Madam Speaker, I am pleased to represent the position of the NDP in the House today. Our critic and spokesperson for aboriginal affairs, the member for Winnipeg Centre, was not able to be here as he is at the aboriginal conference. I know he has worked very hard on the bill, as he has with all other initiatives, to pursue equality and rights for aboriginal people in Canada.
We support the bill. The fact that it is being given speedy passage through the House is necessary and important. We want to ensure there are no barriers or obstacles to economic and industrial development for aboriginal people on reserve. From that point of view, the bill is important and we certainly want to see it go through.
I would also make a note that from our perspective it is important to provide aboriginal people with the tools and the resources that are necessary. As others have noted, the socio-economic status, the environment in which aboriginal people live is appalling. The government's record of not dealing with the abject poverty that exists is appalling.
We have many issues before us in terms of the aboriginal peoples who have not been dealt with. However today we have an opportunity to at least get this bill through to provide some support, the resources and the necessary tools and regulations. On that basis, the NDP of course is supporting the bill as are other parties.