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Results: 1 - 15 of 144
View Mumilaaq Qaqqaq Profile
NDP (NU)
View Mumilaaq Qaqqaq Profile
2021-06-17 11:08
Matna. Thank you, all, and thank you for the opportunity. I really appreciate it and the time and space here.
We have thought of great things happening, and of course we know that in this amendment we're looking at indigenous languages and ensuring that we see that on the ballot. Bill C‑19 is about protecting democracy. It's about ensuring that indigenous peoples can be included in the voting process.
I look and think of my riding in particular where about 84% or 85% of the constituency is Inuk and where for the majority of those people, about 60%, their mother tongue is Inuktitut. That's not including whether or not they actually speak the language, that is just encompassing their first language. Nunavut in particular can be viewed as an already very indigenous language-based riding, if you will.
What we're talking about is expanding that and making that more entrenched in our actual policies and the things that we do to ensure that we can see indigenous peoples included in this democracy. Keep in mind that while I have spoken a bit about my riding specifically, there are ridings all across the country that are in the same situation. If we're talking about reconciliation and the need for promoting that, the need for promoting indigenous languages, this is an amazing opportunity of course to be able to do that as well, and it should quite frankly already have been something that's in place. I'm really glad that we're here at least starting the conversation and really have an opportunity to do some really cool stuff and create some change.
We know that the Commissioner of Nunavut has stated that indigenous people's voter turnout reduces when their language is not available on the ballot. We know that Minister LeBlanc acknowledged that a broad view is needed as to what's in the scope of Bill C‑19 and said that the government will not object to something beyond the scope of the legislation if it's designed to further our collective best efforts to come up with the right mix of measures.
Again, this is something that should already be available. We should already be encouraging this. If the federal institution is really invested in reconciliation, here's an action item that we can do to show that to the rest of Canada. We also need to ensure that indigenous peoples like the Inuit can be included in the democratic process.
It was basically on day one of my election where people thought it was my fault as a newly elected member of Nunavut that there was no availability for them to vote in their language. There were so many elders and others who came up to me who said, I wasn't sure if I even voted right, or I decided not to vote. We can't have that happen because people can't have those kinds of clear barriers, and we can be lifting those up.
I really look forward to seeing support for this. Indigenous language is something that is so incredibly important and should be a priority to everybody here on the committee. You have all seen me talking about reconciliation and those talking pieces. Here's an action item. Here is something concrete to do to make change. It's so important that we ensure Inuit and indigenous peoples are included as a part of the democracy.
Let's take it a step further and show them that Canadians also want to learn about indigenous people, want to learn about indigenous languages, want to promote those kinds of things and want to see pride in that. This is Canadian history. This is Canadian people where indigenous peoples are the first of this country. These are the original languages of Canada. Why aren't they on the ballot? Today is an opportunity to see some of that change, to see that availability to be able to actually make change and progress and move forward altogether.
Thank you so much again for the opportunity to be able to speak.
I'll just leave you with this. Imagine if your voters could not vote in English or French. That is very much a situation similar to what many indigenous peoples are facing.
I look forward to your support, and of course this amendment is about ensuring everybody is included in this process, and we want to ensure that happens to the best of our ability.
Thank you, everybody, and I look forward to that support.
Matna.
View Mumilaaq Qaqqaq Profile
NDP (NU)
View Mumilaaq Qaqqaq Profile
2021-06-17 11:17
May I interject, Chair?
View Mumilaaq Qaqqaq Profile
NDP (NU)
View Mumilaaq Qaqqaq Profile
2021-06-17 11:17
I think that's, quite honestly, a ridiculous reason to say people will still be showing up at the ballot. Does that mean they shouldn't be able to vote in their language and should only be able to vote in Canada's official languages? I'm just confused.
Since this is a public meeting, we'd like Canadians to know, really, why this isn't being viewed as part of the scope. What we're talking about is ensuring that indigenous people.... If you look at the text, this encompasses everything so that people showing up at the ballot box with indigenous languages can request a special ballot so that there's access. They don't necessarily have to go to the ballot box and shouldn't have to. They should be able to request a special ballot before and get it in their language.
I don't think it's reasonable to say that it's going to take extra work, that it's going to take extra time and that it's not within the scope. That's the job of the federal institutions: to ensure that people can be a part of the voting process and can be a part of the democracy. It's, quite frankly, shameful to give me the excuse that it's outside the scope. It's in no way, shape or form outside the scope. It's like telling me that, because I don't speak a certain language, I can't be a part of certain things.
