IN THE HOUSE ~ growing tide of reaction from people in the Yukon territory on Bill S-6

Bill S-6—Time Allocation Motion
Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): It has been 90 times, Mr. Speaker. This is the 90th time for closure and time allocation. This is the worst record in Canadian parliamentary history by far. The current Conservative government shows a marked intolerance of debate and discussion.

What is really bizarre about this is that we are talking about a bill that has not even gone for its first round of debate. Only eight members of Parliament have even been able to speak on the bill. We have the government moving time allocation for the 90th time, when the bill has not even received proper scrutiny.

As members know, the government has another very poor record, which is for the most pieces of legislation rejected by the courts in Canadian history.

When we combine the two, the Conservatives' intolerance of debate and the fact that often they put forward legislation that has not been properly vetted or properly written, we can see that we have yet another case when it is very clear that the bill before us may well be challenged in the courts.

Just two weeks ago, the last piece of legislation the Conservatives forced through the House, Bill C-15, was rejected by the courts. There is now a court injunction.

We are seeing with the bill on the Yukon a growing tide of reaction from people in the Yukon territory who are saying that they are very concerned about the bill, that it deserves appropriate scrutiny, and that there has not been appropriate consultation. In fact, the Coalition of Yukon First Nations has now threatened court action for another injunction.

Is that not the reason the Conservatives are forcing through, for the 90th time, closure and time allocation? Is it because they know the bill is increasingly controversial?

 

 Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, hear the voices from the Yukon:

The Council of Yukon First Nations and Yukon First Nations assert that the federal government would breach its constitutional duty to uphold the honour of the Crown if it proceeds unilaterally with these amendments.

    That is Mary Jane Jim from Yukon First Nation. We have the Yukon News editorial:

A long list of people deserve raspberries for this needlessly shady behaviour. At the top of the naughty list are Senator Daniel Lang and the Conservative member for the Yukon who are supposed to ensure that the interest of Yukoners are represented in Ottawa.

    Shame on them. The official opposition NDP leader, Liz Hanson, said:

What we need, what is sorely missing is a willingness to engage in an open and honest manner. We need a relationship built on dialogue and respect rather than on lawsuits and secret negotiations.

    Those are the voices of the Yukon that the Conservatives are refusing to listen to. Why are they stifling debate in which Yukoners want to be engaged.

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