Six Nations Solidarity
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Legislative Assembly of Canada
June 19, 2006
Mr. Dean Allison (Niagara West—Glanbrook, CPC): Mr. Speaker, ageism is a very real prejudice that exists in our country and is in fact being fostered within the Liberal Party. In a recent interview, the hon. member for Kings—Hants, who wants to be leader of the Liberal Party, clearly showed his disdain for seniors.
He dismissed former external affairs minister Barbara McDougall's role in representing the federal government in the Caledonia situation and actually suggested that she had no role to play because of her age, calling her a “wax museum figure”.
These comments are not only insulting to Ms. McDougall, but they are also an insult to Canadian seniors. We should be applauding Ms. McDougall and considering ourselves fortunate to have someone with her expertise and experience so committed to this cause.
The member owes Ms. McDougall an immediate and full apology. He should also apologize to all Canadian seniors for his insulting and demeaning comments and boorish behaviour.
[general discussion about Kelowna Accord not included below -- click here to read full discussion]
Mr. Lloyd St. Amand (Brant, Lib.): In my riding, Jim Windle is a non-aboriginal journalist who writes for a weekly newspaper on the Six Nations of the Grand. He has written, speaking about his experience as a non-aboriginal with aboriginals. He has said:
To work among the most misunderstood and marginalized people of North America has been a life-changing experience. I have been blessed and privileged to have earned the trust and friendship of many, but certainly not all, citizens of the Six Nations.
My journey into their world comes into collision with my own world every day when I return to my home in Brantford and am confronted with people just like I was—arrogantly ignorant of the true history of the greatest society this continent has known.
Mr. Windle and so many others in my riding understand that the federal government must play a leadership role with respect to aboriginal issues, including land claims disputes, such as the current dispute outside of but adjacent to my riding in the town of Caledonia, a dispute which has been going on for close to four months.
As Mr. Windle also states:
Treaties made with the Six Nations are no less important, or no less binding than those made with any other Nation in the world. They cannot just be ignored. New treaties must be signed by both parties to replace old ones.
I have some concern that the Prime Minister and the government feel that the solution to the problems, which beset our first nations, Inuit and Métis communities, can be resolved by simply inviting them into a non-aboriginal world, in the naive expectation that their cultural differences, their unique traditions and their life experiences can be parked or set aside. Such an approach will not work, as our aboriginal citizens will not and should not allow their history to be ignored, their culture and traditions to be overturned.
Mr. Gary Merasty (Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River, Lib.): I have not been left with a feeling of confidence with the so-called Conservative approach to dealing with aboriginal issues. We have had members opposite stand and say ridiculous things.
They have suggested that first nations and Inuit people are not real people living in real towns. They have suggested that first nations and Inuit people traffic prescription drugs on the streets, and that first nations and Inuit people are not real governments. They have cancelled the aboriginal procurement initiative, the critical school projects, and completely ignoring the Métis in the budget.
They have stalled on many more issues like self-government and have not proactively tried to resolve issues like Caledonia. In my riding specifically, they have reneged on the Isle à la Crosse boarding school compensation, among others.