House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was saskatchewan.

Last in Parliament March 2008, as Liberal MP for Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River (Saskatchewan)

Won his last election, in 2006, with 41% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Aboriginal Affairs October 4th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, Saskatchewan has not seen abuse like this since the days of the Grant Devine government in Saskatchewan.

Mr. Harrison has stated he plans to run again in the next election. and the minister is using taxpayers' money to finance his pre-election campaign. This is disgraceful. A defeated MP is being paid by Indian Affairs to spend his days driving around northern Saskatchewan polling chiefs and Métis leaders on what they think his electoral chances are, and this after Mr. Harrison called aboriginal communities “banana republics”.

When will the minister stop abusing the public purse for his friend and cronies, show more accountability, and fire this defeated candidate?

Aboriginal Affairs October 4th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development claims to care about poverty facing aboriginal Canadians. However, his actions show he cares more about creating jobs for Conservative friends and cronies. It is not just the patronage contract he gave to Harvie Andre. He also hired a failed Conservative candidate to campaign in northern Saskatchewan.

The minister is paying Jeremy Harrison to campaign in northern Saskatchewan and send out news releases on Conservative Party letterhead while listed as a government employee. Why are Canadians being billed for the re-election campaign of this defeated candidate?

Agriculture October 3rd, 2006

Mr. Speaker, Saskatchewan has long been known as the breadbasket of the world, with hard-working farm families contributing greatly to the province's wealth.

However, the farm income crisis has hurt many Saskatchewan farms and the collapse of the WTO talks has led to global uncertainty. A new road map is needed to plan a way forward to help and empower farmers.

I applaud the member for Malpeque for making that road map, a new Liberal plan that puts priority on farm families. He consulted with many farmers and organizations across Canada, including co-hosting a meeting with me in Meadow Lake this summer.

The new Liberal plan calls for: deep reforms to CAIS, not just a rubber stamp name change; a disaster relief plan that responds to major crop loss, avian flu, BSE and high foreign subsidies; a biofuels plan that puts the priority on producers; a strategy to seek and secure new markets and challenge unfair practices; and, most important, consulting with producers to respond to their needs, not simply serving ideology or bureaucracy.

The new Liberal road map for agriculture points to a real commitment and partnership with Saskatchewan's farmers.

Committees of the House September 29th, 2006

There are a few questions in there, Mr. Speaker, that I would like to address.

First, on the existence of the Kelowna accord, millions of people watched the discussions as they unfolded before their eyes in Kelowna. A document laid out the objectives of the Kelowna accord.

Second, in May a senior bureaucrat from the Department of Finance appeared as a witness. The witness was asked directly if the money was made available through the ways and means. The senior bureaucrat said “Yes it was”. Then the witness was asked what happened after? “Well, only the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance can choose to move that money and not honour the money that was set aside for Kelowna”. Mr. Bureaucrat was asked if this is what occurred. The answer was “Yes, the Conservative government chose to go a different route”.

That is what happened with the Kelowna accord, very clearly. The hon. member should check the May blues of the finance committee himself and he will that.

The third point I want to make is that most investments were done, but not one penny has left the Treasury Board yet.

Committees of the House September 29th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, let me tackle the UN declaration in the hon. member's reference to international fora.

First, It has been a huge embarrassment for our country to have the Conservative government side with Russia, which has one of the most atrocious human rights violation records in the world, especially as it relates to the indigenous people of its country. It has also tried to lobby other countries, with even worse records of human rights violations against indigenous peoples, to try to get them on side to vote against the declaration, which is simply to protect the rights of indigenous people, and it is non-binding. The excuses the minister has laid out are just ridiculous. They do not make sense.

Second, Canada is experiencing, within its borders, its greatest demographic shift in 50 years. Baby boomers are retiring. One of the source populations upon which we can depend to replace these aging baby boomers is the aboriginal population. That is why investment in post-secondary education is absolutely necessary today as well as investment in other areas that affect education and health indicators, such as investment in housing, is absolutely critical.

Committees of the House September 29th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, that is a question that baffles not only the first nations, Métis and Inuit people in this country but it baffles all Canadians I am sure. I am not sure who the Conservative government purports to represent, when I have heard every segment of Canadian society asking it to implement the accord.

