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View Bardish Chagger Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Bardish Chagger Profile
2019-06-19 21:56 [p.29445]
Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions among the parties, and I think if you seek it, you will find unanimous consent for the following motion.
I move:
That, notwithstanding any Standing or Special Order or usual practice of the House:
(a) the motion respecting the Senate Amendments to Bill C-91, An Act respecting Indigenous Languages, be deemed adopted;
(b) the motion respecting the Senate Amendments to Bill C-92, An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families, be deemed adopted;
(c) Bill C-98, An Act to amend the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act and the Canada Border Services Agency Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, be deemed to have been concurred in at the report stage, and deemed read a third time and passed;
(d) Bill C-101, An Act to amend the Customs Tariff and the Canadian International Trade Tribunal Act, be deemed to have been concurred in at the report stage, and deemed read a third time and passed on division; and
(e) when the House adjourns on Thursday, June 20, 2019, it shall stand adjourned until Monday, September 16, 2019, provided that, for the purposes of any Standing Order, it shall be deemed to have been adjourned pursuant to Standing Order 28 and be deemed to have sat on Friday, June 21, 2019.
View Seamus O'Regan Profile
Lib. (NL)
moved that the bill be read the third time and passed.
He said: Mr. Speaker, I would like to start by acknowledging that we are meeting on the traditional, unceded territory of the Algonquin people.
Today has been a powerful and emotional day for indigenous and non-indigenous Canadians alike. With the release of the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, we took another step in identifying the unacceptable gaps that exist between first nations, Inuit and Métis people and the rest of Canada.
Our government is working to end the ongoing national tragedy of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. The commissioners of the national inquiry did important work, and now it is up to us as the federal government and up to us individually as Canadians to develop a national action plan and to implement those recommendations in partnership with first nations, Inuit and Métis people.
The bill before us addresses an important part of the work we need to do to advance reconciliation, and that is to address gaps between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples, thereby improving the quality of life for indigenous peoples right across the country.
Protecting and promoting the well-being of indigenous children and families should be the top priority of the federal government and all governments across the country. That has obviously not always been the case. Members of the House are aware of the pain and suffering that continue to be inflicted on indigenous children and families in this country.
Separating indigenous children from their families is not just something that happened in the past. This is something that occurs every day, to this very day. In fact, it is a worsening problem. More indigenous children are in care now than at the height of the operation of residential schools.
In terms of hard numbers, more than 52% of children in foster care in Canada are indigenous, yet they represent less than 8% of the population. Studies show that the average indigenous child in foster care may live with anywhere between three and 13 different families before turning 19 years old. This is unacceptable and it has to stop.
I think we can all agree that the current system needs to change. As parliamentarians, we must act. We believe in a system where indigenous peoples are in charge of their own child and family services, something we recognize should have been the case all along. Indigenous families are currently bound by rules and systems that are not their own and do not reflect their cultures, their identities, their traditions, their communities or their ways. No wonder they have not worked. This bill sets out to change that.
First and foremost, Bill C-92 sets out principles that would apply across the country to guide the provision of child and family services involving indigenous children and families. These principles are informed by extensive engagement with indigenous people all over the country. The principles in the bill, which are the best interests of the child, substantive equality and cultural continuity, are aligned with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's calls to action and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
If no agreement is reached within 12 months, but reasonable efforts were made to do so, the indigenous law would also have force of law as federal law. In other words, should a government not act in good faith after 12 months of negotiations of a coordination agreement, indigenous child and family services law would have precedence as a federal law. To be clear, as a federal statute, the indigenous law would stand on its own; it would not be subject to the whims of a federal or provincial government. It would be equal to, not lesser than.
To promote a smooth transition and implementation of Bill C-92, Canada will explore the creation of distinctions-based transition governance structures. The co-developed governance structures would identify tools and processes to increase the capacity of communities as they assume responsibility of child and family services. During this phase, we would continue our work with first nations, Inuit and Métis partners, as well as with the provinces and territories, to set out the details about how to support communities to exercise their jurisdiction. The bill also provides a clear affirmation of the inherent right of first nations, Inuit and Métis to exercise their own jurisdiction in relation to child and family services.
Pursuant to Bill C-92, if an indigenous group or community wishes to exercise its authority in relation to child and family services and have its own laws take precedence over federal, provincial or territorial laws, the Minister of Indigenous Services and the provincial or territorial government shall enter into trilateral discussions to develop a coordination agreement.
