Tuesday 5 February 1991

Town of Dryden

John Parry

Tommy S. Jones

Dryden District Chamber of Commerce

Andrew McFayden

Jean Davis

Decade Council

Dryden Citizens Interested in Confederation

Rainy River District Community Legal Clinic

Afternoon sitting

Toivo Koivukoski

Jaqueline Rundle

Garnet Czinkota

Brian Beaton

Northern Nishnawbe Education Council

Equay Wuk (Women's Group) Inc

Frank Beardy

Ken Bolton

Wawatay Communications

Thomas Neil Moroz

Greg Hlady

Rosie Mosquito



Chair: Silipo, Tony (Dovercourt NDP)
Bisson, Gilles (Cochrane South NDP)
Beer, Charles (York North L)
Churley, Marilyn (Riverdale NDP)
Eves, Ernie L. (Parry Sound PC)
Harnick, Charles (Willowdale PC)
Harrington, Margaret H. (Niagara Falls NDP)
Malkowski, Gary (York East NDP)
Offer, Steven (Mississauga North L )
O'Neill, Yvonne (Ottawa Rideau L)
Wilson, Fred (Frontenac-Addington NDP)
Winninger, David (London South NDP)

Also taking part:
Miclash, Frank (Kenora L)

Manikel, Tannis


Kaye, Philip, Research Officer, Legislative Research Office
Drummond, Alison, Research Officer, Legislative Research Office

The committee met at 950 at the Senior Citizens' Activity Centre, Dryden.

The Chair: I call the meeting to order. Welcome, first of all, to everyone here. We are pleased, as a committee, to be in Dryden today. This is the second day of our hearings. We started yesterday in Kenora and heard, I think, a number of useful opinions expressed to us about the issues related to Confederation and the Constitution and even some other issues that may not fit into that category. As we indicated yesterday, we were both pleased and appreciative of the fact that we had that opportunity, as I am sure we will also find to be the case here in Dryden.

This committee, as people would know, is made up of members from the three parties at Queen's Park, and I think it is appropriate to introduce the members of the committee. My name is Tony Silipo, and I am the Chair of the committee. From the Liberal Party we have Charles Beer, Yvonne O'Neill, Steve Offer, and also joining us is the local MPP for the area, Frank Miclash; from the Conservative Party we have Ernie Eves and Charles Harnick; from the NDP we have Gary Malkowski, Gilles Bisson, the Vice-Chair of the committee, Margaret Harrington, Marilyn Churley, Fred Wilson and David Winninger.

Our role, of course, is to try, as a result of the hearings we will be holding throughout the month of February, to come up with a sense of where the people of Ontario are in their viewpoints on the various issues that touch the Constitution and Ontario's role in the constitutional discussions that will no doubt continue for months to come. We realize in setting out that the work is such that it obviously cannot be truly done in that kind of time frame, and I want to emphasize on behalf of the committee that we see this as the first stage of our work in which, through the hearings, we will get as good a sense as we can in the different regions of the province. We are travelling throughout the province purposefully in that way and we will be looking for ways in which we can continue the discussion in the months to come, perhaps through other means of involving the people of the province in talking with us about some of the changes and some of the viewpoints that perhaps need to be taken into consideration in making those changes to Confederation.


The Chair: I want to begin by inviting the mayor of Dryden, Mayor Jones, to say a few words to us.

Mr Jones: Mr Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, members of the committee and guests here, on behalf of the citizens and council of Dryden, I want to officially welcome you to this little town. We note that we are not marked on the map, but that is all right.

The Chair: Actually, you are. It may not be appropriately located.

Mr Jones: It is not. In any case, I gave you each a package which shows where we are. We call ourselves an oasis in nature's northern wonderland; that is Dryden. We welcome you and I want to say that this little town has a future. It is great now. It is going to be greater. We have forests around us that are regenerating. We have a high-tech, modern pulp and fine paper mill here as our main industry, and we are looking for further progress as we proceed.

I want to thank Frank Miclash, our local member of Parliament, for keeping us informed as to the visit of your committee, and I am very pleased you selected this building as your meeting place. It may be a little small and that sort of thing, but it is the centre of activity for our senior citizens of Dryden and our club, the Dryden Go-getters. This is a very special club in the town of Dryden, our seniors' club. They look after themselves and do not come to council for any help, financial or otherwise, so it is great.

Our council did not really have much time to do any in-depth study of this meeting, so while we would have liked to present a more detailed item, I am going to take this opportunity -- I will come back to speak personally for myself a little later in the program -- to say that our council spent some time on your visit and did arrive at five points which council would like to put forward to you at this time. I am going to ask Councillor Susan Wells to present the five council points to you.

Ms Wells: The council of the town of Dryden, on behalf of the citizens, has authorized this statement to be made.

First, a united Canada is best for all citizens and should not be negotiable.

Second, another meeting should be held by the federal government with the provinces and the territories represented, in public, with no more closed meetings.

Third, any agreements made by the parties concerned should apply to all. Specifically, any agreements made with any of the provinces by the federal government should apply to all provinces and territories.

Fourth, aboriginal discussions regarding land claims and self-government should be held and, since the governments are the arbiters with power of decision, a representative group of non-native northern residents should also be at the bargaining table.

Fifth, bilingual and multiculturalism policies should be reviewed and agreed to by the provinces with the general acceptance of the citizens.

Council realizes this is a simple statement of a very complex situation, but we wish the points to be considered by Ontario, and Ontario will have our support.

I would just add, if I may, that the Premier has said, "I've always believed this is a non-partisan issue," and I realize, listening to you yesterday, you said this is a non-partisan group. It is sometimes very difficult, but I think non-partisan policies now are absolutely essential for the good of the country.

The Chair: We certainly recognize the importance of that last point. I think we have been working very hard as a committee and will continue to work hard to try to come up with, as much as we can, a consensus position in the kind of directions we are going towards. I think that is really important.

Mr Jones: As I said, this is a little town. We are 6,200 people. We are not large, but we are fortunate to be surrounded by a forest, and we have excellent people. One of the things the council has is a sense of urgency, and this poster which I hold up -- I do not know where the TV people are -- says CPR general manager Van Horne's work ethic, "If you want something done, name the day when it must be finished." That is what we try to instil in our town staff and employees, in so far as the town of Dryden is concerned. This committee has the day it must report to Queen's Park, and we appreciate that.

We are honoured that you have come here. We have given you council's opinion. Other people will be giving you theirs, including myself. I just want to close this brief opening of welcome by telling you that we are not running out of trees; we have a viable industry. I invite you all to come back to this place. I realize, when I extend that invitation, that many of you have not been here before, that your committee is heavily weighted to the south. I recognize the members for Cochrane South and Parry Sound, but, really, we do not count you people as the north, but you are. We invite you to come back and see this place in the summertime, if you can, when you can travel our forests and see for yourselves what we are talking about. We will welcome you back.

Welcome this morning and thank you very much for this time to make this little presentation.


The Chair: There may be some questions from the committee, and I want to give them an opportunity. Ms Churley, go ahead.

Ms Churley: Thank you very much for your welcome. I just want to tell you that originally I came from Labrador, which is, as you know, very far to the north. I keep bragging about that.

Although we are trying very hard and we are doing a good job of being non-partisan here, I must comment on your choice of colours. We were very gratified this morning to come in and find not only orange, but a little green on there. We think you have made a very good choice and the folks across the way, I think, look very good in orange.

Mr Jones: We would like to give those little ribbons out to visitors. My advice is that you can attach it to your expense account to prove you were in Dryden.

Mr Harnick: I was interested in your fifth point dealing with bilingualism. I wonder if you can enlighten the committee about the discussion around your table when you had to work out that final point. What were some of the concerns people had?

Ms Wells: Perhaps I could make it a personal observation as opposed to a council observation.

There are discrepancies in Dryden about bilingualism across the country. Personally, I can speak French. I learned it at school, and I think that is the way it has to go. I think legislating French now to people is not the way to go. I do not object to bilingualism as such across the country except I do not think you can legislate it; it causes too many problems now among people who are grown up, shall we say. It is costly and, frankly, it is boring. For me as a municipal councillor and interested in politics, for instance, it is extremely boring to sit and listen to something like this repeated in French twice. One loses one's concentration, it is time-consuming and, consequently, more costly. Those are the simple facts, without objecting to bilingualism as a way of this country. As to whether it is really necessary, in my heart I think it is not necessary, and I think common sense could prevail here with French Canadians and English Canadians as well.

Mr Jones: May I add that we have had the Alliance for the Preservation of English in Canada come to our council chamber several times in the last two or three years with lists of people who have signed petitions for APEC. We have passed those to the proper authorities, the Prime Minister of Canada and the Premier of Ontario. Our council has not taken a stand on this matter, but it has been exposed to it and knows the two sides of the story. It is not something we are just saying. We think bilingualism and multicultural policies should be reviewed as of today.


The Chair: We will proceed with our list of presenters and call John Parry.

Mr Parry: I am very glad to have the opportunity to be with you this morning. I must apologize that I have not given you a printed copy of my brief nor the biographical detail sheet I had wanted to present. I finished it last night, but when I came to print it out this morning, unfortunately my computer told me there was no printer attached. I could not convince the dumb machine that it was sitting right on the table. I hope to solve that glitch while watching the rest of this session on television and try to get it to you before you depart for Sioux Lookout.

I represent only myself. For those of you who do not know me, very briefly, I was mayor of Sioux Lookout for six years, I was member of Parliament for the NDP for four years. I am currently unemployed and have most recently worked producing training manuals and videos for the local paper mill.

Il me fait grand plaisir de voir votre comité siégeant à Dryden et de voir la diversité et la richesse culturelle de notre grande province si bien représentée dans votre participation.

I can appreciate the difficulties you labour under, as a former member and chair of parliamentary committees. I am sure you have already been berated for an unrealistic schedule, the lateness of the background paper -- I got mine yesterday -- the near total lack of advance publicity. I would add one more thing: please stick to your mandate. Of course we are all concerned about the Gulf war and about many other things, but your mandate is the Constitution, and I feel it is a very heavy one. I thought yesterday illustrated how Canadians sometimes tend to be too tolerant. It is difficult, of course, to concentrate on the Constitution when our country is at war, a war that many like myself felt premature, perhaps unnecessary, but which now has to be pursued and prosecuted effectively. But we can all celebrate with gratitude the idealism, the dedication and commitment of our forerunners that gives us this freedom to discuss rather than earning us a one-way trip to the dungeons or the torture chambers of a murderous tyrant. Truly we are blessed.

As a new Canadian, now of over 20 years' standing, I could easily wax lyrical over the strengths and the glories of this Canada and over my own commitment, but time does not permit. I see my responsibility as offering you a few original ideas I may have and my opinions on the most significant of other ideas. In preparing my notes, I realized I could not possibly cram everything in. I will try to include all the detail in my answers. Some observations, then.

First, Canada's constitutional history is a terrible sequence, a mishmash: a written Constitution produced by bodies and individuals that had no tradition, taste or training for constitutions of the written variety and who therefore produced a succession of unworkable documents which they, in considerable degree, ignored themselves. Tradition and precedent quickly overlaid the written word, which is packed with exceptions, contradictions and inconsistencies. If anyone here understands this, they are a better brain than I, truly. Until repatriation in 1982, tradition arguably held greater sway. For example, the Senate, by tradition, never rejected a government bill duly passed by the Commons.

What we really have in Canada is not one but three constitutions, with two of them opposing each other directly in this document, and one, which is arguably the most influential, trying to get back into the equation. We have the constitution of governments, we have the constitution of individuals and processes and we have the constitution of tradition.

The early Constitution Acts, 1867 up until 1982, essentially established the rights of governments and the relationships between governments. In 1982 was introduced the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and sparked a shift to the courts against tradition and a swing away from governments to processes. Tradition was arguably the most influential constitution until 1982 when it was almost evicted. As a result, I feel it is a miracle that Canada has survived this far.

Canada seems to be like a teenager, continually outgrowing its clothes, stretching for maturity but constantly held back by reminders of its youth. Our constitutional clothing was designed for infancy, not adolescence or adulthood, and their style and size reflect the past, not the future, as they should. We do not have a Constitution we can grow into, and that is what we need.


If I can draw on my wife's cultural heritage, the Chinese character for "crisis" is composed of two characters, one representing danger and one opportunity. Our challenge, your challenge is to avoid one and grasp the other and of course know which is which.

Why is our Canadian identity such a problem? Since I came to this country I have never had difficulty distinguishing Canadians from Americans. Why do we call for a strong central government? Do we want all that power in Ottawa? Do we act as if we want it? What we really need is a strong central identity as Canadians, built around shared values, built around democracy, equity, due process, tolerance, caring for others, lawfulness, reasonableness, gradualism and shared values. That would be more important than any institution we have or could develop.

Part of our identity problem is disagreement over what a country or a nation should be and what Canada specifically should be. The 1867 act states that we will be federally united into one dominion under the name of Canada. "Dominion" of course comes from the first chapter of Genesis, verse 26, where man, the human species, is granted dominion over the other creations of God. It is defined in the Concise Oxford Dictionary as "lordship, sovereignty, control."

So we have this federal union latterly presented as a Confederation, but in some minds a nation. I feel that Canada has long been a country, but has never been one nation. Lord Durham referred to us as two nations warring in the bosom of a single state and lately we realize that two nations is insulting and exclusive of the aboriginal people, whose use of the rhetorical term "first nations" very neatly reminds us of this. We do violence to ourselves and we insult and exclude others if we strive for the one-nation or even the two-nation concept. Nothing is better guaranteed to break Canada up than to try to import a relatively new European concept only 300 or 400 years old with a very bloody track record that is showing clear signs of losing ground in Europe itself.

Our psychology of Constitution-making is wrong. We must see all Canadians as reflections, even as parts of ourselves. The self-government first ministers' conference has failed because some saw our aboriginal people as "the other." Meech Lake was signed because the province, as Jim Sinclair, the Metis leader from Saskatchewan, predicted, saw Quebec as "one of us" but then it failed because too many Canadians saw Quebec as "the other" and too many Canadians in Quebec saw the rest of Canada as "the other" also.

The Meech Lake failure: I am reminded of an Italian cartoon strip, Mafalda. I will read it in French.

Mafalda est une jeune fille très précoce, très intelligente, qui demande toutes les questions que les jeunes filles doivent demander mais en réalité ne demandent jamais. Elle a vu des gens faire un creux dans la rue, des ouvriers. Elle leur demande :

«Alors, que faites-vous, messieurs? Est-ce que vous cherchez les racines nationales?»

«Non, c'est une fuite de gaz.»

«Ah! typique. On sacrifie toujours l'important à l'urgent. »

It was because the important was sacrificed to the urgent that we had the Meech Lake process. I voted for Meech Lake. I thought of that dictum of von Clausewitz, that politics is the art of the possible. I was reassured by a research paper from the library of Parliament, that treaty rights were not affected, and convinced by my colleague Lynn McDonald that the Senate had already been entrenched and therefore could not be abolished through Meech Lake. Party discipline has something to do with this too. I felt it was the best possible solution at the time, but it was a hasty solution and I think ultimately the people of Canada were right in rejecting it. I do not believe that settling for the best possible is any longer good enough and I think that Canadians demand the best that can be reached rather than the best that can be reached under existing arrangements.

I did not feel that the Meech Lake agreement rejection was a rejection of Quebec, although Quebec must realize that it alienated many of its friends in the rest of Canada by its support of the free trade agreement.

Economic arguments: I suggest you do not pay too much attention to these.

Bilingualism: Even if it were to cost as much as 1% of the gross national product, it would be cheap if it worked to keep the country together. If it only divides us, it would of course be expensive at far less.

Trade: Trade patterns, as the background paper shows, will continue to develop, whatever our constitutional arrangements. Even extensive constitutional change would not drastically disrupt our economy. We are still a resource-rich country located closer than any other to the richest market in the world. Morale is the key factor in what makes an economy go, whether we are happier and/or more challenged. We will work harder and we will prosper better. Look at the success stories within our country such as la région de la Beauce, such as Steinbach, or in my own area, Emo.

My recommendations:

1. We should abolish the Senate. This obscene institution, an antidemocratic body implanted like a cancer at the very heart of our democratic institutions, has no parallel in any western democracy. It destroys accountability, destroys responsibility in government. It is a patronage trough and a sewer and it has been essentially replaced in any function that it ever had by the first ministers' conference. Remember that since Meech has been rejected, now we can go back to the 1982 formula which does not require unanimity to abolish the Senate.

2. We have to rapidly eliminate barriers to interprovincial trade. If there is no change, they will be worse in 1996 than the barriers between the United States and Canada. They are the silent killers of the Canadian identity.

3. We have to have one more try at an executive-federalism solution to include Quebec, that is, federal and provincial first ministers' conferences to reach an accommodation but with extensive public input to avoid another Meech Lake debacle. If this fails, then we have to have a new process.

4. We have to incorporate aboriginal self-government into the Constitution. We have to have a new round of talks like the 1986 and 1987 talks. Quebec must be included and these talks must go parallel to the inclusion of Quebec talks and under the same structure with of course the addition of aboriginal representatives. We have to concentrate on constitutionalizing a framework within which the details of self-government can be laid down for the individual first nations communities.

5. We should have a royal commission on reducing waste and duplication by governments in Canada.

6. We should entrench the recognition of constitutional tradition as an authority equal to the written authority.

7. We have to study the establishment of a tribunal of the Constitution, replacing constitutional functions of the Supreme Court. It is ridiculous that a single profession should have a monopoly on the rulings of interpretations of the Constitution.

8. We have to entrench the right to municipal government in Canada. This does not exist. It is something granted by the provinces. That is an insult to us as everyday citizens.

9. Because of the growing threat of our deficit, which itself could tear Canada apart, we have to eliminate all government-to-government transfer payments except those for health, social programs and education, where our common interests demand high standards across the country.

10. Following my fifth and ninth recommendations, governments that are presently too small to be viable without excessive subsidies should begin and should begin of their own free will amalgamation negotiations. I am glad we have had an indication from the Maritimes that this may be starting.

11. We should recodify our existing Constitution with any amendments. Presently it is totally impenetrable to the ordinary Canadian.

If I might just present a couple of ideas on an alternative process if the first ministers' conference fails; we have to have a constitutional college elected on an equal-voice basis. They should be salaried for a two- or three-year term and disqualified from any other elected office for five years after so that they are not tempted to use the forum as a bandstand. They must accept public input individually as members of the constitutional college from citizens and they must form committees and panels to hear organizations. They must present a draft to the Canadian public and they must hear submissions from the federal government, from the provinces, from the territorial governments and aboriginal federations.

The proposed Constitution should be put to the people by a referendum, perhaps for adoption by a two-thirds or a three-quarter vote and should be put to the provinces for ratification. If neither the people of the province nor the provincial Legislature accepts the Constitution, then there should be another referendum to confirm or overturn the first decision. If a province, its Legislature and its people together reject a new Canadian Constitution, then there would be no alternative to beginning negotiations for separation. That concludes my presentation. I would be happy to answer questions.


The Chair: Thank you, Mr Parry. I know there is one question. I am not going to allow any more than that, I am afraid, though.

Mr Eves: Thank you very much for your presentation. I think it is an extremely thoughtful one. We will try to take your advice to stay focused, which is difficult from time to time. A few of the points you made are very well received, about interprovincial trade barriers, the aboriginal and native people and their inclusion in our constitutional process.

However, I would like to ask you a couple of questions about a couple of points you made. Right at the outset you said: "Do we need a strong central government at all? Perhaps what Canada needs is a strong central identity." I would like you to expand on that further, if you would. Perhaps in particular I suppose the province of Quebec, at least the governing party in Quebec, has most recently thought it has suggested just such a thing with its proposed transfer of power of 22 separate areas from the federal government to the provincial government. At least the provincial government, under its proposal, would have the jurisdiction for those areas.

The second point I would like you to touch, if you would not mind, is that about the Senate. A lot of people seem to have approached the Senate from the viewpoint of reforming it to an elected body as opposed to abolishing it. What reaction do you think abolition would have, for example, in western Canada or perhaps even the province of Quebec itself?

Mr Parry: First, the Allaire report, of which I have not seen a copy but I have read reports, goes too far. It would weaken the Canadian federal government too much. There are some things in the Allaire report that could be granted to the province of Quebec and which could be granted to other provinces if they really wanted to exercise them and which in the long run would be good for all of Canada. I, for example, see no real reason why Quebec should not control immigration to Quebec provided of course that people still have freedom to move within Canada. In the 1867 act, immigration is specifically mentioned as a field in which the provinces do have powers.

Another thing would be agriculture, where the federal government could save a lot of money and a lot of trouble if it were not involved with the province of Quebec, if that is the wish of the province of Quebec. As far as the Senate is concerned, I suppose I have made myself abundantly clear as to where I stood. Of course one never presents one's backup position on the first rounds. If we cannot get the Senate abolished, then we have to get it reformed. I am a convinced and diehard unicameralist, meaning just one House. Our municipal governments have one house. Our provincial governments have one House. Those that had senates have sensibly abolished them; the Legislative Council, as it was referred to in Quebec.

We have examples of federal states, I believe, with one House. I am trying to think of them. I think New Zealand is the example that I have heard of. I am not quite sure of the federal character. My belief is that our municipal governments and our provincial governments function far more efficiently and effectively than our federal government. Every function that the Senate was originally endowed with is now being more effectively fulfilled by the first ministers' conference.

The Chair: Thank you. I know there are other questions but I think we have to move on. I just want to remind people again, I should have probably mentioned this before, that our timelines are such that we were able to allocate a space of only about 15 minutes for each individual presenting. We would like to also, if possible, within that time have an opportunity to ask questions.

Mr F. Wilson: Mr Chairman, may I ask Mr Parry one thing on his written presentation?

The Chair: Yes.

Mr F. Wilson: Mr Parry, if you would, you have given us a good view of what you would like to see for your constitutional college arrangement. When you are putting your presentation together and you put your views down for your constitutional college, you make reference to your other alternative of the first ministers' meetings you were mentioning. I wonder what you would envision. It seems cumbersome to me. I would like to see it in written form, if you would, please.

Mr Parry: Yes. It is all in the computer.

The Chair: We will look forward to getting the written presentation.


The Chair: I call now Tommy Jones.

Mr Jones: I am a Canadian. My father was Welsh, my mother English. I was schooled in Fort William and I am an undergraduate in the school of hard knocks. I spent four years overseas, including six months with the Fusiliers de Montréal, a French Canadian regiment, and in that six-month immersion with that regiment and my high school French, I could patter with anybody. I was wounded in action in France.

My business experience includes visits to Quebec City 10 to 12 times a year for over 16 years. I have been mayor of Dryden for 10 years with a holiday of three years, and this is my last year of service. I have no axe to grind. Nobody voted for me in the first place and nobody is going to vote for me in the last place. I am just here to give my own personal opinions and they are controversial, but that is what you want. We want to hear everybody. Now, 15 minutes.

I believe Canada is the finest and the best country in the world. Our Premier, Bob Rae, has stated the following:

"Canada is not negotiable. Ontario does not for a moment accept the proposition that the federal government speaks for English Canada. There will be no closed-door deals on the Constitution. We have built so much here. Let's focus on the positive. Let's focus on the constructive way." That is Bob Rae.

I believe the majority of Canadians, including many Quebeckers, have benefited and will continue to benefit from a united country. Agreement between the federal government and the provinces and the territories should apply to all provinces and the territories, with no separate agreement with any province; one for all and all for one.

Weakening of federal responsibilities and leadership is too high a price to pay for satisfying Quebec or any province. Much support for radical and regional political parties in English Canada has resulted from Pierre Trudeau's bilingual and multicultural policies. The official bilingual policy, which was approved by the three political parties, has not worked.

I view with great concern the millions or billions of tax dollars spent on multiculturalism and bilingualism. One example are the signs across Canada on all government property that say "Arrêt." Well, I go to France once in a while. What do the signs say? Simply, in international language, "Stop." Get the point?

Quebec itself does not favour or follow the policy. In the other provinces, while provincial governments have added provincial legislation and force to the policy they have not been readily accepted by a majority of the population. They have been forced on the provinces, and to be cynical, I believe we started to get votes and all political parties were concerned that if they did not agree they would lose votes.

