Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was federal.

Last in Parliament April 1997, as NDP MP for The Battlefords—Meadow Lake (Saskatchewan)

Lost his last election, in 1997, with 28% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Pre-Budget Consultations February 1st, 1994

Hear, hear.

Pre-Budget Consultations February 1st, 1994

A very good idea.

The Budget January 28th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, at the pre-budget consultations hosted by the Minister of Finance the government has listened to Canadians saying that job creation must be the nation's first priority.

When I listen to these people, just as when I listen to people at the skating rinks, coffee shops and street corners in my constituency, I also hear a message that says the people of Canada want job and income security, as well as competence and fairness in the way government collects and spends taxpayers' money. The bottom line is that Canadians want to see results that will restore their confidence in their own as well as Canada's future.

There are many ideas on the table and the finance minister has a difficult task ahead of him. The advice he is getting from ordinary Canadians is: concentrate on creating jobs, provide greater economic security and put more fairness into our tax system. He will be doing the right thing and it will benefit of all Canadians.

Cruise Missile Testing January 26th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I had hoped to be able to take a bit more than two minutes, but I will not abuse the rights of the Chair and will summarize a letter I received today.

My riding is in northwest Saskatchewan on the border with Alberta and contains the Saskatchewan side of the Primrose Lake weapons range, as well as the home of the Canoe Lake Indian Band which some years ago placed a claim on the lands now occupied by the Department of National Defence for the testing of various weapons and training systems.

The member talked about involving northerners and I assume aboriginals in the decision making, et cetera. Therefore I would like to ask him a question relating to a letter sent to the Prime Minister of Canada yesterday by the Chief of the Canoe Lake Band.

The chief indicated that the Government of Canada rejected the claim of the band to those lands but that the Indian Claims Commission established to inquire into this claim and others had recommended the acceptance of the Canoe Lake claim on the Primrose Lake land.

The letter to the Prime Minister today asks the government, in addition to considering the testing of the cruise missile, to consider the report and recommendations of the claims commission that the claim be accepted. The chief of the Canoe Lake Band indicates that as in similar situations in Canada the Primrose Lake air weapons range testing program has been very detrimental to the people who live nearby the Primrose Lake air weapons range and therefore this program is quite detrimental to them.

Would the member indicate whether he is prepared to accept the invitation, put on the table by the Canoe Lake Band, to approach the Prime Minister to discuss as participants in this process the acceptance of their claim?

Foreign Affairs January 25th, 1994

I will make the comment and as I indicated I am very happy to be able to do so while the minister is present.

Essentially the issue of peacekeeping is one that is important to all members of the House as we recognized in the debate today so far. I have heard in the debate a desire of members of this House to support the peacekeeping troops and the peacekeeping efforts for the most part, but mostly there is support for the young men and women who are skilled, talented, courageous and sometimes confused in their efforts. They are often asked to do jobs that are difficult and dangerous and we have seen that on television and we have heard about it in the debate today.

As you know, Mr. Speaker, and for the benefit of the minister they are often called upon to react to situations they have never before encountered. They are often asked to react very quickly. The defence department, this government and members of this Parliament recognize that we have to stand behind these troops in the circumstances in which they find themselves.

Today a young man lies confused, frustrated and angry in an Ottawa hospital. His parents, residents of the Flying Dust Band in my constituency in northwest Saskatchewan wonder what has happened to their son. He is a very decent young man and eager to serve his people. He is a role model for the youth in his community. Master Corporal Clayton Matchee went to Somalia with Canadians forces to serve a peacekeeping role. His physical and mental injuries are not the result of a military engagement, but rather the result of a hanging in a Canadian compound. Military officials say he hung himself in an effort to take his own life.

Despite inconsistencies in the evidence, despite expressed concern with his commanding officer, despite his inability to speak on his own behalf, Master Corporal Clayton Matchee is facing charges of second degree murder and torture in the death of a Somali man.

Canada's peacekeepers are asked to do many jobs on a daily basis and some of their work is simply expected to be done. When we as parliamentarians talk about our role in peacekeeping we have to realize that we ourselves are not out there on the front line. We can think we know what it is like out there but we really do not know. We have to, like a good hockey coach, encourage our team to go out there and do the best that they can.

Therefore, in the course of the debate today I want to call on the Minister of National Defence to drop the charges against Master Corporal Clayton Matchee. The circumstances surrounding his case are confusing. It will take more than a military court to determine the events which led to the deaths in Somalia, the actions of some members of the Canadian airborne, the hanging of Master Corporal Matchee, the subsequent charges and the charges brought against his commanding officer.

In conclusion let me say that the circumstances need to be examined and I have no doubt that eventually the truth will come out, but I would very much like the minister to take steps to drop those charges in the interests of the family of Master Corporal Matchee and in the interests of all peacekeepers. This will show that we will support our troops regardless of the circumstances into which they are put.

Foreign Affairs January 25th, 1994

I appreciate the opportunity to raise a question here. As this is the question and comment period I do have a couple of comments that are probably more relevant than my question. Given the fact that the minister is here I would very much like to direct a comment to him. I do not necessarily expect a reply at the moment from the hon. member who has spoken or the minister.