If a coordination agreement is reached within 12 months following the request, the laws of the indigenous group or community would have force of law as federal law and would prevail over federal, provincial and territorial child and family services laws.
Gone are the days of top-down colonial solutions. It is contrary to the spirit of reconciliation, goes against the principle of codevelopment that has guided this proposed legislation, and they just do not work.
This legislation is an accumulation of intensive engagement, including nearly 2,000 participants across 65 sessions, from elders, youth, women, grandmothers, aunties and from those with lived experience in a broken child and family services system. We heard what needed to be included in the bill to make successful the exercise of jurisdiction that is already an inherent right of first nations, Inuit and Métis people.
What we heard included values and cultural practices, lived experience and academic research, as well as recommendations of a reference group that was comprised of representatives from national indigenous organizations.
First nations, Inuit and Métis people have asked time and again for codeveloped legislation, from resolutions passed by the Assembly of First Nations in May and December 2018, to hearing that Inuit leadership wanted a distinctions-based approach, and that the Métis wanted jurisdiction over child and family services to be recognized through legislation.
Since the emergency meeting convened by my predecessor in January 2018, there have been extensive meetings and consultations across the country in an effort to get this right.
Even in weeks preceding the introduction of this legislation, we were incorporating the suggestions of indigenous groups, provincial and territorial partners. Those suggestions made the bill that I was fortunate enough to inherit much stronger.
We did not stop there. There are no closed doors to our indigenous partners or to the provinces and the territories. This legislation and the children it aims to protect are only served if we collaborate and ensure their best interests.
Many came forward and offered suggestions on how to improve the bill, and I am pleased to support the changes made by the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs. These amendments reflect what was heard from a number of witnesses, especially around funding, around balancing physical and cultural security in the best interest of an indigenous child and around ensuring implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Right of Indigenous Peoples as a purpose of the bill.
With regard to funding, we cannot presume that the funding models that have supported the current broken system will be what indigenous groups want to use while exercising their jurisdiction. Those models and levels should be discussed and designed through the coordination agreement process to ensure they reflect the unique needs of each community and are not a one-size-fits-all approach.
We pledge to work with partners to identify long-term needs and funding gaps. The amendment supported at committee guarantees that funding will be sustainable, needs-based and consistent with the principle of substantive equality, so that long-term, positive results for indigenous children, families and communities are secured.
Both the House committee and the aboriginal peoples committee in the other place heard that there needed to be a better balance between the physical well-being of a child and the preservation of cultural identity, language and connection to the community. We completely agree, and we fully support the amendment that will see primary consideration given to a child's physical, emotional and psychological safety, security and well-being, as well as to the importance of that child having an ongoing relationship with his or her family, indigenous group or community.
In committee, members of the official opposition and the NDP also presented important amendments to strengthen the bill. I thank them for their efforts. Bill C-92 establishes a legislative framework and will ensure that solid guiding principles are in place to protect the needs of indigenous children and families for generations to come.
Now is the time to follow through on our promises to indigenous children, families and communities. Our promise is that the same old broken system that needlessly separates so many children from their families, that removes them from their culture, that cuts them off from their land and their language, not be allowed to continue and that we affirm and recognize that indigenous families know what is best for indigenous children.
Ours is a historic opportunity to make a real, meaningful change to address centuries of harm and improve the lives of first nations, Inuit and Métis people. I hope everyone will join me in supporting this bill.
View Cathy McLeod Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Speaker, as the minister knows, there has been a recognition by all parliamentarians of the importance of this legislation and the fact that what is currently happening is not good enough. Of course, there are problems when a bill is rushed through the system. In this case, perhaps the biggest flaw is the lack of conversation with the provinces and territories that have been responsible for delivering the services and that will have something imposed on them. For those who know the Nunavut territory, the legislatures are predominantly Inuit. They have expressed great concern that the systems and processes they have developed will perhaps arbitrarily move to a different organization.
I would like the minister to explain what he intends to do in the future. We know that this bill will be passed. What is he going to do to continue that conversation to make sure this works for everyone?
