Mr. Speaker, I want to ask my hon. colleague from Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor a question. Earlier today I put the question about the existing level of commitment by first nations to transparency and accountability to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development. He directed me to a resolution. However, it was the very resolution the minister mentioned that I was basing my question on, which is Resolution No. 50/2010 of December 2010, endorsed at the Assembly of First Nations Special Chiefs Assembly. The Assembly of First Nations special chiefs themselves are fully committed to transparency and accountability in their financial reporting.
This piece of legislation is described by first nations chiefs as heavy-handed, paternalistic, and some of the commentary has described it as racist. They are asking why Ottawa is imposing this law at this time instead of working with first nations.
My hon. friend is right that we have an obligation in law to work with first nations through consultation and not through the imposition of top-down rule making. I would like his view on why first nations chiefs are caught by surprise by this legislation, when they themselves have already made a commitment to transparency and accountability in their financial dealings.