Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was place.

Last in Parliament November 2005, as Liberal MP for Sarnia—Lambton (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2006, with 33% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Committees of the House April 27th, 2004

Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present the 24th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs concerning Mr. Bernard Shapiro, the nominee for the position of Ethics Commissioner.

As well, I have the honour to present the 25th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs which contains a proposed conflict of interest code for members of Parliament.

Question No. 9 April 26th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I ask that the remaining questions be allowed to stand.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns April 26th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, if Question No. 9 could be made an order for return, the return would be tabled immediately.

Questions on the Order Paper April 26th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 66 and 67.

Government Response to Petitions April 26th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) I am pleased to table, in both official languages, the government's response to one petition.

Westbank First Nation Self-Government Act April 22nd, 2004

I am getting to it. The question, as I understand it, is whether the Constitution will apply to it, or if this section 35, which I believe is what the member referred to, in fact will walk them out of it. These are all questions about which the legal profession loves to hear. These are all questions that create an industry, but I will say this. The matter to which the questioner refers has never been before the court to my knowledge, and I do not say that is correct.

What I am saying is that all provisions of the Constitution apply on this land, and if the member thinks that one particular part of one constitutional document, that is to say, one clause of one constitutional document will override everything else, then I am afraid he is wrong.

Westbank First Nation Self-Government Act April 22nd, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend for that very good question. I have heard a lot of people in the House today, on both sides I believe, talking about how the Charter of Rights and the Constitution will apply on this property, under the auspices of this.

I also heard the member from Okanagan read section 52 of the Constitution Act, 1982 which defines what the Constitution is and says that the Constitution is in fact the supreme law of Canada, although I do not have it in front of me.

I think the question that is being asked is on section 35, and whether in fact it gets them sideways out of this. It is tough to discuss the specific sections when they are not in front of me. However, that is what I would call the first nations clause in the Constitution. There will be a lot of arguments because there are many who think that the Charter of Rights is in fact the Constitution. That is a preposterous claim that is often made in this place by many people.

Westbank First Nation Self-Government Act April 22nd, 2004

Mr. Speaker, part of the premise of the question is incorrect because there have never been any lands taken from the reserve properties of the Chippewas of Sarnia under the War Measures Act.

In fact, there was property taken from the Stony Point reserve, which lies some 50 miles roughly north of the City of Sarnia on Lake Huron. That property was taken under the War Measures Act in or about 1940. The people of the Stony Point reserve were displaced under certain provisions that are some 64 years old now and were moved to another reserve in the neighbourhood, if I can put it in that sense, and I do not intend to be flippant about it. They were moved to another reserve that was also on Lake Huron. That has been a flashpoint in that community because it was imposed historically under the guise of the exigencies of the second world war.

Even today there are problems because of the complexities of land around reserves. In fact, because the property was held under the War Measures Act by, I believe, the Department of National Defence, the end result is that it has yet to be deemed to be band lands or aboriginal lands, notwithstanding the fact that about nine years ago it was agreed that this should be the case.

These things are very complex. That is why I think in a case such as this where there is local autonomy away from the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, it does not mean that it is perfect, and it does not mean that all is well and good, but at least the decision making is going to be made locally.

The Sarnia reserve which was surveyed in 1818 has a history of, over the years, selling off lands on occasion to the abutting petrochemical business which came in a large measure to Sarnia during the second world war. That, I know, is a matter of regret. I know that the Chippewas or the Aamjiwnaang of Sarnia are attempting to acquire surplus lands which was sold to companies such as Imperial Oil a number of years ago and return them to band status.

The great asset in terms of the Sarnia reserve is that it has an industrial park that has done very well because it is managed by the local band. The end result is that there is a lot of employment created on the reserve, both for first nations and off-reserve people.

Westbank First Nation Self-Government Act April 22nd, 2004

They can heckle all they want, but I do not, and that was not a canned speech.

Second, he is asking me a question of the government. I do not speak for the government. He might want to pose that question in question period tomorrow, but I do not speak on behalf of the government.

Westbank First Nation Self-Government Act April 22nd, 2004

Mr. Speaker, first, I have been on record in many newspapers saying that I never deliver, never would and never have, canned speeches.