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View Garnett Genuis Profile
Madam Speaker, my colleague says he does not want to beat a dead horse and then goes on to offer gratuitous, absurd criticisms of the previous Conservative government.
There were substantial good-faith efforts, not just on symbolic issues but on critical policy fronts, including increasing investment in education and working with Shawn Atleo and others to try to establish a framework for substantively addressing the long-standing challenges in education. Not all of those succeeded to the fullness of what had been hoped for, but good-faith efforts were made to take on very big, challenging long-standing issues. Frankly, changing some words in the citizenship oath pales in comparison with the legacy of those efforts.
Protecting matrimonial property rights on reserves did not, if I remember correctly, have the support of other parties, and it was an important advance in gender equality for indigenous people. Also, let us not forget that it was under Stephen Harper that the apology was made.
I will agree in principle that there is more work to do. In terms of the economic opportunities of indigenous peoples, we have been set back significantly by the failures of the government. Indigenous people want opportunity and prosperity, and they want to be able to develop their own resources. I hope that one day very soon they will have a government that will support them in doing that.
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