I believe where there are large numbers of French Canadians in Ontario communities they should be serviced in the French language if requested by those municipalities. The French-language requirements of the Ontario government are of great concern to many civil servants and do affect morale.


The educational system has had to assume the cost of French immersion classes, which are borne by all taxpayers. I have suggested for years -- I am a voice crying in the wilderness -- that Canada and the provinces should install French-language education for all students, not just for a few. We would not have many of the problems today if that policy, which was in effect in Ontario in my day, had not been taken over by permissive choices.

The legal and moral responsibilities for all aboriginal people lie with the federal government. Yes, the provinces have responsibilities too. I believe most citizens want the aboriginal land claims settled amicably. There are many of us Ontario northerners who, to paraphrase Premier Bob Rae, do not for one moment accept the proposition that the federal or provincial government should speak for northerners in negotiations without northerners being represented at the bargaining session. We live, work and play in this north and believe we have our rights to be considered. Such negotiations with the inclusion of northern taxpaying residents will be acceptable when decisions are made much better than if they are not present. The objective should be to have our aboriginal people become citizens of this great country, contributing and benefiting from our many blessings.

Governments, except municipal, do not have to balance budgets and cannot go broke. Canada is almost broke with a high interest payment on borrowed money. Quebec is also almost broke as a have-not province receiving billions of dollars in grants. Ontario, according to a Globe and Mail report, is hardest hit by the recession and "dragging the nation down." With this economic outfit, I do not think Quebec will separate, but if it does, it will soon be broke.

"No more closed doors," says Premier Bob. Let's have constitutional proposals decided by a referendum requiring a majority across the nation and in more than half the provinces individually.

The Senate could serve a better purpose. Northwestern Ontario used to have two Senate seats, one in Thunder Bay and east and one west of Thunder Bay to the Manitoba boundary. These seats became vacant by death and were not filled by northwestern Ontarians. We believe that these two appointments, election or whatever you want, should be returned to the people of northwestern Ontario. I believe this would help make the Senate more valuable to us, situated as we are in the centre of Canada and larger than several provinces. The addition of a couple of northwesterners could contribute much to sanity in the Senate.

Time does not permit me to go on with other thoughts, but if you wish these, I would be pleased to sit down again and discuss points. I write a weekly column for the local Dryden Observer and I am going to pass out several of my columns that have given opinions -- and they are mine -- on bilingualism and multiculturalism. They make good reading on these long trips that you have between towns in northwestern Ontario.

In addition, I have included a column on forestry in northwestern Ontario, which I recommend you read. It is our basic economy issue here. This area is not running out of trees and our regeneration, both natural and artificial, is evident. A visit to these areas by a parliamentary committee and by yourselves as individuals, as per the invitation by the mayor, would prove that my statement is correct for this area of the country.

A few minutes ago, an individual said to me, "I would like to say something to this committee," and then she gave me the devil. I said, "Say it to them yourself." Sybil Willard, will you please stand up and say your piece?

Ms Willard: First of all, as an ex-schoolteacher, I am going to take you all to task for being almost half an hour late starting this meeting. That is the first black mark.

The second is your lack of advertisement. I found out that somebody was coming to this place because the retired teachers had to change their meeting. I was curious and somebody said, "It is the Keith Spicer commission," so I got busy and phoned both newspapers and the radio saying, "Did you know that the Spicer commission is coming to Dryden on 5 February?" Nobody had heard anything.

Somebody told me to get in touch with Brian England and he assured me it was not the Spicer commission, but your particular commission from the Ontario government. Then I had to phone around and apologize to everyone for misinforming them. But what advertisement did you get? You got a little column about so big in the Dryden Observer and there was nothing in the Local Express. As I do not listen to our local news radio station because of the awful music it plays, I did not hear any of that, so I think you have done yourselves ill.

You have got a number of retired teachers here and you have got a number that belong to the study group that I join in on Tuesdays, but they would probably not have been here if it had not been that we had to change our meetings and come. I think with all the money that has been spent to send you up here, you should have spent a little time in advertising. Who can get ready a brief when the paper came out last Wednesday?

But you have had some awfully good briefs and I want to compliment that man in Kenora, Andrew somebody or another. I thought he was marvellous and I agreed with everything he said. I listened, I tried to find you last night, but you were on 11 and I went back to 27 and you were not on 27 then, so I missed you last night, but I thoroughly enjoyed the proceedings at Kenora. Thank you. Thank you, Mr Jones.

Mr Jones: There you have it from the grass roots.

The Chair: Mr Jones, if you would like to wait, I think there are a couple of questions. We do have a little bit of time left. Thank you for the clippings. I do want to say that with respect to the process, again I apologize for this morning. Our starting time was actually scheduled at 10 o'clock. I gather that maybe it was announced as 9:30, so there was a bit of confusion about that.

Second, as far as the advertisings are concerned, there were supposed to have been, in our understanding, some advertisements in the local media. Again, that is something we will take a look at. I hope there were and we will see what we need to do in other communities to improve that, if that is something that needs improvement.

Mr Miclash: Thank you very much for your presentation, Tommy, and your addition, Sybil, was great.

Tommy, you talked about aboriginal negotiations with the first nations and you talked about the involvement of citizens in those negotiations. Now we know the most recent negotiations to affect this area were negotiations on the Indian fishing agreement. Could you expand a bit on how you see the individual citizens fitting into that process?

Mr Jones: This is our local MPP, Mr Miclash. He raises a sore point. In several of the communities in northwestern Ontario some of us worked for a long time, prepared briefs, and there were hundreds of people out at a meeting in Dryden on the Indian fishing rights. The report was issued to the government. It was the previous government, I admit, but that report is still there and we have heard nothing back. The chairman of the committee happens to be from Dryden. He has had no communication back after he put his report in.

It would take hours to talk about the Indian fishing agreements. The only point is that the government is an arbitrator in this matter, the government has the final say. They are going to negotiate with the native peoples, and I do not object to that, but I think it would be much better if the government would also appoint a representative group of northern residents to sit there. When decisions are made and come out, they will be accepted much better than they will from the arbitrator and the appealing party making a decision. Is that enough?

Mr Miclash: Thank you very much.


Mr Jones: Anybody else? Time is precious.

Mr Bisson: I would like, first of all, to point out that I am the other member from northern Ontario. I am from Timmins, so I am a northerner myself. Just so that you know, we have been having a lot of discussions on the plane and on the bus on the way up in regard to forestry issues, because I understand what you are saying.

It brings me to the point that I have a bit of a hard time trying to understand part of what you were saying, because on the one hand you are advocating that a place like northern Ontario needs to have special representation in the Senate. It needs to be recognized because it is different. Because it is different, you need to have people there to be able to represent the views of northern Ontario.

I agree with you that often what happens in this country, I think, as part of the problem is that process by which people from parts within the country that are different do not sometimes have adequate voice in being able to express what some of the problems are. You explained the problems with forestry and some of the misunderstandings on the part of some of our own citizens in this province when it comes to the whole question of forestry, when it comes to the question of aboriginal rights or whatever.

Where I have a hard time is that you agree that when you are distinct in some sense, you need to have special representation. But somehow that does not carry over to Quebec. I am just wondering if you can explain to me the difference in that philosophy.

Mr Jones: First of all, you did not understand me, and I am sorry. Now I just do not understand your question. Would you repeat it for me so that I know?

Mr Bisson: What I am saying is that I agree with what you are saying in principle. What you are saying is that as a northerner, you feel you need to have special representation when it comes to getting some of us as politicians and people -- you spoke about the Senate, for example -- to represent the views of northern Ontario, because our issues here in the north are different. There is no question about that.

But when you started off your presentation to this committee, you said that what we need to have are laws that are basically the same across the province. Everybody has to be treated in the same vein. That is where I have a hard time, because you are saying where the north needs to have some sort of different understanding or some sort of different process to get our issues understood, it does not carry over to Quebec. I am just wondering if you can explain that.

Mr Jones: First of all, I say northerners because you are here and this is what I am promoting. I realize there are large Indian reserves, for instance, in southern Ontario. I am not suggesting how that be made up. I leave that up to the government. I have some trust in the government. I really do. If it would appoint a representative group so the public would then see who it is appointing and know that it is not favouring any party or whatever, I think people will accept the result better. That is all I am saying.

Mr Bisson: I tend to agree --

The Chair: I am sorry, Mr Bisson. We are going to have to move on. Thank you.


The Chair: I call Joanne Misner, first vice-president of the chamber of commerce.

Ms Misner: Good morning, Mr Chairman, select committee members, ladies and gentlemen.

I would like to take a moment to welcome Gary in sign language. I just wanted to say welcome to Dryden.

Mr Malkowski: Thank you very much.

Ms Misner: I would like to take the opportunity to thank the select committee on Ontario in Confederation for allowing us to speak on the many political and economical issues facing Ontario and the country of Canada today.

Unfortunately, we were not able to hold an executive or a general meeting of the Dryden District Chamber of Commerce prior to this presentation. Like everybody else, I got notified last Wednesday, so I am not able to bring the views of the current executive or the membership before you today. I would like to state that the chamber keeps up to date on the efforts of our Premier, Bob Rae, and wishes the select committee all the best in its endeavours with this massive project with such a short deadline.

I have been asked to bring the personal observations of our president, Mark Boudreau, to your attention and again state that they are his personal comments and may not reflect the views of the chamber body. His comments are based on only one topic of discussion for today, and that is the issue of Quebec's future. This is from Mark:

A strong federal government overseeing the nation's interests in matters that affect all Canadians has been part of the mandate of the federal government since Confederation. This system, while not perfect, has performed reasonably well. Canada is the envy of the world for the standard of living, quality of life and protection of the less fortunate that we provide.

Since the majority of the Canadian population receives its information from the media, it is difficult to determine exactly what the average person in Quebec is lacking. The prosperity that Quebec currently enjoys has been developed in a federalist system. If the majority of the Quebec population, by way of a referendum, feels that the current status quo is unacceptable and that Quebec should be given special privileges not shared by other provinces, then we should actively negotiate its departure.

The arrogance of threatening the breakup of Canada if Quebec does not get its own way is nothing short of blackmail. Quebec is constantly reminding us of its ability to survive and prosper as an independent state. It should not come as a surprise that the remaining provinces will survive and prosper without Quebec. It is not our preference to see a breakup of Canada. It must be very clear to Quebec that the remaining provinces all seek a solution to their problems but are not afraid of the consequences. This is not a counterthreat; only the reality.

After a thorough analysis of the facts, not just emotional hype, if the majority of the Quebec population does not wish to remain within the Dominion of Canada, so be it. I do not believe we should bow to our knees to keep Quebec in the family at the expense of the remaining partners.

I do not believe sovereignty-association should be an option for discussion. It suggests they seek the independence of statehood without the risks that are so associated. A negotiated settlement of assets and liabilities on a per capita basis should be concluded. No common currency, no common defence, no common customs and excise: either you are in with modifications that are fair to all partners or you are out.

I believe this style of demands and threats using Canada as hostage is repulsive. This issue must be settled once and for all. Dragging this issue from one decade to the next is an anchor around the neck of the country which we do not need.

The Chair: I do not know if you are comfortable answering questions, given that you are reading out somebody else's position, but if you are prepared to answer some questions if there are any, I will entertain them. Are there any questions? No? I see none.

Actually, I do have one. It may again be something that you may not be able to answer, given your opening comments. I wonder, as somebody who is involved in the chamber of commerce, whether you have any comments on any of the questions dealing with the economics that are raised in the discussion paper.

Ms Misner: Actually, unfortunately the chamber has not met on this issue at the moment. We have had a brief discussion basically regarding what the outcome of separatism would mean. It is going to cause a conflict in the markets that are already presently established. In a way we look at the benefits as well. Without the bilingualism issue, there will be millions of dollars saved on promotions, advertising, labelling, a lot of different things.

I think we are looking at it that if Quebec does decide to stay within the Dominion of Canada, then the issues of bilingualism will have to be renegotiated. However, if they do decide they want out, then let them out, but do not let them have any common operating power with Ontario or with the other provinces.

The Chair: I was also just asking the question aside from the issues of Quebec being in or outside of Canada. I just invite you, if over the next few weeks the chamber has an opportunity to discuss these things and if you are able to come up with a position, to please feel free to forward that to us.

Ms Misner: Yes, the chamber is meeting on the 12th. We will be discussing it.

Mr Offer: Certainly I think your last comment was the first observation that I was going to make. After your chamber has gone through what might be some of the economic ramifications in this particular district, I think it would very helpful for us as committee members to get some sense as to how you see the ramifications of a different Confederation, certainly in this district.

My question deals with any thoughts that you might have as to what Ontario's role should be in the negotiation. Currently there is an emerging process, certainly with Quebec and the federal government, dealing with a number of items which Quebec has at first instance put on the table. They are not yet formally adopted, but they are there and it seems to be an emerging focus.

Is this a situation where it is a take it or leave it? From your perspective, does Ontario have a role to play in saying, "Let's see what can be accommodated, if not for Quebec and Ontario, for all other provinces"? Is there a role that you feel Ontario can and should play in these negotiations?


Ms Misner: That is hard to come up with on the spur of the moment. Yes, I think it has definitely got to be a negotiating process, with Ontario being probably the largest neighbour, being the strongest power in those negotiations. I read your discussion paper -- we just got it last night -- stating that Ontario basically has the most to lose because of our trading agreements as well as the amount of market percentage that goes back and forth with Quebec. They are our largest partner that we trade exports -- well, not really exports, but out-of-provincial markets with.

Basically my view would be that we could not do it as a take it or leave it. I do state that if they do want to become their own sovereignty, definitely no common courtesy and they should be treated the same as the United States. We may have a free trade agreement with them or the same customs and excise agreements, but I do not think we should give them the option of having their own government and still working under the same benefits that Canada now provides them. I think it is going to work out to be a take it or leave it with other agreements in place, unfortunately.

Mr Offer: Just as a final observation, if after you have gone through the economic impact that a different type of Confederation may bring, certainly in the particular discussion paper there are other aspects that we are going to be grappling with and I would hope that maybe the chamber in this district would not just focus in on the economic ramifications, important as they are, but also some of the other questions for discussion which have been posed. I think it would be very helpful for the committee.

Ms Misner: Sure, we will work on that.

Ms Harrington: I think you may have noticed that in our discussion paper the first question we asked was, "What are the values we share as Canadians?" That is a good place to start this whole thinking process and looking towards the future.

Yesterday we heard various answers, such as what we share is a tradition of, say, honesty and a peace-loving and caring type of approach, especially from the first nations people. I would like to ask you and maybe the people you are talking with or representing what values you think we share as a nation. What is important to us? What is Canada?

Ms Misner: Oh, we have talked about a lot of things. Basically we are proud of the fact that Canada -- like we opened up with -- has one of the highest standards of living. There are definitely problems, but it is something that is respected by a lot of countries. I also am very proud of our health care services, although we know that area is coming under a lot of scrutiny lately. Our educational services are also something to be proud of and we value that. We definitely have a problem with the language issue, but I do think that is also negotiable. If we lose Quebec, it may not be an issue any more. Basically, as you said, we value the integrity and the honesty of the country, but it is something also that would have to go into discussion before I could relate any more.

Ms Churley: You actually finished off your last statement with a statement that you mentioned before, which is startling to me, and that is, it must be very scary to francophones who do not live in Quebec to be hearing that if Quebec were to leave, language would not be an issue. I just wanted to have you clarify that for me. I am sure you are speaking only for yourself here. Are you saying that if it turns out that Quebec is no longer part of the Confederation of Canada, you would see not preserving the rights of francophones in the rest of Ontario and making sure that they have the right to their own language and their own culture?

Ms Misner: No, I am sorry about the way I said that. I would still recognize that French is an important part of Canada whether we have Quebec or not. I just think -- this is hard to say -- I do not know whether bilingualism would still have a majority vote if Quebec was not backing it. I support French by all means. I do know, though, the economic costs involved if you legislate bilingualism across Canada. The costs are horrendous in marketing, promotions, packaging, everything. I do know that a lot of the large companies in Canada would actually favour the loss of the bilingualism legislation. Basically, no, I think it is still going to be something that will be negotiated no matter what happens with Quebec.


Mr McFayden: Good morning. I am here representing, in theory, Dryden High School when in fact I only interviewed 10 students for my presentation, as well as my own opinions. I am a Canadian. Every time I say that I am filled with immense pride. I guess I realized my feelings about three years ago when I was on a tour of Europe with my family. The incident that I am talking about occurred in the beautiful city of Verona, Italy.

I was standing outside a small sidewalk café in the main square when I was approached by what appeared to be a local middle-aged man. He said to me, "Americano?" as if he expected me to be an American, seeing as I was a tourist. I said "No, I am a Canadiano." As soon as I said that his face lit up, he had a big smile on his face and he started to jabber to me in Italian although I could not understand a word he said.

After a few minutes he asked me where I was from in Canada. I said I was from Dryden, Ontario, which is near Winnipeg, thinking he probably knew Winnipeg. Unfortunately, he never had a chance to respond because somebody was calling him from across the square so we never even got a chance to go on with the conversation. It was just then I think I realized how much I loved and was proud of my country.

As I said, for my presentation I interviewed 10 people from my school. The first question I asked them was:

"What is your opinion on Confederation? How do you think it may be improved, if at all?" The most popular opinion that was given to me was that every province must be equal, that Quebec should not have any special powers and that a new deal must include the entire country as its central purpose, not only Quebec. Some other opinions that I had given to me were that ties between provinces should be stronger, that Quebec should have spoken up many years ago if it wanted to separate and that Ontario should put forward these points in any future talks in order to achieve a better and a more acceptable Canada for everyone.

I also posed the question, "What do you think Ontario's role is in Confederation today?" The people I interviewed unanimously agreed that Ontario is the power broker, is the industrial and the virtual economic centre of Canada and is unquestionably the population centre of the country. As a follow-up to that, I asked if we should keep that role as the power broker. Most people said no, because each province should not be treated differently because of its status, its wealth, its economic standing or stability.

Another question I proposed was whether or not they agreed with the present systems of government in both Toronto and in Ottawa. A few people said that nor'westers were being ignored by both governments. However, the majority said that our system is one of the best in the world, that it is even better than the United States. However, one person also told me that the Senate is nothing but an expensive rubber stamp and should be abolished, but again, on another point that was brought up, everyone unanimously agreed that representation by population should remain.


Now, according to me -- this is my own opinion -- Confederation is vital to the survival of our country and for the individual provinces. Every province must be equal and must answer to the Charter of Rights directly, without any question. What I mean is the "notwithstanding" clause; I would like to see that either stricken or have some kind of limit put on it so that our democracy would not be put in any kind of jeopardy.

There must be a strong, central government because that would help to keep the country together for the future of our people. I also echo points from my interviews. I favour a strong Ontario, but each province must be equal with more of an equal say in our government.

In conclusion, I love my country. People I interviewed also showed tremendous love for Canada as well. But there is one thing I noticed when I was interviewing. I tried to interview some other people, but they could not give me opinions and they are not included as part of the 11 people. The reason they did not is because they did not know anything about our system, the Canadian system, or the provincial and municipal system or what have you. They did not know anything about that. They did not know about the history behind the situation our country is in right now, the history behind our system, and some people did not even really care.

The first thing to do in order to run a successful country is to overcome these obstacles and make the people aware. The Fathers of Confederation did not really trust democracy, as I understand it, so they established our Senate along the lines of the honourable House of Lords in Britain. But with the recent success of democracy, is it not time to alter the Senate to make it more responsible to the people? That is the triple E Senate, the equal, elected and effective Senate they have been talking about. They also made Ontario the virtual centre of Canada, but I say now, should every province not be equal in government matters?

Our Fathers of Confederation, I would imagine, have been turning in their graves over the past five years over the events because of Quebec threatening to separate and what have you, because they put a lot of time and a lot of effort into welding together our country, not to see it pulled apart.

Ontario knows it wants to be part of Canada; it has always known that. Ontario has always supported our national dream, which is the continental destiny, but is it not time to revive that dream of a harmonious nation with no racial, linguistic or cultural barriers instead of worrying about our national deficit? Ontario should again advocate these positions in future talks. I know the people that I interviewed would support that as well.

Some of you may not know this, but our national anthem is four verses and in closing I will leave you with a quote from the third verse. It says:

0, Canada,

beneath thy shining skies,

May stalwart sons

and gentle maidens rise,

To keep thee steadfast through the years

from east to western sea,

Our own beloved native land

our true north strong and free.

The Chair: Thank you, Andrew. You have sparked a lot of interest among the members of the committee. I am going to try to get through the list, but I do want to ask people to be very brief in their prefacing of their questions. That will help us get through.

Mr Eves: I want to thank you, Andrew, for appearing before the committee today. I think that obviously the purpose of the committee is not just the current generation in Canada, but the future generations are very important, if not more important.

I want to thank you for underscoring a few points, such as the education of our own people about our own history. Perhaps we could all serve Canada better by becoming more knowledgeable about the past and the present and hopefully leading to a better future in this country.

I note that you have said, as indeed many presenters have said in the last two days, you do not advocate a special status for the province of Quebec or for any province; I believe you said that.

Mr McFayden: No, I do not advocate a special position for Quebec.

Mr Eves: Okay. If in fact the reality ends up being that either Quebec is recognized as a distinct society or whatever wording you choose to put on that terminology, or it leaves the country, I suppose the question I have for you is, are you willing to negotiate that or not?

Mr McFayden: I cannot speak for the people I interviewed, but I personally would not like to see Quebec leave our country. It is a vital part of our country; however, in order to run a good nation, a successful nation, in the world community it should have every province, every portion of our country equal, not having any special powers to opt out of our Constitution or anything, because that would just jeopardize our democracy.

Mr Eves: I appreciate your point about the "notwithstanding" clause, but I do not know if many Canadians actually appreciate the fact that the "notwithstanding" clause was not just originated in the province of Quebec. In fact it was demanded by many western premiers as well.

Mr McFayden: Saskatchewan was the first to use it.

Mr Bisson: First of all, I want to thank you. You are the first student who has appeared before the committee and I hope this is a sign of things to come. I think it is important as Ontarians and as Canadians to listen to what our younger generation is saying, because at the end of the day you are the people who will be taking over when we are long gone, and hopefully you will do a better job of it.

You said you travelled to Italy some time ago and there was a big distinction to the person you were talking to in regard to his seeing you as a Canadian versus an American. Without getting into nationalistic things, I am just wondering what brought him to that conclusion.

Mr McFayden: The fact that I was a tourist?

Mr Bisson: No, the fact that he was seeing you as a Canadian as being different. You alluded, when you were talking, that he was seeing you as a Canadian and there was a difference in the way he treated you. I am just wondering if you can account for that, because I think that comes to the crux of what this is all about.

Mr McFayden: I am not quite sure. I guess, with recent events in mind, that Canada has always been regarded as, I suppose, a peace-keeping nation. I suppose that is probably why he regarded me as that, although I do not really know what he was thinking.

Mr Bisson: I guess what I would venture to think is that maybe, possibly what he sees within our nation, what other people see, is a tolerance --

Mr McFayden: Racial tolerance, yes.

Mr Bisson: -- that we have been trying to purport and is something we keep in mind.

Mr McFayden: That is probably a reason, yes.

Mr Miclash: I too, Andrew, would like to welcome you as the first student to present to the committee and I hope that is, as Gilles has said, a sign of the future. I think we have to hear from young people as the committee travels across this province.

Andrew, you mentioned a couple things, actually, that hit home with me. You mentioned the strengthening of ties between the provinces, and in doing that you mentioned our close connection to Winnipeg. Do you have any suggestions as to how those ties could be strengthened?

Mr McFayden: I have no idea, because that was a point that was given to me by one of the students I interviewed. I cannot really tell you how she thought on that point, but that is all I know.

Mr Miclash: How about yourself as a young person living in Dryden?

Mr McFayden: It is hard to say. Strengthening the federal government, I believe, would probably be the most effective way of doing it, instead of giving special powers to provinces or what have you, but I cannot speak for that student.

Mr Miclash: Great; thank you.

