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Federal Hansard - Statements by Members

Legislative Assembly of Canada
Federal Hansard
April 7, 2006

Aboriginal Affairs

Ms. Jean Crowder (Nanaimo-Cowichan, NDP): Mr. Speaker, protesters are entering the second month of a land reclamation near the town of Caledonia just outside the Six Nations reserve.

Protesters say the Haldimand Tract land was unlawfully sold in the past and that the federal government is negligent in its responsibilities to the reserve and its members.

This blockade is only one example of unanswered land claims frustrating first nations. The Six Nations alone have 28 land claims it is waiting for the government to settle.

The previous government and now this one have the attitude that it is cheaper to negotiate than to settle land claims or treaties. Aboriginal peoples of Canada feel differently. The cost to them in uncertainty and lost opportunity is almost immeasurable.

Yesterday the minister's office told the press that the blockade was provincial jurisdiction, not federal. We do not need finger pointing. We need somebody to take some leadership.

When will this government look at the big picture and see that coming to the table to negotiate land claims and treaties is its duty? It must act now in good faith to bring these issues to a conclusion.

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