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

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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June 4, 1993

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

Mr. Speaker, I certainly respect

and have listened carefully to the comments of my colleague from Annapolis Valley-Hants on this issue.

The clock is running under the provisions of the motion adopted earlier this day under Standing Order 78(1). However this would be the appropriate point at which to respond to the concern the hon. member has expressed about the shortness of time.

This land claim agreement has been under negotiation for about the same length of time the hon. member has sat in the House. Perhaps he has not been here quite that long. In that period he has witnessed many debates on aboriginal issues and has seen the passage of important land claims legislation in the past.

The first point I would submit is that it would be a tragedy if Parliament could not complete the work begun so many years ago, in particular given the will and the dedication not only of the TFN and the Inuit people but of the territorial government and the federal government to settle this matter now.

I understand the hon. member's concern about the shortness of time, but the life of this Parliament is very short and there is also important business to be transacted in the next few remaining days. With the co-operation of the two official opposition parties, the majority of the members in this House has expressed the will to have this piece of business done.

While I respect the view of the hon. member I would point out it was three years ago on April 30 that I signed the agreement in principle. All members of the House through parliamentary committees have had a chance to follow the development of this legislative package. I appeared before the standing committee in the month of February and was questioned extensively. Some members present were there for over three hours while we went through the elements of this agreement.

The Inuit ratified the agreement last November. Drafting and language translation were required, but I must point out to the hon. member that it was only on Tuesday of this week that the final overlap matter was resolved with the co-operation of some members of the House. It was only last Tuesday that it was possible for the Prime Minister to sign because there was a matter before the courts until three weeks ago.

June 4, 1993

It is not simply a matter of saying we should have done this earlier or we might lake a little longer. Time has run out. A large group of people in the gallery feel it is now time for the Parliament of Canada to do its duty and adopt Bill C-133 and the companion legislation which we will come to momentarily, Bill C-132.

I would plead with the hon. member to understand that this is an extraordinary circumstance, but it is an extraordinarily wonderful opportunity for the people of Canada to do something good; to reach out to the Inuit who, after all, for thousands of years have managed and husbanded that wonderful territory, their land they call Nunavut; and to accommodate that in this legislation.

I might point out the hon. member has had since last Friday when first reading occurred and the bill was tabled to study this bill. He was offered briefings. He was given a briefing, I gather, by the Tungavik Federation of Nunavut in recent days. I hope he will be prepared to focus on the essence of the bill so we might get on with passing it and Bill C-132 today.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   NUNAVUT LAND CLAIMS AGREEMENT 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

Mr. Siddon:

Mr. Speaker, there has been agreement that there would not be closing speeches. I just wanted to thank all members of the House for their co-operation this afternoon.

I would like to say to the people of the western Arctic whose interests have not really been addressed today that we are very conscious of their feelings regarding the future.

We are all very grateful to the negotiators who served so well for the two governments of the Northwest Territories and Canada, and especially the representatives of the Tungavik Federation of Nunavut who are here today.

Government Orders

In conclusion I would like to say the following to our guests today.

[Editor's Note: Minister spoke in Inuktitut.]

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   NUNAVUT ACT
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