Mr. Speaker, I always listen with interest to what my colleague, the member for Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River has to say. He is in the unique situation of being the only former chief of a Canadian first nation in the Canadian House of Commons, and we should all take note and pay heed to what he says on these issues.
The former minister of Indian affairs under the Liberal regime identified education as his number one priority. He was very public and very open about that, saying it was the only way to go from poverty to middle class in one generation. I remember those speeches. However, during his tenure, the government took steps to start to tax the tuition and living out expenses of first nation students while they were going to school.
Given there is an appalling shortfall of funding and resources to send first nation students to university and given if they start paying tax on that money as earned income, they will have less to spend and the first nation will have to give them more to live on then even fewer people will go to school.
Could he explain the Liberal government's logic at that time to address the shortfall in funding for post-secondary education by slapping this tax on tuition and living out expenses? Is there any rationale for having done that?