House of Commons Hansard #110 of the 43rd Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was communities.

Topics

The Deputy SpeakerOral Questions

3:20 p.m.

Bloc

Alain Therrien Bloc La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Bloc Québécois, I would like to salute your 10 years of hard work in the chair.

I have not been here that long, but I have always appreciated the work you do, your characteristic courtesy and your proficiency in the beautiful French language, delivered with a slight accent that only makes it even more charming. Above all, we wish you could stay much longer. We are always very happy to see you when we arrive in the House. I do not want to offend anyone, as this is also true of the Speaker and the Assistant Deputy Speakers. You make a great team.

We are always happy to be here, and it is an honour to serve alongside you.

The Deputy SpeakerOral Questions

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Thank you, that is one of the things I will be speaking about in my speech, a few days from now: the richness and the privilege of learning French since 2006 with the House of Commons language training service.

The hon. member for Halifax West.

The Deputy SpeakerOral Questions

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to join with the Speaker and with other colleagues in the House in congratulating and thanking you, the hon. member for Simcoe North, for a decade of excellent service as a chair occupant, including, of course, nearly six years as Deputy Speaker, soon to be the longest-serving Deputy Speaker in Canada's history.

Along with a deep knowledge of procedure and a great sense of this place, you have demonstrated grace, professionalism and courage. On a personal level, Bruce, if I may, I have appreciated your wise counsel, your good humour and your friendship.

Kelly and I extend to you, Heather, your children and grandchildren our very best wishes.

The Deputy SpeakerOral Questions

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

I have appreciated serving with the hon. member for Halifax West, and we continue to serve, as it turns out, in different ways. Thank you so much.

The hon. member for New Westminster—Burnaby.

The Deputy SpeakerOral Questions

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of our leader, the member for Burnaby South, and of the entire NDP caucus, I am pleased to congratulate you on 10 years of incredible service in the House of Commons and to thank you sincerely. Day in and day out, you have carried out your duties efficiently and effectively.

I know that we can stretch the rules a little, so I would like to say I think you are so effective because you operate under what I like to call “the Stanton rules.”

First, you understand the rules as good as anyone in the House of Commons. Your knowledge of parliamentary procedure gives us all confidence, and the confidence you give from that knowledge is something that helps us navigate what can sometimes be stormy waters, when there are differences of opinion about the best way to proceed.

Second, you treat all members of Parliament with the utmost respect, and we see that each and every day. You are the embodiment of a fine parliamentarian, and, because you show such respect to every member of Parliament, regardless of the circumstances, it helps us show more respect to each other.

You also bring a terrific personality, with a great sense of humour. You are unflappable. Goodness gracious, we have tried to knock you off, confuse you, make you hesitate a bit, and it has never happened in the years you have been Deputy Speaker. You are always concise, competent and unflappable in the House with your great sense of humour. It contributes so much.

It is also important to note your respect for both official languages. I think my colleague from the Bloc Québécois mentioned it as well. You always make sure that both languages have equal status in the House of Commons. That is an extremely important aspect of our work, which you accomplish very effectively.

The last element of the Stanton rules is you have treated members from across the political spectrum as friends. There is no one in this House who does not see you as a colleague and somebody who is trying to embody the very best in our Parliament.

I say, with some regret, knowing that you are stepping down, that I hope we will have continued months before there is an election, and continued months, if not years, of your parliamentary wisdom, so we can continue the effective work that we should be doing every day on behalf of the people of Canada. You certainly, by the high standards you have set as a parliamentarian and as the Deputy Speaker, have helped us so much to navigate those waters.

We wish the very best to you and Heather, and your entire family. Thank you for 10 terrific years of service.

The Deputy SpeakerOral Questions

3:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

I thank the hon. member for New Westminster—Burnaby. All I can think of is that this is taking time away from the day's business here.

We will go to the hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands.

The Deputy SpeakerOral Questions

3:25 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, this is a moment filled with emotion for me, and I believe it is for you as well.

I have the honour of joining my colleagues in affirming that you are an extraordinary person.

I have worked with you on several issues, not just in your capacity as Deputy Speaker, but also as the MP for your riding. We worked together on several issues and matters, and I must say that you have an extraordinary record.

I am switching back to English to say that I am really impressed with your French. You know I try my best. As other colleagues have mentioned, when you are in the chair as Deputy Speaker, it is always a time when we have a steadier hand in choppy waters. I am not comparing you to other deputy speakers. They are all fantastic, but you will be missed. I will miss, very much, working with you. I will come visit in Simcoe North because you have a beautiful riding, and I love visiting.

