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 March 27th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, a national aboriginal recognition day was passed by the assembly in Quebec in 1990. It has been requested by the Assembly of First Nations and by spiritual leaders. It has been pushed by private members of the NDP, by our member from Red Sucker and two weeks ago by the executive committee of the Canadian Federation of Municipalities.

These people are looking for a day of recognition, a day celebrating the aboriginal ties to the land. The challenge to the government is whether it is prepared to do it from sea to sea to sea. I am pleased to advise the House and members that the caucus, the cabinet and the government have reflected on this.

The Prime Minister will be proclaiming very shortly that there will be a national aboriginal day. It will be at the summer solstice, June 21 of each and every year. It will be a celebration of the spiritual ties of the aboriginal people, a recognition of them as our neighbours. Hopefully it will lead to a better future for all of us in Canada.

Point Of Order March 26th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I was told by the Nisga'a leadership that an invitation was sent to the member. If he says that he was not invited, I am prepared to accept his word.

Indian Affairs March 26th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, the only thing mystical in the Nisga'a deal is the absence of the member of Parliament from the area on an invitation to the signing.

Concerning the fisheries, there was quite a bit of negotiation on the commercial aspect of the fishery and whether it would be constitutionally protected. The Nisga'a demanded that it be constitutionally protected. In the end this was withdrawn.

The commercial aspect of the fishery is not constitutionally protected. It is defined annually by a committee or commission of two Nisga'a and two federal representatives and reports directly to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

Indian Affairs March 26th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, dealing specifically with access, which was the point of the question, I am very proud of the access provisions of the agreement.

They provide public access to Nisga'a lands for hunting, fishing and recreation. The Nisga'a will regulate access based on safety, environment, cultural and historic sites and habitat. The province is to maintain the roads. The federal and provincial governments can acquire Nisga'a land for fair compensation for access. It is a very modern approach to access which the province of B.C., the Nisga'a and the federal government are quite proud of.

Indian Affairs March 18th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I do not try to spark fires but I do ask questions, which I think is my right in a democracy.

The response from Mr. Bouchard was that I was an idiot. The response from Mr. Brassard is we deal with assassins and murderers. The response here on Friday was atrocious. I missed the hon. member on Friday. Usually our dialogue is at a higher level.

I will continue to ask questions, which is my job, on behalf of native people I serve, as well as the hon. member.

Indian Affairs March 18th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, there are 83 pieces of property purchased by the department, most at the behest of the opposition

and people in the community. A package was put together. We thought it was appropriate and so we went along with what the opposition suggested.

The problem is now we have to develop a housing authority within the community to make sure housing is properly allocated and that there is proper policing. It is difficult, especially in Oka now with two chiefs, but we are working toward that end. I met this morning with the negotiator to see if we could have some positive movement in there.

Indian Affairs March 15th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I will start taking advice from the Bloc on Davis Inlet when they send as many members of Parliament to Davis Inlet as the Liberal Party has.

We have been there several times. We have a plan over a term of years to deal with health, to deal with housing. I have crawled under those houses myself to see what was being constructed. When the Bloc gets under a house at Davis Inlet and looks at what is being done, then I will start listening to them.

The figure is over a term of years. We are working with the very unfortunate people at Davis Inlet. We hope that this will be a success story in Canadian history where the Government of Newfoundland, the Government of Canada works with native people. Unlike the Bloc, we work with native people, not against them.

Indian Affairs March 15th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I face the separatists and the Bloc every day and I know they are very concerned about territorial integrity and the political position of the Mohawks.

These are not my words, these are the words of Daniel Turp, the candidate for the Bloc in Papineau and the man who gives this party advice. He said: "If Quebec were to object to sovereignty measures democratically approved, these native nations could undoubtedly claim that their democratic rights to self-determination and to secession have been violated". This party is violating this.

Indian Affairs March 15th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I responded to that question last week.

That community had an election. We hired Coopers and Lybrand to oversee the election. The report was returned saying that it was a proper election of Jerry Peltier.

The community had a meeting a few weeks ago and they now have a second chief. However, Mr. Peltier's term is for three years and he has not resigned. In the spirit of self-government, I am hoping the community will work itself through the process.

On the upside, the difficulty in the community has not affected the fact that there are seven members on the council. Six are still there. The majority is still working.

Why do Bloc members always pick on Jerry Peltier and the Mohawks? They are back to Mohawk bashing. Why do they not pay some attention to the Algonquins or the Abenakis? They do not have any interest north of here. It is always the Mohawks. Why? The Mohawks see through this party for what they are. They see them as ideologues and they will continue to ask these questions about the proud Mohawks.

Indian Affairs March 12th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, Grand Chief Pelletier was elected in the latter part of last year for a three-year term. We retained the firm of Coopers & Lybrand to assess the election. It said it was a valid election.

In the last few months there has been a meeting at the reserve and there was a petition or a vote to remove Grand Chief Pelletier and put another chief in.

The problem is Mr. Pelletier has not resigned. He sent me a letter saying he is still the chief. The new person also says he is the chief. We are looking at custom, tradition and the fact that we have already had elections. I will have to think about this and seek advice on where we go from here.