House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was jean.

Last in Parliament April 1997, as Liberal MP for Timmins—Chapleau (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 1993, with 55% of the vote.

Statements in the House

The Late Jean-Robert Roy February 5th, 1997

Mr. Speaker, I was struck with sadness when I was informed that my good friend and former parliamentarian Jean Roy had suddenly passed away at his home in Timmins on December 28.

Yesterday Jean and his good wife Georgette would have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. The longevity of their marriage speaks volumes of how Jean viewed all his relationships with people, whether that relationship was in matrimony, in family, in business, in friendship and with his colleagues in this Chamber.

For 11 years, from 1968 to 1979, Jean occupied this seat from which I address this House. He won three consecutive elections and no doubt would have continued to serve his constituents and his country but for a heart attack in 1977. This event forced Jean to retire from active political life and was the reason he did not seek re-election in the 1979 general election.

He loved this Chamber. He worked endlessly. He was never shy to express his strong views on any major topic or issue, whether in caucus, in this House or in public. He was a great parliamentarian.

Although Jean was forced to retire from his political career at a young age, he never ceased to be involved in politics. He loved talking about politics and was involved in every election after his retirement. He was deeply involved in his many community initiatives and contributed much to the community. As a young man I was very much involved and contributed much of my time to his elections in 1968, 1972 and 1975.

I am convinced that was the reason Jean sought me out to be one of his golf partners after he retired. Much of our conversation on the golf course was about the political climate of the day and the future of our country. Jean always had strong opinions and was able to express them clearly.

Jean prompted me to offer my candidacy as a Liberal candidate in the 1988 general election and again in the 1993 general election. Jean had by then become one of my greatest supporters and closest advisers and a friend. As a personal friend of Jean, I benefited much from his optimism, his positive outlook and his political counsel.

Jean was a man who gave everything of himself not only to those around him but also to the society in which he lived. He was a good family man and a good provider. Jean's wife Georgette, his children Louise and Jean, and his grandchildren were always his first priority. Jean served his family and his country well. When all else has been forgotten, service to others endures. What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us. What we have done for others remains and is immortal.

Jean loved much and he was loved by all. Love is the greatest transformer. It turns ambition into aspirations, selfishness into service, greed into gratitude, receiving into giving, and demands into dedication. Jean loved much and his deeds will truly live forever.

An Act To Revoke The Conviction Of Louis David Riel December 5th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, it is with pleasure that I respond today to Bill C-297.

Bill C-297 would revoke the conviction of Louis Riel and that is why I support the bill. History has shown that the conviction of Louis Riel was wrong in law and it was wrong in fact.

Let me say at the outset that I view Louis Riel as an important contributor to Confederation. His conviction for high treason in 1885 has been the subject of controversy for many years. Louis Riel was an important figure in the development of our country and to the nation that it is today. He worked endlessly for the Metis people of the west. He also worked for all settlers of the territories that have now become the provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan in our fine country.

During the late 1870s to the mid-1880s the west was going through significant changes. Aboriginal people, English speaking and French speaking Metis, and many other settlers from various parts of the world resided in the west. These people of diverse backgrounds banded together to advance their request to the government for the maintenance of their rights. These settlers felt that either there was no response to their needs or the response was too slow. Occasionally similar feelings are advanced by various organizations and groups even today.

They were right to believe that the government of the day was slow in responding to the requests of the residents of the west who asked for reasonable matters to be addressed, such as appropriate surveys for their settlements, improved transportation so they could move products to and from markets, and other useful services normally provided by a government to its citizens.

The French speaking and English speaking Metis, along with the settlers of many nationalities, sent numerous petitions and delegations to Ottawa to ask the government to carry out its responsibilities. After what the people of the west viewed as many years of neglect and without recourse against the encroachment of others, the people asked Louis Riel for his assistance in negotiating with the government.

Eventually the Metis of the west led by Louis Riel took action to secure their interests. Several military expeditions were dispatched to the west by the government which led to an unfortunate turn of events and indeed loss of life. As we know, Louis Riel eventually was hanged.

Riel was an eloquent and articulate defender of Metis rights as well as those of all members of the community, whether aboriginal, non-aboriginal, anglophone or francophone. Louis Riel was an educated man. He was fluent in English, French, Greek and Latin. He was once a polished statesman who directed the negotiation with the Government of Canada on the entry of Manitoba and the area then known as the North-West Territories into the Dominion of Canada.

Under the leadership of Louis Riel the Metis of Red River adopted a list of rights in 1870. It is important to recall that this list of rights was the primary basis upon which Louis Riel guided the negotiations with the Canadian government for the entry of the territories into the Dominion of Canada.