This accord represented years of hard work by the aboriginal people of this country in an effort to try and battle their way out of the poverty and desperation they experience every day. To simply play politics because it was not theirs is a huge insult.

Committees of the House September 29th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, the real question is: how are we going to tackle it? The when should be now. The more important question is, how?

If the government is proposing to ensure that the division of matrimonial real property occurs, yet at the same time breaking, demeaning and diminishing the rights of first nations people, including the rights of the women, then this is going to cause more problems in the future.

How are we going to tackle it? I would ask that the Minister of Indian Affairs seriously consider the recommendations that the Assembly of First Nations and the Native Women's Association of Canada will make. I also ask him to consider the recommendations of Wendy Grant-John, who the government itself has hired and who I know will do a tremendous job in her report.

I ask the hon. member if there is any truth to some of the rumours out there that the government has already started to draft legislation on matrimonial real property before any of this consultation is done?

Committees of the House September 29th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, I move that the first report of the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, presented on Friday, May 12, 2006, be concurred in.

I rise to speak on this motion with the hope that this government will acknowledge and understand the ramifications of its choice to kill the Kelowna accord. I believe it does not understand how gravely it has hurt first nations, Inuit and Métis communities, directly and indirectly.

Over the spring and summer, we have seen the Conservatives' attitude toward Kelowna regress, from saying that they supported the accord, to “putting the wheels on” the accord, to finally denying that it ever existed.

Not only did the government mislead Canadians, it also misled the aboriginal people of Canada. Premiers across Canada were shocked by the government's betrayal. For example, the Premier of Saskatchewan and the leader of the official opposition voted unanimously in support of a motion urging the federal government to implement the agreement.

First nation, Inuit and Métis leaders were stunned by the complete lack of consultation before the government chose not to honour the agreement. No one could believe the Conservative government would simply cut and run from its commitments.

Perhaps the Conservatives like to tell themselves that the new consensus struck at Kelowna was nothing significant. To do so, however, ignores this landmark agreement and reinforces over 100 years of distrust and shame.

Kelowna is a high-water mark, one achieved through collaboration and good faith, aimed at reconciling the wrongs of the past.

My elders tell me that in order to move forward, we must truly understand the past and the present to properly envision the future. We must understand the three phases of modern aboriginal-state relations. Every member in this House must be able to grasp these words before we are to truly understand what will be lost if the members of this House continue to vote against the Kelowna accord.

The first phase was an ad hoc/crisis phase. During this period of time from the 1950s until 1969, the federal government's approach to working with aboriginal people was with ad hoc responses to crises occurring in the communities. It was not until a crisis occurred that the government would respond. No medium, short or long term goals were ever taken. No constructive plans were ever enacted. This was simply and purely crisis management.

The second phase was an adversarial phase. The introduction of the 1969 white paper sparked aboriginal Canadians to respond strongly to its recommendations. Aboriginal people were tired of being swept under the rug and ignored until the last possible minute as they suffered misguided, imposed directives often disguised to assimilate the people and their lands.

From the 1970s until the mid-1990s, aboriginal Canadians found their voice and explored many avenues to speak out and affirm their rights. We demanded that our rights be recognized, respected and protected. We succeeded.

In the courts, we attained victories in Calder, Guerin, Baker Lake, Sparrow, Delgamuukw, Marshall, Powley, Haida, Mikisew and many others. First nations, Inuit and Métis rights were recognized and affirmed in section 35 of the Constitution. The United Nations also gave support to aboriginal Canadians, particularly in the case of Ms. Sandra Lovelace, who asserted her rights on the international stage and prevailed.

However, this was also a time of conflict, marked with protests, such as those at Oka, Ipperwash and others. Relationships were strained with increasing distrust and hostility. That had to end. We needed to move on and we did.

The relationship began to change in the mid-1990s. Canadian courts demanded that governments use political fora to address and deal with first nations, Inuit and Métis issues.

Self-government negotiations sprang up across the country, with an acceleration of programs being devolved to aboriginal control. Round tables were set up to deal with socio-economic issues. Real improvements in the lives of aboriginal people began to be made.

These were the three phases of aboriginal-state relations leading up to the Kelowna accord.

I also want to briefly make mention of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples.