Please, dear lord, bless you, Heather, and your family with the most wonderful of retirements. May you never regret for one minute that you stepped down from this place, and may you not be wishing that you could come back. You will be enjoying a retirement as full and as glorious as you uniquely deserve. Thank you.

The Deputy SpeakerOral Questions

3:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

I will start by thanking the Speaker for taking the time to remember the work we have done these past few years. I thank my leader, the leader of the Conservative Party, for his kind words. We have been good friends since 2013, I believe. I thank the member for La Prairie and the entire Bloc Québécois team for their excellent ongoing attention to the affairs of the House of Commons.

I thank my friend from New Westminster—Burnaby and his party. They have been nothing but attentive to the work of the House each and every day.

As well, I thank my good friend, the former Speaker, from Halifax West. The current Speaker and I have worked with him, and I had the honour to serve with the hon. Speaker from Regina—Qu'Appelle. Each of the teams I worked on with my fellow chair occupants was a pleasure and a privilege. One of the current team is here today, and I have to be careful with that, because the hon. member for Kingston and the Islands will call me out for reflecting upon the absence or presence of members.

The team I work with, the Speaker and my two fellow Chair occupants, has been nothing but a pleasure to serve with. I am now very cognizant of the time this is all taking. As servants of the House, we are here first and foremost for the members. We live that each and every moment. We are in service to the members, and what a privilege it is to do so.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

3:30 p.m.

Conservative

Karen Vecchio Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is a wonderful place to be as we honour you today.

On behalf of the official opposition, I would like to ask the House leader what our scheduled business will be for the remainder of this week and next.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

3:30 p.m.

Honoré-Mercier Québec

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I would like to join my colleagues in congratulating you and thanking you for all that you have done. The fact that you have been there for so long attests to your sense of ethics, professionalism and collegiality, among other things. Thank you once again, and congratulations for all that you have done.

In response to my esteemed colleague's question, this afternoon, we will continue the debate on the NDP's opposition motion. This evening, at the expiry of the time provided for Private Members' Business, we will have a series of speeches and then proceed to the passage of Bill C-8, an act to amend the Citizenship Act regarding the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's call to action number 94, at third reading.

Tomorrow morning, we will begin with the second reading of Bill C-21, an act to amend certain acts and to make certain consequential amendments regarding firearms, and then, in the afternoon, we will move on to third reading of Bill C-6, an act to amend the Criminal Code regarding conversion therapy.

As for next week, on Monday, we will resume second reading of Bill C-21. Tuesday will be an allotted day. Wednesday, we will proceed with Bill C-30, an act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 19, 2021 and other measures. Debate on that bill will continue on Thursday and Friday.

Congratulations once again, Mr. Speaker, and I thank my colleague for her question.

The House resumed consideration of the motion.

Opposition Motion—Action Toward Reconciliation with Indigenous PeoplesBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

June 3rd, 2021 / 3:30 p.m.

Labrador Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Yvonne Jones LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Northern Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I believe congratulations are in order from the sounds of things.

I really appreciate the opportunity to speak today and to say to all members of the House ulaakut. I speak today in representing the indigenous people of Labrador, all Labradorians who live in the lands of the Innu and the Inuit of the region.

Like many before me today, we acknowledge our Parliament is located on the traditional and unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinabe people. I, like many Canadians, am thankful for the freedom we have to speak and for the opportunity to speak to what has been a sad legacy and a dark chapter of residential schools in Canada.

I will be sharing my time today with my colleague, the member for Winnipeg North.

The residential school system is a national tragedy. It was born of colonialism and it was propelled by systemic racism. We can all agree on that. I think all of us are still very shocked and profoundly upset with the news we heard coming out of Kamloops in the last week. Unfortunately, the first nations of Kamloops are alone and, once again, this is evidence of the pain experienced by generations from the legacy of residential schools and the system in which they were entrapped.

Many continue to experience that pain today. I know this very well, because I know my riding and the people I serve. Many of them are victims of residential schools. The pain and hurt of that experience follows them to this day and unfortunately will follow them and their families for generations to come.

Our government is the first in Canadian history to step up and talk openly about reconciliation with indigenous people. We are the first government to establish that reconciliation with indigenous people is a priority for us and for Canada, and Canadians support and embrace this.

I also want to outline that as a government we are deeply committed to advancing reconciliation, the healing of Indian residential school survivors and their families, and providing supports, depending on the wishes of those communities. More specifically, we are deeply committed to supporting survivors, families and communities, and helping to locate and memorialize through ceremony the children who died and went missing.