Ms Churley: I have to tell you that I had the same experience in Europe in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Americans we knew were running out buying maple leafs and putting them on their backpacks so they would be treated more nicely. So I think that realization that Canadians are special people has been around for a while.

I wanted to follow up on the previous question. Do you think it would be a good idea for governments to sponsor some kind of youth conference across the country? I would like to see Quebec youth, for instance, talking to Dryden youth, Ontario youth, and I sense you are very knowledgeable and some of your fellow students are. But I agree that most of the population, not just students, really do not understand a lot of what we are talking about here. I certainly had to catch up, and here I am a politician. I am wondering, if you heard each other's points of view as youth, got in a room together in some kind of conference, if that would be helpful.

Mr McFayden: It probably would be. Yes.

Ms Churley: Would you like to recommend that as something that --

Mr McFayden: Yes, I think that would be very beneficial.


Mrs Y. O'Neill: Andrew, you have taken a real leadership role this morning, and I really want to commend you for that. You used very personal words about your values, like "love," "vital," "revival," and I am very happy that you have hopefulness in your heart. We asked you how you would build bridges and you seemed to go back to the statement that you think a strong central government can do that. Ms Churley asked you again about how students could be involved. I am wondering, have you personally been involved in an exchange program and can you tell me a little bit about what you see as a strong central government, the kinds of things that would be part of its authority or mandate or, I do not like the word "power," but in any case?

Mr McFayden: It is hard to say, really.

Mrs V. O'Neill: Have you partaken in an exchange program?

Mr McFayden: No, I have not. Unfortunately, I have not had the opportunity to do that. I was thinking about it a few years ago but other matters just got in the way of that, so I could not partake in that.

Mrs V. O'Neill: Have you got a few thoughts then on the strength of the central government and how you would like to see that happen?

Mr McFayden: Basically, it is just what I said before. It is hard to say. It is up for the rest of the people to decide, I believe.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: Maybe you could think about that and discuss that further, because I think it would be very helpful to us, and if you do get some ideas, we would certainly like to hear from you. Thank you so much for coming.

Mr Harnick: Andrew, you can maybe help me out a little bit with an issue that we are finding to be a sensitive issue, and that is the French language and the availability of French-language services in Ontario and also the question of bilingualism in Canada in individual provinces. What discussions have you had with your friends at school on those issues? Is there any kind of consensus that you can see among your friends when talking about the language issue?

Mr McFayden: Some of my friends that I did interview have shown interest in French, but that is just speaking on observation in classroom, and some of them I do not know well enough to say that, but I myself am aiming for being bilingual one day. I am very interested in French. I believe it is very good that our country is bilingual, and that is pretty well all I have to say on that matter.

Mr Winninger: I too would like to commend you, Andrew, on your moving and eloquent plea for unity and also for taking the initiative in not only presenting your brief today but consulting with your colleagues first at high school. If you were sitting in our seats and as a committee looking at future models for Confederation and you knew that Quebec may have separate social and economic aspirations, how would you deal with that?

Mr McFayden: I would take them into consideration, I believe. It is hard to say. I am not quite sure how I would deal with that.

Mr Winninger: I know on the one hand, you want the strong sense of unity in Canada. But if I can use this analogy to a family and there are some members of the family who want to assert some independence and fulfil their own needs, how would you deal with that within the fabric of Confederation?

Mr McFayden: I would try to accommodate their needs but with the interest of the rest of the country in mind as well, because just putting your focus on one group, one province, one individual, whatever, only could make the rest of the country feel kind of alienated. I feel that is probably how the territories are feeling right now, and some of the western provinces.

Mr Winninger: So it is not just Quebec that feels this sense of distinctiveness.

Mr McFayden: I do not think so.

The Chair: Okay. We will have to end there. Thank you very much, Andrew.


The Chair: I will call next, Jean Davis.

Ms Davis: Good morning, Mr Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, members of the panel.

I am shocked to find myself sitting here before a committee trying to say how I think the government should conduct its business. I have lived in northern Ontario most of my life and I have travelled very little, but I have taken an active interest in my community and from that point of view I will speak on a few simple facts.

I feel privileged to speak here this morning. I belong to a small Bible study group of women who meet each Tuesday morning and we are unique in the fact that we do not belong to one denomination, so we have learned to search the scriptures for the truth and leave out our religious traditions from the discussions. The common welfare of all is important. Love, agape love, is truth and justice. Everyone is important and the balance must be found and then we go out into our community more responsible citizens.

We believe we need a strong federal government, but there is one important point: a strong, responsible federal government is the only thing that will put things back in balance.

From here on, I must say most of these comments are my own, because again, I did not know last Tuesday morning when we decided to come here that I was going to give this presentation. So from here on in, most of my thoughts are my own.

I have always believed for years that the Senate was there as a guardian to make sure that things were done properly, something like in our own community. If we need to draw up an agreement, we go to a good lawyer who can see not only if it will accomplish our needs now but how it will affect us in the future. There has been so much talk about changing the Senate and nothing seems to be done about it except adding more people, which puts us further in debt.

A strong government in a democratic society should lead by example. Force will never accomplish this. They are trying to convince us of the terrible debt problem, which none of us deny, but they spend millions pushing the GST through and then spend more money advertising why it is needed, plus buying votes by paying seniors and low-income people before it even goes into effect. It certainly is not the way to win my respect. We Canadians are not stupid and we are worried about what is happening to Canada, but I really feel that the governments have lost contact with people.

Again, I am going to keep it simple and use the example of a large family being raised with love -- which again is justice -- honesty and fair play for all. Then the federal government should set guidelines for the provinces, but strong guidelines, so that each one knows if it wants to stay in Confederation that these are the guidelines. Canada is breaking apart trying to please everyone, and pleasing no one in the process.

Let us send a strong message back to Ottawa that we are Canadian and want to remain Canadian. It will only work, though, if Ottawa gives us guidelines we can be proud to follow. There has been so much waste at all levels of government, and I know we are a large country and it costs so much to travel and so on, but I believe it is time for governments to stop having commissions and feasibility studies and make use of the material that has already been gathered. Use the money to put people back to work who have lost their jobs.

We in Dryden have been in need of an extended care home for our elderly for years, and our hospital has needed upgrading for the same length of time. I wonder how much money has been spent on studies over the years while the crisis gets greater every year because we have an aging population. All levels of government have to stop spending money in terms of votes. When we talk about this crisis situation in our community, the answer to us is that the hospital wings and nursing homes are being closed. That may be true in southern Ontario, but we have only one small hospital, which has never closed its doors, and we need another wing or two. So what kind of an excuse is that?


I also feel very sure that if they give us our extended care facility it will be used as well, because this idea of keeping people in their own homes as long as they want to stay in their own homes may work to a certain age, but here in the north, with our long, cold winters of 40 below and plenty of snow, it is one thing to help us with maintenance, and I think that is a very good idea and it will work for a number of years, but they had better start planning transportation as well if they expect to keep people out there when they can no longer drive.

It would be more sensible to build an extended care home, a sister home, which we want in the community, and there would be a natural progression. The senior citizens, who are mostly women, would go to extended care; the seniors in the apartments who can no longer manage as well, into our minimal care home, and the people who find it too hard and lonely in the country would come in to our senior apartments in town.

It seems to me that governments have to work closer with communities. They give grants of money for certain things whether they meet our needs or not. If the federal government gets its house in order and passes on the needed money to the provinces and it starts working more closely with the needs of the municipalities, we may yet get things back in balance and start working together on that huge deficit that the government keeps talking about. But it can only be accomplished by putting people back to work, collecting fair taxes and using the money wisely when it is collected.

We feel that Canada has one of the best systems in the world, especially the health system, but it is in grave danger of erosion, and each and every person, including seniors, has to do his part to make it work. Every level of the system, from federal, provincial, municipal, right down to each individual, must take some responsibility to keep it intact.

Mr F. Wilson: I think it is appropriate that after hearing from Mr McFayden, we hear from yourself, madam. Thank you very much for your presentation.

A common thread I see between Mr McFayden's and your presentation seems to be the willingness to participate with the feeling perhaps of a sense of loss of power, lack of power, lack of control. Given, I guess, the précis that governments are elected to govern -- and our governments tend to do that whether the people like it or not -- and given also the mandate of this committee to reach out and to find ways of allowing people, insisting on people participating, I would like to pose that question to yourself. How do you see the radical changes that are going to take place, some of them the result of this committee? How do you see the ability of groups such as seniors, such as students, such as workers, of a more direct participation in the system that you say must be responsible?

Ms Davis: One of the things that I see as a senior is that we have to teach each other that our pensions are quite good now compared to what they used to be. There are more pensions, like Canada pension added to the other old age pension, but I see seniors have to realize all the way through that they have a responsibility to Canada too. We cannot just sit back and say, "Oh, we are 65 now, so the government can keep us." We have to all play a role in doing this.

My grandmother did not have enough money to live on her own, and right down through the generations, but I see our generation now, we must quit thinking that we need to be taken care of. We are being given money to be taken care of and if we act responsibly, we can contribute something. This community complex here is certainly an example of what the seniors have done in Dryden.

I am a member of Patricia board, a minimal care board, and of course I am not speaking for them, but I have seen since I went on that board where sometimes the lack of communication in where we need to spend a certain grant of money, it is earmarked for something else, and I think there needs to be closer communication.

Of course, I realize we are in the process in Ontario of doing the new medical and outreach program, but I feel, from living in the country myself, and I still drive, that you have to look at the cost of transportation. You cannot keep an elderly person out there in the country, in the cold, and not get him in to town, and maybe it would be cheaper to put up more low-income apartments in town.

Seniors cannot just have everything they want; we have to ensure that they get what they need, but we also have to encourage them to see what they need. Does that answer your question?

Mr F. Wilson: I think so.

Ms Davis: I think that is where seniors do fit in. Of course, our study group is senior and we are actively working in the community to take our part to see that this is done, because there are more and more seniors and less and less employed people to look after them.

Mr F. Wilson: Right. I see what you mean. I think it is put in the perspective that as long as the government can open and keep open those channels of communication, groups like the seniors will fill them.

Ms Davis: Yes.

Mr Beer: I would like to thank you for your presentation. If I can ask you a question, because I want to continue on the line that Fred was asking you about, it seems to me that you hit one of the fundamental problems that governments, and not just governments but all political representatives, have, and that is how we communicate both what we want to do and then how in fact that particular program, whatever it is, is delivered.

In essence, you have been talking about long-term care and looking at issues that affect you in this community, and quite properly and appropriately note that in trying to deliver better health support care in the north there are problems of distance, there are problems of isolation, and those have to be incorporated in changes made in province-wide programs to really meet the needs that you have.

At the same time, often what we hear and what we have heard today is that we want a strong federal government that does what it is supposed to do well and a strong provincial government that is going to do what it is supposed to do well. So the dilemma then is, how do we build in that community input, which everyone in this room would say is vital and important, so that we could have programs -- but they would be different. Perhaps if the needs here are different and one needs more extended care facilities or more small apartment buildings in the more isolated centres where people can come together, then why can that not happen under the aegis of the same program?

I wonder if as you look at, say, the particular needs that you were talking about in terms of health care, and you mentioned you were on the Patricia board, where is the level and then, I suppose, what is the proper size, in a sense, where we work out that kind of detail? Because my sense is that no matter the political party in power at Queen's Park, there is an acceptance increasingly that we have to find a way to get down to the community, to some meaningful definition of community so that it is not me in Queen's Park saying, "Thou shalt have such and so," but "Look, here is the kind of money we have available for this program, here are some guidelines; now you plan it."

Ms Davis: I can only answer for myself here and now. I am not representing them.

We had a study done in Dryden and we were planning a sister home to he built on, extended on Patricia Gardens, and it was well thought out, as Mayor Jones will tell you. We are now separating families, husband and wife, up in years, and one will go 85 miles -- you know where Kenora is, you have just been there -- and the other one stays in Dryden. Now, how on earth are you going to get that elderly person -- your idea of aging in place and everything is wonderful, and we were going to incorporate the home support and all of these new things in there, but they took the study away from us. They said the district of Kenora had to do it, and now it will be another year or so down the road. We have been in a crisis for a number of years.

Minimal care home, as you know, is minimal care. We have 18 extended care people. They have medical records to say they could go in but there is no place for them. The hospital is overflowing. People are out in the halls at the hospital because they have to wait for a room.

So I feel that this added study, I could not understand why the whole district of Kenora had -- I tell you, I kept this simple because I really do not pretend to understand it all, but it seemed like a backward step to me why they could not accept what we were trying to tell them here.

The same with the hospital. They were supposed to have phase 2 of their hospital. In fact, it even came out in the paper. Now it seems that the whole Kenora district is to get a chunk of that money. In that case, there will not be enough to do one hospital if it is all divided up.

Somehow there has to be better communication in this. I also believe, as I tried to say to this gentleman, that we must take care of the elderly. They will want to cling to their home as long as they can, but we need to know that is the best place for them to be. I can quite assure you that out in the country on long, cold nights in winter and so on -- you have to remember that maybe where they should be is in a small community where there are people around them. We have to be very careful not to have too many programs out there that are too expensive for the government and not meeting the needs of the senior.



The Chair: I call now Freda Hoshizaki.

Ms Hoshizaki: I have to tell you that I am also a member of the council and Tommy Jones is my mayor, so I will keep this short and to the point. He has me really well trained.

We are a small group of women who meet occasionally to deal with issues of interest to women. After looking at the position paper on the Constitution and endless rhetoric in the newspapers, we could find no reference anywhere to women's concerns. Did we not learn a lesson from Meech Lake, that disenfranchising 52% of the population will have the same askew results as Meech Lake?

When the federal government next tries to gather together people to sit around a table or stand around a resort to engineer changes in the Constitution, we would ask the Premier of Ontario to make a strong representation to ensure that women are represented at that table. To us, a strong central government is essential to ensure that the programs important to the welfare of women remain in place. Without federal control, social programs will erode. Affirmative action will be the first program to disappear. Pay equity will not exist. Social programs have to be protected.

There are 14 million women in Canada who did not have representation at the previous talks. They have been absent at negotiating tables. It is time they are heard. There you are.

Ms Churley: I would just like to thank you very much for your presentation. I have been waiting for it.

Ms Hoshizaki: I assure you, there are several more coming. There is a group in Thunder Bay which is our parent group; there is one in Toronto, and they all are presenting.

Ms Churley: It is also interesting that you came just at this point, because I have been reading, between deputants from time to time, a paper prepared by a group of women in Toronto who were very disturbed at being left out of the Meech Lake process. I would be pleased to get a copy made for you if you are interested. It is very good.

Ms Hoshizaki: I would, yes.

Ms Churley: I just wanted to ask you to elaborate a little more on how you would see women being more involved in the process. Are you talking about more women actually being at the negotiating table, or more women in general speaking out on the issue?

Ms Hoshizaki: I would like to see them at the tables at all junctures of the process, from the beginning right up to the signing of the Constitution. I think with the Premier we have in Ontario we are likely to see it; he is the person who will ensure that there are women at the table. But we feel very strongly that we were represented by 11 males by proxy the last time, who really had very little understanding of the programs that are important to women, what happened to them, literally, and where they would be going.

Mr Malkowski: It reminds me of Agnes Macphail, who was the first elected woman who spoke on the issue of pay equity, and her thoughts still carry with us today. I have a question for you: How do women participate in the structural formation of this Constitution committee? How do you think women's voices could be heard in the consultative process and in the decision-making process? Do you think it should be a self-governance group? Understanding that you want the rights of women to be recognized, would you like to run that particular arena yourselves?

Ms Hoshizaki: I come from Manitoba. I come from where Agnes Macphail came from. I really strongly feel that women have to be represented in the complete process, right from the beginning to the end. I do not think that meetings at this level really do much good. I think you have to have more power. I think you have to have the women who are in the governments, who are in place now, at the table. We have good, strong women in all the parties at the federal level. I would trust them to represent me at the table.

Ms Harrington: Your question is how women are going to get more involved and make more changes. Is that not it? You are asking how women can have more say in this whole question of what is Canada.

Ms Hoshizaki: Yes.

Ms Harrington: My answer is, get elected. Really.

Ms Hoshizaki: I am too old.

Ms Harrington: I am speaking to every woman.

Ms Hoshizaki: I believe that very strongly, that women should get elected. I spend all my time talking to the younger people and young women in the community to try to get them on the municipal council or in provincial elections. Not everybody is happy with it, but I love it.

Ms Harrington: I just want to stress that this is a year for municipal elections, and this is where any woman should be starting. There are many changes you can make outside of government, which is probably what your group is doing. What is the name of your council?

Ms Hoshizaki: It is the Decade Council. It is part of the Decade Council in Thunder Bay, and the Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses, because we are concerned with the crisis shelter house in Dryden and in Kenora.

Ms Harrington: I was involved for many years with the YWCA, trying to get changes for women, and even with the National Action Committee on the Status of Women. But that is still outside the actual power of government; it is a side role. I would suggest, really, that women get involved in politics, and I would like to say it is not as bad as it seems. Once you get in there, it is a lot of fun.

Ms Hoshizaki: I think so. I was watching Rosemary Brown last night on TV and the talk was about women in politics.

Mrs V. O'Neill: I am very happy that you said you would have confidence in the women who are elected, because we have taken the responsibility that you are suggesting others take and we do need support from groups such as yours. I am very happy that you are encouraging other women to enter politics, because that is where decisions are made, and I think you understand that. Thank you very much for supporting us.


Mr Offer: Thank you very much for your presentation. You have talked very well about the necessity to address women's issues. There is not anyone, of course, who would disagree with that. The second point you make is that, in your opinion, the best way this can be addressed is to a strong central or federal government. I hope I am not misinterpreting.

Ms Hoshizaki: No, this is what we are saying.

Mr Offer: Has there been any thought through your group as to whether the issues which are so very important to you and to so many could be maybe more effectively addressed if it was all within the provincial area of responsibility?

Ms Hoshizaki: We have talked about it several times. What happens is that if the transfer payments are made to the provinces and they are not allocated to certain programs, they build highways. You know they do; you have been in the government long enough to know that this is actual fact. With libraries in small towns, if that percentage of money is not allocated to the library from the provincial government, they do not get the funding. It is very hard to support these types of services unless the money is allocated strictly to that, and we want it coming from the federal government. Alberta is looking at the erosion of the social network.


The Chair: I call now Jeannine Mascotto from Dryden Citizens Interested in Confederation.

Ms Mascotto: I am Jeannine Mascotto. I am a professor with Confederation College here in Dryden. In preparation for this submission, I telephoned 22 Dryden citizens. Eighteen had prior commitments, board meetings and travel. All of them expressed their deep interest in the topic and regretted that they could not attend the meeting on Saturday 2 February. There were four of us there and we drafted this submission for your committee.

We, the Dryden Citizens Interested in Confederation, urge our Ontario government to work hard to preserve Canada as we know it. We believe Canada can grow to become a much greater nation than it is now and that we need the 10 provinces as a unified nation in order for this to happen. We want this country to stay together and work on adjusting to the needs of all the provinces.

We Ontarians can continue to build our province, and thereby the nation, by welcoming immigrants. We must address their education and language needs so that they will quickly become contributing members of our province and nation.

The country of Canada has immense human and material resources, and it should have a strong national purpose. National unity requires support and substance from all the provinces and all components of the nation. Each province has valuable resources to contribute to forming a united Canada. The strength of a nation depends upon united people.

Separation by Quebec or any other province would affect the country quite adversely. Our financial position in the world would certainly be in jeopardy. Other countries would not be anxious to do business with an unstable country, whether the instabilities were of a financial, cultural, linguistic or constitutional nature.

Canadians of many origins have been trying to build a unified multicultural society that is unique to the rest of the world. Our country is based upon welcoming others from other lands. Let us Ontarians continue that tradition. Let us Ontarians urge Canadians nationwide that our land of varied cultures is rich and worth preserving.

Mr Beer: Thank you. I think we have been saying this to a number of the witnesses appearing before the committee.

Ms Mascotto: Yes.

Mr Beer: We recognize that on somewhat short notice, telephone calls, meetings, whatever, have been held. I think it was noted yesterday by our colleague Margaret Harrington that while it has been short in some respects, the fact that people have come together so quickly and perhaps have a somewhat more spontaneous response has none the less been very valuable because we have noted in so many of the presentations the strong feelings about the country, about the role of the national --

Ms Mascotto: Yes, the sense of urgency.

Mr Beer: That has come forward. I would like to ask you one question. Perhaps this came up in your discussions. I think we are all being open and honest here, and one of the things that has troubled me is that when we talk about our country and how much we want to hold together the country as we know it, it seems to me that an important part of that has been the fact that we do have one province which is very different from the others in terms of Quebec, where the majority of the population is French speaking, and that in New Brunswick and Ontario and Manitoba we have large French-speaking populations.

Over the last number of years, but even before that, the role of the two languages, English and French, has been important. If we were sitting in a small northern community of Quebec, similar to Dryden, I think we would be hearing from people such as yourselves talking about our country, but talking about their language and what they felt was its importance.

Do you think we can resolve that linguistic issue in a way that is going to be acceptable? Because it seems to me, and you may disagree with this, that either we find a way of accommodating and accepting our two languages in a fair and equitable manner or there will not be a Canada as we know it today. To me, the consequences of that make the cost of trying to ensure a basic level of linguistic rights to anglophones in Quebec and to francophones in Ontario legitimate and worth while.

I am just not sure whether perhaps we have thought through the consequences sometimes of saying, "Well, we don't need to worry about the role of the French language," whether in terms of federal services or provincial services. I just wondered, is that an issue that you had a chance to discuss at all with your colleagues, or just personally what your sense of it is.

Ms Mascotto: Our group meeting on Saturday was really a wonderful experience because none of us are what you would call close friends, but through the discussions we became a unified force. We do believe basically that Canada is a celebration of varied cultures, and yes, there is no need to be in despair over the situation. There are Canadians, we believe, who will continue to try to persuade people that there is value to both languages, to many languages, and that bilingualism is a good thing.

Ms Harrington: I just wanted to continue a little further with that. Were you able to get a copy of our discussion paper?

Ms Mascotto: Yes, I just got it this morning, thank you.

Ms Harrington: The eight questions in it are the ones that we were hoping that people would deal with and very sincerely look at.

Ms Mascotto: We would probably be willing as a group to go through this at a later time.


Ms Harrington: Great, if you could, because obviously you are very dedicated people from the community. If you could put in that other hour and more and get back to us with something, we would appreciate it.

Ms Mascotto: Yes, thank you.

Ms Harrington: One of the questions dealt with justice for Canada's aboriginal people, which is something I would hope you would look at. The other question, which Mr Beer I think was dealing with, was the role of the English and French languages in Canada. As you know, that is a very divisive issue. Would you be able to summarize how you personally feel about that role of French and English in Canada?

Ms Mascotto: I think Ontarians and Canadians learn many, many things. We are all subject to learning every day. We learn in school and we can learn other languages, to at least understand and accept and celebrate in the joy of other cultures and the use of other languages. I should add, Mr Chairman, that I have travelled extensively too. Many of your prior speakers have noted that, so the feelings may come from having travelled.

The Chair: Thank you very much for your presentation.


The Chair: Our final presenter this morning is Kenneth Koprowski from the Rainy River District Community Legal Clinic.

Mr Koprowski: Thank you, Mr Chairman, members of the committee. Just to give you some idea of where I am coming from, I am a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada and have been a member of that august body since 1974. I had been in private practice in London until the early part of last year. In April 1990 I took on the position of executive director of the Rainy River District Community Legal Clinic, sponsored by the Ontario legal aid plan. It has its main office in Fort Frances, Ontario, and a satellite office in Atikokan. I oversee both offices.

I recognize that there are at least two difficulties with being the last scheduled speaker. From my point of view, one is that after hearing all the other speakers, I realize they are a tough act to follow, and second, from your point of view and the others listening in and the cameramen and what not, I realize it has been a long two hours and people are getting restless and they want to end. Let me assure you that I intend to make my comments brief. That does exist -- a lawyer who makes brief comments.

I am not going to get on a soapbox. I simply wish to share with you some concerns that I have. I am pretty good sometimes at raising issues; I am a little deficient in coming up with answers to those issues. I wish I could come up with something that would be a panacea for all our difficulties, but I cannot. I know I cannot and I am not so sure that there is anyone who can.