In 1996, the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, RCAP, was concluded. RCAP emerged from the Oka crisis in 1990, with the then Progressive Conservative government realizing it could no longer ignore aboriginal people, something this government should take note of.

RCAP was incredibly ambitious in its vision and all-encompassing in its scope. Based on 177 days of hearings and 3,500 witnesses, a six volume, 5,000 page report could be boiled down to one key statement: that Canada can no longer allow aboriginal people to remain dependent upon the nation.

It laid out the history of how aboriginal people became dependent, of how their world became one of poverty and social upheaval. RCAP identified three characteristics of government action that led to this upheaval: first, the systematic denial of aboriginal peoples' nation status; second, the violation of most agreements made with aboriginal peoples; and third, the suppression of culture and institutions.

RCAP also made recommendations to overcome the incredibly challenging realities of dependency and poverty. In particular, it argued that substantial key investments be made with multi-year commitments. In time, those investments would pay for themselves, realizing net savings over the long term for the government. For example, RCAP recommended an immediate $3 billion investment in housing that would result in Canada recovering more than twice that amount over the next number of years.

Poverty has become the reason for expense, but empowerment of the people and communities will be the way out. If the Kelowna accord is not honoured, this situation of empowerment and moving beyond dependency will not be reversed. Moreover, it is incredibly unsettling that the three key factors of oppression identified in RCAP, which I went through, namely, the denial of nation status, abandonment of agreements, and suppression of culture and institutions, are once again the government's agenda.

This minority government has a negative trend of undoing much of the progress made over the last 10 years. This relationship building stage is giving way to an adversarial stage once again. Yes, we are moving backwards with the Conservative government.

First, it has denied the nation status of aboriginal people. The UN declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples has been strongly opposed by the Conservatives, mostly on the basis that it would “revive 'extinguished' rights”, as if section 35 of the Constitution and many Supreme Court decisions did not exist.

Second, it has violated agreements. Most important, of course, it trashed the Kelowna accord over the objections of the first nations, Métis and Inuit peoples of this country.

Third, it has suppressed culture and institutions. This is what it is doing with the cuts to literacy and skills training, scrapping the first nations SchoolNet program and the court challenges program, and cutting off funding for band elections.

I am not sure who the Conservative government purported to represent when it chose to kill the Kelowna accord. Everybody, and I mean everybody, wants the accord honoured.

The background or context of our choice is this. Let us look at some of the facts.

First, Canada is going through its most significant demographic shift in more than 50 years. Baby boomers are retiring while the aboriginal population is poised to enter the workforce in unprecedented numbers. The time to invest in education and post-secondary is now. At no other time has it been more important to support first nations, Inuit and Métis education.

Second, because of the baby boom occurring in the aboriginal community, we are experiencing overcrowded housing. It is not uncommon to see three families and up to 16 or so people living in one house. The Saskatoon StarPhoenix described in detail the results of this overcrowding on health, on education and on self-worth.

Black mould is killing the people of Black Lake in my riding and many other communities across Canada. An elder passed away literally having black mould growing in her lungs.

Tuberculosis is rampant in my riding. I urge members to read the article in the StarPhoenix of September 26 and see a woman, a wife, a mother, lying in a coma from the complications of tuberculosis. Her husband and family are devastated. My daughter, Taylor, had to live with TB medication for a year. The government has ignored the TB outbreak in Black Lake like it has ignored the TB outbreak in Garden Hill. How can kids study or do homework in these conditions?

The StarPhoenix editorial board called this a “public health horror”. The Regina Leader-Post editorial board called it “a national disgrace”. And the government is going to tell me that it is not going to vote in favour of solving these issues. I hope government members can sleep at night.

A key reason why the Kelowna accord is so crucially important is that it provides the means to empower aboriginal communities to respond to the facts I have just laid out for members. If the Conservatives do nothing, not only will opportunity be lost but another generation will be lost to dependency and poverty. This must not and cannot happen.

The Kelowna accord represents, in the context of this speech, two things: first, the progress of the aboriginal people, the progress that they have made to improve the lives of their people, to have government recognize their rights, and to ultimately take their rightful place in Canadian society. Of course, these struggles are best described in the three phases I spoke of earlier.

