Mr. Speaker, I acknowledge that maybe I should not have said “any”. However, the overall feedback we are getting from the communities that are going to be affected is the government is being selective in the points it is putting into the legislation. One of the comments is the legislation does not recognize first nations governments, which is fundamental. If we are going to recognize and give credence to the bands as the law-making, or the band having the power to make rules and laws for their reserves, then I go back to my first statement of doing token measures.
If we are not going to recognize people as having the jurisdiction to make changes in their community, then we are only going halfway. The way the bill is written, they feel this could intrude on their jurisdiction and law-making practices. There is no planned transition period and support for first nations capacity building and development. If we are to give them the ability to make their own codes, then we have to give them the resources to do the research, to be able to implement them properly. It is fine and dandy to say to people that they can do a certain thing, but not give them the capacity to do it, or to have the people know what their rights are. If they do not know their rights, they will not exercise them.
If we give the law-making ability to make their own codes, and I know some of the land claims agreements have their own codes but they built into them the capacity and the resources with that, then we can work with the first nations to produce those codes. However, they need the money to research them. They need the money to consult with the people as to what those codes are. I know some of those codes are even higher than some of the provincial legislation, so it has been done. It is not like we have to reinvent the wheel.