Debates of the Senate (Hansard)

1st Session, 41st Parliament,
Volume 148, Issue 8

Thursday, June 16, 2011
The Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, Speaker

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Matrimonial Real Property on Reserves

Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, my question is to the Leader of the Government. The Speech from the Throne stated that matrimonial real property on reserves is one of the government’s priorities. While the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights was studying Bill S-4, which was a piece of legislation that dealt with this matter, almost all Aboriginal witnesses that came before the committee expressed concern that there had not been proper consultations. In addition, ministerial representative Wendy Grant-John expressed similar concerns. In light of this, will the government be holding further consultations before introducing legislation to deal with the issue of matrimonial property on reserves?

Hon. Marjory LeBreton (Leader of the Government): I thank the honourable senator for the question. I am not in a position at this point to indicate what legislation the government will or will not be tabling. I will simply make the honourable senator’s views known to my colleagues with regard to matrimonial property rights.

Senator Jaffer: May I ask the leader what steps she is aware of that the government will take to ensure that the voices and concerns of the Aboriginal people are heard on this issue?

Senator LeBreton: Honourable senators, the issue of matrimonial property rights was before the Senate. I have been occupied with other activities for the last few months. I cannot answer that definitively. I will find out for the honourable senator.