However, I implore you, let not the deficiencies in this presentation in any way detract from the significance or the importance or the substance of the issue that I wish to address you on today. That issue is the one issue, the question raised in your discussion paper: How do we achieve justice for Canada's aboriginal peoples?

There is no doubt in my mind, as I am sure there is little doubt in yours, that this one question alone could take up all the time that you have in these public forums. I am not certain that I myself today can give justice to that in the time that I have been allotted. Let me just say that when I was called yesterday and invited to make a presentation, I made arrangements to make the oral presentation and then submit a written brief in the not-too-distant future.

However diverse the many particular issues may be in this question, the answer to this question very often comes down to resolving the often unnecessary conflict between the issue of recognition of self-government and that of granting self-government. I say "unnecessary" because the Indian Act, for the most part, already has preserved the former.

Official recognition of the fact that aboriginal peoples have had their own legitimate forms of political institutions is only very recent, in the 1983 report of the special committee on Indian self-government. For a long time aboriginal people relied not so much on the written word but on a variety of distinctive ways to organize, operate and record political ideals and institutions. A dominantly non-native society did not appreciate these effective means of self-governing, but instead attempted to impose a uniform set of what I would call Euro-Canadian political ideals on vastly differing native societies from coast to coast.

As I said, I am not so sure that I have a complete answer for this, but I somehow feel very strongly that part of the solution can be summarized in the three words: honour treaty rights. Ostensibly, section 35 of the Charter of Rights was to protect those rights except that the section has been interpreted to refer only to those rights that existed as at 17 April 1982, the date that the Constitution Act became law.

This in itself seems to be an injustice. Why should it be so restricted? Why should it not include even pre-1867 treaties? The Ontario case of Agawa prescribed a public interest in conservation purposes should prevail over rights originally granted to the natives. On the other hand, the Alberta case of Arcand gives priority to the original rights thesis. We must question therefore why those treaty rights should be subject to the rights of others who themselves came on the scene only after the treaty was signed. There may be answers; maybe it depends on the wording of the treaty. I do not know, but one has to question that.

Does government give in to the interests of private groups and associations whose interests are at variance with those of the native population? I do not know and I am not implying an answer. Is it because those voices of those groups are louder than the natives? I do not know that either. But if it is, then that attitude goes only so far until you have a summer of discontent as we have just experienced. Why not therefore amend regulations under our statutes dealing with such things as hunting and fishing rights in order to give credence and effect to the original treaties, or is this to be avoided as well in order not to offend some popular interest group?

Remember the treaty was there first. Give priority to those treaties and remember always that doing what is right is not necessarily that which may be politically popular. I am not implying at all that in the past things were done only to be politically popular.

Consider as well our province's income maintenance legislation: Family Benefits Act, General Welfare Assistance Act. Take the time to listen to native groups when they suggest methods of amending the legislation to reflect the needs of natives particular to reserve life. Listen to them when they suggest ways in which to set out more appropriate criteria for determining entitlement to social assistance because of difference in life on reserve as opposed to off reserve.

Expand the entitlement to special assistance needs that are particular only to reserve life. Is it time to review the provisions of CAP, the Canada assistance plan, as it relates to allotments to provinces to assist these people? Consider their housing needs, the dilapidated state of some of their buildings, their lack of proper sanitary and sewage facilities. This cannot be left entirely in the hands of the federal government. Your government discussion paper itself recognizes this.

What about the administration of the justice system towards natives? Are more natives being placed in jail than non-natives for relatively minor offences under, for example, the Provincial Offences Act. If so, why? Should the present penalty provisions of the act be amended? Should some of the procedures be amended? Why not watch closely the experiments in Sandy Lake and, I believe, Attawapiskat where natives administer the justice system using a combination of provincial federal laws and Indian customs? Why should they be restricted or this plan be restricted to isolated communities? Why not consider more appointments of natives as justices of the peace or more native lawyers as provincial judges? Get the native perspective on the bench.


What about working with the federal government in trying to bring about greater self-government on reserves, not necessarily all at once but gradually over a period of time? I do not think it is reasonable to expect that the natives on reserves can suddenly know overnight how to resume self-government when we have deprived them of that for almost a century.

Why not also consider, as part of that self-government, entering into co-management agreements with our provincial Ministry of Natural Resources, relating to the resources on reserves and in treaty areas? Who created the environmental problems in the first place? What about, therefore, greater legislated controls over the polluters of our environment, or will this too offend private interest groups?

Indians are not, nor they should be regarded as, simply crown subjects in need of protection and so-called civilization. They are not utterly incapable of managing their own affairs, as some might have implied. Your government now, sir, has a golden opportunity to make Ontario a leader in establishing greater native self-administration, not necessarily to the complete exclusion of the provincial or federal governments, but by instilling in them greater confidence, over a period of time, in their ability for self-management, to an extent that they feel it is within their capabilities, as ongoing dialogue will reveal.

Your own discussion paper states that if Canada is to endure, it must change, it must reform and renovate. If you truly mean that, then you will inevitably be faced with making decisions which, although not necessarily popular, will nevertheless be made with that end in view.

Someone once said, and I think this might be a sign of the times, that a non-native, envious of the monetary grants, tax exemptions and other benefits granted to natives, said that he wished he were an Indian. The reply given to him was that if he wished to be an Indian, all he had to do was give away everything he had and wait 200 years.

Consider seriously what the natives want. Listen to them. We have been told by your various representatives that your government is a listening government. Put an end to that waiting.

I do not have the answers, ladies and gentlemen. As I said, I raise the issues. I wish I had the answers. How do we achieve justice for Canada's aboriginal peoples? I cannot answer that in one sentence. But walk a mile in their shoes, see things from their perspective and do unto them that which you would want them to do unto you if you were in their circumstances. I told you I would be brief. That is the end of my submission.

The Chair: There are just a couple of minutes left. I am not sure if we will be able to get through all the questions. Let Mr Winninger start.

Mr Winninger: Thank you, Ken, for your impassioned plea on behalf of Canada's natives. We certainly heard some rather compelling submissions yesterday when we were in Kenora, and your submission certainly follows logically from those. Since the native land claims decisions you cited, there have been some Supreme Court of Canada decisions, as you know, in Sioui and Sparrow, and both levels of government, I believe, are taking steps to come to terms with those decisions which tend to enshrine native hunting and fishing rights. Certainly charges were dropped by our Ministry of Natural Resources against members of the Golden Lake band for hunting and trapping in Algonquin Park.

I applaud your arguments with regard to developing self-government for natives. I would ask you a question, though, related to something a little different. You bring a rather unique perspective, having lived in an urban city in southwestern Ontario and having practised law there, and then having elected to move up to this area. I wonder if that perspective gives you any different views on the future of Confederation than someone coming, say, just from the south or just from the north of Ontario, might have.

Mr Koprowski: It was one of my better moves, I might say. Let me just say that the perspective has changed as a result of my coming north. My views now are affected by what I have seen since coming to the north. I do not think they have really been affected very much at all by what I saw in the southern part of Ontario, because in a much larger centre I certainly did not have the interaction with such issues that I do now, necessarily, in a smaller centre where such a larger part of the population is native. Moving up here certainly has changed my perspective.

Mr Winninger: How has it changed?

Mr Koprowski: It has made me more aware of the concerns and more aware of the issues. I really was not aware of them down in London. That is not to say that people cannot be aware of them in London. I am just saying that I was not, but because of the move to a smaller centre where you have more interaction with these people, I have become more aware of them.

Mr Beer: I thank you for your presentation. I would not want you to be at all concerned that you were the last one this morning, because frankly I think in some ways you have answered some questions. Maybe I can throw something back at you so that when you sit down to write it may come back from you in more of a, "Why not try this?"

It seems to me we keep searching for what we should be doing as a province with the native community and working with it, and in point of fact there are a number of things that have happened. You mentioned some of them, the policing arrangements and the co-management agreement in Temagami, for example; in the social service area, the arrangements on children's services; on welfare services, Weechi-it-e-win Family Services and so on. You may be aware that in the drafting of the new social welfare legislation which is bringing together the Family Benefits Act and the General Welfare Assistance Act, there is native representation and in fact a special working group to look specifically at whether natives should be part of that new omnibus bill or whether we need to have something separate and distinct to try to address some of the issues.

Mr Koprowski: I am aware of that. In fact I have made a submission to that group already.

Mr Beer: Oh, good. I am glad to hear that. You have talked about then, in terms of self-management and self-administration, that these are areas where the province in particular, because we do not have the constitutional responsibility in terms of the ultimate self-government -- perhaps that is the road we should be going in terms of that jurisdiction we have in working with the native communities that want to in effect take over, bring back, the right of self-management, self-administration of a number of programs, because we as a province are not going to be able to resolve all of the issues affecting the treaty rights and the role of the federal government.

I am just wondering if that is, at least in our context as a province, a road that we might be pushing in our comments to the government, be saying to continue down that path because whatever else, that will help as we get closer to the perhaps more difficult issue of how to structure self-government later on.

Mr Koprowski: Clearly, yes it is. I do not think there is any question about that, although one has to be very cautious in taking that route and not trying to do everything all at once. I think there are dangers in that, but surely that is the course to embark upon; no question in my mind.

Mr Bisson: For an individual who comes here and says he does not have the answers to some of his own questions, I think you have done an extremely good job. I think it is the honesty in the way you approached this committee and really tried to struggle within yourself to try to first of all ask the question, because at first you can ask the question; then you can look for the answer.

You mentioned a number of things. I would like to be able to sit and talk to you as an individual for about a day because I think you raise a number of interesting points. You talked about the need to be able to adjust our legal system to suit the needs of the natives and understanding their culture and doing things somewhat in their own way, because again they are not the same thinking as us, they are different.

You raise an excellent point with regard to co-management of resources. Again I allude back to the beginning:

You said you do not have answers. I think that is key to what you are saying. There are a number of things that you talked about, and I think underlying what you are saying -- and I would like to get your view on this -- is that you are basically saying that you, being the person who is transplanted from the south into the north, had the opportunity to come and live among people in the north who are somewhat different in their thinking to the way things are done in the south, and with that got a greater understanding with regard to what some of the native problems are up here and what the problems are of the northern people.

I am just wondering if you can share with the committee any wisdom you may have, and with other people out in the province, in trying to tell them that once you sit and ask the question and try to share some of the feelings of other people, then your understanding becomes different and some of the answers come forward.

Mr Koprowski: First of all, let me say that I am heartened by your referring to the south of Ontario. I still have not got used to referring to southern Ontario as down east. That is what they say here, so I am glad to hear someone still refers to it as southern Ontario.

There is no question in my mind that, as with anything, you are not really going to get an understanding of what various groups or individuals face unless you are close to them. I think, certainly in my case, in having done that by moving up to Fort Frances, that alone opened up all sorts of information to me that I would not have been exposed to.

That is the key. As far as any wisdom to grant to other people is concerned, Mr Bisson, I am not so sure that I am capable of imparting any such wisdom to other people. All I can say is what I think to be common sense. If you want to do something for someone, or if you want to help them, what you have to do first of all is understand what the problem is so that you can then determine what the solution can be, and the only way you are going to understand the problem is to interact with those people, not just read reports or read newspaper articles or something like that.

You have to hear them and you have to listen to them, and again I hark back to what I said earlier, just a repetition of what your government has said, that you want to listen. That is an awfully good start. Then, once you listen and take time to sit down with them -- if you do not have time to sit down with me for an afternoon, Mr Bisson, you can sit down with some of the native leaders for an afternoon and you will get a great deal more insight than you would from me, I assure you. But that is the key. There is no question about it. The wisdom comes from that interaction.

Mr Bisson: In closing, I guess there is one thing I would ask of you. I do not know if you presented your brief in writing to the committee. Have you?

Mr Koprowski: As I mentioned earlier, I did not have time. I will be presenting it.

Mr Bisson: I would like to get a copy and I would like to thank you because I think you raised some important points and opened the eyes of a lot of people. I want to thank you for that.

The Chair: We will end with that. Thank you, Mr Koprowski.

Mrs V. O'Neill: May I just make a request? If you are going to present a written brief -- I found your insightful statement that self-government cannot be just taken for granted from the natives and there will have to be training in self-government -- from your experience, could you say a little bit about that when you send your written piece to us, because I do think it is something we are all going to have to wrestle with. How can we best help the native population to develop the self-government structures they will need?

Mr Koprowski: All right.

The Chair: In closing this meeting, I would like to thank those of you who came to talk with us this morning. I think we have certainly found, as we have so far throughout the hearings, that there are a number of very strong feelings that exist among the people of the province and that they are feelings that range obviously and touch a number of issues and are feelings that we will try to consider very seriously as we put together our report to the Legislature.

Thank you for that and for the hospitality here in Dryden. We move on to Sioux Lookout this afternoon. If you or anyone who is following us on the parliamentary channel is interested in following our proceedings, they will continue to be televised through the parliamentary channel.

The committee recessed at 1214.


The committee resumed at 1504 in Queen Elizabeth District High School, Sioux Lookout.

The Chair: I call the meeting to order. On behalf of the members of the committee, I want to say we are pleased to be in Sioux Lookout this afternoon, continuing our hearings with the select committee on Ontario in Confederation.

This is the third stop in our trek across the province. We are pleased to be here in Sioux Lookout, particularly because we are going to do things a little differently this afternoon. Our proceedings have been broadcast so far and will continue to be broadcast through the parliamentary channel, but this afternoon we are broadcasting using the facilities of the Wawatay communications network which is centred here in Sioux Lookout. Our proceedings are being broadcast throughout northern Ontario and we will also be using those facilities later on to give people listening in across the north an opportunity to phone in and speak to us through the radio network. That is something we are also quite pleased about.

We also are delighted that we are here this afternoon at the Queen Elizabeth District High School and that we have in the audience a number of the students from the school. We will be opening it up a little later on, asking the students who want to talk to us to come forward and do so.

Before we do that, I want to do two things. First, I want to introduce the members of the committee. This is a committee made up of members of the provincial Legislature of the three political parties: the NDP, the Liberals and the Conservatives. I want to introduce the members of the NDP: Gary Malkowski; Gilles Bisson, who is also the Vice-Chair of the committee; Margaret Harrington; Marilyn Churley; Fred Wilson, and David Winninger. From the Liberal Party we have Charles Beer, Yvonne O'Neill and Steve Offer. From the Conservative Party we have Ernie Eves and Charles Harnick. Also joining us this afternoon is your local member of the provincial Legislature, Frank Miclash, a Liberal member.

We are delighted that Eligah Morris from the Muskrat Dam is here, and he will do an opening prayer. I will ask Eligah Morris to do that at this point.

[Prayer in native language]

The Chair: Speaking to the students earlier, I noticed there were a few of them interested in coming forward and sharing some of their views. I would like to invite them to do that now, if they would. Come to the table, please. For our records, we need to have your name and then you can go ahead.


Mr Koivukoski: My name is Toivo Koivukoski. I would like to direct this question to the PC representatives. I am confused about something. I have heard the word "Confederation" tossed around rather loosely over the past few months. It seems to me that what our country actually is a federation, a country in which the federal government has the majority of the prerogatives. It seems completely erroneous to me to be giving these prerogatives to the provincial governments when it was this federation our country was founded upon and that holds it together and keeps it strong, yet we seem to be giving these prerogatives away and tearing the country apart with things such as the Meech Lake accord. I would just like to ask you why we are doing this, why we are tearing our country apart like this.


The Chair: This is a bit unusual. We are more used to having people talk to us and then us asking questions, but I think anything is fair game.

Mr Harnick: I can only say that Ontario's position in determining the kind of Canada we are ultimately going to have is very important. This exercise we are now involved in is in part to decide what powers Ontario should have, what powers all of the provinces should have and what powers the federal government should have. I do not think you are on the right track if you think this is strictly a federal ball game. It is very much a provincial ball game. The provincial governments across this country are as equal as the federal government, and we now have to deal with this difficulty of determining what our new Constitution should look like, if changed at all, and I think that is what this committee is trying to deal with. We want to hear the views of you and your schoolmates. We want to know what kind of Ontario you see as being the right partner, and the right place for Ontario in Confederation.

The Chair: Are there any other students who want to come forward and say something to the committee? If there are people who want to do that a little later, please signify that to me as we go, between speakers. We would be happy to try to slot you in as we go along throughout the rest of the afternoon.


The Chair: I would like to call Jacqueline Rundle from CUPE Local 2141 to make a presentation to us.

Ms Rundle: I am here today as a resident of Ontario and a Canadian citizen. I have broad interests and activities, but due to the short notice of this committee hearing I was unable to get in contact with and receive authorization from the people I represent. Some of the people I represent in an elected capacity are the members of CUPE Local 2141, the municipal workers of the town of Sioux Lookout. I am involved in the Ontario division of CUPE, that is, OMECC, Ontario Municipal Employees Co-ordinating Committee. I am the area 1 rep for the north. I am also on the race relations committee in Sioux Lookout, on the advocacy committee.

Unfortunately, I cannot speak legally for any of these people, so the views I present today are my own, trying to keep in mind a very objective approach, realizing that what I have put down here is ridden with problems from many angles. I have tried to be very objective and I hope you will bear with me.

The Chair: Just before you proceed, I want to be clear about time. As I said earlier, we want to leave as much opportunity as possible for people to phone us later on, so if you are able to keep your presentation within 15 minutes we would really appreciate that.

Ms Rundle: I was slotted for 30.

The Chair: That is why I raised it, because for individuals we have 15 minutes. If you would bear with us, we would appreciate that.

Ms Rundle: Okay. What do Ontarians want and where are we going? To begin with, I would like to look at the values that I believe we uphold and share in Canada.

We have an excellent medical care system. I would like to see it kept that way. Worldwide we are envied for our excellent medical plan, and it is not to be undermined by federal or provincial policies. I understand that on Friday in Parliament a bill went through that is going to begin to undermine this. I am very concerned about that.

The education system we have is available to all. We have an excellent quality of education. Again, it has its problems in certain areas and regions, but basically, from my worldwide travels, we are envied for it as well.

The various cultures we have in Canada, I believe, create a beautiful mosaic of people: our music, our different languages, the immigrants who come who enhance our uniqueness as Canadians. Other values: The aboriginal ancestry gives depth and understanding to Canada. If you combine the Inuit, Cree, Mohawk, Haida, Ojibway, etc -- I cannot name them all -- they again add to the mosaic of Canada.

The democratic system of government, of the people, by the people, for the people -- constantly, no matter what I hear in the media or even what I see happening in aspects here today, I realize we are the people and we have to speak out. I really treasure the democratic system.

CBC radio and television quality broadcasting enriches the lives of many people, especially in isolated areas such as here and beyond. That is the only way we have of keeping in contact with the world.

International reputation: Canadians are well thought of in Europe, Australia and Scandinavian countries. I do not know how the world war we are in right now is going to change that, but basically we have a good reputation.

The labour laws in our country are something I value very highly, and I know the people I work with and for really value that. It gives the workers rights and recognition to organize and improve their working standards.

The international economy: Canada must secure the country's future, exports and trade, but not at the cost of Canadians' jobs or livelihoods. Free trade has taken so many thousands of jobs away from Canada. Why do we call it free trade? What are we trading?

Ontario must be the safeguard, set the policies, as we are a have province and looked up to by many of the other have-not provinces. Only when Canada is secure in its own country regarding its economy can we begin to branch out -- again, not at the cost of the working people.

Federal and provincial governments: What is their role? Seeing you all here today, the three parties represented, made me feel good and realize that we must work together, not against each other. We have a federal government that says it represents a majority of the people of this country, yet it sets policy and implements actions that the majority of the people do not agree with and find it very difficult to accept.

Some examples are free trade, the GST, cutbacks to the CBC, undermining the medicare system, reducing Via Rail service to isolated regions that need it and reducing transfer payments to the provinces, thus increasing the tax load on the provinces. What is happening to this money they are holding back? Are the Canadian people given any account of that? Ontario must lead the way, speak the voice of the people and not allow this eroding of Canada to continue.

Aboriginal justice: The treatment past and present of the aboriginal peoples of this country is shameful. There is a trail of broken promises that has caused so much suffering. It is unthinkable that we allow it to continue. It is time to clean up our act and let the aboriginal people have their own voice in what happens in their lives. The Ontario government is given the challenge to make this happen. If I could just go on a bit here, we look at South Africa and we shake our heads in disgust. We look at Australia and its apartheid and we shake our heads in disgust. We look at the treatment of the Negroes in the United States and we shake our heads in disgust. This summer in Oka, what did we do about it? Did we shake our heads in disgust? That is a very important issue.

Language and the French-English issue: I used to think when I grew up that Canadians were tolerant, loving people, but due to the federal policy, the language issue has turned into a hate issue. What is happening to us? We must accept each other for what we are. We are different, unique and special individuals with different backgrounds, and the leading politicians -- all of you sitting here today -- must lead us out of this mess. It is unacceptable the way it is. It is turning us against each other instead of to each other. I could go on and on about this.

I think it would be very sad to lose Quebec. It is a part of our country. It is part of our Confederation. It is what helps make Canada what it is today. What are we going to do? I could go on about pre-Constitution days, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms -- freedom and rights for whom and for what parts of Canada? -- but I will not. I am time-limited here.


The regions: Atlantic, west and north: These isolated, smaller-populated regions feel they really do not matter much to the rest of Canada. Train service has been cut down to an almost non-existent level and northern tax deductions are being eroded. Fuel, transportation, medical, food, clothing, education and living costs are so very expensive up here, but no one is listening. These isolated regions need to be heard from and represented in government on the provincial and federal levels. The heartland region, southern Ontario and Quebec, must shoulder some of this responsibility and help to take part in the care of the less fortunate members spread across the rest of Canada.

What does Ontario want? I would like to dwell more on how we build the bridges we need to bring all this together. I see in my vision the Ontario government providing leadership and accepting its challenges with a positive, progressive, humane attitude. The province of Ontario can do the following:

It can secure jobs for its people and not let them be sold out across the border, set policies that ensure jobs for its people. How many times in the papers have we all read where X amount of millions of dollars were given to a company in southern Ontario, then you follow it up a year later and the company has pulled out of Ontario, down to the United States or Mexico, and the people who were left working there have nothing left?

Let's listen to the aboriginal people of Ontario and honour their rights. Let's listen to the women of this province and begin to implement policies that honour their rights. Pay equity that was implemented in this province is inadequate. I worked with it; it is a shame. It is a shell of something that could have been something really great and grand. In our own town we are still dealing with a lot of backlash from this. Social programs must grow to suit the people's needs, not diminish to suit a political party's budget needs.

Vehicle insurance must be fair.

Workers' rights and provincial labour laws must ensure that the workers of this province are respected and regarded as a people, not as a commodity or a piece of equipment that wears out. The Workers' Compensation Board must be overhauled to ensure that the pain and suffering of the injured worker is a top priority, not how much it costs. Let's see what is really going on there and do something about it.

Senior citizens' pensions, housing, medical care programs, etc: Again, it is another whole issue that deserves hours of attention and I do not have it right now.

I believe that we the people of Ontario have a big challenge before us. The government of Ontario has an even bigger challenge, for it has to please us all in some way. But I believe that by working side by side and including the people of the province as part of the solution and keeping them informed as to what is happening and setting up more hearings like this one, with more notice so that everyone receives enough notice to organize and make a complete presentation -- I think that is very important, as I believe that today you have only touched the tip of the iceberg. There is more to come. Thank you for this opportunity.

The Chair: I know there are some questions and I will give people an opportunity to ask those and you to comment. I just want to say on behalf of the committee that we are quite conscious of some of the concerns you raised about the process and the time, and we realize that that is an issue for us to deal with. We certainly see this as the beginning of a discussion process and we will be looking for ways to make sure that that discussion does continue in the months to come and following our interim report.

Mr F. Wilson: You have described those things we hold dear as Canadians and as Ontarians, things we pride ourselves on having. You also describe some of the problems we are having with different aspects of those very things. You have given the government a challenge and what you think the government of Ontario should do.

As a labour activist, I would like to ask you what role you see organized labour playing in addressing some of these problems and addressing the matter before us today, the future of Ontario. Labour being under siege as it is right now from various aspects of our society, even so, what kind of insight can you give us, what kind of suggestions do you see for labour as an organization to play in the rebuilding or redefining of Ontario?

