Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was agreement.

Last in Parliament October 2000, as Liberal MP for Provencher (Manitoba)

Lost his last election, in 2000, with 36% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Petitions May 12th, 1999

Mr. Speaker, this petition is from citizens of Canada in my riding of Provencher. They draw the attention of the House of Commons to the following: Whereas the majority of Canadians understand the concept of marriage as only the voluntary union of a single male and a single female, and whereas it is the duty of parliament to ensure that marriage, as it has always been known and understood in Canada, be preserved and protected, therefore your petitioners pray that parliament enact legislation such as Bill C-225 so as to define in statute that marriage can only be entered into between a single male and a single female.

Aboriginal Affairs May 7th, 1999

Mr. Speaker, I will refer again to the article in this morning's paper. One of Vancouver's leading newspapers has castigated quite thoroughly the members of the Reform Party for misrepresenting the good people and the good views of the people of British Columbia.

This is not true. We have signed a treaty under section 35 within the constitutional framework of this country. It is legitimate, it is valid and we stand behind it.

Aboriginal Affairs May 7th, 1999

Mr. Speaker, I would like to read the member a quote from this morning's front page of a British Columbia newspaper. It states:

Reform's enthusiastic hostility to the deal is well known. This week we caught a glimpse of just how low they'll stoop when the Liberals bring the treaty to the House of Commons this fall.

One after the other, Reformers disgraced themselves with a range of questions that displayed everything from wilful distortion to extreme paranoia.

The article goes on to state:

And this is a party whose leader has designs on broadening it into the mainstream alternative for government?

As Charlie Brown would say, good grief, Mr. Speaker.

Aboriginal Affairs April 30th, 1999

Mr. Speaker, what the hon. member does not understand is that when we made the treaty with the British Columbia people and the Nisga'a people, it is removed from the paternalism of the Indian Act. It becomes a separate treaty. Therefore these general laws apply. If it is a power not enumerated in the treaty, there is no conflict.

The hon. member is not reading the document properly. I wish he would come to my department. We have given him the opportunity for a briefing. He will not take it. He is categorically wrong and he voted against women and women's issues on Bill C-49. Who is he trying to protect?

Aboriginal Affairs April 30th, 1999

Mr. Speaker, the member is absolutely wrong again. He was wrong on the constitutional application to the treaty.

I said to him yesterday and I say here again in the House that chapter 2, article 13, explicitly states that the laws of general application will apply. In this case the B.C. family relations act will apply to all women in British Columbia. Those women are protected and also protected under section 15 of the charter.

Aboriginal Affairs April 29th, 1999

Mr. Speaker, the Family Relations Act of British Columbia continues to apply and will apply to those relations in British Columbia.

The member is correct when he suggests for example that the real property division as a question of matrimonial rights is not expressly written in this act. We tried to deal with that in Bill C-49, protecting those women's rights in this case in British Columbia, and he voted against them.

Aboriginal Affairs April 29th, 1999

Mr. Speaker, I repeat again that chapter 2, section 13, expressly states that where there is a contradiction between those laws, the general laws of application will apply. We have made that very, very clear. We are very firm on that position. We will act to protect the rights of women. They are protected in this treaty.

Aboriginal Affairs April 29th, 1999

Mr. Speaker, that is incorrect. I would suggest that the member is wrong in that interpretation of the agreement. I have a copy of the agreement here. Chapter 2, on the conflict between federal and provincial laws, it is expressly clear. I believe if the member reads it he will clearly see that the laws of general application apply, and those include the rights of women and matrimonial property.

Privilege April 28th, 1999

Mr. Speaker, on April 22, 1999, in responding during question period to the hon. member for South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, I made reference to remarks made by the hon. member for Skeena at the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development.

In making this reference, without malice to the hon. member for Skeena and completely unintentionally, I overlooked the fact that the proceedings to which I referred were in fact in camera proceedings. I now of course fully recognize that I absolutely should not have made reference to such in camera proceedings. To have done so was a serious error that should not have occurred even in passionate debate during question period.

When the matter was brought to my attention by my House leader, I resolved immediately to set the record straight and address the matter on my first day back in the House. I have great personal respect for the dignity of the House, its traditions, practices, proceedings and, most of all, its members.

I therefore offer my apologies to the Chair, to members of the House, to members of the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development and, most important, I offer my apology to the hon. member for Skeena. Now, Mr. Speaker, I respectfully submit this to your hands.

Aboriginal Affairs April 22nd, 1999

Mr. Speaker, I said that the Government of Canada has made a commitment to the Nisga'a people and as a tripartite signatory to that agreement we will be introducing that particular legislation in the House at the appropriate time. We will have a debate on it, as we promised.

I reiterate that the member for Skeena asked for a tripling or a doubling of the budget of the standing committee on Indian affairs to bring in people and to hear witnesses on this particular issue.

We will do it when the time comes and it will be done.