Mr. Speaker, one of the things I often mention in this House, and I want to repeat it again. As members of Parliament we have a duty to uphold the rule of law. I mentioned that to the Prime Minister the other day. What does that mean? According to the Supreme Court of Canada, upholding the rule of law means respecting the Constitution. Our Constitution contains the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and section 35 dealing with aboriginal and treaty rights. Therefore, we need to make sure that every time we discuss legislation, it is consistent with the charter and section 35.
We already have that obligation under the Department of Justice Act. Article 4.1 obliges the Minister of Justice to make sure that before any legislation is tabled in this House, it is consistent and compatible with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. We do not have that equivalency for aboriginal and treaty rights yet. That is why Bill C-262 is important for this House as well. Many times when that vetting happens, it is possible that we miss certain legal points. It happened many times under the previous government, and it is bound to happen again here.
I used this example at committee last week. The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal said something important that struck me. It stated that the Department of Indian Affairs continues to do exactly the opposite of what the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs says.
There has always been a problem and a struggle between the front bench here and the departments under which they work, so we are bound to miss a couple of points. However, what is important is to have the proper basis for us to move on, and that is the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.