Mr. Speaker, between May 4, 1995 and October 3, 1995 the member for Nanaimo-Cowichan and I highlighted in question period allegations of sexual abuse and misappropriation of band funds of the Lac Barriere band.
On January 23, 1996 the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development recognized an interim band council as the legitimate authority at Lac Barriere. Former Chief Matchewan and his band council continue to subvert the minister's January 23 decree, which has been upheld by the Federal Court.
The real victims are the children who no longer have a school to attend. A group of sympathizers of the former chief and his illegitimate band council have closed the school, wrecked the premises, shut off the town generator and blocked access to the reserve in open defiance of two court injunctions.
I ask the minister to take care and ensure the immediate best interests of the children at Lac Barriere.