Ms Rundle: It is no secret that behind the NDP stand a lot of workers of this province, indeed across Canada, because it has been the only voice that really seems to have answered their needs over the years. If you read your history, it is all there.

I think a lot of the labour people are very organized. For example, on OMECC, which I am on, there are 10 areas in Ontario that are divided up so that every region gets representation, and those of us from the north who come from the very small locals are funded so that we can come down and be given the respect and the time to make our presentations, etc.

I think they could both learn from each other and I do not mean, as labour, it is just, "Union, rah, rah, rah," which I happen to believe in, but it is the workers of the country who really have to be listened to. Only 35% of the labour is organized in Canada. So people just seem afraid to mention the word "union" in a workplace that is not organized, and I think people -- like here in our own town, the difference in wage between organized labour and unorganized. So I think they can work together and learn from each other. I think with the present government in Ontario I am looking forward to that happening and being pace-setters.

Mr F. Wilson: I realize the connection you are talking about; I come from that background myself, but the approach we are taking here of course is called a non-partisan approach. All three parties are dedicated to redefining Ontario, defining our role in the new, renewed Confederation, or whatever form it is going to take. Organized labour, 35% or not, is really the voice of labour in Canada, because it is organized. I am wondering if you have a role, perhaps, for those organizations that represent those people, something that will take them beyond the normal and necessary reactive protection that they must do for their members to become, I do not know, a voice perhaps for all workers in Ontario. Is there a role that you see there?

Ms Rundle: Being where I am, I know where I am at. I cannot speak for them. I cannot speak for the president of the Canadian Labour Congress or Ontario Federation of Labour or whatever.

Mr F. Wilson: If you could speak for them or to them, what would you say?

Ms Rundle: I think we are doing a great job and let's keep it up. That I am here today, able to get time off work, arrange things so that I as a labour activist could get on this thing is a start.

Mr F. Wilson: That one thing, in fact, is something you would like to see, I would think, for all citizens to be able to do. It is a small thing, but nevertheless --

Ms Rundle: Yes, I would like to envision across Ontario -- and I know it is going to be expensive, etc -- but many groups, like the seniors, where are they today here? We have many seniors in this town. Were they given a chance to know what is going on? Same with the labour people. What is happening?

Again, I would like to leave what direction we should take to the people who have been elected in Ontario in the labour field. That is their job and they are doing, I think, a great job on that. I feel very confident that it can only get better.

Mr F. Wilson: Thank you. Your faith in your elected officials is refreshing.

Mr Offer: May I first say to Ms Rundle, thank you for a very comprehensive brief. It not only talks about values but it also talks about the issues and it seems to combine them both into certainly a story as to what is important from your perspective and what will continue to be important in terms of issues and values for Ontarians. I think that will be very helpful for us as we continue our deliberations.

My question deals with the issue that I think is underlying everything here. That is, of course, we are now grappling with the fact that Quebec is on the verge of asking for more powers, for more responsibilities which may have always been federal responsibilities. They are asking for responsibilities and the rights to exercise those responsibilities in fields which previously were within the federal area of jurisdiction. My question to you deals with that aspect, not so much from Quebec's perspective but from Ontario's perspective. You have dealt with values, you have dealt with issues, you have combined them both very well. My question to you is, what should, in your opinion, Ontario's role be? What should Ontario's position be, when we know as a fact that Quebec is on the verge of asking for more powers? Does Ontario have a role to play, and if so, what should that role be, keeping in mind the values and the issues which you have so well illustrated in your presentation?


Ms Rundle: I will not speak for Ontario; I will speak for myself, which I am much better at. I do not know, it is a real mess. It just seems that something somewhere along the line has gotten totally out of hand. If you give Quebec what it wants, I fear the rest of the provinces will say, "We don't have a Confederation any more." If you do not give it what it wants, by now things have escalated in Quebec in such a way that its political leaders feel they are destined to split. Something happened a long time ago, in the pre-Constitution days, that made Quebec feel very offended about the way it was being treated and it has grown to something that is beyond the people of Ontario.

I do not know. All I know is that as an Ontarian I would feel very sad. Quebec comes from France originally, or whatever, and when I was growing up it was not French Canadian or Italian Canadian or whatever; you were a Canadian. You happen to speak French? Great. Now suddenly it has turned into this two-language issue. It has gotten really distorted. I do not know what the answer is. I feel helpless. That makes me again, like I said, feel very sad about the whole thing. I fear that we are going to lose Quebec.

The Chair: Thank you for your presentation, Ms Rundle.


The Chair: I would like to call Garnet Czinkota from the Sioux Lookout Chamber of Commerce. Go ahead, sir.

Mr Czinkota: Thank you. Honourable members, I am Garnet Czinkota. I am the past president of the chamber of commerce. I have been asked on behalf of the chamber of commerce to make a presentation to you today. Our president, Dick MacKenzie, is away at sport shows and I extend his regrets to you for not being here. I was not able to gain consensus of a lot of the chamber members prior to this presentation due to the short time that I have had to prepare. The remarks I make, correspondingly, are therefore mine and they are tempered with the concerns of friends and business acquaintances.

Sioux Lookout, the town I was born in and raised in, has changed dramatically over the past few years. The community is now composed of about 40% native persons. This has happened in a very short time that we have had this demographic change. These changes have brought social and economic problems and benefits to Sioux Lookout. A recent race relations committee report entitled Together We're Better highlighted some of these difficulties. On behalf of the race relations committee, the chamber of commerce is pleased to have presented you with copies of the report Together We're Better. I just gave them to Tannis at the front there.

The solutions to these difficulties are being found by the people who live here. They are being found because we want to live together. We in Sioux Lookout believe that every Canadian has the right to an environment that is mutually supportive. In fact, resolutions to divergences arise through a process of "novelty in combination," which in turn enables individual groups to achieve essential empowerment.

The solutions from the people, to be effective, must be bottom up, both created and driven. In Sioux Lookout we realize that we have here locally a great need for training programs. In order to provide the opportunities for self-advancement, we need to offer educational programs that allow people to compete successfully for jobs. In doing so, they will increase their self-worth and they will be able to make a valuable contribution to Canada. I believe that Sioux Lookout will prosper and grow in the years to come because of the commitment that people have to each other. We in Sioux Lookout believe that together we will be better.

Over the past several days before coming here, I have tried to gain a consensus from my business acquaintances in Sioux Lookout as to how they feel about Canada. By and large, they are proud to be Canadians, but they are not really sure, like I am not sure, what that means. The only time we are truly Canadians and call ourselves Canadians is when we are out of the country, visiting some other place. Then we will identify ourselves to our hosts as Canadians. The rest of the time, when we are at home, we identify ourselves by our ethnic background or the region we are currently living in. This confusion of national character has come about in the past 10 to 15 years and is one of the contributing factors, or resulting factors, that has been caused by Canada's multicultural policy.

To gain the support of Quebec, the last several federal parties in power have rewarded Quebec with subsidies and grants out of proportion to the rest of Canada. The federal government has become designed more and more along traditional French lines. Knowledge of the French language has become a prerequisite for advancement within the civil service anywhere in this country.

Our Constitution has been redesigned to institute a French-style top-down government where what the citizens can do is defined and guaranteed by the state. As a federal response to this coerced attention from one linguistic and cultural group, a multicultural policy was devised as a sop to the other provinces, which encourages immigrants to replace Canadian culture with their own. The multicultural policy which was designed to enhance Canadian culture has contributed to its demise.

The federal official bilingual language policy has likewise damaged the Canadian identity. The aim of the bilingual policy was to make Canada institutionally bilingual. There was no intention to force all Canadians to become bilingual. This meant that a certain number of designated federal jobs would be done by bilingual people. It would be the same as going to work as an accountant: You would have to know accountancy to be able to do the job. It was just part of the job. If you did not have that language or that aptitude, you could not do accountancy, you would not seek that position. The whole purpose of bilingualism was to give a unilingual person the feeling that the whole country belonged to him, that he would be comfortable in Canada coast to coast. Bilingualism was never intended to allow an anglophone to live in Montreal and speak English only. It was meant to allow a unilingual person to go and get stamps at a post office anywhere in Canada, and that was the extent of it.

However, bilingualism has polarized the two populations in Canada. The number of English-speaking people in French Canada and the number of French-speaking in English Canada are falling, not just relatively but absolutely. The two populations are separating. They are voting with U-Haul trucks. They are moving to different parts of the country. That is the exact opposite of what bilingualism was supposed to do. Bilingualism was supposed to make it possible for people to live happily in Quebec City and speak English, and vice versa, but it has not. It cannot be, because there is a limit to what the federal government can do to a free people in a relatively open society. You just cannot make a Canadian by passing laws.


In a country as large and as complex as Canada, with two languages, many cultures and all kinds of conflicting interests, it is extremely difficult for people to develop a sense of belonging. You cannot achieve unity simply by preaching a political doctrine of unity.

It is not only the provinces that feel isolated and alienated but regions within the provinces, and therefore you cannot link this country together through provincial capitals any more than you can do it through Ottawa, Toronto or Montreal. We in northern Ontario suffer also from this same regional identity that causes us to feel remote, removed and snubbed by Toronto.

I think we should reject the centralist, interventionist vision of Canada which Pierre Trudeau imposed on this country more than two decades ago. That means rejection of nationwide, official bilingualism and multiculturalism, uniform social programs and huge regional equalization payments. It means returning to our roots and transferring most major government functions back to the provinces where they belong and where they were put 125 years ago. That transfer will mean that the federal government will also transfer much of its bureaucracy, tax revenues and power to the provinces. The federal government would be left with truly national functions such as defence and security. Due to our size and economic wealth, the province of Ontario has a great role to play in the future of Canadians.

The bigger and the more interventionist the national government becomes, the higher the degree of friction and animosity that is bred. We must recreate Confederation and acknowledge that this country is far too vast, far too varied for a powerful national government. The best solutions for a new Confederation will come from the bottom up and will be driven by the people who want to make them work.

At this time Quebec has opened negotiations for redefining Confederation. The considerations that Quebec has requested should be considered to be its opening position for negotiations. The rest of Canada should now respond in kind with its considerations. The province of Ontario has the right to demonstrate leadership in putting forth terms, some of which might be the following points.

If Quebec chooses to separate, it is the responsibility of the remaining provincial governments to protect Canadians. Any breakaway province must be made to realize that it must repay its debts immediately. It also must be denied the opportunity to use the Canadian dollar. It must also be denied the opportunity to use the international reputation of the Bank of Canada. It also must be denied the opportunity to forge a separate economic union with the United States. These may sound like threats, but they are actually enlightened self-interest.

If Quebec chooses sovereignty, it must be reminded that the Ungava district was Rupert's Land and will remain part of Canada unless Quebec chooses to buy it. The south shore of the St Lawrence was largely settled by English settlers and should remain part of Canada unless Quebec chooses to buy it. The St Lawrence Seaway should become an international waterway unless Quebec chooses to buy it and maintain it at cost.

Reality now is that the two founding races are becoming outnumbered. Compared with French Canadians, there are more German Canadians in Calgary, more Italian Canadians in Vancouver. Canada is not just bicultural, it is multicultural. Like other families in a crisis, Canada can only stay together if the parties involved want to make it work.

In Sioux Lookout, we have chosen to work together because together we will be better. The sheer economic dependency, as well as the dire economic consequences of separation, are the most compelling arguments for setting aside our differences. Canada, with its disparate ethnic groups, may never be as congenial a group as the Beachcombers, but there is absolutely no reason we cannot learn to share one roof together.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Czinkota. There are more questions than we are going to be able to accommodate. We will start with Mr Harnick.

Mr Harnick: This morning and yesterday we heard from several witnesses. They were all of the opinion, almost unanimously, that Canada needed a strong federal government. The reason they all came to that conclusion was because they wanted to see a Canada where national standards were set and each province had the same standard for education, for health and for other social programs. You now have an opinion that is quite different from that opinion.

What I want to ask you is, how do you justify decentralizing the federal government if it is going to lead to a Canada where each province will have different standards when it comes to social programs such as health, education, welfare? Is that not going to cause more economic disparity across this country? Is it not going to be counterproductive to all of the problems we are trying to solve?

Mr Czinkota: I do not know.

Mr Harnick: You see, I do not mean to put you on the spot, but you have brought something up, you have given us an opinion and I want to know what the basis of that opinion is because it seems to be, with respect, quite contrary to what other witnesses are telling us.

Mr Czinkota: Charles, it is a little difficult to argue very strongly that yes, there will be pain and yes, there will be regional disparity in that those provinces and areas that can afford the social services that we currently have and currently expect to continue having may not be able to afford that. In the regional subsidization and the programs that give the money from the federal government across all the provinces, there will be a lot of pain that would come out of that. But it is not working the way it is right now. I would suggest that western Canada is feeling a little ill put to have to continue to subsidize Quebec to keep it in Confederation.

Mr Harnick: Let me just stop you there for a second. Is it just a matter of this idea that people have -- and I do not for a minute believe there is any factual basis to it, but quite apart from that -- that it is a subsidization of Quebec and that really, but for that one isolated opinion, you would like to see a Canada where all the provinces are equal, or not equal.

Mr Czinkota: Not equal?

Mr Harnick: Equal in terms of what they offer to each of their citizens.

Mr Czinkota: I would like to see a world that does that for everyone, but the ability to pick up that pricetag is far beyond any government to be able to do. I do not think our interest in the humanities and otherwise will allow us to write a cheque that big.

Mr Harnick: But do you not think that what you are proposing is going to be moving quite away from that goal?

Mr Czinkota: Yes, it would be.

Mr Harnick: Okay, thanks.

The Chair: There are a number of other questions, including a few that I would like to ask, but time does not permit. If you are able to stay around, Mr Czinkota, perhaps we could talk with you informally after we end the formal part of the proceedings.

Mr Czinkota: Tony, I appreciate the offer. Thank you.

The Chair: I am going to move on to the next speaker now. I call Margaret Fiddler, who is the principal of the Wahsa Distance Education Centre to come forward. Not here yet? Okay. We will come back to her.


The Chair: I call then Brian Beaton. Go ahead.

Mr Beaton: Hello. I would like to address this group just as an individual, not representing any other group. My name is Brian Beaton and I am a white man of European descent, as everyone might see. I was brought up in a very WASP background with a strong emphasis on hard work. I grew up on a farm in Cumberland, just outside of Ottawa. I am part of the seventh generation of farmers in that area and my brothers are still farming and raising their families there.


I would like to just take a moment and acknowledge everyone who has come today to Sioux Lookout. I appreciate everyone travelling so far to come and visit our small community, listen to people like myself and take our message back to the people who will be planning our future direction in these kinds of matters. I would also like to acknowledge the Oji-Cree and Cree translators from Wawatay, who allow us to share our thoughts with the people from the Nishnawbe-Aski nation and who are here translating our words.

I would like to just take a moment and describe where I am coming from right now as a person. I am married to an Ojibway woman from the Lac Seul first nation, just outside of Sioux Lookout. Together we are raising our four children to be proud of their Nishnawbe heritage. We attend gatherings and participate in ceremonies throughout the region. My wife and my children all received their Indian names from respected elders in this area.

I work with a local organization providing a service to the isolated communities north of Sioux Lookout. I have been fortunate to visit most of the communities in the Sioux Lookout district and work with the people in the area. During the 12 years I have been with my wife I have worked with a number of native organizations throughout northern Ontario. Coming from southern Ontario, moving into the north has been a very mind-expanding experience for me. I often wondered what the north was complaining about. I think I appreciate it that much more now as a result of this experience. I have a great respect for the Nishnawbe people, their values, their spiritual understanding, their traditions and beliefs. I have learned more from Indian people than I can ever repay, and for this I am grateful.

For many Nishnawbe in this area, the native language is still their first language. The Ojibway language and the Cree language are two of the three native languages that still have the possibility of surviving. It is very difficult to raise our children to be proud of who they are as Indian people when the native language is not used in our home and when there is little support for the use of the language in our community.

By returning to Sioux Lookout, we hope we can begin to reverse this situation for our family. My brother, who is still on the farm, married a French Canadian woman who is very proud of her heritage and who has been able to retain her language because of the separate school system and her community where she grew up. The main language in their home is now French and their children are perfectly bilingual. My brother has only learned French in his home as a result of his wife's efforts, much to her credit. This is now rubbing off on the rest of our family, who attempt to speak French and are learning the French language as a result of this experience. They make the attempt to speak to my brother's children in French. I feel it makes everyone very proud that they have this new skill to communicate with others.

The Sioux Lookout school system here in Sioux Lookout is administered by the Dryden Board of Education. Education directions, policies and decisions reflect the makeup of the entire region from Ignace through Dryden to Vermilion Bay and north to Sioux Lookout. French immersion has just been introduced into our local school system. All these issues I think can be expanded upon in terms of political decisions that end up getting made at a provincial level, and that is what I am coming to in terms of my discussion.

I understand that over 50% of the children in the schools here in Sioux Lookout are native. There is a native-as-a-second-language instructor for two schools here in Sioux Lookout, and I understand that there is one classroom assistant at the school who is native. I am not aware of any other native staff in other schools in this town. This is also the case throughout most of the town, except within the native organizations here.

So often we are affected by policies created by well-intentioned people who have very little understanding of our needs. We are forced to compete with our neighbours for the limited dollars that are made available and the one who comes closest to meeting the objectives of these well-intentioned bureaucrats usually gets the pot, usually gets the money for the programs that are available.

Within the organization I work with, we have to be very sensitive to community needs or we will lose their support and our organization will not be in existence any more. That is a reality that we live with. So often these well-intentioned bureaucrats, public servants, create policies and programs which end up being at the expense of others. I find that in our case here in Sioux Lookout, the French immersion program might be one of these types of programs.

I read on Saturday, for example, in the Saturday paper, that the Lakehead Board of Education actually made a surplus of up to $62,000 for having the French immersion program in its schools from the grant structure that is in place from the Ministry of Education, for example. This is one example of the types of policies, and I want to make it very clear, for the French families here in Sioux Lookout and for those people who want their children to leave this community and go someplace else, I am really glad that the French immersion program exists here. There is nothing wrong with the French immersion program, but I do think, in my own case, for my own family, another program such as native immersion, if that is what it should be, might be in place. There are a lot of other possibilities here.

Maybe you have heard about this analogy, but I think it is applicable in this case. The government and our country are much like a house which requires many servants to maintain the various parts of it. The people who live in and use this house usually make the decisions on how their home should be managed by the servants, not the other way around. So often with public servants, we end up having to be the recipients of their policies now. I think that if servants started to dictate how your house were going to be operated, I would wonder how long they would be around. Unfortunately, in our case the public service tends to be continually growing and growing and growing. I do not know whether the effective change that is required can happen with the existing structures that are in place.

In the case of government, politicians and the public service, I feel they have been telling us how to live our lives for a long time. I am hopeful that this consultative process that is taking place today is the beginning of a new era that is happening within Ontario. On the other hand, I guess I will just have to wait and see if what is said is understood and acted upon. That is the challenge I think I present to everyone here.

One of the situations that tend to arise a lot is that in order to solve the problem, the public service, for example, has to be expanded. Another person from this area is hired by the government to provide input and also usually move into another area, southern Ontario in most cases. This just drains the region of potential leaders and developers.

In thinking about this presentation, I thought of the French people and aboriginal people in terms of all of these policies and programs enacted to meet their needs. Often in the case of aboriginal people, the discussion boils down to, "This is not our responsibility; this is not our area; this is federal jurisdiction; this is provincial jurisdiction." The ball gets tossed back and forth. As a result, many people in Ontario are living in Third World conditions.

People will only put up with this type of treatment for so long before they decide to do something for themselves. They act much like caged tigers pacing back and forth within a small space set up by someone else to work within. If given the opportunity the cat will usually choose freedom, and who can blame it? I would suggest that the same exists for Indian people and for French people in this nation.


I would just like to conclude by making a couple of recommendations from this discussion.

I think the values of greed and exploitation of both people and natural resources that exist within our dominant European culture and reflected in the policies and programs that are in place in a lot of the cases need to be replaced with traditional native values of sharing, truth, kindness and strength.

All people deserve equal treatment and respect for their differences, and recognition that aboriginal rights and aboriginal treaties need to be honoured and built into the Canadian Constitution.

All regions and all people should be able to negotiate as equal partners in our Confederation.

Finally, appreciation that change is happening around us. It should be appreciated and celebrated when people and natural resources are not being exploited by others. I think change can be good, not for the sake of change, but when good directions are taking place. Thank you.

The Chair: Thank you very much, Mr Beaton, for sharing with us some of your personal experiences and projecting those in some suggestions for us. We have a couple of questions.

Mr Malkowski: I really appreciate your sharing your experience and what you have seen between the native and the French community in northern Ontario.

Regarding the Constitution, what would you like to see included -- the recognition of a government structure giving power to the community, including the French and the native community, to aid them in developing among themselves? Should the structure recognize what they want rather than having the government dictate what they want? And on this, what kind of policy can you recommend to the government that it not show the community but that the community show it? I wonder if you have any suggestions on how this may work.

Mr Beaton: I think this process that exists today is a good model. I think if people invite others to attend and participate as equal members in a discussion where those values that I just shared were present, where there is the respect and the openness that can exist, that would be a constructive first step. I think I am not the right person, coming from my WASP background, to answer your question about the French and the Indian people. They need to be asked, they need to be listened to and they need to be respected in that discussion.

Mr Malkowski: If I could just have a supplementary question, on the situation in Quebec, my question is: Should they have recognition as a distinct society and what would your reaction be to that? Are you in agreement? I am just interested in your perspective.

Mr Beaton: Well, I am not sure what it means, "distinct society." I think they are a special group of people with a special gift that we all can learn something from. I do not know what else to say in terms of what should be granted. I think whatever needs to be granted that can show these values I have talked about needs to be put on the table and discussed openly and in consultation with others.

The Vice-Chair: We have a couple more minutes. We will go with Mrs O'Neill. If we are able to keep it short, we might be able to get another one in.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: I cannot make that promise. Mr Beaton, you have really touched my heart.

Mr Beaton: Meegwetch.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: You have used many words that I feel are so fundamental to what Canadians are all about. You have talked about your marriage and you have talked about your brother's marriage. Although your wife and I will likely never meet, we have something in common. We both married men from down east. As you know, this is a person from the southerly part of Ontario here. I from Ontario, from Ottawa-Rideau, married a man from the Maritimes and my marriage did what yours has done for you. It brought me to a new culture, a very different culture, and I feel that it has made me a better Canadian.

You talk about gifts of people one to the other, and that is what you have got from your marriage and what you are giving to your children, and I think that is what we should be talking about when we are talking about the Constitution and how we can achieve that. I just want to tell you that I represented the area of Cumberland on the Carleton Roman Catholic Separate School Board as well as on the Carleton Board of Education, and today when I walked into this school I also met a person who had taught in the town of Richmond, so Sioux Lookout has been very welcoming for me and I will remember it dearly and your presentation with great treasure. Thank you so much.

Mr Beaton: Meegwetch.

The Vice-Chair: Very good. That is all the time we have unfortunately. There are a number of other people who wanted to talk to you, and I think that expresses some of the insights you brought to this committee. I would like to thank you on behalf of the committee.

Mr Beaton: Thank you very much, and good luck.


The Vice-Chair: We are going back to the top of the order. So that you people out in the audience know, they changed it all here; very confusing. James Cutfeet of the Northern Nishnawbe Education Council and Margaret Fiddler, principal of the Wahsa Distance Education Centre. Is Margaret here as well?

Mr Cutfeet: She will be coming along as soon as possible. I will start with the presentation and she will join me.

Good afternoon, Mr Chairman and members of the select committee, ladies and gentlemen. If at some point in time the presentation seems to be disjointed, it is because the copy of my presentation came off the computer just a while ago. So be patient with me and we will see what happens here.

I am going to present at this hearing some of the concerns or the issues that have been expressed over the course of the years that I have been involved in native education.