The first residential schools were open toward the end of the 19th century and never ceased operation until nearly the close of the 20th century, in 1996. That is only about 25 years ago, so it is not ancient history and it is not without its impacts being felt as deeply as they are today.

The darkness and the pain that came with learning the news is not going to cease today, tomorrow or in the days and years ahead. However, I hope someday in our country we will have achieved reconciliation and healing for all those who were deeply harmed and hurt.

The legacy of residential schools continues to this day with indigenous people, as I said, and it is felt in many ways, through poverty, food insecurity, mental illness, physical health and, more commonly and most known, through death by suicide. This is the sad outcome and the legacy that follow residential schools.

For first nations, Inuit and Métis, while they live with this legacy, they also live with the post-traumatic stress and the intergenerational trauma that accompanies it.

What I do know is this. In the riding I represent in Labrador, despite consistent lobbying and advocating, despite good investments that we have made and continue to make, there still needs to be more focus on mental health and on healing. There are still far too many people who are asking for help that they are not getting. There are still far too many people who are reaching out in words and actions to a dead end. We need to focus on that.

If we are really to help in this healing process, it has to start with mental health services. It has to start with providing the supports that people need to function in everyday life. It has to start with ending poverty and closing the gap that exists between indigenous and non-indigenous Canadians. It has to ensure that there is food security, that there is heat security and that opportunities are equal to all kids.

As we talk about the dark chapters and the sad legacy of residential schools, I also fear for the future yet of many indigenous kids in our country, only because I see what transpires before our eyes each and every day still. Far too many kids are still being removed from their communities, cultures, language and the people who love them. While they may be removed to be safe, we need to find ways to keep indigenous kids safe without having them lose everything else that provides value in their lives.

I deal with issues almost on a daily basis in my riding of children who are being sent hundreds and, in some cases, thousands of kilometres away to be fostered in families and homes, which I am sure, in many cases, are loving and supportive. However, I know these children are losing things that are very valuable to them. They are losing the opportunity to grow up in their own culture and to learn their own language. They are losing the opportunity to visit with those they have learned to love and know.

We need to find a better way, and we can only do that when we work with leadership within first nations, Inuit and Métis governments. This has to be a priority for everyone. Indigenous children have to be a priority for everyone. While it is a priority in terms of when we speak and give that commitment, we need to ensure that it translates into real, substantial change on the ground that will ensure the safety of these children, of their mental and physical health, and the overall well-being of these children as well.

When we talk about the legacy of residential schools, we feel each and every day, as we walk with those we know and love, the serious consequences that it has left behind. I know many people have asked that history be erased in some way, but we should never erase history. When it is so bad, so sad, so horrifying, we should never repeat it. For that to happen, we need to fully understand it.

If we are to move toward meaningful reconciliation for indigenous people and non-indigenous people, together moving forward, then we need to have that level of respect. We need to have transparency. We need to have accountability, but we also need to have understanding, a full understanding—

Opposition Motion—Action Toward Reconciliation with Indigenous PeoplesBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

We will need to leave it there. We are a little over time, and we will now go to questions and comments.

We will begin with the hon. member for North Island—Powell River.

Opposition Motion—Action Toward Reconciliation with Indigenous PeoplesBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:45 p.m.

NDP

Rachel Blaney NDP North Island—Powell River, BC

Mr. Speaker, again, I would love to express my deep gratitude for your amazing work in the House.

Yesterday, the minister reannounced the $27 million to help indigenous communities bring their children home. It came under the 2019 budget. When asked why the money was coming now, the minister indicated that the communities were not ready.

However, today in committee we heard from the chair of the governing circle from the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation that this was simply not the case. She told the committee that survivors have been asking for funds for years, especially through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

I am wondering if the member could speak to why that is.

Opposition Motion—Action Toward Reconciliation with Indigenous PeoplesBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

Yvonne Jones Liberal Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her work on this issue and other issues related to indigenous children in Canada.

First of all, she is well aware that we are committed to implementing the calls to action within the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report and we are continuing the process of truth-telling, as we have already seen, which is a part of the healing for indigenous people that has been laid out by the commission.

Also, I want to reiterate the investments that we are making, and we are moving forward with these investments. There are many cases of unmarked graves across the country as well. We have started the work toward locating them. Unfortunately, what we are discussing today is very tragically not an isolated case in this country. It is one glimpse of the dark reality, the grim reality of residential schools.