That's not what should be happening in Canada. That's, quite frankly, a really shameful excuse. Basically, what you're telling all indigenous peoples, all Inuit from Nunavut, is that they're not worth having their own language on their ballot when they show up to go and vote. This is not at all out of any sort of scope. It's well within the scope. It's well within talking about changes that should already be there, changes, again, we can be making right here, right now. It's ensuring that Inuit and indigenous people are able to vote when we're forced into an election. It's ensuring that we see true representation across the country.
How can we see true representation if not everybody is voting, if not everybody is giving their voice? Right away I'm saying that there are 60% of people whose mother tongue in Nunavut is Inuktitut. Right away you're saying that 60% of people are not worth voting in their language by not discussing this, by saying it's outside the scope.
I just would like to say on record—I'm glad it's on the record, first off. I'm glad this is public, and I'm glad we can see very point blank here again a committee saying it's not worth the time, it's not worth the effort and it's not in the scope, which isn't true. It's completely within the scope. It ensures that we include indigenous peoples in this. It ensures that we are promoting reconciliation and that we are promoting the surety that we have the representatives who should be there.
That's the thing. With such low voter turnout for majority-indigenous communities, are those the right people to be representing them? Did everybody in that riding have access to voting? The majority of indigenous communities don't vote, because of things like this. Here is a change, right here, right now, that we're able to make, and it's so important. We just want the same thing as the English and French get. We just want the same equality to voice our opinions and be a part of a democracy. To be saying this is out of scope.... It should already be happening.
Quite frankly, I don't think that's acceptable. I'm just glad the public can see that.
Matna. Thank you for letting me speak again.
View Mumilaaq Qaqqaq Profile
NDP (NU)
View Mumilaaq Qaqqaq Profile
2021-06-17 11:22
The committee here has the opportunity to change that, 100%.
View Mumilaaq Qaqqaq Profile
NDP (NU)
View Mumilaaq Qaqqaq Profile
2021-06-17 11:30
Matna. Thank you, once again.
Thank you all for sharing so honestly, through that vote, the fact that you're not interested in providing indigenous languages on the ballot, even though we have the opportunity to do that. Thank for you sharing that we should be doing something and we can be, but we're not. Thank you for showing Canadians, quite bluntly through your vote, that you're not interested in action but just in talking about it, as I have been seeing.
That's what makes this job so difficult. It's heartbreaking to sit here and ask, to be a position of influence and say, “We can make change. We can show indigenous people they matter. We can show indigenous people that we want their languages to be recognized and supported. Instead of just talking about it, we can actually do something about it.” I'm sorry it worked out that way, but thank you so much, each and every one of you, for very blatantly showing that to the rest of Canada.
Then you totally wanted to skip over Nunavut, which has very specific needs, as I mentioned, and can at least be.... You know, even the chair wants to say that if they're still here, they would be interested in working on something like this. Here's an opportunity to at least start with Nunavut, to at least start somewhere, to at least start a conversation and do something.
I'm trying so hard not to be shaky right now because again, right now, indigenous people are being denied another right. Right here, right now, indigenous people are being told that they're not worthy of participating in the democracy. Right here, right now, indigenous people are being told their languages are not worth it and Canada is not proud of them. Right now, indigenous people are being denied an opportunity. They are being told they are not worth it and being given another excuse.
It's shameful to have to sit here and listen to each and every one of you, with the exception of my colleague, of course. Honestly, it's a bit surprising from the Bloc, but I'm incredibly grateful to see some sort of.... I can't even say “discussion” because there's no room for that. There's barely any room for comments. I hope you all feel really uncomfortable right now. Imagine not being able to vote in your language. Imagine not being included in a democracy. Imagine being told point-blank, “We have an opportunity for change right here, right now, and you are not worth it. This is not worth it”, and being given another excuse to not have it within the committee's scope, within our workability. That's not true. It is within the scope and it is within your ability.
Thank you for showing the rest of Canada that this institution is just about talking. It's not about doing. Thank you for voting in a way that very clearly shows Canadians, and indigenous people especially, that reconciliation is just something you talk about. It's not something you actually do in Canada. Thank you for sharing and being so bluntly honest through your actions here today.
I'll leave it there. Matna and thank you for letting me have the space to be able to speak.
View Mumilaaq Qaqqaq Profile
NDP (NU)
View Mumilaaq Qaqqaq Profile
2021-06-10 11:41
Thank you, Chair.
Thank you, Ministers, for being here and for your speeches and answers.
The Prime Minister has stated that your government has the tools and processes to force the Catholic Church to disclose the residential school documents that remain. The Prime Minister has also said that he would only use these tools when it is necessary.
Minister Bennett, why don't you view this as necessary now, when indigenous children have been found dead?
