Committee
Consult the user guide
For assistance, please contact us
Consult the user guide
For assistance, please contact us
Add search criteria
Results: 1 - 15 of 20
View Brad Trost Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I have a bit of a broad question, so hopefully someone will be able to answer it in its entirety, but each of you, I think, may be able to take a little part of it. It's about timeliness.
We've heard from other witnesses going forward, and to varying degrees here today, about how things like our liquid natural gas, the potential for exports, may depend on who gets to market first, because there are a large number of projects out there. It's the same with oil. How soon we can get more into the United States depends on the political situation, and as they develop tight shale, etc., that could change things. I see basically three main categories to put these products together: capital, regulatory/political issues, and labour.
If we want to get projects done, be they for LNG, oil, or transmission and electrical lines, where do each of you see the greatest potential to slow down our projects to block our timelines? In your particular area of expertise, what would be the problems in each of those areas?
I'll start with Mr. Smillie, since I think you would deal most with the labour issue, and then go to the various other gentlemen, potentially, on regulatory and capital issues. But feel free to comment on all three of those.
View Rob Clarke Profile
CPC (SK)
We've seen how the Indian Act has hampered the economic opportunities for first nations. We've seen how the First Nations Land Management Act has gotten rid of a third of the Indian Act to provide those economic opportunities.
What I'm trying to do is remove the minister from making day-to-day decisions on economic opportunities overall for all first nations across Canada. What I'm also trying to do on my private member's bill is.... Currently, there's no legislative process that would require any government to meet with first nations in consultation to look at the Indian Act on a year-by-year basis.
I'm wondering, one, in terms of economic opportunities how the Indian Act affects first nations. Two, should there be some type of mechanism that will require the minister to report to the standing committee, or to Parliament, on the progress, in consultation with first nations, on a year-to-year basis to review the Indian Act?
View Rob Clarke Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I'd like to thank the witness for coming in from British Columbia to provide testimony. I'm sure it's got to be very difficult with the time changes.
Mr. Calla, your organization strives to provide the tools and guidance in first nations financial management to reporting systems in order to support economic and community development.
I have a couple of questions. One, how does the Indian Act hinder economic development?
View Rob Clarke Profile
CPC (SK)
I believe in my traditional values, one being a first nation person. It's an honour to be here speaking on such a sensitive issue as the Indian Act. Hopefully, once we have finished this meeting today, you will get a better picture of what I'm trying to do.
Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, and guests, I'm honoured to be here today to open the committee's study of my private member's bill, Bill C-428, the Indian Act Amendment and Replacement Act.
As a proud member of the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation and a parliamentarian, the opportunity to sponsor a private member's bill comes along very rarely. I was lucky to be picked in a lottery to bring my bill to Parliament and I take this opportunity very seriously. The reason I'm doing this is in fact the reason I got into politics.
I spent almost half my life living and working on reserve. I was born under the Indian Act and no doubt will die under the Indian Act, but I don't want the Indian Act to follow me to my grave.
As a veteran of the RCMP, with over 18 years of service, I spent the majority of my policing career living and policing on reserves. What bothered me was that I had to enforce this 137-year-old Indian Act and saw daily the impact that this antiquated, paternalistic, and racist legislation had on grassroots band members.
As a representative for Desnethé–Missinippi–Churchill River, a riding having almost 23 first nation communities and the second largest first nation population in Canada, I'm very aware of the challenges posed by this outdated, colonial statute we refer to as the Indian Act.
The problems created by this archaic piece of legislation are far reaching, extending to every aspect of our lives as first nations, and are the root causes of the Attawapiskats of our country. Indeed, we heard every single candidate for chief in the 2012 Assembly of First Nations election say that the Indian Act must go. Virtually every leader of first nation communities across Canada said that the Indian Act must go. And experts from across the political spectrum all say that the Indian Act must go.
In a November 9, 2012, interview the current national chief, Shawn Atleo, said:
Yes, the Indian Act and the Indian Act bureaucracy must be fundamentally and finally eliminated.
