June 4, 1993

PC

Andrée Champagne (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Madam Deputy Speaker:

The motion is carried on division.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ALLOCATION OF TIME
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Motion agreed to.


MEASURE TO ENACT

LIB

Jack Iyerak Anawak

Liberal

Mr. Jack Iyerak Anawak (Nunatsiaq):

[Editor's Note: Member spoke in Inuktitut, translated as follows:]

Government Orders

It is a great honour and privilege for me to speak today on the Nunavut bills, the bills to ratify the Nunavut land claim agreement and to establish the new territory of Nunavut. Both bills before us impact profoundly on the future of Canada's north and Canada as a whole. Both these bills change the course of history. Canada is evolving and the Inuit of Nunavut are in the forefront of that evolution.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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PC

Andrée Champagne (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Madam Deputy Speaker:

For the benefit of hon. members, there is English translation on channel five and there is someone translating from English to French so that all members can understand what the member is saying in Inuktitut on this very special day.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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LIB

Jack Iyerak Anawak

Liberal

Mr. Anawak:

This is a momentous and proud occasion for the Inuit of Nunavut. For me it is also very special for another reason. Today I am speaking both as a member of Parliament for the region concerned and as a beneficiary of the Nunavut land claim agreement.

I do not believe such a set of circumstances has occurred before in the House. This is a first, and for me this is a humbling experience.

For the Inuit the settlement of the land claim and the creation of Nunavut represent a bold new start and a chance to participate as partners in the development of our homeland and our country. Underlying everything is the hope of a better future for our children.

The land claim and the establishment of Nunavut are basic expressions of Inuit self-determination. For too long Inuit have been left out of the major economic and political decision-making process affecting our lives. Through the land claim agreement and Nunavut we are re-establishing some control over our own affairs. We are also ensuring the preservation and enhancement of our identity as distinct peoples: our culture, our language and our way of life.

Later today I will have more to say about the meaning of Nunavut when we deal with the bill to establish Nunavut.

The bill before us now, Bill C-133, is the land claim ratification bill. It is difficult, however, to talk about the land claim without talking about Nunavut because the two are inseparably linked.

Inuit have always tied the establishment of Nunavut to the settlement of the land claim. Obtaining a commitment to the territory of Nunavut was a fundamental component of the Inuit land claim negotiations from the beginning. It was in fact a prerequisite for the settlement of the land claim.

Bear with me while I continue in French. [Translation]

What we are doing today is very important for all of Canada. The bill concerning the territory of Nunavut, which is connected with our claim, will confirm through legislation federal recognition of the new territory. However, hon. members and Canadians should realize that Nunavut already exists and has always existed in the minds and hearts of the Inuit. We know that Nunavut is our land.

We want to thank Canada for recognizing our rights and our desire to take control of our destiny and of our territory and help create a stronger Canada.

To continue in Inuktitut, I want to congratulate the Inuit of Nunavut for their achievement and thank those who represented them at the negotiating table throughout the years for their hard work, their determination, and for all the sacrifices they and their families made.

Many of the individuals involved were present at the formal signing of the land claim agreement in Iqaluit on May 25, but there were others who for a variety of reasons were not in Iqaluit on that day. I would like to take a moment to acknowledge the contributions made by so many.

Thanks are due to current and past negotiators, board members and staff of the Tungavik Federation of Nunavut and the Inuit Tapirisat of Canada: Paul Quassa, James Eetoolook, John Amagoalik, James Arvaluk, Tagak Curley, Perer Emerk, Donat Milortuk, Bob Kad-lun, Jack Kupeuna, David Aglukark, Louis Tapardjuk, Mark Evaluardjuk, Louis Pilakapsi, Thomas Suluk, Simon Taipana, John Maksagak, Peter Ittinuar and Kane Tologanak.

June 4, 1993

Government Orders

I could go on and on and still probably leave someone out inadvertently. If I have I apologize.

I also want to recognize the contributions of the elders such as Peter Kaminguak and Abe Ookpik and those who are no longer with us.

The history of this land claim goes back many years. It spans several federal governments and numerous ministers of Indian and northern affairs. Very few people realize that prior to 1973 the Government of Canada did not have a policy to negotiate land claims. It was the current Leader of the Official Opposition, under whom I am proud to serve, who, when he was the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, brought forward the first policy to negotiate and resolve land claims.