View Seamus O'Regan Profile
Lib. (NL)
Indeed, Mr. Speaker, we are committed to working with the provinces and territories, and we have built in the notion of a coordination agreement to ensure there is a buffer between an indigenous group requesting that it be able to exercise its inherent right over this jurisdiction and the actual inheritance of that right. There are issues with capacity, and we need to ensure that capacity is built up, so we have put 12 months in place. The issue in some provinces and with some of the people I have spoken to is that 12 months is too long. They want to assume that responsibility right away.
There is a push and a pull, and we will attempt to find the compromise. However, most certainly this is not going to work unless we work with provinces and territories, and we certainly have every intention of doing so.
View Rachel Blaney Profile
NDP (BC)
View Rachel Blaney Profile
2019-06-03 18:49 [p.28449]
Mr. Speaker, one of the biggest concerns that the committee heard was the issue of jurisdiction, with the much-needed resources to make sure that jurisdiction is implemented fully. We have repeatedly heard about the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal in this place, and the fact that it has sent seven non-compliance orders to the government. There were a lot of witnesses at committee who expressed repeatedly that without the comprehensive resources to do this work, the work cannot be done in a fulsome way.
Now there is another jurisdictional issue. If the provinces are not part of this, and they partly fund care right now, will the federal government take that over and make sure that resources are there for those committees?
I represent over 20 indigenous communities. I grew up in an indigenous community, lived many years of my life in indigenous communities and watched children taken. I have also been a foster parent on reserve, keeping children in the communities so they would be connected to their families and culture. The challenges are real, and the finances need to be there. There was a small component added in an amendment, but it does not quite reach the responsibility and accountability that I would like to see in this legislation.
I would like to hear from the minister on how the government is going to make sure that the resources are there to do this meaningfully, with a history that includes non-compliance orders from the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.
View Seamus O'Regan Profile
Lib. (NL)
Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this time, once again, to thank the committee for its very thoughtful work on this matter.
Most certainly, we heard them and we did make amendments, particularly, as the member mentioned, on the issue of funding. We gave assurances to all parties to make sure they knew that wording around sustainable funding and the needs-based approach were included. Most certainly, this government has proven, in its actions and with the sum total of the amounts it has considered for child and family services, that we are committed. However, we understand the need for an amendment to give assurance to all parties involved and invested that we heard them and that we understand the need for a sustainable needs-based approach.
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2019-06-03 18:52 [p.28449]
Mr. Speaker, I want to express my gratitude to the minister for doing an outstanding job in bringing forward this legislation. I say that with all sincerity because of the area I represent. In fact, just prior to leaving the Manitoba legislature, it was declared in the province that there was a child care crisis. I know the minister is very much aware that there are over 10,000 in foster care, a vast majority of them of indigenous background. There has been a desperate need to see something take place.
I wonder if the minister could provide his thoughts as to how important it was that we bring forward legislation. We owe it to the children. This has been going on for far too long. It at least provides a sense of hope going forward that they finally have a national government that is prepared to address this very complicated and critically important issue.
View Seamus O'Regan Profile
Lib. (NL)
Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his kind words.
Today was a weighty day for anyone who was present for the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and the presentation made to the Government of Canada. This is an essential part of what will be our very fulsome response to that report.
I grew up in the north, next to indigenous communities. There is a principle for anyone who grows up in a small town. The people in those towns usually know what is best for those towns. When this is extrapolated to a much more substantive and real level, indigenous peoples have had this right. They have always had this right, and now we are recognizing and affirming it. We are making it a reality and allowing them the opportunity to come up with effective, local, grassroots solutions to those problems. We know that they will be more effective. They have to be more effective.
View Cathy McLeod Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Speaker, there remains a challenge with the government's commitment. It has committed to the UN Declaration on the Right of Indigenous Peoples and articulated support for the concept of free, prior and informed consent. The grand chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs essentially stated that he did not like this bill. He did not want it to go forward, and he objected to it.
Article 19 of the UN Declaration on the Right of Indigenous Peoples talks about the concept of free, prior and informed consent. How does the minister align those concepts when he has heard very clearly from a leader representing a large group of indigenous first nations in Manitoba that he does not support the legislation going forward?
View Seamus O'Regan Profile
Lib. (NL)
Mr. Speaker, I would answer the question quite frankly by saying, sometimes with difficulty. I made a point of speaking to the chiefs of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs directly. This was codeveloped legislation, which is something that indigenous groups have been requesting for some time. We developed this side by side with, among others, the Assembly of First Nations, but also the ITK and the Métis. In doing so, we came to some very real conclusions.
