Thomas Edward SIDDON

SIDDON, The Hon. Thomas Edward, P.C., B.Sc., M.A.Sc., Ph.D., P.Eng., LL.D.

Personal Data

Party
Progressive Conservative
Constituency
Richmond (British Columbia)
Birth Date
November 9, 1941
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Siddon
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=1babc9d3-8d8a-489e-99f2-d360a5ab621b&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
author, lecturer, professional engineer, professor of engineering

Parliamentary Career

October 16, 1978 - March 26, 1979
PC
  Burnaby--Richmond--Delta (British Columbia)
May 22, 1979 - December 14, 1979
PC
  Richmond--South Delta (British Columbia)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans (October 1, 1979 - December 14, 1979)
February 18, 1980 - July 9, 1984
PC
  Richmond--South Delta (British Columbia)
September 4, 1984 - October 1, 1988
PC
  Richmond--South Delta (British Columbia)
  • Minister of State for Science and Technology (September 17, 1984 - November 19, 1985)
  • Minister of Fisheries and Oceans (November 20, 1985 - February 22, 1990)
November 21, 1988 - September 8, 1993
PC
  Richmond (British Columbia)
  • Minister of Fisheries and Oceans (November 20, 1985 - February 22, 1990)
  • Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (February 23, 1990 - June 24, 1993)
  • Minister of National Defence (June 25, 1993 - November 3, 1993)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 400)


June 16, 1993

Hon. Thomas Siddon (Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development):

Madam Speaker, on this important day of adjournment I would like to add a few words in honour of our colleague and friend, the Speaker of the House who cannot be with us today.

John Fraser has represented the riding adjacent to mine for 20 years. He has been a true friend to every

Tributes

member of the House but in particular to those of us in the British Columbia caucus. We came to know him closely and have missed him these past few years as he has presided over the whole House. We have been able to continue to share his friendship. In his quiet and helpful way he was always there for us. I know he has been there for all members of the House.

I remember first learning of John Fraser many years ago when I was organizing a conference on the environment at the University of British Columbia. I learned of this rather strange paradox: a Conservative who cared about the environment. I learned about this great man who was the environmental critic for the Conservative Party at that time but who had also led a great crusade against the proposed damming of the Skagit River between southern British Columbia and Washington state.

John's first love was preserving the waters and the natural resources, the fish and wildlife, and enjoying the outdoors as a true sportsman. It is his compassion and dedication to those environmental values which above all else has made the Speaker a great Canadian and one who has made a great contribution to our children and our way of life.

The Speaker, it may not be recalled, was a candidate for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party in 1976. I am sure he was glued to his television set last weekend as the great national convention unfolded. I am sure but for his larger duties he wished he could have been there on the convention floor in the heat and excitement of that occasion.

Our Speaker as a British Columbian, a Canadian and a great historian would have been proud from his soul to his mind and throughout his being to see a leader selected as the first woman leader and Prime Minister of Canada from British Columbia.

We all enjoyed those warm and cordial times in Mr. Speaker's office. Other members have other recollections. I remember attending a Christmas dinner with Speaker Fraser in his quarters where he invited his larger family. It was a very unusual experience but one that showed his desire to reach out and bring many friends together with his family.

June 16, 1993

Tributes

I remember as a young member of Parliament not being on the aeroplane that the member for Kamloops spoke of, but having the Speaker who was a minister of the Crown at the time carry home my infant daughter and escort my wife to our home in Ottawa because there was no one else there for her but Mr. Fraser. I remember him campaigning for me in my first election and fighting off the hordes that were supporting the Liberal Party. There were not that many left in western Canada but he came to campaign in my riding and ended up suffering from a dog bite because of the way in which he pursued his diligent work on my behalf.

I wanted to say a few words of gratitude because Mr. Speaker cannot be here with us today. We know he has had recent difficulties. To Cate and the family, the daughters, and to John especially, we are very grateful for his fellowship. We wish him good health. This House is poorer today for his absence, but we know that in his heart and soul Mr. Speaker is indeed here with us today and for that we thank him.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   HON. JOHN FRASER
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June 4, 1993

Hon. Thomas Siddon (Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development):

The hon. member raises a question about the territorial delineation of the treaty's benefiting the Dene people of northern Manitoba and Saskatchewan, but particularly those within his constituency. They are the Denesuline.

