House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was aboriginal.

Last in Parliament April 1997, as Liberal MP for Sault Ste. Marie (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 1993, with 53% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Bell Canada Act February 3rd, 1997

moved that the bill be concurred in.

(Motion agreed to.)

Indian Claims Commission December 13th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the 1995-96 annual report of the Indian Claims Commission.

Indian Affairs December 13th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, we have not addressed the Indian Act since 1951 and we cannot continue to look at a problem only every 45 years. It has taken is two years to get to this point and the package which is before the hon. member and the committee has three processes.

The first is substance. I am prepared to turn over substantial powers to the aboriginal people, where it should be, that I now exercise and do not want. I am prepared to take those sections that they want to discuss further or which may be controversial and put them before the committee. Its members can use their imagination and move into the future.

Finally, I am prepared to make it optional. I was prepared to go further than that so that no one can ever say that the government was not prepared to transfer these powers. Now it is up to the First Nations to decide whether it wants to exercise these powers.

Most important, a process is finally in place that over a period of years will deal with substantive issues of the Indian Act and get rid of that offensive act once and for all.

Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act December 12th, 1996

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-80, an act to provide for an integrated system of land and water management in the Mackenzie Valley, to establish certain boards for that purpose and to make consequential amendments to other acts.

(Motion deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed.)

Indian Act Optional Modification Act December 12th, 1996

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-79, an act

to permit certain modifications in the application of the Indian Act to bands that desire them.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed.)

First Nations Land Management Act December 10th, 1996

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-75, an act providing for the ratification and the bringing into effect of the Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed.)

Indian Affairs November 25th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is probably the last person to be asking that question. These are the same types of questions which are asked of the Minister of Justice. Reformers take one isolated case and say because this happened, people cannot handle their own responsibilities and that we should look at what is happening.

Reformers refuse to look across the country at the 80 per cent of First Nations that do a good job of managing. They refused to look at the B.C. treaty process which was a success and which Reformers opposed. They refused to look at the Manitoba dismantling which they opposed and which is a success. They refused to look at treaty scoping out and they even refused to support legislation in the Yukon. Yet they come here and ask when there is going to be fairness for the aboriginal people. They are the wrong people to be asking that question.

Indian Affairs November 25th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, let me explain this to the hon. member. First, treaty land entitlement is direct to the individuals through a process.

But under treaty we have not yet scoped out the meaning of health, the meaning of education, the meaning of economic development. There are four processes going on in this country that I hope would have something.

What the hon. member wants me to do-I explained it to her colleague last week-is pay the money directly to 300,000 or 400,000 aboriginal people. We do not deal that way. We deal government to government. We do not do that with provinces. Provinces do not do that with municipalities. They elect people. They decide on the priorities, whether hospitals, schools or roads. This is the way they do it.

Certainly the hon. member is not suggesting that the Minister of Finance take the money he collects and send a cheque to each Canadian so they can decide what to do with the money. The people elect us to come to the House of Commons to make decisions. Aboriginal people elect chiefs in council to make decisions. It is quite simple.

The Constitution November 22nd, 1996

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is referring back to the charter of rights. It was always the position of the Liberal government under former Prime Minister Trudeau that this should be entrenched, that there should not be a notwithstanding clause. It is there only because it was forced on us by the premiers and by the Conservative governments of the time.

I hope that at some point we can take the notwithstanding clause out of the Constitution so that the charter of rights is free standing both for aboriginal people and non-aboriginal people.

The Constitution November 22nd, 1996

Mr. Speaker, this is a problem. The notwithstanding clause applies to the provinces. It is supported by most members of the Reform Party in a former life, and I see that some of them are going back to it. They want that clause in there.

The royal commission has highlighted that there is no provision in the charter in relation to self-government, no constitutional change to give the same rights to aboriginal people. But the hon. member is accurate, it is there, a dichotomy that is going to have to be dealt with by constitutional change at some point.