One of them was that we had to ensure that solutions and local laws that were engineered by first nations would receive the protection under federal law that they deserved. I know that particularly the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs was worried about some very good legislation that it passed locally itself, which is the bringing our children home act. What I emphasized is that all the solutions they are talking about with BOCHA, as we call it, can not only be taken in with this legislation, but protected by this legislation. In other words, this legislation would allow the AMC and bands within it to come up with very local solutions, very grassroots-based solutions, that will then receive federal protection.
View Kevin Waugh Profile
CPC (SK)
View Kevin Waugh Profile
2019-06-03 18:57 [p.28450]
Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure tonight to speak to Bill C-92.
Before I get into it, I would like to say a few comments about this morning when I attended, along with our shadow minister, the member for Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls report release.
I think we all agree in the House that it is a national tragedy. I was reminded of that this morning when I struck up a conversation with the woman seated next to me. I did not know her, but when we sat down, I noticed that she was holding a 5” x 7” picture of a young girl. I was inquisitive and asked her if she would share her story with me.
The woman was an auntie from Six Nations, and she immediately filled me in on the story. The picture she was holding was of 14-year-old Patricia “Trish” Carpenter from Alderville First Nation. It was 27 years ago, in 1992, when Ms. Carpenter's body was found at a construction site by Yonge Street in Toronto face down. Going further, I found out that Trish Carpenter was a mother of a two-month-old baby boy. The coroner's investigation said that she died of asphyxiation. An inquest later concluded that Trish's death was indeed suspicious.
The national inquiry report stated that indigenous persons, especially first nations, Inuit and Métis women, are overrepresented as victims of this violence. The tragedy of missing and murdered indigenous women is one that the Liberal government has failed to adequately address over its three and half years in office. As with that important issue, the Liberals have left the introduction of this important bill, the indigenous child welfare legislation, to the very last minute, which brings me to the topic tonight of Bill C-92.
I started talking about missing and murdered indigenous women and girls because it is directly related to the legislation before us. Many of the victims were part of the failed welfare system, maybe even the woman I was talking to this morning during the release of the report. However, Bill C-92, an act respecting first nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families, is a bill that would bring forth important national principles applicable to the provision of child and family services in relation to indigenous children. These principles in relation to the administration of child and family services with respect to indigenous children are in the best interest of the child, would have cultural continuity and certainly substantive equality in this country. These principles are very important. They are pieces of our country's long road towards reconciliation with indigenous peoples.
However, as important as these principles in the bill are, I should point out that the current Liberal government has introduced the bill at such a late stage in the parliamentary agenda that Parliament will barely have any time to study it at any length at all. We have seen that in committee. It was all crammed, and we had a couple of weeks at the very most to talk about this crucial bill.
We want to make sure that the principles described in the bill are actually reflected in practice, but that task is made more difficult when important bills such as this one, Bill C-92, are tabled so late in the parliamentary calendar with no excuse at all.
The history of the Canadian government's treatment of indigenous child welfare, we all know, is dark and tragic. Through the use of its residential schools, the Canadian government separated generation after generation of indigenous children from their families, their communities, their culture and their way of life. During the sixties scoop, countless numbers of indigenous children were taken away from their families of birth and placed into non-indigenous homes, where they were simply cut off from their cultural background and their ties to their communities. I know several people in Saskatchewan that this happened to. These are just some of the tragedies that have been inflicted on indigenous children in this country.
As Canada moves forward on a path toward reconciliation, it must do so in a way that represents and respects the rights of indigenous peoples and respects their unique cultural heritage. We support the principles that this bill seeks out in relation to the administration of child and family services with respect to indigenous children. As my colleague from Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo has pointed out many times in this House, in moving forward with the principles of this bill, we are not denying the hard work of social workers, nor are we not acknowledging the families that have adopted children in the past; we are simply pressing on to do better when it comes to this very important issue.
However, in committee, the Minister of Indigenous Services referred to child welfare workers as being participants in “abduction”. Yes, he said that in committee. This kind of language is both inflammatory and very unhelpful. It divides us rather than bringing us together. In this respect, the minister owes the social welfare agencies, including those run by first nations, an apology. Insulting and inflammatory language has no place in any discussions of this important principle that we are putting forth here tonight.