The Indian Act is completely contrary to Canadian values and stands in the way of our progress and success as first nations, and has done so for generations. In fact, this legislation treats those of us who live under the Indian Act as second-class citizens.
This legislation was put in place in 1876. It served as the model for South African apartheid, and it really has no place in Canada in 2013 or any other time in our history. It remains a blemish on Canadian society and must be rectified.
Let me talk for a moment about the connection between apartheid and the Indian Act. In an article by South African lawyer, Gary Moore, he sets out the following details:
In 1913 the young Union of South Africa enacted a native land act. The act prohibited the sale or lease of scheduled areas of land reserved for natives to whites. It prohibited natives from acquiring land outside reserves. Reserve land was mostly Crown land. Natives were left in occupation, and native systems of land tenure continued. In 1936 a Crown corporation was created, the native trust, to purchase additional areas released for native occupation.In 1927 South Africa passed an act for native administration generally. It declared the governor-general to be “supreme chief” of natives in most provinces. He had power to appoint and remove chiefs, divide and amalgamate tribes, and punish offenders. His actions as supreme chief were not cognizable by the courts. The act gave the governor-general power to make law by proclamation for native reserves. Proclamations provided for the administrative grant to natives of permission to occupy residential sites and arable allotments in reserve settlements and locations, with restricted tenure and disposal rights. The governor-general could make regulations for such purposes “as he may consider necessary for the protection, control, improvement and welfare of the natives, and in furtherance of peace, order and good government”.
That's “POGG”.
There were special rules and regulations for succession to property of deceased natives. Regulations forbade whites to enter native reserves without a permit. There were regulations restricting the number of shops a native shopkeeper could open in a reserve.Native administration was under the minister and department of native affairs. The department was a vast empire in South Africa on its own. A 1951 act provided for tribal authorities each comprising a chief and his council. A 1953 act vested control of native education in the central government.
Does this sound familiar? It should:
It is said that before South Africa enacted native administration laws it sent officials to Canada to study the reserve system provided for in Canada’s own Indian Act.
However, for all the abuse that South Africa has rightfully had dumped on it because of apartheid, in 1994 that system was finally removed from law. Yet here in Canada the Indian Act, which came well before apartheid, still exists almost 20 years after the demise of apartheid: 20 years.
I must ask the members of this committee, is this the kind of law we wish to see in the books in 2013?
I truly believe there's a consensus to replace the act. The real questions are, how should that happen, and what will replace it?
When I submitted my bill in its first version in December of 2011, I asked for a full repeal of the Indian Act. What I wanted to do was start a serious discussion and debate about getting rid of the act—and here we are today. I believe I've done that, and accomplished that.
In subsequent discussions with first nations leaders and grassroots members, I was told that the wholesale elimination of the act could inflict unintended collateral damage. It could also place fiduciary responsibility on first nations communities unless there was careful consideration of the effects of each and every clause, and of course they want to know what we'd replace it with.
My goal was to ask my first nations leaders and grassroots to engage with the crown to come up with these solutions. In speaking with our first nations leaders and grassroots members, and after three draft versions of the bill, I arrived at the current and fourth version.
I know there are those who question my right to do this. There are even those who have said the entire exercise must be done by indigenous, for indigenous, people. So I agree, and here we are.
As a parliamentarian and an aboriginal person, I've heard repeatedly that I have no right to bring this bill forward like any other parliamentarian.
There are even those who have said:
I am afraid that a backbencher's private member's bill is not an appropriate consultation for this very serious relationship with first nations in this country.
Well, I believe it's my responsibility to do it. It has to be done. The time has to be now.
I also know that there are some who claim that this bill cannot have been put before the House of Commons without a formal consultation process. Those very same people clearly know that a private member's bill in the House of Commons does not have the financial or human resources for me to conduct a full-scale consultation, nor is it permissible to share a bill with anyone until it is tabled in the House of Commons.
