter and has contributed constructively to many issues in the House of Commons.
He referred to two particular issues. First, is the issue of international treaties and the authority of the Tlicho government to enter into international agreements and the role of the Government of Canada in terms of entering into international agreements that may affect the Tlicho government. As I said, the Government of Canada retains the sole jurisdiction to enter into international agreements even though some of these agreements might affect the Tlicho government or a Tlicho citizen or the Tlicho First Nation.
Although the agreement and this legislation would create a Tlicho government, which would have law-making powers, the Tlicho government would not have the authority to enter into any international agreements. The law-making powers are specifically outlined in chapter 7. It also contains the limitations and conditions concerning these powers, and specifically, the powers concerning international legal obligations.
It is obvious, and I said this in my comments, and the member for Edmonton--Leduc correctly noted, that in a circumstance where the Government of Canada was entering into an international legal obligation, a treaty, that would have an impact on the Tlicho people or the Tlicho government, there would be a process of discussion and a process of consultation.
That is clearly enunciated and has been a very clear position of the government. However, at no time would the jurisdiction of the Government of Canada to enter into a binding legal obligation be fettered by this legislation or by subsequent legislation enacted by a territorial government, for example, the Tlicho government.
The member also raised the issue of conflict of laws. In a federation like Canada there can be a conflict of laws between different legitimate jurisdictions at any given time. As I said in my comments, there should be no doubt that federal legislation will always be paramount in the case of a conflict. If there is a duly determined conflict of law between something enacted by the Tlicho government and the Government of Canada, the paramountcy of federal legislation, legislation passed in this Parliament, will always be paramount.
As I said, this is an evolving process. In the case of territorial legislation and legislation or regulations passed by the Tlicho authority, we give effect to the Tlicho authority in this legislation. That has been very clear.
We have to be careful not to leave Canadians with the impression that this legislation evacuates the right of the Parliament of Canada to legislate. That is simply not the case.