Louis Riel negotiated the terms for the admission of Rupert's Land and the North-Western Territory into the Dominion of Canada. A delegation of three was sent by the provincial government to Ottawa to present the terms to the Canadian government. This list was essentially the terms of union and formed part of the Manitoba Act.

The list provided for guarantees for Metis people who were then in the majority, including schooling and religious rights as well as recognition of the French and English languages. The rights of other citizens were also clearly set out. This was Louis Riel's vision of a united country with each citizen participating on an equal basis.

After the province of Manitoba entered into Confederation the citizens of the riding of Provencher in the province of Manitoba elected Louis Riel on three occasions by acclamation to the House of Commons. Because of the circumstances, Riel was unable to take his seat in this House.

Louis Riel devoted his life to the interests of the Metis people. He understood their concerns. He had a vision of the proper place for the Metis people and other westerners within Confederation. These people blended together to advance their request to the government for the maintenance of their rights.

In introducing the bill, the hon. member commented that Riel was hanged because he was Metis, because he was a francophone and because he stood up for a distinct society. That was not Louis

Riel. If he were here today I do not believe he would agree with that statement.

Louis Riel stood for equal rights for all Canadians. He believed that the Metis were entitled to equal rights and full participation within Confederation. The Metis at that time in history formed a substantial part of the population. Louis Riel championed for the rights of the minority groups. He would be saddened today by the divisive approach taken by members of the Bloc on this issue.

Louis Riel's contribution to this country has been recognized by the government over the years in a number of ways. I support the efforts of the government in seeking ways to recognize his positive achievements.


Canadian Bill Of Rights September 30th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I am responding to private member's motion M-205 which seeks to provide further protection for property rights pursuant to the Canadian Bill of Rights.

The Canadian Bill of Rights is part of this country's long and strong commitment to protecting human rights. With the coming of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982, which duplicated many of the provisions of the Canadian Bill of Rights, it is important to understand how the bill of rights enacted in 1960 fits into the larger scheme of human rights' protections in Canada.

The Canadian Bill of Rights remains in force, but it is substantially different from the charter as it does not apply to provincial legislation or actions. It operates as a federal statute which is applicable to federal laws and actions. The charter expressly overrides any act that is inconsistent with it, while the Canadian Bill of Rights does not have an express provision which permits it to override other federal statutes.

A noticeable difference between the bill and the charter is that the bill does not have a limitation clause as provided by section 1 of the Canada Charter of Rights and Freedoms. What does the lack of a limitation clause mean for the protection of property rights?

It is important to understand that no rights are absolute. It is often necessary to limit rights to protect the widely shared values of the larger community.

The hon. member for Comox-Alberni, in seeking to provide greater measures for the protection of property rights, has recognized that we cannot provide absolute protection for individual property rights.

Many laws also recognize that others may have a legitimate interest in the property rights of another individual, including family law and environmental protection. Even provincial builders' lien acts recognize and impose limits on the individual's right to dispose of property.

The bill of rights already contains a due process provision to protect property rights. The bill states:

It is hereby recognized and declared that in Canada there have existed and shall continue to exist without discrimination by reason of race, national origin, colour, religion or sex, the following human rights and fundamental freedoms, namely,

(a) the right of the individual to life, liberty, security of the person and enjoyment of property, and the right not to be deprived thereof except by due process of the law-

While there have not been many cases interpreting what this provision means, Walter Tarnopolsky, the noted scholar, in his commentary on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms finds that the bill undoubtedly imposed a requirement of fair procedure and may also have imposed a requirement of fair compensation.

The due process clause in the 14th amendment of the United States constitution, which protects life, liberty or property, has been held to impose a requirement of fair compensation for the loss of property. It can therefore be argued that the Canadian Bill of Rights continues to operate and provides sufficient protection for property.

It should also be mentioned that some provincial bills of rights include protection for property rights. The Alberta bill of rights, now the Alberta individual rights protection act, protects the enjoyment of property by a due process clause. The Quebec charter of rights and freedoms gives some protection to the peaceful enjoyment and free disposition of his or her property to the deprivation of rights.

Why is it necessary to protect property rights? In a liberal democracy such as Canada, the protection of property is fundamental to encourage growth and development. For this reason our society recognizes and protects property in a number of ways.

It is important to protect property. It is sufficiently protected through a host of common law statutes, including the bill of rights.

Our history is one of recognizing and protecting real and personal property. As Canadians, we also value other rights as important.

That is why I like the 14th amendment of the United States constitution which protects life, liberty or property. Section 7 of the charter of rights and freedoms protects the right to life, liberty and security of the person.

Our primary concern is with protecting an individual's physical integrity. The issue of whether section 7 will be interpreted to include economic rights has not been determined. There can be no doubt that the drafters of the charter intended to protect the rights to life, liberty and security of the person as a primary right which is not to be deprived of, except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.