Treaty five applies to the Dene and Chipewyan people of northern Manitoba. It clearly specifies that land rights did not extend north of the 60th parallel. The treaties in northern Saskatchewan extending up to what is presently the western Arctic, treaty eight in particular, does not have such a boundary limitation in it.

It has been our view that where a territorial area was established for any of the numbered treaties and where the beneficiaries of those treaties accepted the treaty land quantums that those established the territorial ownership under aboriginal title of those particular signatories to the treaty.

That in itself in no way extinguished other aboriginal rights which might persist. It has always been our position that treaty rights which may later be defined or on which the treaties may not be clear and treaty or aboriginal rights which at some future date might be proven to exist are not foreclosed by the numbered treaties which were signed in the late 19th century and early 20th century.

June 4, 1993

Government Orders

The question of whether treaty land rights persist north of the 60th parallel has been raised before the Federal Court in both a Saskatchewan case last autumn and another case on appeal this year. The Federal Court has found that those treaty rights to land do not persist north of the 60th parallel.

The TFN final agreement specifies that it does not affect in any way aboriginal or treaty rights that may persist, that these bands might have. In addition the agreement has provisions that protect hunting activities, cabin sites, archaeological sites, and other traditional uses that can be demonstrated by proper historical research by any of these parties.

It is for this reason that negotiations first commenced between the Tungavik Federation of Nunavut and the Dene of the northern parts of the provinces. That goes back to 1985. In fact the hon. member may know that an agreement was reached in 1986 by the negotiators for both parties.

Therefore, it is not correct to suggest that this was left to the last minute or that the government has been unaware or inflexible on this issue. We have attempted to bring the parties together to come to an agreement on how this question might be resolved in the future.

Apparently the parties did not ratify the agreement reached in 1986 but there have been ongoing discussions. The member says he became aware of the problem in 1988. In 1990 when we signed the agreement in principle,

I was not approached or made aware of any residual difficulty.

It has always been my view however where the beneficiary of a comprehensive land claim has an unresolved dispute with a neighbouring first nation or people, it is desirable but not essential that those disputes be resolved before the land claim is settled to the benefit of the beneficiary party.

I am delighted that as recently as this week an understanding has been reached by way of the letter the hon. member says he has tabled. As well the department of Indian affairs is providing $75,000 in financial support to the Dene of northern Saskatchewan to further their case before the courts. I wish them well. I am confident, as some of us have observed, the conclusion of the TFN land claim agreement and the Nunavut accord will give

them a stronger case from which to maximize their rights and interests in the TFN settlement area.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   NUNAVUT ACT
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June 4, 1993

Mr. Siddon:

I have enjoyed a wonderful relationship with some people who have become genuine friends and have shown me the way to find a better future for Canada.

I sense that you might find within the House the disposition to agree at this stage to proceed through all stages and to conclude this day before we rise the adoption at third reading of Bill C-132, the Nunavut Act.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   NUNAVUT ACT
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June 4, 1993

Hon. Thomas Siddon (Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development) moved

that the bill be concurred in.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   NUNAVUT LAND CLAIMS AGREEMENT ACT
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June 4, 1993

Mr. Siddon:

Mr. Chairman, in so far as the Indian Specific Claims Commission is concerned, the hon. member knows the commission was set up under the powers of the Inquiries Act to provide advice to government as commissions of inquiries do on the extent to which particular claims the government has rejected might be readdressed by the government because, it may be argued, there is a lawful obligation on the part of Canada.

The specific claims commission has criteria by which it is to conduct itself in regard of claims or alleged claims which result from a lawful obligation. Therefore it is important the specific claims commission address itself to issues. While we have rejected them on the basis of legal advice from the Department of Justice that we do not have a lawful obligation, those claims must stem in some way from a document or a legal commitment of some sort which is arguably binding upon the government.

In the case of any of the claims Mr. Laforme's commission is addressing, if we receive that advice we expect it to be backed up with thorough research and legal arguments. Then we will make a decision which remains to be the minister's prerogative with respect to any such claims.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   NUNAVUT ACT
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