With that said, I would like to welcome you to the southern part of northern Ontario. Sioux Lookout is the gateway to the north and gateway to the south for us. Like the farther south, we have highways, year-round roads, railroad and trucking services, electricity, water and sewage systems and central heating in our homes and buildings, access to daily newspapers and CBC television news coverage, telephones and fax machines.


The Northern Nishnawbe Education Council works with 23 first nations located just north of the 50th parallel to Hudson Bay. There are no highways. Some of the communities have winter roads on the ice. There is no trucking or railroad transportation. Freight must be flown in at costs such as 70 cents a pound to Muskrat Dam and $1.16 a pound to Fort Severn.

None of the homes have indoor water or toilets; only some of the communities have been electrified. There is no CBC television reporting on the Gulf war and no daily newspapers. There is one telephone in Slate Falls and North Spirit Lake.

The school in North Spirit Lake has been closed repeatedly for sewage, water and heating problems. It is infested with cockroaches and rodents. About one third of the school population is infected with contagious health problems directly as the result of the lack of the amenities that we take for granted.

This is Ontario, this is Canada in 1991. Where is the equality of opportunity or equality of outcome?

The first comment that I would like to make is directly to the select committee on Ontario in Confederation. The Premier may have announced the committee in December, but we received no information. Our provincial news comes through the CBC from Winnipeg. Until Wednesday of last week we had not heard of this committee.

We object on two grounds:

First, as northerners. There was no public information before last Wednesday. Federal and provincial announcements take longer to get to the north, if they ever get here at all. The time frame was too short for a properly prepared brief. You are beginning the hearings here less than one week after announcing the dates for the presentations, at least to our knowledge of the information.

Second, as native people. We see no plans to go to the northern communities. No information was sent to any of the native organizations locally -- there are nine in Sioux Lookout -- or to the NAN office in Thunder Bay. The Nishnawbe-Aski Nation represents 46 first nations in northern Ontario.

A major question of the community has to do with the rights of native peoples in the Constitution. It appears you were not planning to consult native people and native organizations. The process does not take into account any of the residents of the northern isolated communities.

This committee is dealing with important questions that will impact on the daily lives of Ontarians and Canadians. If this is truly a consultation process, then consult. One week's notice, one day for presentations, is not adequate consideration or consultation time.

I state the obvious when I say that there is prejudice in Ontario and Canada -- the overt, the obvious and the ugly, but even more damaging, the covert and systematic: school texts that talk of British attacks and Indian massacres, texts that present Canadian history from the perspective of British imperialism but not the point of view of the first nations. Polish children did not read of the Russian occupation of the country. From the perspective of the first nations, Canada has been an occupied country for 400 years.

Canada presents itself as a peacekeeping nation, a first nation of justice, a nation that welcomes cultural diversity. Canada treats its first nations people like second- and third-class citizens. It is time for the country to formally apologize and begin to redress the situation, address the inequalities. The United Church of Canada recently has had the moral fibre to make such a public apology.

We as Canadians can thank a native person, Elijah Harper, for saving this country from the Meech Lake accord. In terms of the Constitution, the founding nations are the first nations. The British and the French were the first boat people. The first multicultural mosaic was that of the first nations, and that mosaic is fast disappearing with the loss of the native languages. The loss of language is also the loss of the culture. Not only are the governments, federal and provincial, not actively working to save the real heritage of this province and country, but they are actively assisting in the annihilation of it.

Wawatay Native Communication Society in Sioux Lookout, the only source of native-language news through radio and a twice-monthly newspaper, had its budget slashed. These hearings are being broadcast to the north via TVO. Only Sioux Lookout is being translated for the elders and people of the first nations who do not speak English. Signing is provided throughout for a much smaller constituency.

The Secretary of State of Canada completed a 10-month assessment of the state of native languages in Canada in 1985. There are 53 distinct native languages in Canada. Of those, only three will survive -- Cree, Ojibway and Inuktitut -- over a 10-year period. Unlike immigrant heritage languages, if native languages are lost in Canada and Ontario, they are lost from the world's knowledge. Canada is the homeland. There is nowhere Cree or Ojibway parents can send their children to regain the language and culture.

In 1987 the government spent $180 million on French-language programs, $18 million on heritage-language programs and a token $2 million on native language. Native-language program teachers require classrooms, dictionaries, grammars, curriculum guidelines, texts, audio-visual materials, resource staff and professional development. Literature must be written in the native language. Television programs must be produced.

Lakehead University in Thunder Bay offers the only native-language instructors program in Ontario. It provides instruction only for native-as-a-second-language teachers. The Ministry of Education does not recognize students who have native as their first language and does not provide native-as-a-first-language programs or teacher training. The native languages deserve at least the status of French and preferably of English.


It is ironic that the first nations' cultures have more status in Europe, in France, Holland and Germany, than they do at home. Our soldiers during the First World War and the Second World War did not face prejudice in European stores, hotels and restaurants.

At the Canada display at the Epcot Centre in the middle of Disney World, Canada advertises its unique first nations heritage, but at home does nothing to preserve it. Germany has huge groups that celebrate first nations festivities. Neither the Ontario nor the Canada calendar recognizes any traditional first nations festivals or holidays.

There is economic disparity. Travelling from North Spirit Lake to Toronto is like moving through a time warp from the have-nots -- have not electricity, water and sewage systems, telephones, access to news, decent school facilities that meet basic health and safety codes -- to the land of the haves.

I want to add that in North Spirit Lake there are no wealthy people and there are no street people. Toronto has incredible wealth and homeless, uncared-for, sexually exploited street children and adults. It is time the south took some lessons in humanity from the north.

There is injustice. Treaty obligations, made with the Iroquois when the English needed military allies against the French, made with the Ontario and western first nations when the government was opening the land for settlement, logging and mining, have not been met. Land claims still sit in the courts. According to information from the Nishnawbe-Aski nation, there are 300 pending in Ontario alone.

There is inequity in the application of the justice system. The government is no longer trading smallpox-infested blankets. Canada does not jail a Nelson Mandela, but the last April budget cut money for native leadership and native communications. There are many ways to silence a people.

The Chair: Mr Cutfeet, if I could interject for one second, I just want to be clear because I am concerned, as the Chair, about the time lines. We are trying to be fair and apply the same rules to every group that is appearing before us.

I understand that you are appearing together with the Wahsa Distance Education Centre, and I just want to make you aware of the fact that you have spoken to us for about 15 minutes and we have allotted 30 minutes for groups that want to present to us. I just draw that to your attention so that if you are presenting together, that is the time we have allotted and you may want to summarize the rest of the brief. We have the brief and we can read it, if you want to perhaps pick out what you think are the salient points from there. As I say, I just want to make you both aware of the time constraints that we are under because there are a number of other groups.

Mr Cutfeet: How much time do we still have, Mr Chairman?

The Chair: You have used up 15 minutes and I do not know how much time Ms Fiddler is going to need.

Mr Cutfeet: About five.

The Chair: Okay, then you can work that out between the two of you.

Ms Fiddler: He is my boss.

Mr Cutfeet: There are a few pages which I will just skip through towards the latter part of the presentation.

First, self-reliance: To be self-reliant we must have the autonomy, the authority to make the important decisions about our lands and our communities. The government assumed the right of control and wardship and we have been as orphans in our own land.

I mentioned "generosity" earlier. Generosity gives from a full heart and is not stingy. To be generous we must be loving, caring, compassionate and forgiving. Other values held of importance by first nations parents are harmony, integrity, courage and patience, trust, resourcefulness and modesty.

Tolerance of diversity: We tolerate the weeds in our neighbour's garden. We must teach acceptance and appreciation if this is to be a true pluralism. It is the differences that make a human tapestry richer.

It is time to clarify our values. It is time to insist that ethics be put back into science. It is time to ensure that the law is based on ethics. The legal system has become a lawyer's game of loopholes, not a seeking after the truth and a just outcome.

Northern Nishnawbe Education Council was established in the early 1970s and it serves 23 bands in this area. First of all, the district school committee, as it was known, dealt with the common concerns of the people and, at its incorporation in 1979, we began to deal with both: the common concerns of the 23 communities and the delivery of education services for off-reserve pupils.

The NNEC board of directors is made up of the chiefs or their appointees from the 23 bands in the Sioux Lookout district. The role that we play is to place students off reserve for further education. There are no high schools in the northern Ontario native communities. Only three of the 23 communities have grade 9 and 10 programs at home. If I may jump to the new system that we were offering our students, to give them some choice so that students whom we serve do not necessarily have to leave their home communities, I will skip to the Wahsa program, and I will let Ms Fiddler, the principal of Wahsa, explain a bit of the program that we operate now.

Ms Fiddler: Thanks, James. As James has mentioned, this is one of the exciting programs that NNEC is responsible for and has implemented. Wahsa Distance Education Centre has come into being within the last year. It started actually with initial funding from the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development last March, and as of last September we offered our first semester of accredited high school programs, the same as any provincial school or this school here in town.

There is one difference. Our students are located in 15 learning centres in 15 communities north of here. Our classroom is 200 square kilometres large incorporating those, and our teachers sit, as I am doing now, in Sioux Lookout and broadcast over the radio. The materials are sent up once a week and the assignments come down once a week and are marked that way.

It has to be one of the most exciting new projects going and I think it is on the cutting edge of what is happening across Canada with delivery of distance education. The reason it happened is because the parents, as James has mentioned, did not want to send their 14-year-old out to high school. It would be equivalent to you and me sending our children to Vancouver to live with a Chinese Canadian family, where there is no English spoken in the home, and going to a high school where there are more students than there are in one's entire home community. If you and I think in those terms, then we can understand why these students are happy to be at home.

We have found that with our clientele, our students this year, a lot of them are young adults who came out and got grades 9 and 10, went home and have had families and suddenly realized that yes, they would like that piece of paper and they are busy at it.

It is working. We have just finished our exams last week from the first semester and have proceeded this week with the next semester. The supplies were going out today and that is why I am late, sir.


I wanted to stress the fact that this program is being successful because it is run by native people and is community-driven. That is one of the points that is most important that can be related to Sioux Lookout in northern Ontario, to the communities north of us which are in the spirit of self-government and interested in self-government and are beginning to see the successes of Indian control of Indian education and like what they see. That is something that perhaps needs to be taken back to both Toronto and to Ottawa in terms of native priorities and those of possibly other groups, such as the French priorities, that when groups are given a chance to do it themselves, they prove they can do it and the self concept rises and becomes successful.

We are funded by the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and it has been extremely helpful to us. Some of the challenges have been within some of the Ontario ministries, where we want to offer accredited Ontario courses and have been considerably hampered, for example, by policies that we suspect come from the south and do not relate to the situation here.

As a result, for example, we were unable to access Contact North because it was set up and has been geared policy-wise only for provincial school boards, and Wahsa, as a native organization, is a private school but is not a provincial school board. We have been shut out in that way and continue to be shut out when there are many dollars that have been recently allocated for programming and development of curriculum, curriculum design for distance education. This again has been set up for provincial school boards and we are unable to access that.

We would like to say that we know co-operation is possible. This is why we are being broadcast across radio. Our classes were bumped this afternoon for you ladies and gentlemen coming and we are delighted that our students are now listening to you in the north. As well we piggyback on to TVOntario to get our classes up, and we realize that we are being broadcast in the south, so we know through the Wawatay experiences in liaison with TVOntario that one can work co-operatively with the province, even though it may be a federal program.

But I think the province needs to remember, with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Colleges and Universities, that eventually these students will go into provincial schools and the more liaison we can create, the better the program will be. I wanted to share that with you. I know James has some more things he would like to share as well.

Mr Cutfeet: If I can just give a general gist, starting from page 9, both levels of government, federal and provincial, in the province have transferred programs to the local level or native administration. At times there are some difficulties with regards to that as sometimes the authority to manoeuvre within that space is limited, so therefore there is usually a minimal decision-making power. At times no true consultation is done as equal partners. In the name of consultation we are advised of government decisions and actions, federal and provincial agreements and interdepartmental arrangements impacting on our lives.

We are done to or done for. That is a powerless position. There must be a legislative change on a variety of levels. The simple one with regard to Wahsa is that within the Education Act, because Wahsa is designated as private, we cannot offer services to local boards or those boards that wish to receive our services. Right now the Education Act has a one-way street where boards provide to the native residents. So with regard to legislative change, that is one simple change that needs to be looked at.

More complex: We need to be at the table as equal partners in discussions. We need those discussions to take place at the community level. Chiefs and councils cannot afford to travel to Toronto or Ottawa for short half-hour and one-hour audiences.

We are concerned about the provision of quality education to the first nations' young people. A grade 12 graduation rate of less than 10% is not acceptable in 1991, which is what we face.

We need school facilities built to the same safety, health and educational standards as the province. We need qualified teachers. Lately we have had some native teachers working in our area. About 25% are native teachers, but somehow, somewhere along the way, the Ministry of Education needs to look at ways and means to increase the percentage of native teachers who could eventually serve in our communities. In other words, Ontario must set up a more creative program to train native teachers.

Traditionally the north has been treated, as a people, as an empty storehouse, as resources for the south. When Leo Bernier became minister with the provincial government, the map of Ontario hanging in his first office blatantly reflected that attitude. It depicted Ontario as stopping at Sault Ste Marie.

An attitude change is required. The north does not exist for the profit and convenience of the south. Resources are continuously plowed into the Golden Triangle. Perhaps it is time to recommend a different system of parliamentary representation that takes into account regional differences, not just population.

The place of first nations: Consultation as equal partners is necessary to design the legislative changes that will provide for autonomy and self-government and settle the questions of jurisdiction.

We also need to look at first nations representation at the provincial and federal government levels, maybe by following the New Zealand system where certain aboriginal groups are allocated seats within the Parliament. Maybe that is one system that the provincial government, and even the federal government, can take into consideration.

Thank you for allowing us to be here. I will end my presentation right there.

The Chair: One question is maybe all that we will be able to fit in and I invite you, if you are able to, to stay with us after the proceedings so we can continue some discussion informally.

I just want to make two comments, to go back to some of the points that you made earlier in your presentation. I want to assure you that we are very serious about wanting to consult with the native communities. In fact, even before coming here to Sioux Lookout, yesterday in the hearings we heard from a number of native groups and we no doubt will continue to do so as we go through the province.

We realize that the time lines are very tight, but we also want to be very clear every step of the way that this first trek through the province is, for us, a first stage and that the discussions need to continue beyond this initial stage. We will be looking for ways to ensure that discussion process continues beyond that.

You have given us both in your presentation and in the material that you have provided us, I think, a lot of issues for us to cope with and to deal with, and I hope we can do justice to some of the things that you have put forward. But I just wanted to reassure you that we are serious as a committee about ensuring that we consult with all the constituencies, particularly with the native communities.

I think if there is one area on which there is very vast agreement among us, it is the whole question of issues that affect native peoples being something that we want to see very prominently on the agenda. I hope that will also be reflected in our report. I had Mr Bisson and there was a Charles on the list and I am not sure which of the two it was. Was it Mr Beer?


Mr Beer: I know I am speaking for everybody on the committee to say that this is an incredibly exciting project. It is not every day as a committee that we see something that clearly is meeting a real need. I am sure that the kinds of problems you are facing can be overcome, because this is just too important for everyone that it succeed. I would like to focus a question on that.

I want to also just note that this idea about native representation is one that has been in the air. I believe in Nova Scotia there has been some discussion about the possibility of a designated seat in the Nova Scotia Legislature. I think that is something we need to think about as a committee with respect to our own areas in terms of ensuring more effective representation and involvement. So I really appreciate that comment in the brief.

With specific reference to Wahsa, I was very disappointed to hear the problems you had with Contact North, because as you were starting to go through it I was thinking that at some point it was going to come to Contact North and all the marvellous things it does and would that not be great. I think these are things we want to take back with us to Queen's Park and talk about with the Minister of Education and the Minister of Colleges and Universities, because really part of the mandate of Contact North should be, I would think, to be facilitating and helping you.

The other point here, though, is, would it make sense or have you looked at the possibility of yourselves becoming a board of education and seeking that role either under the Education Act or through some special piece of legislation, so that you would be able to receive directly various government funding and programs, or is it your belief that existing as you do as a private organization, and recognizing the federal involvement, you should just make changes in terms of your relationship with the provincial government so you could participate fully in all the different programs where at the present time they say, "We can't do that because you're not linked to a board"?

It seems to me there must be some administrative things that could be fixed, rearranged, which would then ensure that many of the things which the province does at the post-secondary and secondary level which would clearly be of direct help to you could happen. I just wonder, is that something you have looked at. What might we take back with us in the form of a recommendation that would help get you better provincial support for this program?

Mr Cutfeet: Within the Education Act, the Northern Nishnawbe Education Council is recognized as an education authority by virtue of the fact that Northern Nishnawbe Education Council is incorporated. Now the problem, the difficulty that we have is that Wahsa, in order to have it as a delivery system, is under private designation. That is where the difficulty comes. My organization can enter into a tuition agreement with a school board without any difficulty, but it is the private designation of the delivery agent that is of some difficulty for us.

I had posed the question to one of the ministry officials out of Thunder Bay that maybe what needs to transpire here to resolve the issue is looking at our organization through the declaration of a political process under the memorandum of understanding negotiations, but I have not just yet received any response to the alternative that I had proposed to the Ministry of Education officials. I do not know whether they are going to pursue it or not. But that is certainly one way that this can be approached to resolve the issue and maybe have the Northern Nishnawbe Education Council enter as a pilot project, especially for this purpose of trying to create an inroad so that a native delivery agent can provide services to the school board or boards.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: Mr Chair, this is of great interest. I would like to request that we as a committee, through our clerk, send these two publications and the Hansard of this discussion to the Honourable Marion Boyd from this committee directly. I do not think we should just expect it to sift up. I think there are problems here that need attention, and I am sure Mrs Boyd would be more than happy to know of this.

The Chair: I think we can do that immediately. Then, in addition to that, we can take a look at the parts of the presentation that relate more directly to our work and again use our report for ways to incorporate those.

Thank you very much for your presentation.


The Chair: I call Laura Wynn.

Ms Wynn: My name is Laura Wynn. I am a member of Equay Wuk (Women's Group), and I am doing this presentation on its behalf.

Just a bit of background information on Equay Wuk (Women's Group). Equay Wuk translated into English means "women." Our membership consists of 106 women from Sioux Lookout, Thunder Bay and the remote northern communities. Our membership is not limited to native women. Equay Wuk (Women's Group) was established because of poor representation from ONWA, the Ontario Native Women's Association. To Equay Wuk members, ONWA is seen as an urban, politically oriented native women's organization, but Equay Wuk sees itself as a grass-roots organization. ONWA has a lot of political power. Equay Wuk of northwestern Ontario is determined to establish that same respect. In 1987, Sioux Lookout native women got together to form a northern women's group to bridge that gap. Our organization was incorporated in July 1989.

Many of the social problems of native people are the result of forced abandonment of our native language, our cultural values and traditional teachings. An inadequate local land base, lack of job opportunities and a lack of self-determination prevent our people from becoming more self-sufficient and self-supporting.

As a native women's group, we would like to address issues that pertain to native people -- first of all, women's issues. We would like to applaud Premier Bob Rae for his brave decision to have so many women and visible minorities in his cabinet. Native women have an important role. They always have and always will. We are people's friends, we are the mothers, the wives, the nurturers and the life-givers. Native women are excluded in most, if not all, decision-making, because decisions are made in Toronto or southern Ontario by men in majority. Our chiefs and band councillors are making decisions about family issues on our behalf and often without native women's input.

In cross-cultural work settings, native women experience problems with co-workers who disrespect our cultural differences and do not consider our opinions valid. Mutual respect in the workplace is a must. The need for more day care centres is urgent in the northern communities to encourage growth and development of healthy and well-adjusted native children. Existing midwives and their birthing practices that have existed for centuries are not recognized.


For too long, both levels of government have not listened to native people's concerns. Remote northern communities or reserves need an adequate land base on which to build self-reliant economies. Economically speaking, northern communities or reserves are not well off. The need for future economic self-sufficiency is of great importance to ensure the future development of viable economies for native people. The women in native homes are the ones who most directly feel the effects of a poor economy. They attempt to make the best of housing, feeding and clothing their families on meagre welfare allowances or, if they work, minimum wage.

If the governments fail to acknowledge first nations people and their sovereign right to the land, events like the Oka crisis will continue to happen. Media coverage of those events jolted the Canadian general public, but the events did not surprise most native people. The actions of the Mohawk people were what many native people of Canada recognized as the Mohawks' last purposeful solution. Oka became a symbol for native people across the country.

Language and culture: We are proud to say that most northern women are fluent in their first language, Ojibway or Oji-Cree, and it is the women in the homes who pass this skill on to their children. Language is the basis of our culture and a skill we must keep.

Geographic location, or south versus north: Geographical location has been a long-standing issue. Decisions are made based on southern Ontario's concepts and values. Transportation to many remote northern communities is by airplane only, making living costs extremely high and putting what many of you may consider essentials far out of reach for native families.

In northwestern Ontario, or the Kenora-Patricia region, you can locate towns like Sioux Lookout, Dryden or Kenora, but communities like Fort Severn, Fort Hope, Sachigo Lake, Big Trout Lake, just to name a few of the 28 remote villages, are unheard of by many southerners and government leaders.

Health care: Health care for the northern people is still a great concern. Tribal councils are negotiating for local health control, a direct result from the Scott, McKay, Bain report. We applaud the efforts of our regional organizations and the various government agencies involved.

Abortion is a controversial issue for many Canadians, but for native people culturally, abortion is unacceptable.

Legal and justice: The justice system in the remote north has many problems. There are problems with travelling courts, interpreters, remand problems, legal representation, understanding the legal system and policing. These are just a few of the obstacles for native people.

Before the arrival of the Europeans, native justice systems were already in place. Tribal laws and decisions were respected and accepted as native people looked after their own. We need more incentives and alternatives like the program that was developed and is now in practice in Sandy Lake.

Just to recap: Equay Wuk women want to be treated with respect. We want to be recognized as important contributors to the existing world we live in. We want equal job opportunities. We want to live in a safe, comfortable, pollution-free environment. As northern women, we want to be a part of the decision- and policy-making consultation process that will affect our lives and, most important, our children of tomorrow. Last but not least, we want a guarantee that future self-government agreements include systematic equality and a meaningful role for native women.

Ms Churley: I just want to speak to you for a moment and ask you a question. I am going to drive my colleagues crazy, because I keep saying that I am here as part of an Ontario delegation in the Ontario government but I was raised in Labrador, in the north. I keep bringing it up because I am in the north right now and it is bringing back a lot of memories for me, because there are a lot of similarities. One of the things I remember about my childhood in Labrador was the pitiful and awful treatment of the native people, and it is bringing back very painful memories the more I hear.

But leaving that aside, because we do not have time to discuss it now, what I remember is a lot of the respect I have for nature, and a lot of the values you are talking about came from native women. I have personally a huge respect for native women, because I grew up in a community where I knew and spent a lot of time with native women.

I would like to have more time to talk to you about the issues you raised, but I cannot do it now and I hope to see you later.

One of the questions I wanted to ask you was around the whole issue we are here about, the Constitution and Confederation and what in the world we are going to do about it across the country. One of the concerns you raised, which has been of concern to feminists and women across the country in Meech and again is coming up, is the importance of equality for women and not losing the gains we have so painfully and slowly made, I think, in all our cultures across the country.

I am just wondering if you have any thoughts on the right approach to make sure that no matter what we do as a country right now, the gains women specifically have made in the past few years are not lost. I do not have an answer, but I am just wondering if you have thought about that.

Ms Wynn: In terms of social equalities that happen particularly to native women, I think it is important that we be a part of that process, where we can be included in decision-making. As part of the constitutional issues, I think native people have to be recognized and that mutual respect needs to be there. Otherwise, there is going to be conflict. We see the inequalities we experience today. We see the problem as a result of residential schools and a schooling system that was inflicted on a lot of Canadian native people. Native people today are still suffering from those policies. I guess it makes native people more determined to be self-sufficient, to be more conscious of establishing their own choices for education, for health care, for schooling, for whatever.

Mr Miclash: When you mentioned women in places of authority, in places of decision-making, I often think of various native women I have dealt with in terms of Chief Rosie Mosquito and many councillors, a native lady who is involved in the justice system you mentioned in Sandy Lake. Has your group given any thought or do they have any direction on how they will direct other native women into such positions of power and decision-making?