View Mumilaaq Qaqqaq Profile
NDP (NU)
View Mumilaaq Qaqqaq Profile
2021-06-10 11:42
I'm specifically asking why your government isn't viewing it as “necessary”. As an indigenous person, Minister Bennet, it's really insulting that you are deciding what is necessary when indigenous people across the nation and I are telling you that this is necessary.
Do you believe that family member records are the family members' property? These documents are not the church's, nor the government's. These are ours—indigenous peoples'. Why are you, as a non-indigenous person, deciding what is necessary in terms of our documentation?
View Mumilaaq Qaqqaq Profile
NDP (NU)
View Mumilaaq Qaqqaq Profile
2021-06-10 11:44
Last week, Minister Bennett, you said that the government had already earmarked $33 million in 2019 to, as the CBC notes, “implement the TRC's burial-related recommendations”. However, that $27 million has not yet been spent. Why hasn't this money been spent since the 2019 budget?
View Mumilaaq Qaqqaq Profile
NDP (NU)
View Mumilaaq Qaqqaq Profile
2021-06-10 11:45
Let's also be extremely clear that finding the remains of these children was not an initiative set out by the federal government. It was an initiative funded by the provincial government. How much longer would we have been waiting if that didn't happen? This didn't happen because the federal institution cares. This happened because a provincial government cares. This was brought to light because of a provincial government, not because of the federal government.
Why is it suddenly such an urgent matter to distribute this money? Why was this not a priority of your department? It took the B.C. government's funding to uncover the mass grave in Kamloops. Do you think it is the federal government's responsibility to fund these searches?
View Mumilaaq Qaqqaq Profile
NDP (NU)
View Mumilaaq Qaqqaq Profile
2021-06-10 11:47
Now, not only does it sound like the federal institution didn't fund this, but it sounds like they've known about these kinds of initiatives for the last 20 years. They know that these kinds of things have been needing to happen over the last two decades and just haven't put in the time, effort or funds.
Minister Bennett, you have used phrases like working at the speed of indigenous communities until there's a political opportunity like we have seen in the recent weeks. As an indigenous person and a member of an indigenous community, the constant use of that phrase is insulting. We're ready for action now, not when the next tragedy occurs. You need to get to action.
Thanks for the time, Chair.
View Mumilaaq Qaqqaq Profile
NDP (NU)
View Mumilaaq Qaqqaq Profile
2021-06-10 12:00
Thank you, Chair. I'm wondering if we should just pause for you to let us know what the next little bit is going to look like with the upcoming vote. I know we're about five minutes from that.
View Mumilaaq Qaqqaq Profile
NDP (NU)
View Mumilaaq Qaqqaq Profile
2021-06-10 12:01
Can I do the two and a half minutes and then [Technical difficulty—Editor] we'll do?
View Mumilaaq Qaqqaq Profile
NDP (NU)
View Mumilaaq Qaqqaq Profile
2021-06-10 12:01
Okay, great. I'll just start now if that's fine. Thank you, Chair.
I have one question for Minister Vandal. It's a yes or no.
As soon as it's safe to travel and when you are fully vaccinated, do you commit to visiting the Land Guardians in Mittimatalik or Pond Inlet to see the conditions of Baffinland's Mary River Mine?
Yes or no, please.
View Mumilaaq Qaqqaq Profile
NDP (NU)
View Mumilaaq Qaqqaq Profile
2021-06-10 12:01
Great, that's fantastic to hear. Thank you, Minister.
Back to Minister Bennett, last week you said that explicit details on the action plan in response to the murdered and missing indigenous women and girls inquiry are still to come. The action plan finally came out and had no tangible action, funding or timelines, and now we are supposed to wait for an implementation plan. Indigenous women and girls are dying while we wait for another plan from you.
I want to touch on and just confirm some of the things that have happened over the last while. In June 2019, the Liberal government gave themselves a timeline of a year to develop a plan of action, so in the minds of Canadians at that time, it would mean an implementation plan was being developed with key stakeholders. I brought this up last summer, and we confirmed that even though there was the 12-month timeline, it still took five months for stakeholders to even get funding to start the work. Once we saw, of course, June 2020, there was an excuse with the COVID delays, so we weren't going to see any movement on the delay that this government had already given itself. Here we are in June 2021, and we still haven't seen action and things come to fruition.
Is that basically what's happened over the last two years or so, Minister Bennett?
View Mumilaaq Qaqqaq Profile
NDP (NU)
View Mumilaaq Qaqqaq Profile
2021-06-10 12:34
I'm sorry, Chair. Can we just check the interpretation? It went really weird there for a second. I have it on English, and it went to French for me.
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