Hon. Brian Francis: My question is for Senator Gold.
According to recent news reports, only about 18% of federal government employees have taken any Indigenous sensitivity training. Chris Aylward, President of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, said the union wanted to make such training a mandatory part of the collective agreement, but was told “no” by the Treasury Board.
In reference to Call to Action 57, could you confirm whether the federal government will be making ongoing training related to Indigenous peoples mandatory for all federal public servants?
I would also like you to update this chamber on what each federal department and each agency is doing to ensure public servants have the awareness and competencies necessary to be sensitive and responsive to the particular rights and needs of Indigenous peoples.
Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate): Thank you for the question, senator. As we mature as a country — and as our relationships with Indigenous peoples, communities and leadership evolve — it’s important to know that there are more important interactions that will and should take place. I don’t know the specific answers to your questions. I’ll do my best to find answers, and I’ll report back as soon as I can.