The first of the principles laid out in this bill is the best interest of the child. That is first and foremost. This principle dictates that among other factors, an indigenous child's cultural, linguistic, religious and spiritual upbringing and heritage must be considered in the context of decision-making by child and family services. This principle is crucially important, as child and family services around this country are moving toward a focus on preventive care in order to keep indigenous children in their communities where they can maintain their valuable cultural ties.
According to Indigenous Services Canada, 52.2% of children aged 14 and under who are living under foster care in private homes are indigenous. This statistic shows that indigenous children are extremely overrepresented in child and family services systems across Canada, especially considering that indigenous children make up only 7.7% of the general population of children 14 years of age and under in this country. It is clear that more work needs to be done so that indigenous children can stay in their communities and build everlasting relationships with the members of their community. This bill highlights the need for the administration of child and family services to have a focus on preventive care so that fewer indigenous children end up in foster homes and away from their culture and their community.
Our former Conservative government also recognized the need to focus on preventive care when it came to the provision of child and family services for indigenous children. Among the different concrete steps that we took to develop a prevention-based orientation was the creation of the enhanced prevention-focused approach, better known as EPFA. The start of it was in 2007. This was a reform of the funding model that had been formerly used by the first nations child and family services program.
It took effect immediately in Alberta. Then a year later Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia adopted it. It was subsequently adopted in Quebec, Prince Edward Island and Manitoba.
Funding was specifically redirected towards a prevention-based approach in order to keep indigenous children in their communities and to support the self-sufficiency of these communities in a culturally appropriate manner.
The prevention-oriented focus that was put in place by our former Conservative government refocused child welfare services to a family-centred practice with children-centred outcomes. This approach delivered real and positive results towards turning back the trend of increasingly larger numbers of indigenous children being placed in foster care in this country.
During the length of our former Conservative government, the percentage of first nations children on reserve placed in foster care decreased from 89.67% in the first year, which was 2006-07, to 76.08% in the year 2014-15. I think we could all agree we would like it to be zero, but this was a major reduction of over 13%, according to stats gathered by the first nations child and family services program. Over that same time period, the percentages of first nations children placed in kinship care increased from no recorded amount to 17.83% in 2014-15.
Our former Conservative government also increased first nations child and family services national expenditures by about 50%. These results represent concrete progress achieved by our former Conservative government towards improving child and family services for indigenous children, both in quality of service and, maybe most importantly, the prevention-based outcomes.
Another key aspect of this bill is that it would affirm the rights and jurisdiction of indigenous peoples in relation to child and family services. It would allow indigenous governing bodies to pass their own laws, consistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, in relation to child and family services, and these laws would have the same force as the federal law. On this issue, however, there are still some outstanding questions that need to be answered.
One such question regards situations in which more than one indigenous governing body claims jurisdiction over a particular child. Today there are many indigenous children who identify as being part of multiple indigenous backgrounds. It is not hard to imagine a child who may have a first nations father and a Métis mother, or vice versa. In these kinds of situations, it is conceivable that two different indigenous governing bodies may each claim full jurisdiction over the provision of child and family services in relation to that child.
While the bill addresses jurisdictional disputes between a province and an indigenous governing body, it does not properly address jurisdictional disputes that may arise between indigenous governing bodies that both have equally strong ties and connections to the indigenous child in question.
This jurisdictional question is one of the concerns that was directly raised in committee while we were studying Bill C-92. One of the committee's witnesses was Raven McCallum, a well-spoken young person who is a youth adviser on the British Columbia Ministry of Children and Family Development Youth Advisory Council. She is of British and Haida descent on her mother's side, and of Métis descent on her father's side. In her testimony, while talking about Bill C-92, she stated:
I do not see any reference about how to approach situations when a child belongs to more than one nation.
She goes on to say:
I think it's something that is important to acknowledge. We need to know all aspects of our identity.
Time and time again, we heard in committee that indigenous identity is complex and multi-layered. However, this bill still has not adequately addressed these complexities as they relate to jurisdictional issues in the provision of child and family services for indigenous children.
We also want to make sure that this bill would not negatively impact the existing self-government agreements that exist between indigenous governing bodies and the provincial and federal levels of government in relation to child and family services. These kinds of agreements include the three which were recently concluded this past March in my province of Saskatchewan between the provincial government and the Saskatoon Tribal Council.