We need to celebrate and be proud of our strong history of protecting human rights, including the right to own and dispose of property. Property rights in Canada are adequately protected. From a practical perspective, it is hard to think of a situation where the state would confiscate someone's property without providing for fair compensation. This amendment, to put it quite simply, is not necessary. It will not add anything to the numerous statutes and common laws that already protect the property rights of Canada.

Shania Twain September 23rd, 1996

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pride that I rise again in this Chamber to congratulate Shania Twain for her excellent performance at the Canadian country music awards.

Shania Twain has reaffirmed her status as one of the best country singers that Canada and Timmins have ever produced. Fans greeted the country music superstar back home to Timmins this summer for Shania Twain Day. It seemed like everyone in the Timmins area beat the torrential rain to welcome her back home.

Shania Twain assured her most loyal fans that Timmins is and always will be part of her.

I would like to congratulate the city of Timmins, the Timmins Symphony Orchestra and all who organized and participated in this wonderful day. Volunteers and officials ensured that Shania Twain Day was an overwhelming success.

Flood Damage May 28th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of National Defence.

In my riding of Timmins-Chapleau flood damage has affected the communities of Chapleau, Foleyet, White River and Timmins. The price tag is growing and our communities and residents in the wake of this natural disaster now must face the consequences.

What can the federal government do to assist the communities in my riding and others in Canada which have been so negatively affected by flood conditions?

Canadian Human Rights Act May 9th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the hon. member could assist me.

I am sure he is aware of the Supreme Court of Canada decision in Egan and Nesbitt which says unanimously that sexual orientation is a prohibited ground of discrimination under the equality provision of section 15 of the charter. I am sure he is aware also of the fact that the charter does not apply to private companies and federally regulated industries and that the Canadian Human Rights Act does apply.

How can gays and lesbians be protected in the private sector workplace under the charter if there is no amendment to the Canadian Human Rights Act?

Mining March 29th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Party was the only party to have a mining policy during the last election. The Liberal mining agenda and the mineral exploration measures in this month's budget laid out a forward looking strategy to assist the Canadian mining industry.

Mining and exploration are vital to the Canadian economy, in particular to the people of Timmins-Chapleau in northern Ontario.

My question is to the Minister of Natural Resources. On Tuesday the keep mining in Canada campaign statistics indicated that mineral exploration in Canada is declining at an alarming rate. Is mineral exploration in Canada decreasing?

Mining Industry March 13th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, the mining industry is very important to Canada's economy, particularly to northern Ontario. Allow me a minute to give an example.

Falconbridge Limited recently announced it will upgrade its smelter in Sudbury over the next two years. It may not sound like much but consider this: this project will create 200 jobs during construction and millions of dollars will be pumped into the northern economy.

The smelter is being upgraded to process ore being shipped from the Raglan project. Falconbridge is investing more than $400 million in the Raglan mine in northern Quebec which should last at least 25 years.

I ask members to consider the jobs, the social benefits and the economic contributions just one mine can make to Canada. I encourage the government and all members to support the mining industry in Canada.

Grammy Awards March 1st, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to stand today in the House to acknowledge the tremendous achievements of seven Canadian music artists at the American Grammy Awards this past Wednesday.

1995 was obviously a good year for Canadian artists. They accumulated a total of 10 Grammys, making their presence felt in the music industry. Their success testifies to their incredible talent which has not gone unnoticed by North Americans.

The big winner is Ottawa rocker Alanis Morissette with four awards. I am particularly proud of Shania Twain from Timmins who won best country album. Veteran folk singer Joni Mitchell took home two Grammys including best pop album. Rob McConnell took home a jazz Grammy. Charles Dutoit and the Montreal Symphony claimed a Grammy and Toronto composer Rob Bowman also left with one.

I join with the House to congratulate all the Canadian winners on their success at the Grammys. Next week watch Canadian artists for similar success at the Junos.

Shania Twain February 28th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, Shania Twain, the most recent singing sensation from Timmins, Ontario was acclaimed best new artist at the 23rd annual American Music Awards on January 29, 1996. She was also nominated in the country music category for best female artist, best album and best new country artist.

This is not the first time that Shania Twain has been honoured for her considerable musical talents. Members will remember that on September 18, 1995 Shania won a total of five awards at the Canadian Country Music Awards including female vocalist and album of the year.

Shania Twain's star is not destined to fade any time soon. All eyes will be on Shania Twain at tonight's Grammy Awards where Shania has four nominations, including best new artist, best country album, best country song and country female vocalist.

I would like to congratulate Shania Twain on her success at this year's American Music Awards and offer her this House's best wishes tonight at the Grammys.