Mr. Speaker, on Friday the member for North Island-Powell River made the following statement about me:
Mr. Speaker, the member for Prince Albert was adopted by binding aboriginal ceremony into the Bird family of the Montreal Lake Bank in a powwow about two years ago. Roy Bird, the chief of the band, is an important player in this family. The member for Prince Albert has been co-opted by the minister and is defending these negotiations with his adopted family.
Will the minister not agree that he has placed this member, knowingly or unknowingly, in a conflict of interest situation?
I have been accused by the hon. member from the Reform Party of being in a conflict of interest situation. I feel that these accusations have very serious moral and legal implications
impacting and affecting my ability to adequately function as a member of Parliament.
I would like to make very clear that even if this suggestion made by the hon. member were true, this is nothing more than an honour bestowed by a community upon an individual.
So that the Reform Party can understand what this type of ceremony would be about, it would be like receiving a citizen of the year award from the chamber of commerce. It would be like getting an Order of Canada from the Government of Canada.
I would suggest this would simply be an honour bestowed by a community upon an individual and is not grounds for any conflict. Even more important, this honour was never bestowed upon me in the first place. I wish to say I do not know where the hon. member would get such a statement.
Mr. Speaker, whether or not you view that my privileges have been violated, I would like the hon. member for North Island-Powell River to publicly withdraw the comments and apologize to the people of Canada for making statements that in some parts of the country damage positive race relations. This is the new politics promised by the Reform Party.