One of these agreements was a delegation agreement which re-established the Saskatoon Tribal Council's child and family services agency, which will provide services to the on-reserve communities covered by this governing body. Another agreement is the reconciliation partnership agreement, which strives to ensure that indigenous children maintain connections to their culture and communities. These sorts of agreements further the important principle of cultural continuity, which recognizes that one of the crucial interests of indigenous children is to live and grow within their unique cultural and linguistic communities.
As Saskatoon Tribal Council Chief Mark Arcand noted about the agreements in committee, “all of this work is about prevention”. In committee, he stressed the importance of the work once again, stating, “Our opinion is we have to build partnerships and relationships, as we've done with the federal and provincial governments. To us, it's meaningful because it's building bridges. We have to work together.”
As we move forward in our consideration of Bill C-92, we need to study how this bill will impact agreement such as these, in order to be sure we are upholding the principles which are stated within the bill itself.
Delegation agreements, such as those made between the Province of Saskatchewan and the Saskatoon Tribal Council are incredibly important. They are about returning the jurisdiction of care for the indigenous child to the indigenous communities themselves, so that these children are no longer cut off and separated from their culture and heritage.
Cultural continuity is one of the key principles of this bill. It is clear from the testimony of many witnesses that agreements made between the provinces and indigenous governing bodies often play a large role toward ensuring that child and family services are provided in a way that ensures indigenous children maintain strong relationships to their culture and community.
Another issue that arose in committee was the discovery that some major stakeholders who would be immediately impacted by this legislation were not consulted. When Grand Chief Arlen Dumas of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs came to testify at our committee, he said that his governing body was not consulted at all. The AMC had already crafted its own legislation with respect to child and family services, which was uniquely tailored to the experiences of that governing body's work in the province of Manitoba.
Given that all the groundwork had already been laid, the grand chief told us that Bill C-92 was thrust upon the AMC. He said, “It was quite a surprise when Bill C-92 was presented to us. It was almost [like] a slap in the face, because we had invested so much of our time in bringing forward a solution that everybody could build upon.”
How could the Liberal government introduce a bill that brings such dramatic changes to indigenous child welfare without consulting one of the largest indigenous governing bodies in a province with one of the highest numbers of indigenous children in foster care?
I am running out of time. In general, we support the principles laid out in this bill, and we want this bill to progress. However, the Liberals have put this piece of legislation at the back of their list of priorities. As a result, the Liberal government has left us with hardly any time to peel back the onion and have a great conversation about this bill.
View Dan Vandal Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Dan Vandal Profile
2019-06-03 19:17 [p.28452]
Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his fine work at committee.
This legislation was codeveloped, and I am very proud that the minister and his staff went to those on the ground, from coast to coast to coast, and consulted before the bill was written. Over 2,000 people were consulted. They were not only chiefs, but people working in the child welfare area. Over 65 meetings were held across the country to make sure we had this right. In fact, Senator Murray Sinclair called the bill a model for codeveloping bills into the future.
Could the hon. member speak to the importance of consultation before this sort of legislation is introduced? How did consulting at the front end perhaps save us some time at the back end?
View Kevin Waugh Profile
CPC (SK)
View Kevin Waugh Profile
2019-06-03 19:19 [p.28452]
Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Saint Boniface—Saint Vital has been a great contributor to the indigenous affairs committee.
Recently, maybe 10 days ago, I spoke at the FSIN spring assembly in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan. There are 74 bands there, and not all of them agree with Bill C-92.
As I have talked about, consultation with Manitoba was not done, and the Provinces of Saskatchewan and Ontario both have issues with the bill. However, I guess one cannot get everything right, and we have to move forward.
We heard some great testimony from the Peter Ballantyne Child and Family Services when they came to committee. It was all about children. We want to make things better for everyone's family situation. I talked about this in my passionate speech. It is most important that these kids stay connected to their communities for good.
View Marilyn Gladu Profile
CPC (ON)
View Marilyn Gladu Profile
2019-06-03 19:20 [p.28452]
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for his passion on this file.
As 55% of those in foster care are indigenous, it is the bill's intent to return the governance of family services to indigenous people. However, I noted that there was no funding associated with this in the bill.
Were there conversations about what kind of structures would be put in place in order for that governance to transfer?
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