Mr. Speaker, today I rise to mark a historic moment in this place. When our government passed Bill S-2, the family homes on reserves and matrimonial interests or rights act, shamefully, the Liberals and the New Democrats voted against this important legislation, which would give women and children living on first nations reserves the same matrimonial rights and protections as all Canadians.
Despite the courts having identified a legal gap in the protection of women and children on reserves some 25 years ago, violence and sometimes even death have resulted for too long. While it is unconscionable that the opposition parties stood against giving these rights to aboriginal women and children across our country, I applaud those countless women and organizations who came forward to support this bill.
Together, we have closed this gap, provided these protections and made our communities safer.