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

Indian Affairs January 31st, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I am repeating myself. It should be clear that Canadian skies are not up for negotiation. That is part of the Canadian umbrella. That is part of what we are talking about: self-government negotiations within one Canada.

I have said that the skies of Canada are open to all nations, all reserves and all Canadians. I cannot be any clearer than that.

Indian Affairs January 31st, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I was three days in Yukon. That was part of the negotiations between the Minister of National Defence and Mr. Peltier. I was aware of what was going on and was kept briefed. I am satisfied that the matter was handled amicably and we have reached an understanding that the skies of Canada belong to all Canadians.

Native Communities January 27th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I have heard some crazy figures like $80 million. I am at present getting hard figures on it. I am very sympathetic to that move but I want to make sure it can be done within our budget. I am sure the Leader of the Opposition realizes we have budget constraints and I have to work within that budget.

In my heart I want to make that move. I hope we can do it within the constraints of government these days with the heavy deficit.

Native Communities January 27th, 1994

After the initial incident when I was down in the area the leadership took another position. They invited the RCMP in. They came and collected the prisoners and then left. I think the situation is much better at Davis Inlet now than it was when I was there. The leadership wants to work with the RCMP, wants to work with the government in Newfoundland, and wants to work with us. I think together we can find solutions.

Native Communities January 27th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I quite agree. The hon. Leader of the Official Opposition was once a member of another government which spent $1.7 million to send these children to Poundmaker. Of the 17 families who went there, 16 of the kids are back in trouble. So that did not work.

We are back in there again working with the leadership. As I said last week, three of our people have been working actively. Hopefully we can have a package some time in March that addresses these things.

I do not think there are quick solutions and I do not think the hon. member thinks so either. I think we have the responsibility to be there to do whatever we can as far as healing, health, housing, and trying to solve the situation in a pragmatic step-by-step process.

Indian Affairs January 25th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I met with the Premier of Newfoundland and with the Attorney General.

In the last week the Attorney General of Newfoundland has had two two-hour discussions with my executive assistant. There is a misconception that Newfoundland does not want to take care of the problem. I assure you that they do. They are as concerned as we are and we are working together to solve this as best we can. Ultimately it will be well into the next century before the problems of Davis Inlet are solved.

We will work together to the best of our ability to solve the problems.

Indian Affairs January 25th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Lac-Saint-Jean for his question and his concern.

It is a high priority. Two weeks ago we had officials with my personal staff and Justice in. We will be going back probably with an acceptable package in the early part of March which will probably involve health and justice.

I assure you it is my priority to get this done this month. I agree that we cannot have this happen in our country. These are our people and we cannot leave them out there.

Aboriginal Affairs January 21st, 1994

Mr. Speaker, the charter of rights is very important to me personally, having sat in this House when it was developed. It is very important to the aboriginal people and very important to Canadians. It will be protected at all costs.

Aboriginal Affairs January 21st, 1994

Mr. Speaker, not only would I give that commitment, I think that should be the commitment of every one who comes to this House.

Sovereignty is not in question. What is in question is how we take inherent right and develop it into something that is workable. I think the process of discussion over the next six months with the territories, the provinces, the leaders and the national aboriginal leaders will define just that.

As I said yesterday we must have one Canada but within this Canada many families.

Aboriginal Affairs January 20th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I was asked that question last night on CBC to which I responded that it was a tough question. It still is.

We do not look at this as creating a third level of government. We look at this as developing what exists from the Two Row Wampum treaties of hundreds of years ago through the Constitution, the Guerin case and the Sparrow case to what we have today: the policy of this government that the inherent right of self-government exists. It is something we are committed to and something we intend to implement fairly and justly within four years.