Second, we need to begin to see the recommendations made in RCAP in 1996 implemented. This report was widely supported by aboriginal leaders across the country as a report which began to finally recognize our struggles, but also provided solutions for consideration.

Therefore, the Kelowna accord represents hope for first nations, Métis and Inuit people, and prosperity for Canada. It is a high watermark in aboriginal state relations, clearly leading toward implementing the nation to nation relationship necessary to resolve longstanding conflicts related to the numerous issues that could only be addressed through an improved legislated relationship recognizing the jurisdictions of each party.

It represents a new consensus in which all parties at the table agreed to jointly work toward resolving, issues such as housing, health, economic development and more. For the first time, Métis, Inuit and first nations people would be allowed at the table to set the agenda, the objectives, and the action plans to address social justice issues which have for too long been rampant in our communities. Finally, the cost of doing nothing was clearly understood, or so we thought.

Enter the Conservative minority government. How things have changed for the worse. Aboriginal people were betrayed as the Kelowna accord was killed without a second thought. Let us look at this novice Conservative government performance over the last eight months.

Of course, the Kelowna accord was not honoured. The government barely respected the residential school agreement, as I am sure there were some detailed discussions against this in cabinet. It refused to sign onto the UN declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples. The government was able to convince one country to side with it after unsuccessfully trying to convince others with horrendous human rights violations against indigenous peoples in their countries.

The government dragged its feet on responding to the Caledonia land dispute. It undermined the Dehcho nations negotiations on the Mackenzie pipeline and I know there is more to come.

Why do I say this? Let us look at some of the trends emerging on the government side. Let us list them.

Trend no. 1, there is no consultation with aboriginal people. There was no consultation on a decision to kill the Kelowna accord, no consultation on Bill C-2, no consultation on the UN declaration, and no consultation on the water or limited consultation on the water quality panel it set up.

There was no consultation on land claim issues, no consultation and no role for aboriginal people on the ministerial advisory committee on child care spaces initiative, and no consultation on the post-secondary review process which, coincidentally, the AUCC does not feel is fair consultation anyway.

There was no consultation on cutting the aboriginal procurement strategy, no consultation on cuts to education capital, and no consultation on cutting funding to Ontario first nations elections. And of course, there was no consultation on the federal budget of 2006-07.

Overall, this Conservative government just does not care enough to consult with aboriginal people. Aboriginal people are getting the message that the government does not want to talk to them.

Trend no. 2, there is a diminishing of aboriginal rights. One of the principles of the UN declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples is the recognition of collective rights. In fact, the Minister of Indian Affairs stated in the Globe and Mail that “the text (in the declaration) could be used to revive rights that were lawfully extinguished or ceded by treaty.”

What rights were extinguished lawfully? This is the basis upon which aboriginal people have battled the government for decades. Aboriginal people were swindled and prevented from defending themselves. In fact, many first nations people could not even hire a lawyer to act on their behalf.

This tells the aboriginal people that the minister is not open to discussing aboriginal rights in a fair and reasonable manner, especially it seems, collective rights. I think there is a reason to why collective rights are being targeted.

The Minister of Indian Affairs was quoted as saying in a Saskatchewan newspaper that fee simple land ownership is the only solution to dealing with aboriginal poverty. This is an entirely American policy. In the United States the Dawes act of 1887 stole Indian land from the Indian people on the premise of eliminating poverty.

In the book, Reconciliation: First Nations Treaty Making in British Columbia, Mr. Penikett, who is a well-respected authority on aboriginal rights, writes a passage that states:

Theodore Roosevelt praised the Dawes Act as “a mighty pulverizing engine to break up the tribal mass”. Through foreclosures and state tax collections, settlers soon grabbed all the best land. In less than a lifetime, Indians had lost half of their remaining lands in the United States.

Will this future Conservative government on reserve private land ownership legislation be known as the member for Calgary Centre-North act?

The minister's comments tell the first nations of Canada that the goal of the government is clearly not to respect their collective rights but to open up reserve lands for speculators. But, it does not end there.