In 1975 the Inuit of Nunavik achieved the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement. The following year, in 1976, the Inuit of the Northwest Territories, as represented by the Inuit Tapirisat of Canada, presented their land claim to the federal government for negotiation. Their submission included the proposal for the creation of the Nunavut territory.

The claim proposal was subsequently revised in 1977. In that same year, the Inuvialuit of the western Arctic filed their own land claim. In 1978 they signed an agreement in principle with the federal government and the final agreement was reached in 1984. Between 1976 and 1979 the Inuit of the central and eastern Arctic experienced difficulty with their negotiations. There was an impasse over dealing with Nunavut at the land claim table.

In 1980 a breakthrough was achieved. Agreement was reached to deal with the Inuit proposals on Nunavut through a political development process in the Northwest Territories separate from but parallel with the land claims negotiations. In 1982 the Tungavik Federation of Nunavut was formed for the specific purpose of negotiating the Inuit land claim.

In April 1990 an agreement in principle was reached. Article 4 of that agreement in principle affirmed federal, territorial and Inuit support for the creation of Nunavut as soon as possible. In December 1991 negotiations were finalized on outstanding items in the land claims, including the creation of Nunavut. In November 1992 the Inuit of Nunavut voted to ratify their land claim agreement.

It has been a long journey filled with many rough spots and roadblocks. I want to focus now on the actual land claim and some of the obstacles Inuit encountered in their negotiations with the government. From the beginning the government set out all kinds of preconditions and restrictions. In return the Inuit were more than generous.

Some of the comments I am about to make I have made on other occasions over the past several years and many of the people watching or listening today will be familiar with them. However, I feel I must restate them for the record.

First I want to take issue with the term "land claim ", It is highly inappropriate. I wish there were a better term to use but I will try to describe what I mean by inappropriate.

When aboriginal peoples talk about their lands, we are talking about our homelands. We are talking about the territories and resources upon which our people have survived for thousands of years. We are talking first and foremost about our cultures and our way of life on these territories. The land, the waters, the wildlife and we, the people, are one and the same. We are not separate from our environment. We are part of it and it is part of us.

Yet non-aboriginal governments have looked upon land claim negotiations as real estate transactions. This is not our view. It is difficult for us to understand the non-aboriginal concept of individual land title and ownership.

We see these negotiations primarily as the means to preserve our relationship with the land and ensure our survival as peoples in the larger society surrounding us. Therefore we are also talking about economic and political power. We require the economic and political means to control what happens on our lands.

In claim negotiations aboriginal peoples are not seeking something that someone else already owns. We dispute that implication. We are not asking the government to give us anything that does not belong to us. We are only seeking recognition of what is rightfully ours. We are trying to take back what was taken away from us by governments without our consent in the past.

June 4, 1993

We are reasonable peoples. We have always been willing to share our lands and resources. We recognize that all peoples and all governments must work together for the benefit of all. This is why Inuit and other aboriginal peoples have entered into land claim negotiations.

We start from the premise that we are the rightful occupants and owners of the land. The government should be asking us for permission to occupy our lands and use our resources and should negotiate with us on that basis. Instead the government takes the position that it owns the land and it believes it is being generous by sharing some of our land with us.

The government has never even admitted that the Inuit have aboriginal title to Nunavut. The preamble of the Nunavut claim bill begins with the following statement:

Whereas the Inuit of the Nunavut settlement area have asserted an aboriginal title to that area based on their traditional and current use and occupation of the lands, waters and land-fast ice therein in accordance with their own customs and usages;

I want to say for the record that Inuit do not just assert title to Nunavut. Our title is real. It is the Government of Canada that has asserted title to Nunavut. Our title predates any claim by the government whether the government recognizes it or not.

The government would not be negotiating land settlements with us and with other aboriginal people if it did not believe we had aboriginal rights and title. I do not know why the government refuses to acknowledge this.

