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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was certainly.

Last in Parliament November 2005, as Conservative MP for Westlock—St. Paul (Alberta)

Won his last election, in 2004, with 67% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Aboriginal Self-Government March 14th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, as a supplementary question, will the federal government after having arrived at this definition in some way then allow the aboriginal peoples and all the peoples in Manitoba to voice their approval or disapproval of the example through a system of referendum?

Aboriginal Self-Government March 14th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

The government has committed itself to establishing aboriginal self-government in the province of Manitoba. Last week neither the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development nor the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs was able to provide the House with a clear straightforward definition of aboriginal self-government.

Will the Prime Minister, as head of the government and as a former minister of Indian affairs, please give the House his definition of aboriginal self-government, particularly as it relates to Manitoba?

Indian Affairs February 24th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure if that answered my question or not. Native Canadians arrive at agreements with governments and rely on governments, no matter what party is in office, to honour those agreements.

My supplementary is this. The minister has yet to clearly deny or confirm that he told members of bands in my riding that Reformers hate Indians. Will he rise in this House today and give an unequivocal yes or no. Did he so label Reformers as haters of Indians, yes or no?

Indian Affairs February 24th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the hon. Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.

It is my understanding that the previous government and native leaders agreed not to discuss Bill C-31, a bill defining band membership as part of ongoing discussions regarding land claims and native self-government. In fact, they agreed to leave that matter to the courts for a decision so that land claims and self-government discussions could proceed more quickly.

If native leaders made this agreement with the previous government and were satisfied with it, why is the present minister dragging Bill C-31 into discussions with native leaders and bands?

Business Of Supply February 16th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask a question concerning the minister's comments on aboriginal housing on and off reserve.

The statistical material that I have been able to make available indicates to me that housing on and off reserve for aboriginals has a habitable life span of some 16 to 25 years as compared with 35 to 50 years for other housing, for non-aboriginal housing. This would indicate to me either there is substandard housing being provided in those cases or that housing is not being properly maintained and cared for.

Has the minister taken into serious consideration those statistics in providing the renewal of housing?

supply February 11th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, certainly the member might have interpreted my presentation that because we cannot get one little definition of self-government we should do nothing. Our party and I have asked the minister and his government to define for us what in their opinion inherent right means. To this point at least we have not received an answer to that question. If we did then

we could make a better judgment on whether we support the concept of aboriginal inherent right to self-government.

I personally support and I think my party supports the devolution of responsibility for aboriginal affairs to the aboriginal people themselves. I am saying that we should not throw huge sums of money at the problem and have no accountability for those dollars and then say we are solving the problem and devolving that responsibility. When we spend taxpayers' dollars we have to account to the taxpayer for those dollars, whether it be the government or the aboriginals who are administering that program. That is what we and all Canadians are demanding, not that the devolution of power and responsibility does not take place.

supply February 11th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, there were a number of questions within the hon. member's response and I will try to remember them and answer them as I go.

Certainly there has been great progress made within aboriginal communities in the directions he points out. I applaud those gains that we have made. The point I was trying to make in my presentation was that with each and every one of these programs we have to be able to assure Canadians that the best value was gained for the dollar spent. Certainly while each program makes some progress toward its goal, was enough progress made to make the dollar spent worth while?

Some suggestions we might make to improve the accountability of those dollars are very much the same as what was pointed out in this particular chapter of the Auditor General's report, that the evaluation procedures the Auditor General spoke of be put in place to evaluate the success of the programs that have been implemented. In this way the minister, or the department through the minister, might come back and be able to assure this Parliament and all Canadians that they are getting value for the dollars spent and that we are achieving the results we are trying to achieve.

supply February 11th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to discuss the Auditor General's report, specifically chapter 11 of the report because of my responsibilities within my caucus and within the House of Commons. I will be speaking on chapter 11 which deals with the Canadian aboriginal economic development strategy, but more generally with the Auditor General's report dealing with the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development its and programs.

If one is to examine past reports of the Auditor General dealing with northern affairs and aboriginal affairs, going back some 20 years beyond the last government to include the Liberal government before that, the same criticisms come up repeatedly.

