Madam Speaker, I am particularly interested in the intervention by my colleague from Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot. I know he has demonstrated an exceptional interest in this issue for not just this incarnation of the bill but, in fact, when the bill was called Bill C-19.
For those of us who have been involved in this bill since the very beginning, we see Bill C-23 as a fraud, an illusion, that there is no appreciable difference in tone or in content from the basic flaws that we pointed out in Bill C-19.
My hon. colleague cited a number of problems that he had with this bill and, I think in great detail, tried to share with the House what his reservations were as to what might be really motivating the government in introducing this bill.
One of the key things he pointed out, and what I would ask him to expand on, is the whole issue of optionality.
The federal government seems to mitigate the downside of the bill by saying that people should not worry, that it is only optional and that they do not have to use it if they do not want to. However we have had first nations come to our caucus and tell us that the bill is optional in the same way that a driver's licence is optional. A driver's licence is optional unless we want to drive a car and then we must have one.
Would the member agree that the same logic applies to the bill? People do not have to avail themselves of the details of the bill unless they want to institute some financial bylaws in their community, or build a sewage treatment plant and go outside for financing, or they want to actually implement their right to self-government. If they want to do any of those things, then they have to join. Would he agree with me?