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Déline Final Self-Government Agreement Bill

Bill to Amend—Third Reading

Hon. Scott Tannas moved third reading of Bill C-63, An Act to give effect to the Déline Final Self-Government Agreement and to make consequential and related amendments to other Acts.

He said: Honourable senators, today I have the pleasure of speaking to Bill C-63, the Déline Final Self-Government Agreement Act. I intend to be brief with my remarks today, but I do not mean for that to in any way take away from the significance of this legislation.

This is an important day for the Deline people and for all Canadians. To refresh your memories from my second reading speech yesterday, this bill proposes to endorse the historic agreement among the Deline First Nation, the Deline Land Corporation, the Government of the Northwest Territories and the Government of Canada.

Senators, the negotiation process for any First Nation to get a self-government agreement is long and arduous. The Deline people initiated the negotiations 19 years ago and we are just now ratifying the final agreement. That takes a lot of determination and patience on all sides of the negotiating table.

The Deline people pursued a self-government agreement because they wanted more control over their land and their lives. Not only will this agreement give them the control they are looking for, but it will also enable them to access the authorities and resources they need to participate equally in and contribute fully to our country's prosperity.

Ratifying Bill C-63 here in the Senate is the final step in a long process for the Deline people to become a self-governing First Nation. I would like to ask you all to join me in congratulating them on their efforts to make this long-awaited agreement a reality for their community.