We have committed funding in previous budgets that is still being rolled out. I am sure there are many who wish it could be moving much more quickly, but we also have a—

Opposition Motion—Action Toward Reconciliation with Indigenous PeoplesBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

We will get on to some additional questions.

The hon. member for Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo.

Opposition Motion—Action Toward Reconciliation with Indigenous PeoplesBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, I also would like to thank my colleague for a very powerful speech.

This morning at the indigenous affairs committee, we had an hour when we listened to the commissioners and we did not ask questions. It was very powerful testimony. There were a few things that bring me some concern.

One was when Commissioner Wilson said that we have not acted with the attention, urgency and resources that are needed. Commissioner Littlechild talked about call to action 81 being stuck. They made it clear they believe this should not be a partisan issue, that there have been successive governments that have perhaps made mistakes and have done wrong.

Today, the NDP members put forward a motion. It is an important motion. It is not perfect, but it is their effort to move things forward. I would certainly like to hear my colleague indicate that she will be happy to support the motion.

Opposition Motion—Action Toward Reconciliation with Indigenous PeoplesBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

Yvonne Jones Liberal Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, I have shared with the member on committee many different important topics related to indigenous people in Canada, including this one.

Decolonizing the process that has impacted people in this country for many generations is not going as quickly as any of us would like, such as removing the Indian Act, ensuring the protection and safety of children, and closing the gaps we currently have between indigenous and non-indigenous children in the country. Denouncing the colonial systems is a part of that. Reconciling historical wrongdoings is a part of that, but rebuilding our relationship with indigenous people is also a critical piece to all of this.

In order for us to move forward, to do the investments that we currently have on the table and are prepared to invest to help support survivors, families and children, we can only do that in partnership with all of the indigenous governments and organizations that are there. Do we want to fix this? Do we want to make sure that people have the healing and supports they need? Absolutely.

I look at people every single day in my job, because it is my job to represent them. I see the hurt and pain of the experiences of residential schools. I would like nothing more than to take that away, just like every other member in this House, but it is a process. We have to work with them to make sure that we do the right things: investing in mental health, investing in closing the gaps, investing in indigenous children and their families. This is the right thing to do. I hope all governments, not just the government today, not just members in the House today, but all governments in this country in the future will see that as well—

Opposition Motion—Action Toward Reconciliation with Indigenous PeoplesBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

We went a little over time there.

The hon. member for North Island—Powell River is rising on a point of order.

Opposition Motion—Action Toward Reconciliation with Indigenous PeoplesBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:50 p.m.

NDP

Rachel Blaney NDP North Island—Powell River, BC

Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions among the parties and I believe that if you seek it, you will find unanimous consent to extend the time for today's supply proceedings by 15 minutes.

Opposition Motion—Action Toward Reconciliation with Indigenous PeoplesBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Are there any members opposed to the motion?

I hear no opposition. The proposal is therefore adopted.

Resuming debate, the hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader.

Opposition Motion—Action Toward Reconciliation with Indigenous PeoplesBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:50 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, before I get to the matter at hand, I want to add a few thoughts regarding this special day for you as a Speaker. I have always addressed you as Speaker and it is the way I see you. The NDP House leader referred to you as “unflappable”, and that is what I was thinking. I thought it encapsulated your basic understanding of doing what is right in the chamber. No matter what the temperament of members might have been in the chamber, you always seemed to have things under control.

Mr. Speaker, as someone who has been in the House for the last 10 years, I have always, without exception, respected your wise words, even when they went against me at times, and appreciated your many contributions to the House of Commons. I hope there will come a day in your retirement when we will have a chance to talk. I know you are a passionate parliamentarian and have a lot of good ideas to talk about, maybe rule changes or how the House of Commons could be more modernized. I want to thank you for everything you have done in representing your constituents and for being such an outstanding parliamentarian. I have a great deal of respect for everything you have done.

Having said that, I would like to add my thoughts on this very important issue. Members may not be aware of this, but the demographics of my riding of Winnipeg North are the answer to why I feel very passionate about what has been taking place over the last couple of weeks and far beyond that. It goes back to the days when I was in opposition many years ago and wanting to see inquiries on this very important issue. For me, reconciliation is not an option. Reconciliation is something we all need to work on, not only the national government, but all levels of government. It supersedes governments and should also be applicable to the private sector, non-profit groups, people as a whole. We should be looking at our educational systems, for example school boards. Reconciliation is absolutely essential. It is not just for those who were directly impacted, but all of society. If we are to hit our potential, we need to resolve and work toward it.

A number of parliamentarians talked about taking partisan politics out of this. No party in the chamber can escape the damage that has been caused. Different levels of government and political parties have to take some sense of ownership. I like the idea of exploring where we go from here, as opposed to passing blame.