Ms Wynn: Right now, we are thinking about training programs for women. For native women and native people to take control, they need to educate themselves, to go to school, to take training programs so they can take over these roles and be responsible for their own care.

We have that in mind as a group. Our projection is the whole north. Our concern is the communities north of Sioux Lookout, those women we as a group are trying to work with, to deal with, to help them organize in their own communities, to take a role in what is happening in the lives of their families, in the lives of their children, to become active, to be spokespersons, to be on different committees, whatever.


Mr Miclash: That is a very large mandate. I must say, I wish you and your group all the very best and success in this mandate. It is a very important one, as you have stated in your presentation.

The Chair: Thank you, Ms Wynn, for your presentation. I am sorry we do not have any further time.


The Chair: If the next presenter, Frank Beardy, would come forward, please.

Mr Beardy: My name is Frank Beardy. I am here as a first nations citizen who happens to be residing in Ontario. I am here as a parent representing my children. I am here because I am concerned about the future I will leave for my children. I have three children, a daughter who is 16 years old, a son who is 14 years old, and our baby son who is two and a half years old. They will be the ones who will have to wrestle with the problems and the issues we will leave.

I came here with very high expectations, feeling very good about the opportunity to come before you to talk about my inner feelings of what we are all about. I came in here feeling very happy to be a part of this process. It did not take very long after I walked through that door to feel the disappointment in the air, because we are being told we only have 15 minutes to talk about the future of our children, 15 minutes for the town of Sioux Lookout, and half of Ontario three days, for those communities that affiliate themselves in a transportation system with the town of Sioux Lookout.

I find that deplorable. I had thought that when this government, the New Democratic Party, came in, things would change, that there would not be a whirlwind of politicians coming to the north asking us how they should govern, taking the time that we consider in seconds, or not bothering to even listen to what we have to say.

I am here to talk about the future of my children, but it is going to take more than 15 minutes to do that because you have to remember one thing -- that we the native people and the residents of northwestern Ontario, the non-native population, have to educate you people, the politicians who are from the south, on what it feels like to live in northwestern Ontario. That education process, just the education process alone, will take a hell of a lot more than 15 minutes.

I listened to one of the chiefs who just called in about half an hour ago saying that he only heard half an hour before the broadcast started that this select committee was going to be in Sioux Lookout. I talked with one of the co-ordinators of the tribal council here, who told me that they only received the information this past Friday. I must say that I am very disappointed, because we are here to talk about the future of my children, the future of all our children.

[Remarks in native language]

Fifteen minutes -- I think it is not right. I do not think it is right. I think that if you really wanted to get the pulse of the people, both native and non-native, living in the north, you should spend a full week in towns like Sioux Lookout.

I was very dismayed. When I walked in here, there were about 100 to 150 high school students who were seated behind us and as soon as the bell rang, pretty well all those students filed for the door. Maybe they are trying to tell us something, and yet we will go our merry way and not listen to them. It is their future that we are trying to talk about today.

It reminds me of a story that a friend of mine related to me a few years back. Going into an office building of a major corporation in Ontario, they were touring the building. The information officer was leading them along explaining all the technological advances that the company had been able to accomplish over the past few years. The buzzer went. In mid-sentence she looked at her watch and it said 4:30. In mid-sentence she was gone. That shows you the commitment that she had to her job.


What you are imposing upon us shows you the commitment that you have in listening to us. I am not even going to try to beg that my presentation be not cut off. I am not even going to try to read the first few lines, because I am not going to water my presentation down for anybody. I am sorry that I have to speak in this language, sorry because an elder of mine said in opening prayer, "Ask the Creator to bless the people that are here and ask the Creator for understanding." I am sorry but I just do not agree with what is happening here and it hurts me because I believe that we can live and work together no matter who we are. I believe in a country called Canada. Meegwetch.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: Mr Chair --

The Chair: Just a minute, Mrs O'Neill. I want to say to Mr Beardy that I am sorry that you have chosen, sir, not to proceed with your presentation but that you chose instead to use most of the time that was available to you to make your views known on the process. I think that is fine. That is quite fair. As a committee we will take your comments under advisement.

We realize that the process that we are undergoing is not perfect. We have said repeatedly, and will continue to say, that we do not presume in the time that we have at our disposal to be able to touch every considerable perspective or point of view that there is and allow every single person who wants to talk to us, to talk to us. We are trying to do our best within the times that we have. We have indicated that we see this as the beginning of the discussion process and will look for ways in which we can facilitate more discussion, continuing discussion, in the months to come.

Notwithstanding the fact that we have embarked upon the most extensive consultation process and travel process that any committee at the Legislature has ever done, we realize that in the context of the discussions that we have before us there is a great deal more that needs to be done. It is our job to look at what we can do and to ensure that the discussion continues.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: Mr Chairman, I feel very strongly that, particularly the last two presenters, are not speaking as individuals. They came before us. They indicated they represented many people. This last gentleman told us he has had calls from chiefs this afternoon. He is not speaking for himself. I do think that he should be given the 30 minutes. I know that we have time lines. We broke some of them yesterday and I think it was for the benefit of us all that we did that.

The Chair: The problem, Mrs O'Neill, is that Mr Beardy indicated that he was in fact speaking as an individual and as such I have to respect the process that we have agreed to, to apply the same rules as far as speaking equally. The committee can always change its mind on that. I do want to indicate to the committee that we also do have at least three other people who want to speak and we did promise that we would also open the phone lines. My understanding is that there have been calls coming which have been, again, put on hold pending the completion of the deputants who are here. It is a problem time-wise that we have.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: I wonder if the deputant who was just before us would consider giving 15 more minutes in giving us his presentation. That is what I am asking.

The Chair: Well, I would be prepared to hear a little bit more on this, but I also do not want to spend another 15 minutes discussing this topic.

Mr Winninger: I would certainly concur with Ms O'Neill, if we can extend the time to this gentleman. He appeared to have a written brief. He appeared to want to present that to us and hopefully another 15 minutes would suffice so that we can hear what he has to say. It does have to do with the future of our children. It is obviously a very important issue and, time constraints permitting, I think I would ask that he be allowed to do that and that we bend the rules again to allow that to happen.

The Chair: Time constraints do not allow, but if the members of the committee wish to do it, understanding fully the implications of doing that, certainly as the Chair I will respect that wish of the committee. Mr Beardy, would you be prepared to come forward and take up another 15 minutes to give us your views?

Mr Beardy: I would have to water down my presentation if I locked myself into the 15-minute time frame and I am afraid that the impact of the presentation would not have the impact that I had wanted.

The Chair: Right. Well then, Mr Beardy, I hope that you will take the opportunity to send us your presentation.


The Chair: I call Ken Bolton in next.

Mr Bolton: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, members of the select committee. I would also like to say meegwetch to Frank for the integrity of saying it the way it is, because as Canadians we have a nasty habit of being so damned nice and polite and, like Frank, I was so disappointed when I walked in today, not having seen this document, to be told that we were allowed 15 minutes to talk about the future of our nation. Well, Andy Warhol only promised us 15 minutes each, so I suppose that is fair.

I have been talking about Canada and my love of this country and my concerns about this country for 47 years and I am not going to stop. I will stop at 15 minutes today, if those are the rules.

I would like, first of all, to introduce myself. My name is Ken Bolton. I am speaking as an individual. I was born in the province of Quebec. I have lived in eight provinces and one territory, and 10 days from now I will become a resident of the Yukon, the other territory that I have not lived in yet, so I know a bit about Canada and I know a bit about politics, and in 15 minutes I can only give you some snapshots of what Canada means to me.

I would like to use as the first snapshot some things that I saw in this briefing paper, this discussion paper that I just received a few minutes ago. I would refer you to page 25, which is the tear-out mailer. I am absolutely delighted that you are providing copies of this discussion paper in English, Italian, Chinese, French, Portuguese, Spanish and Greek. May I ask about Oji-Cree, or Cree or Ojibway? May I ask, since verbal presentations are only 15 minutes long, why we are only allocated eight lines in which to write our feelings and thoughts about our nation?

I would refer you to page 11 of this document, to the marginal note written or uttered on 10 August 1990 by the former Premier of Ontario: "I believe in Canada not only as an economic and political unit, but as the best expression of the type of caring and compassionate society that has served Canadians well for the past 123 years." Have we forgotten the fact that on the day those words were uttered, Canadian troops were deployed against the aboriginal people of this country at Kanesatake? Have we forgotten that? Is that the kind of compassionate society that Canada has become?


I would also like to suggest that if you would turn to page 17, the references to the Robarts-Pépin report and the six distinctive features of modern Quebec society which that committee found, for the word "Quebec" or the word "French" would you substitute the words "Anishnabwe" or "Nishnawbe-Aski." The six distinctive features of modern Nishnawbe-Aski society or modern aboriginal society in Canada surely include history; predominance of language, if it is allowed to be preserved; civil as well as common law, which existed before we came and said, "Ours is better; yours has to go"; the common ethnic origin of a majority of its population; the shared desires, aspirations and even fears of that nation's population, and the unique role that politics and -- I will substitute "Ontario, federal and indigenous governments" -- play in shaping that society.

If you were to look at that statement within that context, I think perhaps there might be the subject for a meaningful second visit by this committee specifically to the area north of here to talk directly with the Anishnabwe people.

I said earlier that I would talk in some snapshots. I said that I was born in Quebec. When I was a kid on the streets of Verdun, language was not a problem. I just knew that Jean Richard spoke a little bit differently than I did. We understood each other. He might have called it "patate" and I called it "potato." The thing that distinguished Jean Richard from the rest of us was that Jean Richard had a nasty habit of eating worms. Now, that has nothing to do with his cultural or ethnic background; he was just the kid who ate worms. We never thought, "He is the kid who talks that other language," because we did not know from language. What did we know? We did not know we spoke English; how the hell were we supposed to know he spoke French?

We did have certain assumptions back in 1943 about what our country was, though. We knew that it was a British colony. Well, forget the Balfour declaration and the Statute of Westminster. We knew we were a British colony; you could tell when the flags went out. We knew that there was a good party on Dominion Day or Victoria Day. We knew there was a hell of a lot better party on Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day because that was, after all, Quebec.

Then later I was a student and would-be politician in London, Ontario, and I got a new picture of what Canada was. It was a large, heterogeneous society in which people of the stamp of John Parmenter Robarts took care of us all. They made sure that the business got done and that the country stayed together and we were all one big, loving, happy family.

Then I grew up and left London, or maybe it was the other way around, and I started to travel this country more and I began to realize more and more that I had been sold a bill of goods about what this country was and what this country could be and what this country must be. I had been lied to by my history textbooks. For example, I was told that Louis Riel was a traitor. No, no. Louis Riel is not an aboriginal hero; Louis Riel is a Canadian hero. I was told a whole lot of other things too and, more significantly, not told a lot of other things.

It is only by travelling this country and living in every corner of it that I have begun to realize what this place is. What has happened in the last decade appals me because what has happened is that this country has been taken over by a kind of mindset that says a nation can be brought down to things such as GNP, PNP, amending formulas, transfer payment formulas and all that.

I say, "Bullshit." This country is about people. It is about people like Aeneas and Ursula Cody, in Lot 65 of Prince Edward Island; it is about people like Léandre Bergeron in Quebec; it is about people like John B. and Isobel Moose from South Indian Lake, Manitoba, or George Blondin from Denendeh -- people who do not think about Canada, but who feel Canada and who care about what this country is, represents and does.

Since no country can exist without leaders or without heroes, I would like to suggest that the crisis in which we find ourselves today is largely as a result of the lack of leadership and the lack of direction being provided at all levels of government. The sound you heard at 3:30 when the bell rang and those students left the auditorium was not just the sound of students walking out after class; it was the sound of chickens coming home to roost.

Our structure has not allowed the majority of Canadians to feel that they are part of the process, that they are meaningful and strong and empowered. Every one of us who has ever been involved in politics or aspired to be involved in politics or, as I have been, involved in media, who has failed to deliver that message over and over again, "It ain't our country to run on your behalf; it's your country, help us do it right," every one of us who has failed to give that message to the Canadian people has failed Canada and failed my children, Frank's children and grandchildren, and every single person in this country. We have to get it back, folks. We have to get it back.

I do not care if Quebec leaves. Let me put a caveat on that. I care very much if Quebec leaves, but far more important to me than the question of whether we are 10 provinces and two territories or nine provinces and a couple of new ones in the works or whatever is that the people of this country have a right to self-determination wherever they live. If it is the will of the people of Quebec to live under a different political system, so be it, God bless them. Let's sit down and make it an amicable divorce, because I know from experience the other kind of divorce leaves too many scars.

I am not too worried about whether Quebec separates or not, but I am very, very concerned about the kind of Canada that we have right now, the kind of Canada towards which we seem to be drifting. We have a kind of leadership, particularly at the federal level, that displays a kind of arrogance towards the Canadian people that has not been seen since Clarence Decatur Howe.

I know it is very popular to do fed-bashing. It is easy to kick a man when he is down to 12%. But we have a crisis in this country, not the crisis about Quebec or about language. We have a crisis of will, a crisis of leadership. The current Prime Minister has started a process of abrogating the responsibility of a federal government, saying, "Well, we'll allow" -- they are now called first ministers, pardon me. They were premiers at one point, which was a perfectly serviceable and bilingual word. We are now allowing the premiers to set the agenda for the nation on national issues. That is wrong. I did not help elect the Premier of Ontario to run the federal government. I vote for federal politicians to do their duties at the federal level.

We have to get back to this process of saying, "Hey, no offence, guys, but we're going to have to work some things out here." But we are not just saying, "Hey, you guys in the club can sit down and have a little discussion about how you are going to carve it up." To me, that is sort of like a scene play -- let's call it the Meech Lake Mafiosi -- where 12 people, 12 dons, sit down and decide how they are going to carve up the territory.

They say, "You can have the girls and the pinball machines, but you ain't getting the numbers or the cocaine," or "You can have the cocaine but we want the cocaine and the girls and the numbers." Unfortunately, that is about what we had last year during the Meech Lake accord. We, as Canadians, let it happen because we were not vigilant, we were not politicized, we opted out of the process. I am not blaming you as politicians. Most of you are new to the Legislature anyway, so I cannot blame you. But we, as Canadians, failed to do it. Our leadership did not help us get there.

Enough of that.

The Chair: Mr Bolton, if you can sum up.

Mr Bolton: Am I about out of time?

What happened as a result of the Meech Lake accord we all know and that is where heroism came in. Two men had the guts to say no with dignity and respect and love for this country. Elijah Harper for his reasons and Clyde Wells for his reasons said: "No, this is not the way we do things in Canada. It is not the way we guarantee justice and equality and all the things that Canada is about ineffably." I am proud, as a Canadian, that there are still two people left. I hope you will flush out many, many more around Ontario as you go doing your hearings.

Do you have a couple of questions? I will give you very quickly a couple of answers to questions you have asked. About the role Ontario should play: It is not the role of kindly uncle taking care of business or the role of would-be senior statesman; it is the role of the honest broker who loves this country and who says to the people of Cape Breton, "You are just as important as the people of Hamilton Mountain," who says to the people of Sioux Lookout, "Your aspirations are just as valid as those of the people of Eckville, Alberta."

Ontario can be that honest broker and provide the kind of moral leadership and integrity that has gone missing. I challenge you to do it, I urge you to do it. My country is in the balance and so is yours. Thank you for your time.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Bolton. We are not going to have time for questions.



The Chair: I just checked with Lawrence Martin from the Wawatay Communications Network and with the concurrence of the committee, what I would like to suggest is that we take a bit of time and go to the telephone lines and then come back. There are three other people who wish to speak. Is that agreeable? Mr Martin is going to make some opening comments and then we will go to the telephone lines.

Mr Martin: Thank you very much. I wanted to get a chance to squeeze in this time to be able to allow the people who have been waiting very patiently from the northern communities to call in and to address what is happening here. They have been calling ever since you guys have been on from 3 o'clock. The last few days we have been plugging you, saying that you are coming here. This has built up a lot of expectations. So I thought it would be quite appropriate now if we can actually start taking those calls.

There are a number of them and, again, it is basically the same thing. We do not have enough time. Let's try to do as much as we can. Also, keep in mind that Wawatay is a native communications society providing information and providing these kinds of communication services to the north. It is very important that the people actually try to speak, because we understand that there is not going to be an opportunity for the native people to speak themselves here, because the committee will not be going to the native communities up north. With that, I would like to start asking the people to call in.

[Remarks in native language]

Mr Martin: I realize that the people are always in support of what Wawatay is doing because the people themselves have been building Wawatay over the last 14, 15 years.

Here is one call already. It must be one of our best supporters. It just goes to show how important this communication system is. If we can get that call over the air, you should be able to hear it and the translation can then begin on that. I guess it is probably a Cree caller coming, so I will have to do a translation:

"Hi, this is Sarah Melvin. I am calling from Sachigo, Ontario. I suppose you do not know where Sachigo is. Anyway, I have a question for the select committee. I am very, very disappointed that they did not come to the northern communities. I am on the verge of crying and choking on my words because of how disgusted I am with the select committee that is making a tour across Ontario.

"The reason behind it is because these politicians think they know what the native people want in the northern communities. My question is, why did they not come to the northern communities? If they did come to the northern communities, I do not think they would have heard our voice because we have not been listened to for a long, long time. I do not want any excuses from these politicians. I want to know the real truth why you did not come to the northern communities."

The Chair: I am going to comment on that, but one of our members, the Vice-Chair of the committee, wants to comment first.

Mr Bisson: What people need to understand about the process here is that typically what happens with either select committees or committees in general when they tour across the province is that they are limited to a time schedule to be able to go to some of the communities in order to hear what the representations of the people are. One of the things that this committee set out to do from the very beginning is to try to address as many people as we can, to get people to come before this committee in as many places as was possible within the province of Ontario.

Now, there are a few firsts that happened in this committee. I take a lot of pride on the part of the committee for it. This is the first committee ever to travel across the province of Ontario where we are televising the proceedings on an instantaneous basis across the province. One of the reasons that the subcommittee and the committee in general decided to do this was to give everybody an opportunity to listen in to what was happening, so people were able to have an opportunity to start formulating some of their own views.

The other thing happening right now is that we recognize there are many, many communities in northern Ontario, and in southern Ontario for that matter, that would like to have an opportunity to have the committee in their community. Unfortunately, we would have to sit for the next three or four years to be able to do that. The province is very big. There are very many communities. So we opened it up through technology to the telephones, to other types of media that are possible to allow as much input as possible.

I would like to address one question in regard to the 15 or 30 minutes. Again, it is a time-lines consideration. I understand what people are saying. But the reality is that we need to have a format because a number of people want to appear before the committee. If we do not structure it in such a way, people will not have the opportunity to do so.

The other thing that I would add is that obviously we are becoming much more conscious as we travel around the province about the different perceptions and the different feelings that exist and realizing as we travel across that there are always going to be communities and there certainly have been communities that feel left out of the process. Part of our challenge is going to be how we can remedy that in the future.

I would like to take the opportunity to ask you if you have, in addition to the concerns about the process that you have expressed, any other comments that you wish to make to us about the kinds of issues that we are discussing. No? Thank you.


The Chair: Let's take another call.

Mr Martin: If I can just translate, this is Emile Nakogee from Attawapiskat, Ontario, up in James Bay.

First of all, he is sending greetings to everybody who is here on the committee and he is happy that you are in the vicinity of the native communities and you are trying your best to focus some of the discussions towards the native people in this area.

He is thinking about a lot of things as the meeting is going on, as he listens to the radio signal. He is thinking about the war overseas and how the Canadian government has committed his people to that and not really made them fully aware of what the complications could be and also not taken the full responsibility of how that kind of commitment to the coalition he is referring to will have an impact on the people here in Canada.

He is also thinking about the effect now trapping is going to be going through because you probably heard about how the Hudson's Bay Co is now not buying any more furs and how for so many years the native people depended on this for the fur sales. They were also the ones who were responsible for making the Hudson's Bay Co such a big company as it is today.

He is also thinking about how good it is to be able to hear what is going on, even though he is so far away from here. He is happy that there is Wawatay Communications to provide this signal to him. The signal is clear and the translators who are providing translation from the floor are making the wording that everybody is saying very clear so he is able to understand everything that is being said.

He is also wondering if it would be at all possible for the government to try to deal with some of these native issues over a certain length of time instead of trying to deal with so many things all at once. He is suggesting, let's try for one month to talk about all the different things that we have to talk about as native people and government.

He is also very sorry that there is not enough time to go and deal with these kinds of things, that we can only touch upon them a very little. Mr Chairman, he wants to thank you for providing this opportunity for him to be able to provide this information to you. He is asking that you think about him, that you think about the people in James Bay as you progress in this work you are doing.

The Chair: Mr Martin, maybe we could clarify. Is it possible for there to be any questions asked and answered back? I do not know if the person is still on the line.

Mr Martin: The problem is that they realize that there are so many other people who want to speak to you that they are trying to get off as quickly as possible.

The Chair: I do not know if that gentleman is still on the line.

Mr Martin: He is off it now.

The Chair: All right. We will just thank you for his comments then. We will carry on. Is there another call?

Ms O'Connor: This is Shirley O'Connor. I am a local resident here in Sioux Lookout, and I have been listening to the comments and to the presentations. I would like to commend Bob Rae for providing this opportunity to hear how we as Canadians are going to mould Canada.

Given the political beast we operate around currently, is it not possible -- I am sure a lot of you sitting around the table are sensitive enough to the fact that time is of the essence, time does not allow us to have the full impact we want. One of the things I thought of, sitting there, was that as the isolated north again is going to be left out -- I for one only heard about this very recently, which did not give me time to prepare to present to you my thoughts as to what Canada should look like -- I wonder if Wawatay could travel with the select committee in providing more information to northern Ontario. I think that is one way we collectively can reach northern Ontario, and hopefully do an adequate job or at least attempt to do it in that process, in reaching all of our people we hope to reach. That was one comment I wanted to make.

The Chair: Thank you very much. We can take a look at that suggestion to see whether it is a possibility. If you want to just stay on the air, there are two quick comments or questions.

Ms Harrington: I want to respond by saying this. I am looking at how much there is north of Sioux Lookout. Looking at this map and realizing the broadcast north of here and that this is actually the connection between the south and the north, I think it is very important for us to be here to know that and the importance of this service from here to the north.

I wanted to say to the women who are north of Sioux Lookout that we as new women in government want to have closer connections with you north of here. I also want to say that I understand some of the resentments and the concerns that have been voiced in the last half-hour or so, because we came into government -- all of us on this side are new; we have a new New Democratic government -- and we found that the country is drifting and we are in a state of crisis.

We have a great responsibility here in Ontario, and we have to take that very seriously. We are starting, we are trying, and we want to work with you. We have not the answers yet, but we are looking to you to try and help us with some of those answers.

Mr Beer: Briefly, to the caller and also the question of improving our ability to communicate, if Wawatay is really the only non-governmental group that uses the parliamentary channel for its regular programming, I wonder if we might explore with Wawatay the possibility of another phone-in or perhaps a couple of phone-in shows whereby we could reach that area and have this kind of communication with the committee. This could happen later on in the process to ensure that more people could participate, because I think this kind of contact is very good. If I am right, some of those links through Wawatay to these communities are there and we could make better use of that.

The Chair: That is something we can take a look at. Thank you very much for calling.

Mr Martin: As you can see, there are a lot of callers trying to reach the committee. It is important, and I understand what some of them have been saying to me before I got on here: Is it possible for the committee to take a look at making another trip, or when you are in another northern community like Timmins is it possible for you to go into a native community nearby? They definitely have a lot of issues that need to be talked about, and this is one of the requests I am getting.

The Chair: I think it would be fair to say at this point that our schedule for the rest of the month is fixed. To the best of our ability, we are not able to make any changes to that, but as we have indicated, there are at least two things.

One is the comment Mr Beer made about whether, as part of our stop in any of those communities -- Timmins may very well be a good example of a place where we could take a look at again providing through Wawatay a hookup so that people could phone in, at least have that possibility.

