Mr. Speaker, the member for Delta—Richmond East covered a number of points that I know I will not have time to address, of course, but I will touch on a couple of them.
One is that it is always interesting to me that in this House we have discussions in which it is said that first nations must be held to different standards than the rest of Canada.
When it comes to environmental concerns, I just need to point to the fact that I know the Department of Fisheries and Oceans was considering two mining permits that were going to kill freshwater lakes, which fish reside in, as tailing ponds. Therefore, on the one hand we have the non-aboriginal population that continues with environmental impacts that affect us, whether it is the tar sands or tailing ponds, so I am not sure that it is a legitimate argument.
When it comes to overlaps, the member is absolutely right. There are some concerns with overlaps. Certainly, the Penelakut, the Cowichan people and the Sencoten have all signalled some concerns around overlaps.
I know that the Penelakut and Cowichan have been quite actively working with the Tsawwassen to address some of the concerns around the overlaps. The government has provided some additional funding, both provincially and federally, certainly to Penelakut, to help with some of the research, background and negotiation around that. The overlaps are a concern. I know from speaking to people from Cowichan and Penelakut that they are working to try to resolve some of those concerns.
When it comes to off reserve people having a say, we have a court decision which recognizes that people who belong to a particular nation have the right to have a say in what happens on their traditional territories. We know that Bill C-31 from 1985 recognized that women who had married out of their community had the right to be reinstated to their communities, but they were impacted, as they were not allowed to return to their communities because there simply were not the resources to allow them to return.
So now what I am hearing people say is that because these people, largely women and their families, could not return to the reserve because of a lack of resources, they should not have any say in what happens. That is a much larger question around where governments choose to put their time, energy and resources.