Mr. Speaker, I appreciate many of the comments by the member for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca. He always has a way of being very provocative in his comments of course. I know he has written about this subject and has many thoughts on the bill. I can trace many of his thoughts back for many years. We have had many discussions over the years.
I also know about his work on first nations reserves in British Columbia and other places. I appreciate his perspective as a doctor, which is often very illuminating.
I want to assure the member on a couple of fronts. One is that we are changing the organization within Indian and Northern Affairs. He talked about the multiple applications that are necessary for economic development. We are patriating from Industry Canada, Heritage Canada and Infrastructure Canada in an effort to allow a one stop application for some of the economic development things that used to be spread out under many different departments. This should make it easier, simpler and more direct so that many of those applications can be speedily dealt with to promote economic development, which is one of the keys.
The other thing the member mentioned was the core funding for the Assembly of First Nations. Overall, the core funding for organizations across the country has gone up significantly this year. We have made a more equitable distribution among the regional organizations where much of the good work is done.
The Assembly of First Nations and all the national organizations still have significant core funding but we have really boosted the funding for regional organizations. Again, it has been my experience that much of the good work is regionally targeted. I would ask the member to think in those terms.
I do think that quite often issues that are important, for example, in British Columbia, are best dealt with by the regional aboriginal umbrella groups from British Columbia. That is something the member should consider.