Second, as we do the second stage of our work I think we will have to take a look at this whole question of how we most effectively communicate with people across the province. Obviously, the north and native communities in the north are going to have to be an area we pay a little more attention to.

Mr Martin: It is also important to keep in mind that, as much as Wawatay wants to participate in this information link with the native people in northern communities, we also have had to sacrifice the high school courses we are offering on the radio network so that this committee can be heard in northern communities. For us to continue working with the committee on that basis, it would have to be during the day, when we do not have to get rid of the high school courses during that time, because that is very important too.

The Chair: I presume we would have to look at some evening times in order to avoid that conflict?

Mr Martin: You would have to be looking at Saturdays and Sundays.

The Chair: Okay.

Mr Martin: We have another caller.

Mr Beardy: For the benefit of the committee, Moses Anderson is one of our leading elders, who has worked with the development of Indian government institutions within the Nishnawbe-Aski nation. I hope I can do justice in translating most of what he has said. He said:

"My name is Moses Anderson from Kasabonika. The native people know who their Creator is. All peoples must not lose what was given to them by the Creator. Laws were passed down to us for many generations on how we should live together and how we should work with each other. The native people are not totally compatible with many of the ways the white man does things. We have our own way of doing things and the white man has his own way of doing things. Sometimes those ways are not compatible. We, the native people, prospered from the gifts we received from the Creator. We should always look for ways of how our people can start carrying their own affairs. The first nations people have certain inherent rights that were given to them by the Creator and no government on earth can take those rights away from them."

Moses Anderson from Kasabonika hung up after he spoke.


The Chair: Thank you very much. Do we have another call?

Mr Martin: We have a lot of technology, but it is not yet refined.

The Chair: Not everything co-operates when you want it to. Is there a call we are trying to put through?

Mr Martin: There are two calls on hold now. That was Flora Kate from Sachigo. We are going to ask Flora to call back, try again. We also had another call from Constance Lake, Mathew Sutherland. This is a call coming in from Constance Lake near Hearst.

Mr Sutherland: Can you speak a little louder?

The Chair: We can hear you. Go ahead.

Mr Sutherland: I cannot hear very much. I am Mathew Sutherland over here speaking from Calstock. I have been involved with the government about 10 years, with the federal government, and tried to convince it that we have a right to live the Indian people's life. I worked with the NDP during the election time in the past year. Also, I even tried now to get in touch with the provincial at this time.

Then I hope, myself, if I have time to speak what I have in my knowledge concerning the life of the Indian people, I would like very much to address myself right and express myself right in a proper way, but at this time the time is too short and the time also is very rationed. So I will say, myself, one thing: The history cannot repeat one more time, just like in the days of the James Bay treaty, Treaty 9, what happened during the year of 1905 and 1906.

At that time the people did not realize what hold in the future, but today, ourselves as educated youths and the people, they know much better today what they are going to answer to the white leaders in the government. Then we have a way ourselves as an Indian people how we are going to survive. This is what I would like to express, but time is too short.

As far as I know myself, we cannot look to what we were living like in the past for the future. For the future likely will be different. Just like a settlement, just like a town, similar to those things, say, "What does `civilized' mean?" In that way, when the time comes to be very hard for this in our lives, and this way, I believe, is the one we have to accept.

I would like to mention also other things which are very important, but to me over here -- I am sitting over here in the Hearst area and I have a chance to speak up with the MPPs who are sitting over in Kapuskasing. Maybe I could hold a meeting and then I could discuss fully what I have in my position.

[Remarks in Oji-Cree]


Mr Martin: I can just summarize what Mathew has said in the last part. You heard a chuckle from the people here because he said: "I am going to address my Cree and Oji-Cree speech now to the native people. You are probably wondering what I am trying to say in my broken English." This is where the chuckle came from. However, he is saying that as to the things he himself is trying to pass on to the young people, the traditional lifestyles; it has become harder and harder to do that. It seems like he too is running out of time, just as we are running out of time here to discuss these things properly.

He realizes at the same time that he cannot live in the old ways and must try to change and adapt to what is happening today, because that is what is happening in the rest of the world. At the same time, we cannot let go. We cannot just let things pass. We just cannot let these influences keep on causing us to change our ways. We must try to hang on to them as much as we can. He realizes that there has to be this interaction between the native people and their lifestyles in trying to maintain their culture, that there has to be interaction between the provincial and the federal governments, that they are responsible and that they have to be part of trying to keep the native culture intact, where it was before.

There has to be this time set aside to be able to talk about these certain things and to be able to plan them. He knows that it is going to be a hard way, a hard thing to try to do, but that process must begin, and as he said earlier we must not let history repeat itself in the bad way that it has been going on for some time.

Lastly, he is sending his greetings to every one of you and hopefully he can meet with some other members in his area, in the Hearst area soon.

That was Mathew Sutherland from Constance Lake. I just want to point out to you, committee members, that there are three different languages that are coming in -- Oji-Cree, Ojibway and Coastal Cree -- and now there is also a mixture of the Cree and the Oji-Cree from Constance Lake so there is getting to be a real moving around with the different dialects and the different languages. What we are going to attempt to do now is we are going to have one of our translators so you can pick up the Oji-Cree version that is coming in. It is going to be translated simultaneously into English.

Mr Bisson: This is a first as well, yes.

Mr Martin: This is a first and the first one who is going to do it is Ennis Fiddler from Sandy Lake. He is a translator.

[Remarks in Oji-Cree]


Mr Martin: We have one more caller from Lansdowne House.

The Chair: I think we will conclude with that call and then go back to the list of speakers.

Mr Martin: If I may just remind the committee, part of the problem of why we are having such a bad telephone signal is the telephone systems in the north. It is 1991 but we are still not there as far as proper communication systems go. These are these kinds of difficulties we always face, so I think it is one of those kinds of issues where development has to happen across the country, not only in southern Ontario or in places where votes are or where everything else is.

That also has been affecting our distance education delivery because of these kinds of communication systems not being properly in place, not properly being able to have them run effectively at all times.

We have a caller now. Okay, we will get on with this last caller and then take it back to you.

[Remarks in Oji-Cree]


The Chair: We thank him too. Thank you very much.

Mr Martin: We have one final call. This is a chief from Webequie. He has been calling a few times, so I would like to at least give him this opportunity.

The Chair: Sure. Let's do that.

Mr Martin: So the best translator in the house, Ennis Fiddler, if you could try one more time, please. Okay. Put him over the air.

Chief Spence: [Remarks in Ojibway]

The Chair: Thank you, sir, for your comments.

Mr Martin: I would just like to say thank you for the opportunity to be able to work together, to be able to provide this kind of information to the very northern communities. I hope that the future will be bright for all of us, that the world will not come to a very disastrous position. We are all very afraid, of course, and the likes of Wawatay communications in providing these kinds of services is very important to the people, as you can see. I hope that the support will always be there for all of us to be able to work together in the future.


The Chair: Thank you, Mr Martin, for this opportunity for us to hear from some of the residents of the communities outside of Sioux Lookout through the Wawatay communications network. I guess I would say that if there is any opportunity that you have over the next days and weeks in your programming as you gather comments, as I am sure you do, on an ongoing basis from your listeners, we would be happy to hear any of those comments if you were able to pass those on to us. I think in addition to the commitment we gave to explore what other kinds of additional ways we can pursue with this communication network and link, we certainly would be delighted to have any additional input from you and from Wawatay or any comments that come through to you. That would be useful for us. Thank you very much.

We will resume then with the list of the deputants that we have remaining who are present with us. There are three people. Just for the members of the committee and the public, I realize that we are running over the time we had allotted, but I think that circumstances are such to warrant that. My understanding is that the three presentations should not be that long. We will do our best to end as soon as we can. Mr Moroz.



Mr Moroz: My name is Thomas Neil Moroz. I am a Canadian citizen. I have been interested in politics since I was about 13 years of age. I would like to begin by extending greetings to each and every one of you, ladies and gentlemen, of this government committee on this happy day of 5 February 1991 here in Sioux Lookout under the sun. On behalf of all the citizens of this community and myself, I welcome you. I do hope that this hearing has not been too intense for you people to bear.

In consideration of all that has transpired here this afternoon to evening, because evening it now is, I would like to put you at ease, for I am here to state an opinion not necessarily shared by any other individuals. I am not here to keep or to score political points, as some previous speakers chose to do instead of speak. They decided to ruffle feathers. First off, I do believe that the public notice of this committee's appearance was slight. I found out myself through Ken Bolton over a cup of coffee just last evening. I do not know what the reasons are for this, but I did manage to get wind of it and here I am.

I am here to state, in my opinion, what I believe Ontario's role should be in the Confederation of Canada. Ontario's role, under the new government and leadership of New Democratic Party is the golden opportunity to lead this country or could be the golden opportunity to form a unified nation. One people under one flag with one spirit that we can call Canada, no matter where your family blood comes from. It is also time to convince the people of Quebec to lay down their differences and be harmonious, until this country becomes a nation, with a Constitution to stand together for ever and to reject the Canada-US free trade manoeuvres, until all of the aboriginal first nations' claims have been resolved to every last Canadian's satisfaction, before this essence we call Canada has been lost to history and all is lost to the so-called neighbours to the south, whom I choose to call Uncle Scam. For as Canadians, united we shall stand, divided we will fall.

In conclusion, I would love to extend my compliments to all of you, each and every one of you individually, for your efforts here today and to thank you sincerely from the bottom of my heart for this privilege, for this moment in the history of Ontario. For Canada, I thank you.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Moroz. Are there any questions? Okay.

Mr Moroz: Meegwetch.


The Chair: Next is Greg Hlady.

Mr Hlady: Thank you, Mr Chairman. I only realized that this hearing was being held about an hour ago, so I have not really had time to make much of a presentation, but I did want to bring a concept to the committee and I have a bit of a preamble to it.

As I grew up I was led to believe that we live in a democracy and I cherished that idea, but as I experienced the reality of life in Canada, I found that we do not live in a democracy. We live in a society dominated by special interests, by power brokers and by divisive partisan power structures which preclude participation by ordinary people in communities.

This type of special-interest-oriented government ultimately results in a flow of capital out of our communities, biological capital in the form of our natural renewable resources, monetary capital which is used to promote centralized development and intellectual capital in the form of our youth and our bright minds that have no opportunities here in our communities. Our communities here and across the country are being impoverished by this outdated and inappropriate form of government.

In my view, true democracy and a just society must be constructed from the ground up, from the individual and community level. Local control over resources and policymaking is central to establishing a true participatory democracy. Ultimately, if we are to build a fair and just society, we must provide a framework and process for individuals and communities to express themselves and to define their communities according to their own values. Only through such a process will the needs of all individuals and communities be achieved.

I have been working with a group called PINE, which stands for People Interested in a Natural Environment. While we are generally oriented around maintenance of a sustainable environment, we recognize that the economy and development are inseparable elements of that environment and that they must be considered and have a place in that process. What we have done, and it is still in the conceptual stages, is developed a process which we call CREED.

The word "creed" is defined as a formulation of principles, rules, opinions and precepts formally expressed and seriously adhered to and maintained. The Citizens' Roundtable on the Environment, Economy and Development, whose acronym is CREED, is a proposed process of consensus-building and decision-making within each community actuated through a public participation process involving the public and various social, economic, health and environmental and cultural and governmental sectors of the community.

The primary participants in the CREED process are the local citizens of the community. The CREED process is a participatory democratic process intended to ensure a balanced and informed representation of the various sectoral interests within the community. The process is intended to pre-empt confrontation between these sectors and to encourage a co-operative channelling of energy to benefit the community at large. The CREED structure consists of a number of sectoral roundtables which will be mandated to formulate positions representative of their respective constituencies within the community.

I would ask each of you just to envision yourselves as being a member of one community, sitting around a roundtable much like we are right now, and rather than representing different special interests, you might represent education, health, social services, environment, youth, elders, industry, agriculture, tourism, community service organizations, culture, church and local government.


In addition, a number of other seats would exist around the table which would participate as non-voting seats, and these would include the provincial and federal governments, the press and electronic media and development proponents. Imagine each of you representing the interests that emerge through the concerns expressed in the community and a secretary of each of those areas being democratically appointed which could express the views of that constituency. Imagine coming together in a forum like this and tabling resolutions as we go back to the original definition of "creed": principles, precepts, opinions and rules which are relevant to the community's own development.

Once that is done, once those principles are articulated in a non-confrontational manner, then out of that body of community values can be developed a mandate, an authority and a process by which those values can be expressed and translated into resolutions, judgements, decrees, advisories, opinions, rules. Out of those resolutions and out of that body of wisdom, let's say, management and operating regimes could be developed, administrative structures and programs could be developed which could be applied to community planning, community resource control development, environmental concerns, socioeconomic issues, and through that process the real values of the community could be expressed and could be realized over time.

This concept is just that. It takes people to make it real. It takes people to define it and to make it work, and it also takes support from the people who now hold the authority, such as the provincial government over natural resources, the federal government over, say, native affairs, and many of the resources which should rightfully belong to the local control of native peoples and other groups which may hold that authority.

It is really a prerequisite that there is a management structure in place and that there is a credible body to administer authority before authority is transferred, and I think that this is a process that we are proposing. It is something that will take time to mature and it will only mature if people want to take ownership in each of those respective sectors that I have mentioned. It is a process and a framework which we are proposing, but at this point in time it is nothing more than that.

My feeling is that if we are really going to create a truly just society, we have to find a process and framework that can satisfy the needs of people, the people I have been listening to today who have felt that they have not had a voice in policy-making. They have not been heard, nobody has the time to listen, and really we should be the ones in this community who are sitting around this table and deciding what is good for this community. We should be taking back that authority that we do not presently have.

I would like to leave you with that, unless any of you have any questions, which I would be glad to answer.

Ms Harrington: Mr Hlady, I want to thank you for coming. You certainly have given us a very detailed presentation, which we certainly cannot understand in a matter of 10 or 12 minutes. But you mention the group that you belong to called PINE. Is that just in Sioux Lookout?

Mr Hlady: That is in the Sioux Lookout area.

Ms Harrington: How many members do you have?

Mr Hlady: Last year, the Ministry of Natural Resources proposed spraying herbicides in this area, and PINE originated from the concerns that came from people who felt they would be adversely affected by that program. I think that we can honestly say that there is a very substantial body from within the communities. Through the summer many different sectors of the community came together and decided that was a program that we did not feel was appropriate for our community.

The town of Sioux Lookout passed a resolution, with the support of a good deal of the population of this town, to support alternatives to that type of approach, alternatives which might have other social and economic benefits as opposed to just strictly benefits to the forest industry. We were largely formed as an ad hoc group and we like to feel that anybody can be a person interested in a natural environment. We feel we have a very large membership.

Ms Harrington: It is great to have grass-roots organizations like that. I would like to tell you that there are very many in our government who share your types of concerns. I think you may be aware of that. We have an environmental group from my riding. My colleague Marilyn Churley is with the Ministry of the Environment and has very many concerns similar to yours. So I want to reassure you that we are very much open to any of your suggestions.

You may want to give some of the detailed notes, if you wish, to our Chair. I also just want to touch on your mention of special interest with regard to government. I am not sure exactly of your meaning, but I do want to reassure you that I am a newly elected person, representing the city of Niagara Falls, and my feeling is that I have to speak for every one of my constituents, whoever they are. I have to know whether I am speaking for the tourism industry, the unemployed, the single mother, the youth, the seniors. I have to go out into that community and really know that community. I would like to think that I represent not any special interest at all.

Mr Hlady: Could I ask you if you would feel it beneficial if there were a sectoral roundtable within your community representing each of those constituencies that would express its view in a collective manner? Do you think that would assist you in making sound decisions, based on your total constituency?

Ms Harrington: Certainly that would be very, very helpful. Previous to September, I was a member of city council and I went to the chamber of commerce, I sat on the YWCA, the social planning council and all those different groups, so instead of my going to those groups and finding out what was happening, they would then sit on this council. That would be fine.

Mr Beer: My questions were somewhat along the same lines and, just briefly, one other thing. I think one of the things that probably all of us in politics today have been trying to sort out is how we can better have a sense of what people are thinking in our community and what other ways we can approach consensus-building.

I think that is one of the key things you have set out. I could see from here in the diagram that you had a process which I think, along with perhaps others -- but none the less, where you are trying to bring together different interests within our communities. If at some point your group here puts that together in some kind of printed form, I think it would be very interesting to look at.

The only other point that I would make and to which you might want to respond is, I think still ultimately, whatever kinds of consensus-building model, or whatever we want to call it, we put together, at the end of the day an individual member in a sense has to take that and try to think, "Has that represented adequately the interests of my community?" I think sometimes there are other people who would say, "But I don't belong to any of those particular interests, or I don't see that I do, so how do I become involved?" Sometimes we will simply say, "Look, the only sort of role that I play is in electing my city councillor or my school board member or my provincial member, my federal member or what have you." I do not think that takes away or detracts at all from what you are searching for there. I would see that as a great help, as a model in helping us do our work.

Mr Hlady: One of the seats that I did not mention was a seat that is generically called "the public," and as part of that seat it is actually this table here where I am able to come up and express my views, but at the same time it is a process integrated into this concept which allows a number of us public to get together, and through a plebiscite or through a petition initiate a process where we might have a plebiscite or a referendum, so that we can determine some of those issues that you might feel would not be clearly represented, and that is part of our concept.



The Chair: Our final speaker this evening is Rosie Mosquito.

Ms Mosquito: Good evening. As an aboriginal individual who is concerned about the constitutional dynamics in this country, I am here to present one point of my views. I had asked for five minutes.

I say "constitutional dynamics," but rather I guess we should call it "constitutional disarray," because this is why you are here. I am here, even though I question the haste and the constructiveness of this select committee on Ontario in Confederation. Since the demise of the Meech Lake accord, the federal and provincial governments have been scrambling to reassemble the Constitution. As we all know, Elijah Harper, the Manitoba MLA, was instrumental and was the one who catapulted the demise of the Meech Lake accord, and rightly so. I will be eternally grateful to him, as the aboriginal people in Canada share that view and non-native people in Canada share that sentiment as well.

The problematic aspect of the constitutional discussions and concerns that have occurred to date is the fallacy which the first ministers want to enshrine in the Constitution of Canada. The fallacy is the racist notion that the English and French are the founding peoples of this country. As an aboriginal descendant of this country, I find this notion totally unacceptable, repelling, hurtful and deceitful. It is time that the first ministers of this country, the English, the French and the other citizens of this country stopped deceiving themselves. It is time for the leaders, the movers and the shakers, and the citizens of this country, regardless of which province they may live in, to equate the aboriginal people at the same level as the English and the French, if not higher. It is time the truth and this obvious fact be enshrined in the highest law of the land.

A Constitution which is built on truth, which is the acceptance and recognition of aboriginals as full and equal constitutional partners will be stable, solid and surely reflect the actual situation in Canada. If we do that together, the Constitution will be all the more meaningful to each of us and all the more powerful.

I thank you for the opportunity to be able to address you briefly at this time.

Ms Churley: I am very glad to have met you and I thank you for your presentation. I am really glad that you decided to speak to us for a few minutes, despite the shortcomings that you mentioned, and that were mentioned earlier.

I think that we, as a committee, are very grateful. I think I can speak for everybody, that we recognize the shortcomings. We recognize that this was put together hastily and that the communities where we started were shortchanged in that you had very little time to prepare.

I think the fact that even though we got yelled at a bit and we knew that was going to happen and with some justification, the fact that people are here talking to us and bothered to phone in and talk to us is really important, and I think shows to me anyway how much and the sense of urgency that people feel. Even though people are frustrated that we are here for such a short time and are not giving people very long to talk, you are here talking to us and I appreciate that. I value that.

I guess I am giving a speech. Politicians tend to do that a lot, I know, but because you are the last speaker of the night, it was really important to me to say that I learned a lot. I will continue to learn more, as we go on with our journey for the entire month of February, which I will bring back from this committee.

We hear you and I think I can speak for the committee that we are on your side. We understand to the extent that we can. We understand that this has been going on for a long time and nobody yet has done anything about it.

I guess my question is, do you have some faith? Does it just feel like it is the same old thing, politicians coming and spending a few minutes listening and then taking off and forgetting, or do you have some faith that the tone is changing a little bit, not just with the new government but people are finally starting to listen and gaining some respect for the first nations people of this country? Do you have any hope?

Ms Mosquito: As I indicated earlier, I question the sincerity and the constructiveness of this committee, but as an aboriginal person I have always had hope or my people have always had hope and that is the only reason why we are still here today despite all the odds that our ancestors faced.

Premier Bob Rae has an Indian agenda. It is an agenda that other provincial governments have not espoused, recognized or pursued, but we want more than that. We have to be enshrined within that highest law of the land. I think it would do us great service as aboriginal people if the Premier, as one of the first ministers, ensures that we are, as aboriginal people, recognized within the Constitution.

Mr Winninger: Just to take up where you left off for a moment, I am just wondering, practically speaking, how you foresee the first nations being enshrined in the Constitution. As my colleague Ms Churley said, we are with you. We want to see native determination realized. We apologize for the format. We wanted to come to the north first because we felt the north had to be heard. In doing so, we gave you a very short period of notice. Of course there are many communities that have to be heard as well and that is why, even though we would like to spend a week here, if we spent a week here there are a lot of communities that would never be heard from.

To get back to my question, we need some practical suggestions as to how we can recognize aboriginal rights in a new model of Confederation, perhaps in a more effective fashion than has been the case in the past. Do you have any suggestions as to how, to use your words, we might enshrine that recognition in our Constitution?

Ms Mosquito: At the moment I do not have a practical suggestion to give to you. I would be more than willing to forward a written document to you, but you will find that it will not really be all that much different from what our leaders have been saying to date. We have given all levels of government position papers outlining how we could make this practical discussion that you ask.

I think the other thing that is important is that there has to be political will on the part of those people who are now in government also to have the faith and the willingness to he able to accept aboriginal people as equal partners. I think you will be surprised. You would learn a lot from us.

As I say, we have survived despite all odds. Based on that experience, if you had a willing ear you would learn a lot from us. We would be able to go far together. We would be able to all benefit in many ways -- economically, culturally, socially and otherwise.

That is not rhetoric.

Mr Bisson: First of all, I would just like to say that as a member of this committee I want to thank the people for the insight that they gave us today.

I just want to respond to something you said at the end, that probably one of the best lessons I have learned with regard to understanding maybe what a Constitution was all about was from one of the elders in my own riding who said that a Constitution is something that has to be like a mirror, that when you look into it, you have to see yourself and you have to see something of what this country is all about.

I think we have a lot to learn from the first nations people of this country and of this province. I really want to thank you for the insight that you brought to this committee.

The Chair: I just take the opportunity in closing the meeting to thank all of you who came here to talk with us this afternoon and evening, and all of those who telephoned to give us their views.

I think it has been for us a fascinating afternoon and evening. We certainly leave Sioux Lookout with a better understanding of some of the things that we need to do in addressing the issues and concerns of the native communities, as well as a number of the other issues that were raised by some of the other speakers.

While the time may not have permitted us to capture all of the details that we would have liked, I think the flavour is very clearly there and I think the sense that we leave this place with is quite clear.

Before we conclude, I want to give Mr Miclash an opportunity to make some comments.

Mr Miclash: What I would like to do is I would just like to thank the committee for spending its first two days in the Kenora riding. As we know, you are moving on to Thunder Bay and to the remainder of the province. Over the last two days you have covered three significant towns in my riding, as well as having done some very interesting work with Wawatay.

There have been some suggestions that maybe you might want to use the telecommunications that Wawatay is offering you to carry on and listen to more views from that area of the riding. At this time I think we have witnessed something quite different here in connection with the people in what we call the true north, and I would encourage the members of the committee to maybe think about listening to more of that.

Again, I would just like to wish you all the very best as you head off into the rest of the province and thank you very much for allowing me to sit with this committee throughout the riding.

The Chair: Before I call on Eligah Morris for the closing prayer -- I think that also is a fitting way to end this particular day -- I would like to invite members of the public who are here to join us over dinner so that we can continue the discussions that have been taking place all afternoon and evening in an informal way.

[Prayer in native language]

The Chair: Thank you very much.

The committee adjourned at 1915.