Every week I go over the Salter Bridge and see red ribbons. On Dufferin Avenue, there is a red dress in the window of a home. Earlier today, I saw hearts with the number 215 on them. The discovery in Kamloops is absolutely horrific, and for the very first time, for a vast majority of Canadians, it sunk in that this actually took place.

Many in our society were aware of it or had heard about it. A number of MPs spoke about that. We cannot just let this go by. We need to ensure that we continue to move forward.

The one question I was afforded to ask, was for me personally to reflect and renew my commitment to do whatever I can to push for reconciliation.

A picture is worth a thousand words. I know I am not allowed to display things, but I have a very good friend who often provides me with advice on indigenous matters. She sent me three pictures with news stories. We have all heard the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words”. The first picture she sent me was of an Indian burial ground.

The news article is entitled, “City of Brandon should buy back land where residential school children are buried, family member says”. We talked about Brandon, and Brandon is not alone. We found out about Kamloops and saw the public's reaction. It was immediate. Most Canadians were shocked. Kamloops is not the only community or the only residential school, so there is a need that is real and tangible. When we see the plaque embedded and read this, it reinforces that. We need to look at this collectively and provide whatever support we can.

This article claims the city should buy back the grounds. That is why I say it is not just one government but all governments, stakeholders and even members of the public.

Another story that I was provided is entitled, “Indigenous Manitobans call for empathy about residential schools after remains of 215 children found in B.C.” The picture shows the footwear of children. I thought of candles and those lives that were never fully lived. It is hard to imagine how one could be taken away from their home or family environment as a child. These are the types of imagery portrayed there.

The third article that was sent to me is from Smithsonian Magazine. I want to ensure members know what I am referring to, so I will quote from it. Imagine a picture with red dresses hanging outside.

It states:

On a steel-gray winter day, the red dresses each hung, flapping in the wind along the plaza surrounding the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian—35 of them—in different shapes, sizes and shades. They serve as stand-ins for the potentially thousands of native women who go missing or are murdered each year.

That is the imagery portrayed there.

I see my time has expired. I will continue on in my first question.

Opposition Motion—Action Toward Reconciliation with Indigenous PeoplesBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4 p.m.

NDP

Jenny Kwan NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the member said that he will do whatever he can on the path of reconciliation. There is something that he can do: He can tell his own government to stop taking indigenous kids to court. The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal found Canada's discrimination to be “wilful and reckless”, in a worst-case scenario, resulting in unnecessary family separations for thousands of children, and serious harm and even death for some others. The tribunal ordered Canada to pay $40,000 to each child. The Prime Minister wants to quash that order.

Will the member tell the Prime Minister that he is wrong, and join the NDP and tell the government to stop taking indigenous children to court?

Opposition Motion—Action Toward Reconciliation with Indigenous PeoplesBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, I like paragraphs (c) and (d) in the motion. I think there is a great deal of merit to it. I do not believe the New Democrats are doing a service to the issue by trying to politicize it to the degree they are.

I was commenting about the red dress hanging in a window on Dufferin Avenue right by the Salter Street bridge. To me, that is a reminder I see quite often, as are the red ribbons on Salter Street bridge.

A community of close to 20,000 indigenous people lives in Winnipeg's north end. This is a community I often go through and it is where I have an office. These are the reminders that are very real and these are why it is so important for me personally to renew my commitment to do whatever I can to deal with these important issues and make sure we continue to move forward.

Opposition Motion—Action Toward Reconciliation with Indigenous PeoplesBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4 p.m.

Bloc

Denis Trudel Bloc Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, this debate is very interesting and it is certainly very important.

Rather than ask a question, I would like to make a few comments.

There are a lot of grey areas in this debate. Everything seems kind of vague: the number of children who died, where they died, the illnesses they had and all the circumstances surrounding the whole thing.

It is a bit strange because we can assume the federal government covered the children's cost of living or, in this case, their cost of not living. When children died in some residential school or another, be it in British Columbia, Quebec or elsewhere, a member of the clergy surely had to notify the federal government so it could stop sending money. One would expect some bureaucrat to record the fact that the child had died, how old the child was and the circumstances of their death. How can it possibly be that there was no file comprehensively documenting what happened?

If there is no such record, maybe that means the church communities themselves kept the money. If they did not inform the federal government, we might be staring at a financial scandal here. Church communities might have kept the money. These are really important questions that have not really been addressed in this debate.

Would my colleague care to comment on that?