*

I also cannot discuss this land claims settlement without repeating my objection to the extinguishment clause. The clause appears in the Certainty Section of the claim agreement as clause 2.7.1:

Government Orders

In consideration of the rights and benefits provided to Inuit by the

Agreement, Inuit hereby:

(a) cede, release and surrender to Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, all their aboriginal claims, rights, title and interests, if any, in and to lands and waters anywhere within Canada and adjacent offshore areas within the sovereignty or jurisdiction of Canada; and

(b) agree, on their behalf, and on behalf of their heirs, descendants and successors not to assert any cause of action, action for a declaration, claim or demand of whatever kind or nature which they ever had, now have or may hereafter have against Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada or any province, the government of any territory or any person based on any aboriginal claims, rights, title or interests in and to lands and waters described in Sub-section (a).

I repeat the words: "if any" from part (a).

This comprehensive extinguishment of rights was a government demand and condition for settlement. Inuit did not and do not want to extinguish their rights but this was the price the government asked us to pay.

The government made sure it exacted a heavy price for rights that it was not even sure we had. It did so in the name of certainty.

This land claim settlement is a good deal for the Government of Canada in another way. There is a perception that Inuit are getting the bulk of the land they claimed. That is not the case.

It is true that this is the largest land claim settlement in Canada but this is because the Northwest Territories represents about one-third of Canada and the area claimed by Inuit covers a large portion of it.

The Inuit claim encompasses two million square kilometres within the Northwest Territories. Under the land claims settlement, Inuit will have surface title to 350,000 square kilometres. Inuit will have subsurface title to about 36,000 square kilometres within the 350,000 square kilometres.

What this means is that the Government of Canada is getting title to about 82 per cent of the land claimed. Inuit are getting title to about 18 per cent of the total area claimed. If we look at the area to which Inuit are getting subsurface title, the percentage drops to about 2 per cent.

Government Orders

The government ended up with so much land because it set preconditions at the outset. The government said the Inuit could only have a certain amount of land in total. Inuit were prohibited from from making land selections in certain specific areas. The government had the power to do this because it was bigger and stronger.

Canadians should understand the tremendous power imbalance that exists in land claim negotiations between aboriginal peoples and the federal government. The federal government makes the rules. It changes the rules. It breaks the rules. It has the money and all kinds of high-powered expertise at its disposal. It has armies of bureaucrats and relies on legalese.

Aboriginal negotiators do not have the same resources. They are also communicating with government representatives in a language that is not in their mother tongue, and then they have to try to explain to their people government terms and concepts that simply do not exist in aboriginal languages. In addition, there are totally different decision-making processes involved.

While some revisions to policies and practices have been made from time to time, the system and the policies are still heavily weighted in the federal government's favour.

There are other matters in this agreement that continue to cause me some concern.

I still think $580 million is a small price for the government to pay for the extinguishment of Inuit rights and for 82 per cent of our territory. Nevertheless that sum could be of significant benefit if invested wisely. We will have to be very vigilant and cautious.

I am also worried about the number of boards and institutions that will be set up under this claim. We are headed into a very complex system of administration and I hope we do not find ourselves overwhelmed and overburdened.

I also want to touch briefly on implementation. Previous claim settlements, the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement and the Western Arctic Inuvialuit

Agreement have experienced serious implementation problems. Since an entire section of the Nunavut claim agreement is devoted to implementation, we hope to avoid the implementation problems of the past.

In this context I want to urge the government to be forever mindful of the spirit and intent behind this agreement.

As I said earlier, what Inuit have tried to obtain in this agreement is a better future for our children. The right to harvest wildlife on lands and waters throughout Nunavut is a major component of this agreement. In addition, Inuit will have equal membership with governments on institutions established to manage the land, water, offshore and wildlife of Nunavut and to evaluate the impact of development projects on the environment.

As well, Inuit will get a share of the royalties the federal government receives from oil, gas and mineral development on Crown lands. On lands where Inuit have surface title, Inuit will be able to negotiate with industry for economic and social benefits from non-renewable development.

The agreement also specifies an amount of $13 million for a training trust fund and includes measures to increase Inuit employment within government and to increase access to government contracts.

There is much promise here. There are opportunities to be seized. There are challenges to be faced.

This agreement must benefit all us Inuit. This agreement is for us. We must make it work for all. We must never forget the people in the communities.