Nonetheless, I have been engaging and reaching out to first nations on the Indian Act for years, and I have seen with my own eyes the harm this legislation has done. Bill C-428 is designed to mandate development of a process in which first nations and crown can work together on ways to review, repeal, and replace the Indian Act.
Finally, there are those who have specific concerns about the content of the bill itself. I'm here to say that I'm open to amendments that move us closer to the repeal and replacement of the Indian Act, and I'm also open to amendments that make the bill closer. What I hope to see is an open, frank discussion of this bill that bridges partisanship. For me, it's not about the Conservatives or the Liberals or the NDP, and not about partisan ideology, but about starting a process that could transform the lives of so many first nations people, especially the younger generation.
In addition to the mandate of the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs to produce an annual report on the progress of the repeal and replacement of the Indian Act, in collaboration with first nations, this bill will bring a number of changes to the Indian Act. These changes are housekeeping in nature and are designed to remove the underbrush from the act, but they also speak about the goals of the bill.
The true intent of the Bill C-428 is to create and aid freedom and independence for first nations. This is the motivation behind the changes to the bylaw process, wills, and estates sections of the act. These changes will remove the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs from the process and return control of bylaws, wills, and estates to the communities, where they belong.
In addition, a number of sections of the bill remove outdated, antiquated, and unenforced sections of the Indian Act. These sections cause delay. I'm sure we all agree that it's bad policy to leave in these laws and things that there is no intention of ever enforcing.
An example would be the section of the Indian Act that prohibits the sale of agriculture products grown on reserve to anyone off reserve without the permission of an agent of the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs. This section of the act has been waived for a number of years and therefore is not enforced. Imagine a Cree farmer growing corn and not being able to sell his corn without the permission of the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs. It kind of reminds me of a first nations wheat board.
Another section that would be almost as laughable, if it were not so paternalistic and patronizing, is section 92, which prohibits missionaries, aboriginal affairs employees, and reserve teachers from trading with first nations under the Indian Act.
A more insulting and hurtful section of the act is the one that has established residential school systems. My grandparents attended residential schools, so this is very personal to me. I am sure no one here would want to see residential schools again in Canada. A heartfelt apology to aboriginal Canadians who survived the system was made by Prime Minister Harper on behalf of all Canadians and all the other political parties in the House. There is no moral policy or reason to keep this law in the books.
To go back to the two essential questions, they are: how shall we deal with the Indian Act review, repeal, and replacement, and what should be in its place? I can't answer these questions alone. That is why we're here today in committee: to seek these answers. I'm sure we each have our own ideas about what a respectful and modern relationship between first nations and Canada could be, but we have to arrive at a consensus about what this means and what this would look like.
Our people have waited 137 long years for this discussion. It's about time that we take it seriously. It's my hope that this bill will serve as a springboard for engagement. I look forward to this process and answering your questions today as we proceed through the examination of Bill C-428.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
View Kelly Block Profile
CPC (SK)
In conversation with one of my colleagues about the lap band procedure, you mentioned that it wasn't hard to get approval from Health Canada for this. But I'm sure that with the innovative way you are operating your facility there must be some red tape you had to deal with. Could you give us any ideas on where red tape could be cut in federal legislation so that it would help individuals like you develop more facilities like this?
View Kelly Block Profile
CPC (SK)
I'd like to thank all of our witnesses for being here today. You can certainly tell how there is much overlap in all of the issues that each one of you have identified. You can talk about one piece when it comes to being entrepreneurial in health care and recognize that it takes folks at many different tables to make that happen.
I want to follow up on your comments, Mr. Gold, in terms of legislative hurdles. You may be aware of the Red Tape Reduction Commission and the fact that we are looking at ways to reduce legislative and regulatory burdens on different sectors and industries. I'm wondering if you would be able to give me some examples of legislation that is creating a hurdle for entrepreneurship in medicine.
