Response to the Throne Speech

Mrs. Carol Hughes (Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, like many others today, I would like to comment on today's Speech from the Throne.
It is high time the government not only supported but also endorsed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. According to the Speech from the Throne, the government intends to reform and strengthen education in aboriginal communities.

For years now, aboriginal communities have been asking the government to ensure equal access to education for their members. Can the government provide details about the measures it is taking to reform the post-secondary student support program? Is it ready to eliminate the 2% cap on funding increases? Is the government planning to provide the funding needed to build and improve schools in these communities?

Can the government clarify if the wording in the throne speech means that it will adequately fund First Nations elementary education, K to 12, comparable to that being funded by the provinces and territories?

More importantly, will the government commit to consulting aboriginal peoples before making any changes to the post-secondary student support program?