The Liberal critic for Aboriginal Affairs says the mandate of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission needs to be extended.

The TRC’s five-year mandate is due to wrap up in July of next year.

However, Carolyn Bennett says she thinks the government needs to talk to the commission to see if it needs more time.

She says the TRC’s presence is needed now more than ever.

“Of course, right from the beginning, when the government had cancelled the Aboriginal Healing Foundation, this was very, very upsetting to so many people because that group was doing a lot of healing work community by community,” she says.

Bennett adds the TRC should be given better access to historical documents including other government departments outside of Aboriginal Affairs.

She says if the purpose of the TRC is to dig out the truth of what happened at residential schools, then it needs to be able to do the work.

The government was recently ordered by an Ontario court to turn over documents from Archives Canada.