View Rob Clarke Profile
CPC (SK)
The Nunavut Planning and Project Assessment Act provides for a more streamlined process for review of project proposals. Do you feel it's fair for all the stakeholders involved?
View Rob Clarke Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I thank the witnesses for coming in today, and I acknowledge the students, too. It's great to see some aboriginal intuition here and to get their opinions as well. It's very beneficial.
We heard from the Government of Nunavut that they support the bill in its current form. They consider it probably offers improvements to the land use planning and impact assessment process.
Would you agree with this view?
View Ray Boughen Profile
CPC (SK)
View Ray Boughen Profile
2012-11-19 17:52
Thank you, Chair.
I want to extend thanks to the panel for staying with us throughout most of the afternoon. We appreciate your comments and your positioning. If we don't hear from people in our constituencies, we don't know what they are saying, and so we appreciate your willingness to share your thoughts with us.
As I listened to the speakers this afternoon, it seemed that a common theme was around time and timeframe. I wonder whether each panel member might share with the committee your thoughts on time. If the government said, “Here it is; you dictate the times and how you want to set it up”, what would you say?
View Kelly Block Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you.
I now want to ask a question of you, Dr. Weaver. I appreciate what you had to say about your definition of innovation. Our government, the federal government, is cutting red tape and streamlining the regulatory process in terms of approving new drugs. Are there any areas where we can further support innovation, as you would describe it, by cutting red tape without compromising the safety of new drugs or medical devices?
View Kelly Block Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you, Madam Chair.
I would also like to welcome our witnesses here today. It's been very informative, and I've appreciated the questions that my colleagues have asked.
Dr. Beaudet, I found the series of examples that you gave in your opening remarks about the different technologies that are being developed, like using a smart phone instead of a stethoscope, pretty incredible.
I had an opportunity to tour the simulation learning centre at the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology campus in Saskatoon. The simulation centre includes treatment and assessment rooms, an apartment with cutaway walls for observation, a birthing unit, control rooms, and debriefing rooms. Patients are computerized mannequins. They are programmed to react as students administer CPR and drug therapies, intubate and ventilate, and insert IVs. It was incredible to see what can be done with technology in terms of training our health professionals.
Would you be able to tell me the areas of research that CIHR has invested in to support innovation by cutting red tape without compromising the safety of Canadians?
View Brad Trost Profile
CPC (SK)
I was very involved in that file, so....
Here's one last thing. You mentioned a little disappointment on the uranium file, and I share that. Are there any other practical suggestions you may have that could enhance the regulatory process—without, of course, weakening environmental protections—that we have not yet included in this legislation? Where are there areas in which this could be improved so that there could be more efficiencies, so that more resources could be devoted to serious environmental questions?
View David Anderson Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Fisher, you talked a bit about loss of productivity. Do you have some examples that you can share with us of farmers having run into the bureaucracy in ways that you think are inappropriate, given the legislation and what it should be doing?
View Ray Boughen Profile
CPC (SK)
View Ray Boughen Profile
2012-05-17 16:47
Thank you, Chair.
Mr. Shanks, let me offer my word of welcome to match those of my colleagues' welcome. We're appreciative of you taking the time to meet with us.
In some of your documentation you mentioned “invasive legislation“ as a contributing factor for significant economic and social gaps between first nations and others. Could you expand on that a little bit for us?
View Randy Hoback Profile
CPC (SK)
View Randy Hoback Profile
2012-03-08 17:07
Okay.
Frank, one of the things our government has been working very hard on, of course, is to try to get back to a balanced budget, and we're looking at places where we can reduce red tape. I understand your association has been fairly supportive of changes because of that, looking at ways we can reduce that administrative burden, and offering adjustable policies for foreign jurisdictions.
Can you explain how we're eliminating some of the red tape in this legislation and how it impacts you?
Results: 1 - 15 of 20 | Page: 1 of 2

1
2
>
>|
Export As: XML CSV RSS

For more data options, please see Open Data