The next issue the government is dressed in sheep's clothing on is matrimonial real property. Clearly, first nations women are not fairly or legally protected when it comes to the Indian Act. It is a very discriminatory piece of legislation that must be eliminated. In June 1992, Ms. Nellie Carlson of the group Indian Rights for Indian Women said:

Historically the Indian Act has thoroughly brainwashed us. Since 1869 Indian women already were legislated as to who she should be. Six times the Indian Act changed on Indian women. But each time she lost a little bit of her rights as an Indian.

To resolve this issue requires a very complex set of negotiations to take place. The respect and recognition of the first nations dispute resolution processes is necessary. The membership rules of the Indian Act, and specifically the Bill C-31 amendments must be changed to further protect the rights of first nations women.

Socio-economic conditions must be addressed. Recognition of women's rights within the communal land ownership context must be addressed effectively. If it is the plan of the Conservative government to establish fee simple land ownership in order to divide up matrimonial property upon dissolution of marriage, it will not work. If this is the plan, first nations women may end up losing more of their rights as Ms. Nellie Carlson described.

The move of the Conservative government is clearly to establish fee simple land ownership through any means possible, recognizing of course what the Prime Minister did recently when he stood proud to denounce the rights of the aboriginal people of this country as race-based.

Aboriginal people have fought hard to have their rights recognized through the avenues available to them in this democratic country. It is an embarrassment for us as Canadians to see the path upon which the Conservative government wants to take us.

I want to cite Mr. Penikett's book one more time. He talks extensively about the fears of aboriginal people when it comes to the Conservative government. He writes:

Judging from previous statements by Conservative MPs, the possibilities include Aboriginal leaders' worst nightmares:

Deeply cutting financial transfers for education, health and housing programs;

Using the constitution's notwithstanding clause to limit Canada's obligations to Aboriginal peoples;

Ending the separate Aboriginal fishery;

Adopting Harper mentor Tom Flanagan's proposal to legislate “extinguishment”;

Initiating Dawes Act-style privatizing tribal lands; and

Offering individual cash buyouts for Aboriginal rights and title--

Well, Mr. Penikett called it.

The Kelowna accord best represents the hopes and dreams of the aboriginal people of this country to be recognized as equals in their own country and as significant contributors to the building of this great country that today we are all so proud of. They want to be proud of Canada, too, but this government is making it very difficult.

The Conservative government knew that it was never a matter of enough money. The rich treasury that we have seen in the last few days clearly points to the fact that the Conservative government chose not to honour the Kelowna accord and to make cuts right where it hurts.

Aboriginal Affairs September 27th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, on September 26, articles in two Saskatchewan newspapers described the horrendous, black mould infested and overcrowded housing conditions in first nations communities in my riding.

Chiefs from those reserves are in Ottawa today demanding action from this novice government. The chiefs' stories of terrible living conditions reveal great suffering. The mother of one of the chiefs recently passed away, succumbing to black mould that was literally growing in her lungs. This is totally unacceptable.

Improved housing conditions and road access to these remote communities are key to a better quality of life. The Indian affairs minister clearly does not understand that he should advocate for my people. Instead, he has killed the Kelowna accord, opposed the UN declaration on the rights of indigenous people and now has overseen millions of dollars in cuts to aboriginal people, money intended for those most in need.

This novice government has had plenty of time and opportunity to address these issues, but has chosen to abandon Canada's aboriginal people.

I think the minister should pack his silk tie and cufflinks, and spend a month on the reserve in one of my communities to know what this is all about.

Heritage Hunting, Trapping and Fishing Protection Act September 20th, 2006

Mr. Speaker, I also rise today to speak to C-222. I want to thank the members for their comments earlier on this evening.

I believe I understand the intent of the bill. Like many others who have spoken, I also have some concerns. I want to thank the member for Fundy Royal for the clarification on many points and for his speech.

I would like to take some time to honour those who live off the land by way of hunting, fishing and trapping. These are an integral part of the lives of people in northern Saskatchewan and definitely a part of our identity back home.

I have many cherished memories of growing up in Pelican Narrows. Hunting, fishing and trapping were always an important part of my family's life as well as our community's life. I was taught many skills that allowed myself and many others to learn how to live off the land.

I had an opportunity to take part in student exchange trips to northern Quebec and Ungava Bay and to the Queen Charlotte Islands and Massett in particular. I was able to participate in the traditional pursuits of the Inuit and the Haida people. I have got to know, quite well, how important these pursuits are and how strong the aboriginal peoples' connection is to the land.

