October 1, 1968

INDIAN AFFAIRS

REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION OF DEPARTMENTAL REORGANIZATION


On the orders of the day:


PC

Robert Lorne Stanfield (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Robert L. Stanfield (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct a question to the right hon. Prime Minister. In view of the anxiety being expressed throughout the country by Indian organizations and other spokesmen for the Indian people, including the Minister without Portfolio (Mr. Andras), about the failure of the government to consult the Indian people before proceeding with the reorganization of the department of Indian affairs will he undertake to reconsider these proposals in consultation with representatives of the Indian community in Canada?

Topic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION OF DEPARTMENTAL REORGANIZATION
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Right Hon. P.-E. Trudeau@Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as this house knows there has been constant and intense communication with the Indian population since this government took office on all aspects concerning the Indian population. The reorganization of the department is something which had been initiated quite a while ago. It is just a matter of internal structure, and the obvious design is to make the services of the government to the Indian and Eskimo population more efficient. It is really a consequence of Indian Affairs being no longer just a branch but being a whole department; because it was a matter of internal reorganization we did not feel it was necessary to advise the Indians in advance of the day that it was going to take place.

Topic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION OF DEPARTMENTAL REORGANIZATION
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PC

Robert Lorne Stanfield (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stanfield:

As a supplementary question, will the Prime Minister state whether, before proceeding with this reorganization, the government did or did not consult with the national and regional Indian advisory councils, which I understand were established by the government for precisely this purpose of consultation.

Topic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION OF DEPARTMENTAL REORGANIZATION
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LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Trudeau:

I believe, Mr. Speaker, that both Mr. Chretien and Mr. Andras have been discussing this general idea amongst themselves and with the people concerned, but

they will have to answer for themselves when they are in the house. I have no specific information on that.

Topic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION OF DEPARTMENTAL REORGANIZATION
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PC

Robert Lorne Stanfield (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stanfield:

As a further supplementary question, Mr. Speaker, is the Prime Minister inclined to meet with representatives of the Indian Brotherhood of Canada, which organization has strongly protested this reorganization and demanded a meeting with the Prime Minister to discuss the matter?

Topic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION OF DEPARTMENTAL REORGANIZATION
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LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Trudeau:

Mr. Speaker, I have not considered that yet. I have not received this invitation. I do not know of it, but I am inclined to believe that the minister and the Minister without Portfolio (Mr. Andras) are very expert and able at this, and that whatever they have decided is a good decision.

Topic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION OF DEPARTMENTAL REORGANIZATION
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NDP

David Orlikow

New Democratic Party

Mr. David Orlikow (Winnipeg North):

As a

supplementary question, Mr. Speaker, in view of the fact that representatives of the Indian people have made it clear that they consider this reorganization more than an internal housekeeping affair, would the Prime Minister give consideration, first of all, to tabling the details of the reorganization and, second, referring the matter to the appropriate standing committee so that representatives of the Indian people could make public their observations and their criticisms of this plan?

Topic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION OF DEPARTMENTAL REORGANIZATION
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LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Trudeau:

Mr. Chretien tells me he had intended announcing this to the house on Friday-

Topic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION OF DEPARTMENTAL REORGANIZATION
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An hon. Member:

You mean the minister.

Topic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION OF DEPARTMENTAL REORGANIZATION
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LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Trudeau:

-but in view of the number of statements on motions he has postponed it to Wednesday of this week, and I think I can say with authority that Mr. Chretien plans to make a statement to the house tomorrow on this matter.

Topic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION OF DEPARTMENTAL REORGANIZATION
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An hon. Member:

You mean the minister.

Topic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION OF DEPARTMENTAL REORGANIZATION
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PC

Walter Gilbert Dinsdale

Progressive Conservative

Hon. W. G. Dinsdale (Brandon-Souris):

As a

supplementary question to the right hon. Prime Minister-

Topic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION OF DEPARTMENTAL REORGANIZATION
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NDP

Stanley Howard Knowles (N.D.P. House Leader; Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

It is

Mr. Trudeau now.

Topic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION OF DEPARTMENTAL REORGANIZATION
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PC

Walter Gilbert Dinsdale

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Dinsdale:

-the Prime Minister indicated that consultation had been going on between the Minister without Portfolio (Mr. October 1, 1968

Inquiries of the Ministry Andras) and the advisory councils at the national and regional level. In view of that statement could the Prime Minister inform the house whether, as the Minister without Portfolio indicated, he, the Minister without Portfolio, had not been consulted until last Monday on this fundamental reorganization of the department?

Topic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION OF DEPARTMENTAL REORGANIZATION
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LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Trudeau:

I would have to obtain this from the minister himself because my information, Mr. Speaker, is that there has been ample discussion between the minister and the Minister without Portfolio on this matter.

Topic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION OF DEPARTMENTAL REORGANIZATION
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PC

Robert Simpson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Robert Simpson (Churchill):

As a supplementary question, can the Prime Minister say whether a two volume report on Indian poverty areas prepared by ARDA has been suppressed, and whether he will undertake to make this important report public?

Topic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION OF DEPARTMENTAL REORGANIZATION
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IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

The hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre.

Topic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION OF DEPARTMENTAL REORGANIZATION
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October 1, 1968