Mr. Speaker, as my colleague from Edmonton—Sherwood Park pointed out, this bill does have some points that we are very supportive of. It is lacking in many areas, but I believe that we are going to be supporting it anyway.
I want to get back to some earlier comments, if I may. I would like to ask this member to see if he can rationalize or justify some of these absolute facts about the quality of life on some of these first nations reserves, on so many of them, so many more than is imaginable in this country. If he could make some notes and then respond, I would appreciate it.
First, the fact is that the violence against women on first nations reserves has not decreased in the last 12 years under this very caring Liberal government, as the Liberals say they are. It is even at the point that the issue of violence against aboriginal women is not on the agenda of the first nations summit next week in Kelowna. A question during question period about why it has not been included was not answered.
Second, there have been all too many incidents of corruption at the band and council level and in regard to the mismanagement of money. Every year the Auditor General brings to the attention of the House the fact that the accountability factor is not there. In the last 12 years this issue has not gone away. It is still present under the Liberal government.
Third is the quality of life, the living conditions and the health conditions in first nations communities, including the Kashechewan issue with the poisonous water and the mould in the houses in the communities. That has not been addressed by the Liberal government over the last 12 years.
I hope the member is making notes and will be responding to all of these points.
Fourth, the fact is that the drug and the alcohol problems on first nations reserves, under this very caring and concerned Liberal government over the last 12 years, has in fact not decreased but increased under the Liberal watch.
Last, the sad fact is that the Liberal government has unfortunately been in power for most of the last 35 years and there have been billions of dollars put into first nations programs in this country, yet today the sad answer to the question on the quality of life is that it indeed is perhaps not as good now on the first nations reserves as it was 30 years ago, prior to all the billions of dollars having been put in.
As well, the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development has developed into a huge conglomeration of bureaucrats who apparently do not seem to want these problems to ever get solved. There have been a lot of suggestions. Why would they simply want to work themselves out of a job by solving these problems?
This is the legacy of this so-called caring Liberal government, which puts itself out as a friend to first nations. Yet it has the saddest possible legacy over the last 12 years of its reign that one could ever imagine as far as the issues and the concerns of first nations people being addressed by the government is concerned. It has shirked its responsibility to first nations people in this country.