Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague started his comments by saying that the Prime Minister, in his campaign promise, said that we would do things differently. That is exactly what we did.
We have been consulting for almost two years with the Inuit, with the Métis, with first nations, with modern treaty bands, with self-governing nations. We have been consulting across the country, and we are discussing this here. We will be going to committee, where we can discuss and evaluate the possibility of amendments, but as we speak, languages are being lost across the country.
My colleague said very eloquently that we have to do something, and he is right. What we are doing here is extremely important. If my colleague does not believe me, maybe he will believe National Chief Perry Bellegarde, who said that this bill “is landmark legislation.” He said, “Today, there is hope” and “This work is good for all Canadians.”
Clément Chartier, president of the Métis National Council, who is a well known and respected leader, said “...this is reconciliation in action.” He salutes the Prime Minister for acting on this priority.
Clara Morin Dal Col, president of Métis Nation British Columbia, said “The bill marks a giant first step” and “It's a historic moment for our people and for our nation.” These comments come from very respected people. They are the ones saying this, not me, and of course I agree with them.
The fundamental thing about this is that we are starting with something strong, something extremely strong. We are advancing the objective of UNDRIP, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We are responding to three calls to action: number 13, number 14 and number 15. We will provide stable and long-term funding. We are recognizing for the first time that language rights are based on section 35 of our own Constitution. This is huge.
Is it an answer to everything? No. Can we do more? Of course, and we will always try to do more. However, this is fundamental. We are starting on a very solid basis, and we will do it for all indigenous people in the country.