First Nations Governance Act

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs has just concluded four weeks of hearings across Canada, where there is overwhelming opposition to the First Nations Governance Act.

When it comes to its own practice of governance, the government is clearly anti-democratic in ramming through this flawed legislation. Will the Minister today commit to go back to the drawing board, abide by the democratic principle of respect for First Nations and hear their opposition to the Bill? Will he go back to the drawing board because there is so much opposition, overwhelmingly so?

Hon. Robert Nault (Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I do not think we have to take any lessons from the NDP about good governance. I have had the opportunity to see Bob Rae in action.

I can say, though, that what we are doing is looking very closely at wanting to improve the lives of First Nations citizens. How we improve the lives of First Nations citizens is by putting in the fundamentals of good governance.

The committee has just concluded its hearings. It is now looking at the discussions and the amendments that possibly could be made. We did send the Bill to committee before second reading to give committee members plenty of time to look at it in detail. We hope that they will come back with a report that will make the lives of first nations better.

This Question Period Transcript was posted on April 1, 2003
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