House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was claims.

Last in Parliament April 1997, as Liberal MP for Nunatsiaq (Northwest Territories)

Won his last election, in 1993, with 70% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Indian Affairs March 11th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, absolutely. I remind the hon. member that on the issue of self-government we did not have the privilege of being asked whether a government would be set up before a government was set up in our land.

Indian Affairs March 11th, 1994

I would like to inform the hon. member that I will make this information known to the minister and a response will be forthcoming.

Arctic Winter Games March 9th, 1994

[Editor's Note: Member spoke in Inuktitut.]

The Arctic Winter Games, a week long celebration of northern peoples and cultures, were officially opened by the Governor General last Sunday at Slave Lake.

Held every two years, the games are an international event with teams participating from Greenland, Russia, Alaska, Northwest Territories, Yukon and northern Alberta.

These games are unique for emphasizing culture along with competition. The games logo of three interlocking rings symbolizes equally athletic competition, cultural exhibition and social interchange.

In these games opposing teams help each other. Caring for others and sharing experience and knowledge are values strongly held by aboriginal peoples, northerners and all Canadians.

I want to wish the participants well and thank them for reminding us of the benefits of our rich cultural diversity and our common values.

Land Claims March 8th, 1994

Under the provisions of Standing Order 32(2), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, copies of the Sahtu, Dene and M├ętis land claims agreements, volumes I and II.

The appropriate legislation to bring this agreement into force will be introduced in the very near future.

The Budget February 24th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, as you know this question concerns an alleged comment by the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development that Reform Party members hate Indians. As the member said, it was raised earlier in the House this week. At that time the minister answered the charge, clearly stating that he does not believe he said any such thing.

Again today the minister told members of the House categorically that he does not believe Reform members or any other members of the House for that matter hate Indians. I think it is quite understandable that he would not believe any such thing. The minister took the opportunity to encourage all members to look beyond their partisan interests so that we might all work together in building a new relationship with us, the aboriginal people of Canada.

Aboriginal people have told us that implementing the inherent right to aboriginal self-government should be the cornerstone of this new relationship. To that end the minister has had an opportunity to meet with many leaders across the country, discussing various issues, one of which is the inherent right to self-government.

The member would like the minister to respond to one particular community or meeting that he attended and at that point the minister answered clearly, again restated today that he does not believe any such thing. He said he has checked with

other members who attended the same meeting and they do not remember such a statement being made.

National Aboriginal Achievement Awards February 17th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, on Monday, February 28 the first national aboriginal achievement awards will be presented. A ceremony at the National Arts Centre will honour the outstanding career achievements of 13 aboriginal Canadians, five of whom are from Northwest Territories. This years winners are Susan Aglukark, Thelma Chalifoux, Nellie Cournoyea, Jean Goodwill, Cindy Kenny-Gilday, Verna Kirkness, Rosemarie Kuptana, Bill Lyall, Ted Nolan, Alanis Obomsawin, Murray Sinclair, Art Solomon and Bill Reid.

Congratulations to all for inspiring and enriching our communities, our peoples and our country.

The award ceremony will be broadcast on CBC March 3. I encourage all members and all Canadians to join us in this celebration of our talent, pride and hope.

Business Of Supply February 16th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the member on his comments. I would also like to point out a couple of things before coming to a question.

I would like to apprise members of a report that was done by the committee on aboriginal affairs on aboriginal and northern housing. Members might want to read and reflect upon the poor state of housing for aboriginal people across the country.

As much as my colleagues from the Reform would probably like us to go back into tepees and igloos because of the poor state of housing, I want to comment that home repairs for rural and low income areas are welcome. However this does not adequately address the northern and aboriginal communities.

Some of those houses that are built in the aboriginal and northern communities almost do not meet the basic standards. It is not necessarily the best idea to repair the homes. It is better to replace them.

When the government fell on October 25 and social housing was cut, Northwest Territories was getting something in the neighbourhood of $47 million for social housing. That cut had a devastating effect on aboriginal and northern housing because although $47 million may not seem all that much, when the total population is 55,000 in Northwest Territories and we are already short by 3,800 units, $47 million means an awful lot.

I know the hon. member supports the resumption of the funding for social housing but more from my point of view we need the $47 million for the Northwest Territories social housing program. As I said, if we do not get the housing our alternative is to build igloos in the winter and tents in the summer. I do not think that is acceptable today.

Business Of Supply February 16th, 1994

If I was not wearing my earpiece earlier I probably would not have understood a word the hon. member was saying.

I just want to comment on a couple of things that the hon. member mentioned or omitted. One point was the fact that aboriginal people have the poorest housing. I did not hear the word aboriginal once in the whole presentation.

The other point was that I did not hear anything, other than Canadian or global, about how many houses are needed in Northwest Territories or in British Columbia. I just heard the statistics in Quebec.

I know that the member is a member of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition and I think the member should represent all Canadians. I did not hear that.

I would like to comment also on her comment about the hon. minister for external affairs. She seemed to contradict, telling us that we were not aware of all the housing needs and then quoting the hon. minister. The minister must have been representing his constituents and Canada when he made his concerns known about housing and therefore did not need lessons from the hon. member about not knowing what was going on in our ridings over here. Does the hon. member have any understanding of the housing needs of aboriginal people across Canada as well as in Quebec? Does she have any statistics about the state of poor housing in areas other than Quebec?

Cruise Missile Testing January 26th, 1994

Madam Speaker, when the member for Saint John was speaking she pointed out quite clearly that the cruise missiles that they were using carrying conventional weapons were very accurate.

It is not as though we were suffering from lack of knowledge on how to make a cruise missile that can hit a target within a few feet. It is not as if we are going to lose out by not continuing to test the cruise missile.

We already have weapons that can hit within a few feet from hundreds of miles away. I do not think we will get into trouble if we do not test the cruise missile. I do not think the world will be any worse off if the cruise missile is not tested. If it is used as it is, it still destroys.

Cruise Missile Testing January 26th, 1994

Madam Speaker, we do have agreements with other countries, whether they are of a military nature or any nature. We do have agreements with other countries, treaties, pacts. We have to remember we are still an independent country. I have very strong feelings about the fact that Canada is a free country. We are a nation of people who are peace loving.

I do not think we have an agreement with the United States that can be, as I pointed out at the end of my speech, terminated year by year. I do not think we are getting into any trouble. Frankly, I would not care if we got into trouble with the United States. I do not think we are getting into any trouble if we decide to cancel cruise missile testing in the far north.

As I said earlier in a point to one of the members, the area of possible conflict has changed in the last two or three years. The terrain is not the same. If the Americans had to attack anybody it would not be the Soviet Union.

Despite some concerns about the mad guy from Russia-I cannot remember his name, the fool anyway-I do not think he is a threat. Therefore Russia is not a threat. There is no Soviet Union. The threat is more from other countries that may be developing nuclear weapons.

Why do we not ask the United States to test their cruise missiles over terrain of similar nature. If the terrain is similar to the terrain between here and Montreal or Toronto and Vancouver why not test it through there?