The motion that I moved originally was to invite the health minister. The advice that we got from some of the other committee members was that it would be more appropriate to bring in the indigenous services minister, Jane Philpott. The clerk agreed to modify the wording a bit.
The issue has been well described in the media. There are terrible stories. We thought that they were stories from the past. It turns out that, as recently as 2017 in Saskatchewan, there were indigenous women who were told, after giving birth, that they couldn't even hold their children unless they agreed to tubal ligation.
Some of the women who are parties to the class action lawsuit said that they didn't even know they had been sterilized. It's heartbreaking, and these are terrible stories.
I feel that this committee would be a good place for us to hear directly from the minister about what leadership the government is bringing to make sure that no province or territory is able to do this.
I'll read the motion:
That the Committee invite the Minister of Indigenous Services Canada to appear no later than December 2018 to brief the Committee on the government's efforts to immediately end the practice of forced and coerced sterilization of Indigenous women, pursuant to the Minister's mandate for a “renewed, nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous Peoples, based on recognition of rights, respect, cooperation, and partnership” and the government's commitment to Article 7(2) of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; and that the meeting be televised and no less than one hour in length.