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Legislative Assembly of Canada
April 26, 2006
[S. O. 52]
The Speaker: The Chair has notices of requests for emergency debates. I will hear first from the hon. member for Winnipeg South Centre.
Hon. Anita Neville (Winnipeg South Centre, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as you know, earlier today I sent you a note, pursuant to Standing Order 52, in order to request leave to make a motion for the adjournment of the House for the purpose of discussing a specific and I believe urgent matter requiring urgent consideration. If permitted, I hope to move that under the provisions of Standing Order 52, the House adjourn in order to discuss the matter of the implementation of the Kelowna accord signed on November 25, 2005 between the federal government, the provincial and territorial governments, and the leadership of the Métis First Nation and Inuit communities.
Very briefly, this matter is of urgent concern to communities from coast to coast to coast in this nation. I am not going to proceed to tell you the economic gaps that exist between aboriginal communities and other Canadians. All of us here in the House know the details of it, but there is some urgency to this matter.
Given that the budget will be tabled next week and that funds for the agreement have indeed been booked and committed by the previous government, it is important that this debate be held immediately. Time is of the essence.
Furthermore, the situations in the communities across the country, as evidenced by Caledonia, by Kashechewan and by other communities call for an immediate response by the government as to its position on this historic agreement.
Accountability is more than just financial audits. Accountability is the responsibility of governments to serve its citizens, to notify its citizens, to give leadership to their citizens and to provide opportunities for Canada's first peoples.
Yesterday in the House we heard the minister pay respect to aboriginal peoples by honouring the agreement in principle made by the previous government on the residential schools matter. It is now time to look forward. The matter is urgent. Aboriginal peoples across this country are looking for an indication from the government that their important and overwhelming needs will be honoured and respected. I ask you to give serious consideration to this issue.
The Speaker: The Chair thanks the hon. member for Winnipeg South Center for her able submissions and for her letter on this point, but having considered the matter and having heard her submission, I do not feel that the request for an emergency debate on this issue meets the exigencies of the standing order at this time.