I agree that the economic benefits of hunting, fishing and trapping are very real. Many people are employed in hunting, fishing and trapping directly or indirectly, whether they are supplying goods and services that are important to these pursuits. These traditional activities are part of the economic subsistence for many northern people and communities.

Tourism also brings wealth and opportunity. As members have said, many people travel into the beautiful and pristine country in the north to participate in hunting, fishing and other activities, which greatly contribute to the fabric of our country.

However, I have concerns with the text of the bill and how the bill could potentially impinge upon hard won aboriginal rights and treaties in unintended ways. It perhaps does not address many concerns and challenges to hunters, fishers and trappers as well.

Trapping, fishing, and hunting is central to the aboriginal people and their way of life. It is part of their culture and their identity. It is an inherent right and their traditional way of life. Treaties have enshrined this, holding land use as a foundational part of those sacred agreements.

This is why, as other members have mentioned, section 35 is enshrined in the Constitution, to acknowledge our rights and affirm them. However, protecting these rights and having governments acknowledge these rights have been a hard ongoing battle. Many Supreme Court decisions, such as Sparrow and Powley, which celebrated its third anniversary coincidentally yesterday, need to be more fully appreciated and understood by the members of the House. Those court decisions define these rights and suggest a framework for the government to utilize in implementing these rights.

Negotiations have been ongoing as well with new treaties and land use agreements being concluded recently and many still ongoing.

Declaring hunting, fishing and trapping as a right, without due consideration to aboriginal rights, could have an adverse effect on these sensitive negotiations and sorting out land use issues.

I also would like to remind my colleagues of the trilogy of cases that affirmed the duty to consult with aboriginal people when developing policies or legislation that affect their inherent rights: Haida Nation, Taku River and Mikisew Cree specifically.

Aboriginal people must be consulted in order to understand their concerns and to avoid impinging on their rights. There is a legal obligation of the government to consult and accommodate, within reasonable parameters, the concerns raised by aboriginal people when issues are raised for discussion, such as what we are talking about today. In fact, I ask the government to review these decisions and employ its very useful recommendations in all the decisions it undertakes when it discusses aboriginal issues.

Discussing these concerns reminds me of when I attended the Churchill River gathering in the reserve community of Stanley Mission this summer. Stanley Mission is a great community, steeped in history, with a proud tradition of protecting its first nation's identity, culture and language.

The gathering honoured and celebrated a traditional way of life that has remained strong and proud for countless centuries. The main message of this gathering was for all levels of government to understand that first nation Métis people wanted to become an integral part of the socio-economic fabric of our country and that the inherent rights of aboriginal people must be respected and more clearly understood.

However, many concerns about the proud livelihood still exist and must be addressed. For instance, many trappers, hunters and fishers have concerns about setting up programs to help them create new markets, concerns with policies such as, in a Saskatchewan context, what they call the let it burn policy. Most of all, there are concerns about a lack of consultation with people affected by industry and resource development.

I want to summarize the concerns I have with respect to Bill C-222.

First, we must understand that there is a legal obligation to consult with aboriginal people prior to introducing legislation that may affect their rights as they are recognized today through various court decisions, through the charter and through the Constitution.

Second, we must also look at preventing a future conflict of laws scenario. Some of them were mentioned by the member for Fundy Royal. It is unclear to me how the provinces in the natural resources transfer agreement may be impacted, which one would supercede the other. Thanks to the member previous, we begin to get an understanding of that.

As well, we need to look at self-government agreements that have been negotiated and the co-management that occurs over resources and land areas throughout the country. For example, the member previous talked about the Freshwater Fish Marketing Act and the right to fish and how that will impact.

The third concern I have is with regard to conservation efforts. What do we say to people if they say they have a right to hunt, when we are talking about issues of conservation of a certain species, whether it is fishing or fur-bearing animals?

I applaud the spirit of the bill and the way it commemorates a great profession and a great activity throughout this great country. However, I ask the member to consider these concerns and to work to ensure that the real pressing issues, which we have talked about this evening, are met. I look forward to the discussion that the bill may have in committee in the future.