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NDP MP for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou (Québec)
Won his last election, in 2015, with 37% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Indigenous Affairs February 16th, 2017
Mr. Speaker, today, along with other indigenous MPs, I call on the government to rename the building that houses the Prime Minister's Office. Langevin was one of the architects of the Indian residential school system. An apology means nothing if action does not remedy the injustice.
Every day as I walk by that place, I am reminded of the man who dreamed up the school where I was sent purposely to sever the connection to my family, to my people.
Will the government commit today in the House to change the name of this building?
Indigenous Affairs February 14th, 2017
Mr. Speaker, today, an Ontario judge ruled in favour of those affected by the sixties scoop.
I have a simple question for the minister: will she give us her word in the House today that her government will not appeal this decision?
After the Ontario court found Canada liable for failing to protect survivors of the Sixties Scoop from losing their cultural identity, I have a very simple question for the minister. Will her government uphold this ruling? A simple yes or no would suffice.
Have a Heart Day February 14th, 2017
Mr. Speaker, children are not born prejudiced. Children are born with curiosity, excitement, energy, and possibility. They are born to excel and follow their dreams.
Today, February 14, is Have a Heart Day. I can find inspiration and an example to follow in the thousands of children around the country who have organized and prepared Have a Heart Day. It is a child and youth-led event that brings together caring Canadians to help ensure that indigenous kids have the services they need to grow up safely at home, get a good education, be healthy, and be proud of who they are. These children reject racism, inherent in Canadian society. They have the courage to do what is right and stand up for their beliefs. These children show tremendous love to other children, undeterred by difference and by distance.
Indigenous Affairs February 13th, 2017
Mr. Speaker, tomorrow is Have a Heart Day on Parliament Hill. The purpose of this day is to ensure that all children have the services they need and are entitled to, yet the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal found the government guilty of systemic discrimination against first nations children.
When will the minister walk the talk to end this discrimination?
Another 12-year-old girl took her own life this past weekend. How do those people sleep at night?
Indigenous Affairs February 10th, 2017
Mr. Speaker, the Liberals promised to lift all 130 of them, not just 18.
This week the commissioners charged with overseeing the inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women suggested that it was up to the families to decide whether to participate in the inquiry.
I have to wonder how many families know that it is up to them to contact the officials involved in the inquiry in order to participate. We have heard stories about how frustrated and confused the families are feeling.
Can the minister explain to us the changes that have been made to the inquiry process, in the spirit of greater transparency and inclusivity?
Indigenous Affairs February 10th, 2017
Mr. Speaker, it is broken promise after broken promise with the government.
A new report from the David Suzuki Foundation states, “Almost one year after the budget announcement, the process for attaining clean and safe drinking water for First Nations remains flawed.”
I wrote to the Prime Minister yesterday to thank him for his interest in our youth's storage capacity for canoes and paddles, but the real question here is, will the government respect its election promise to end water boiling advisories in all communities?
Indigenous Affairs February 8th, 2017
Mr. Speaker, the Liberal family seems to be suffering from a terrible epidemic of broken promises.
The minister likes to repeat that her government will be adversaries no more. Well, she needs to explain why her government, after announcing negotiations for a national settlement on the Sixties Scoop, is still fighting in court, even trying to stall the decision in the Marcia Brown case.
These survivors have already fought for eight years. How can the minister justify more delays?
Mr. Speaker, one of the aspects that we seem to forget when we talk about international agreements is the impact that these agreements have on indigenous people, and the constitutional rights of indigenous people in this country. The government has committed to a renewed relationship, a nation-to-nation relationship, with indigenous peoples. Most importantly, in my view that nation-to-nation relationship needs some sort of true meaning.
As I said, these agreements have impacts on the rights of indigenous peoples. With that in mind, I have two simple questions for the member.
Will future bilateral or multilateral negotiations with Canada include the full participation of indigenous peoples because of those rights that are so important to them? When the national chief made his presentation last June to the Standing Committee on International Trade, I think he made that point very strongly. The sample principle applies in this case.
Second, there is a constitutional duty to consult and accommodate first nations whenever we affect their rights. Has this duty been carried out in this case with regard to the bill before us?
Indigenous Affairs February 2nd, 2017
Mr. Speaker, guess what? Just one day after announcing that the government was finally putting an end to all Sixties Scoop litigation, the government was in court to argue against the case of Marcia Brown.
My question is very simple: will the minister immediately put an end to the government's legal defence and recognize that Canada has, and has always had, a duty to protect the cultural identity of indigenous children?
Indigenous Affairs February 1st, 2017
Mr. Speaker, Marcia Brown Martel was taken from her indigenous birth parents, declared dead, and handed over to be adopted by non-indigenous parents.
The removal of children to eliminate their race is an act of genocide. Over 20,000 survivors of the Sixties Scoop are now seeking justice.
The minister has declared that her government will be “adversaries no more”. Well, if so, when will her government stop fighting them in court and make reparations for these despicable historic wrongs?