Mr. Speaker, I think the minister should make clear to the House that this is not enabling legislation for the establishment of the Qalipu band. It is an add-on piece to cover up the mistakes of the government that the Conservatives feel they made.
What needs to be clear here is that the minister made a statement that this would indemnify the government and prevent ineligible, illegitimate applicants from seeking damages; however, the courts will decide that. It is not the minister who will decide that.
The proposed legislation before us today would prevent anyone from getting reasonable access to the court system to determine whether or not the government is at fault and has erred over an eight-year process.
Let us be very clear with each other here. This is a four-clause piece of legislation. Clauses 1 and 2 are simply pro forma. However, clause 3 suggests that it would enable the government to make a revision to the Governor in Council, which establishes a schedule of membership for the Qalipu band and registry under the Indian Act.
Under the technical briefing we received yesterday from senior officials, we discovered, as we suspected all along, that the government does not need that legislative right to add to the schedule. It needs that reinforcement to delete from the schedule, because there have already been four separate additions.
Now clause 4 in the bill before us would not give immunity to anyone other than the government for its own mistakes. The Qalipu band was formed on one basis, and one basis only. The Mi'kmaq of Newfoundland had access to the courts. They filed a court challenge in 1989 and, if it were not for that, there would be no Qalipu band—