These criticisms are that the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development cannot assure the people of Canada that the examined program have a clear implementation strategy that is followed in the disbursement of funds or that funds dispersed actually go to the programs intended, that desired results of the programs are achieved and that Canadian tax dollars are spent with due regard for economy, efficiency and effectiveness.

Many of these criticisms are to arise from a confusion in the mandate of the department, it would appear. The dilemma appears to be one of reconciling accountability to Parliament with the transfer of responsibilities of managing funding to aboriginal programs to aboriginal bands through a number of funding arrangements.

As far back as 1986 the Auditor General expressed concern whether the department was accountable for ensuring social and economic gains to aboriginal people or was simply responsible for ensuring the equitable distribution of financial support as native groups pursued their own objectives.

This confusion is still evident today in the implementation of the Canadian aboriginal economic development strategy. This one program was initiated by the Government of Canada in 1989 to address the economic disparities between aboriginal peoples and other Canadians. The overall objective of the strategy is to help the aboriginal peoples to attain economic self-reliance.

The strategy from 1989 to 1993 spent at least $900 million of an appropriated budget of $1 billion. According to the Auditor General the three departments responsible for implementing the program are unable to demonstrate that they are meeting the strategy's objectives.

The auditors were unable to find any co-ordinated implementation strategy and instances were observed in which funds were disbursed for projects before the required business plan documentation was received. There was consistently no evaluation of the projects to see if objectives were being met.

The Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development disbursed funding on a per capita basis regardless of the level of economic development within the bands, again demonstrating the conflict between the department's accountability and the devolution of responsibility to Indian bands.

The department could also not demonstrate any follow up assessment of the success of the projects funded with taxpayers' dollars. Upon examination of the projects by the Auditor General the projects examined had a success rate of 50 per cent or less in meeting their objectives and one has to ask if this is good value for the dollars invested.

With this particular program as with many other programs administered by the Department of Indian Affairs, if the Canadian taxpayers are to continue to fund it a number of very important questions need to be clearly answered.

These questions could regard the actual benefit that has resulted from these policy initiatives and whether these activities achieved value for money. Did these policy initiatives take into account aboriginal priorities or could these funds have been used differently to generate greater benefit per dollar spent? Is there a more cost effective way to achieve the same results? What is the definition or criteria to judge when a program is a success or failure?

It is clear we need a thorough review of the mandate and the responsibilities of the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. This is particularly pertinent in view of the commitment by the Liberal government in its red book to implement native self-government beginning within six months despite the fact that Canadians and most aboriginal people do not agree specifically with what that term means.

I support, as does my party, the move toward aboriginal control of aboriginal affairs and the eventual dismantling of the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. However, I will not accept that Canadian taxpayers, through a misappropriate sense of guilt, continue to throw huge amounts of money into aboriginal programs without accountability or assessment of the success of these programs.

While aboriginal leaders need only be responsible to aboriginal people for moneys and programs received through economic development established within the bands, these aboriginal leaders or the department or both must be totally accountable for

every taxpayer dollar spent, particularly in this time of scarce resources and enormous deficits and debt.

Neither my grandfather nor my father nor I am responsible for the atrocities endured by the aboriginal peoples perpetrated by the governments and churches of England or the governments of Sir John A. Macdonald and Mackenzie King. I believe that present day Canadians and their governments are demonstrating a real willingness to address the problems within the aboriginal community and will continue to do so.

However, at a time when working Canadians are giving well over half their income earnings to governments in taxes while at the same time the very fabric of our social safety net programs are being threatened by high cost and enormous debt, we have every right to demand full accountability and value for every dollar governments spend.

International Lesbian And Gay Association February 9th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I have a supplementary question. I would like to ask the minister if he would instruct Canada's representative on the UN committee to rescind our endorsement of this umbrella organization.

International Lesbian And Gay Association February 9th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

In July of last year Canada's representative on the UN's Economic and Social Council voted in favour of granting roster status to the non-governmental organization called the International Lesbian and Gay Association, which is an umbrella group representing a number of organizations, including the North American Man-Boy Love Association. This organization promotes sexual freedom between men and boys and opposes age of consent laws and other restrictions which deny men from having sex with boys.

I would like to ask the minister if his government endorses the decision of Canada's representative on the UN committee that voted in favour of granting status to this umbrella group.