We must focus on our education and training needs. We must encourage and support our youth so that we can benefit from their talents and energies. We must integrate the wisdom of our elders. Together with the co-operation of government and all the people of Nunavut we will utilize this agreement to build the better future we envision.

June 4, 1993

I would like to complete my remarks by acknowledging again the support and hard work of the people of the Tungavik Federation of Nunavut and the Inuit Tapirisat of Canada, as well the countless number of people who have had to endure a lot of travel time or being away from their families. They spent a lot of time not quite knowing what was going to happen next but they always had the intent to get the best deal for the Inuit of Nunavut.

With that I am very confident that the Inuit of Nunavut have embarked on a future that will be beneficial not only to the Inuit but to the people of Canada.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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NDP

Robert Evans Skelly

New Democratic Party

Mr. Skelly (Comox-Alberni):

Madam Speaker, a point of order. You will note there is only about three minutes remaining until Question Period.

It is very difficult to put a speech forward in that period of time. I wonder if the House would consider suspending debate for three minutes so that we can go through Question Period and then I can make my presentation.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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SUSPENSION OF SITTING


PC

Andrée Champagne (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Madam Deputy Speaker:

Does the House agree that I should suspend the House until 11 a.m.?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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?

Some hon. members:

Agreed.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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PC

Andrée Champagne (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Madam Deputy Speaker:

A very short suspension.

The silting of the House was suspended at 10.57 a.m.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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SITTING RESUMED


The House resumed at 11 a.m.


PC

Andrée Champagne (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Madam Deputy Speaker:

The House will now proceed to Statements by Members pursuant to Standing Order 31.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   SITTING RESUMED
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STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. O. 31

PC

Howard Edward Crosby

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Howard Crosby (Halifax West):

Madam Speaker, is medicare in serious trouble in Canada? If it is then

sacrificing physicians, especially young doctors, will not solve the problems.

Ontario's NDP government proposes to reduce payments to entry physicians to a level that will drive them out of the province and very probably out of the country. Even worse, there could be a chain reaction affecting other provinces.

An enormous public investment is made in every medical school graduate. The national benefit is a medical profession that is second to none in the world and the heart of Canadian medicare. If we allow government policy to undermine entry physicians, we will lose a whole generation of the best and brightest among young Canadians, a group that includes the future Bantings, Bests and Penfields.

I urge the minister of health to intervene, not just to aid young physicians but to preserve a Canadian medical service that has taken more than a century to establish and develop.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. O. 31
Sub-subtopic:   MEDICARE
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HUMAN RIGHTS

LIB

Beryl Gaffney

Liberal

Mrs. Beryl Gaffney (Nepean):

Madam Speaker, four years ago today the world watched in horror as Chinese government troops opened fire on thousands of democracy campaigners in Tiananmen Square. Yet four short years later the present Canadian government seems to be indicating that it has forgotten the atrocities.

Recently the vice-premier of China, who is acting premier and one of the highest ranking members of the Chinese government, was invited to Canada not by the Secretary of State for External Affairs, who was frozen out of the meetings, but by the Minister for International Trade. Incredibly, in his speech welcoming the vicepremier, the minister of trade never once mentioned human rights. This is typical of the importance accorded human rights by this government which sees human rights as a minor irritant.

June 4, 1993

I understand the importance of trade. However there has to be a better understanding of the link between trade and human rights, particularly given that a month from now the world will be meeting in Vienna at a human rights conference, a conference at which China will be opposing any strengthening of human rights standards and mechanisms.

As a nation we should be saying to the business community that we will stand behind it if it ties trade to human rights. Reebok and Sears, Roebuck are to be commended for their efforts in this regard.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   HUMAN RIGHTS
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SERVICE INDUSTRIES


Mr. Girve Fret/. (Erie): Madam Speaker, are Canadian businesses, including those in the service sector, trying harder? Recessions are painful for those who lose jobs and for business owners. However, as a result Canadians have become more competitive, more productive and more service oriented. While our exports continue to surge to new records monthly, something else seems to be occurring on the home front. Businesses are offering greater warranties and guarantees and service has become the watchword of the day. My congratulations to all involved in service industries, in wholesale and retail, and in manufacturing. They provide jobs for millions of Canadians. It is the result of their vision, their initiative and their industry that Canadians enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the world.


June 4, 1993