*** UPDATE *** Byrne's Qalipu motion defeated in Parliament

Diane Crocker
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Newfoundland  MP Gerry Byrne's motion concerning the enrolment and registration process for the Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nations band has been defeated in the House of Commons, Byrne said Wednesday.

Gerry Byrne held a meeting at the Pepsi Centre Thursday, May 16, 2013 to talk about the Qalipu Mi'kmaq agreement.

His motion, M432, was defeated by a vote of 152-124 Wednesday in Parliament.

Byrne took to Twitter to voice his displeasure over the vote.

"The prime minister of Canada is about to vote against the very same agreement he personally signed with (Qalipu band) Chief (Brendan) Sheppard in 2007," he tweeted. "The PM and the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs vote ... not to support the original agreement their government approved!"

More on the House of Commons vote later in The Western Star and on our website.


Byrne wants to know federal NDP’s position on Qalipu enrolment

CORNER BROOK  Gerry Byrne is going to be asking federal New Democrat leader Tom Mulcair to clarify his party’s position on the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band enrolment process.


The Liberal MP for Humber-St. Barbe-Baie Verte’s request comes out of a debate in the House of Commons on Wednesday night on his motion, M432, concerning the enrolment and registration process for the band.

Byrne said during the debate two NDP members expressed very different opinions on the issue and he wants to know where the party stands.

He said Jonathan Genest-Jourdain, MP for Manicouagan, and the party’s aboriginal affairs critic, made reference to applicants applying for monetary gain.

Byrne said those comments don’t cast Qalipu applicants in a very positive light.

“And I don’t accept that.”

According to the Hansard transcript of the debate Genest-Jourdain said: “We agree that all applications must be treated the same way. This means that the validity of documents will be called into question and that decisions regarding enrollment will be challenged.”

He concluded by saying: “In light of the limited number of people in the region in question, the figure of 100,000 applicants will have to be reviewed in light of aboriginal identity, to avoid applications for purely monetary reasons. Aboriginal people in Canada share some strong values.

“There must be no detracting from ‘Indianness’ or Indian identity and serious identity issues for purely political or economic reasons.”

Later in the debate Ryan Cleary, the NDP member for  St. John’s South-Mount Pearl spoke for the motion.

In the Hansard transcript Cleary said the motion calls on the Conservatives to extend the agreement for the recognition process until all applications are processed and to ensure the rules of eligibility for membership are followed by all government decision makers in any continuation of the enrolment process.

“In other words, make the process fair and above board so everyone knows the rules of the game.”

He concluded his speech with: “New Democrats agree that all applicants should be treated the same way. Let us hope that happens.”

Beside Byrne, Liberals Geoff Regan, Halifax West, and Carolyn Bennett, St. Paul’s, also spoke for the motion.

Meanwhile Byrne calls the Conservative position on Wednesday’s debate “shameful.”

He said Conservative members just sat in the House and surrendered their debate time.

“Just didn’t bother to get up on their feet and explain their position.”

A vote on the motion is expected to take place on May 29.



Twitter: WS_DianeCrocker

Organizations: NDP, House of Commons, Conservatives

Geographic location: Manicouagan, Canada, Halifax West St. Paul

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Recent comments

  • Terry Cormier
    May 30, 2013 - 17:22

    My grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Prosper, was 100 aboriginal. She lived her whole life - at least after the family moved to Corner Brook in the 1920s so my grandfather could work in the paper mill -- denying her "Indian" ancestry. My grandfather would have lost his job in the mill if it was known that his wife was an "Indian". Indians were good for nothings -- well they were good for being in the woods. I honour my grandmother when I proudly proclaim that I am Qalipu. We have lots to learn in Newfoundland about the history of First Nations. I learned nothing about First Nation history growing up in Corner Brook - nothing. And there is very little at Grenfell. The values of First Nations: Respect for the Creator and Mother Earth; Honour the ancestors; are values that many of us live by. They are certainly values worth remembering in 2013. What is Indigenous Identity in 2013? At the very least people are now talking about their Mi'kmaq ancestry. Honour the grandmothers. It is the women who have kept Mi'kmaq culture alive in Newfoundland. The colonial governments very nearly succeed in "whipping out the Indians", as they tried in other parts of Canada. Qaipu is a remarkable story of resilience and survival. and a reminder to all of us of who we are.

  • Observer
    May 30, 2013 - 07:17

    Dentists, optometrists, and car salesmen in Conne River are going to see a decrease in business with the latest developments.

  • White Eagle
    May 30, 2013 - 07:01

    The best move would be to revoke all Status Cards nation wide and either start all over again, or better yet, scrap the whole system and treat everyone equally. There's a thought, equal rights for each and every Canadian citizen and ignore the whiners. How about that as a parliamentary motion?

  • Paul Pike
    May 30, 2013 - 02:06

    Have you noticed that the people who write such racist hateful words do not have the balls to use their own names ever, If you stand by your words be man enough to put your name by your comments. I have to say you make Newfoundland look like Hicksville grand central, Indian Country Today newspaper is going to love you guys, For those who care,blood quantum is not Lnuk way, it's colonial BS. There are many proud European Newfoundlanders, St Johns is more Irish than Ireland, Newfoundland certainly lacks in the respect dept. for cultural diversity, especially if you happen to be indigenous.

  • I can beat the drum too
    May 27, 2013 - 16:26

    I agree with Lone Wolf. Any reasonable person wouldn't expect our government to provide benefits to so many people based on the fact that they may be 1/16 (or less) native blood. What I don't understand is why they are so proud of this 1/16 th native ancestry but I don't hear them being as proud of the other ancestors who provided the other 15/16 th of their bloodline. There's nobody out there waving Union Jacks or selling shirts with green clovers. There's nobody banging a drum saying how proud they are of their English, Irish, Scottish, or French heritage. Perhaps it's because there isn't a benefit to be had because your 1/16 th English, Irish, Scottish, or other. Why would there be?

    • david
      May 27, 2013 - 18:21

      If there was a payday for any of those other nonsense groups, we'd be up lined up our arses with papers proving we're all Greek-Scots with Ukranian and Somali grandparents who raced Mongolian camels as kids. ......But then, there wouldn't be any "guilty majority" left for politicians to extort and pay off the much larger "victims-du-jour" moocher group , so its all moot.

  • Geeze
    May 27, 2013 - 12:16

    Every time I read one of Davids comments I can't help be think...God Help Us ...we have a Kevin O' Leary wannabe in our midst. LOL!!!

    • david
      May 27, 2013 - 14:23

      Geezer: Your comment amounts to childish namecalling, and does not advance the debate or topic in any way. I'll give you credit for brevity, and for not resorting to the 'racist' card like other club members here....but that's it.

  • Mike
    May 25, 2013 - 17:55

    I have no doubt that 1/5 of the total [population of NL have aboriginal connections. Why I am the only member of the Seminole Nation here in NL. Sio where's my land? But let's say i had no oboriginal connection? Where is the land for the minority North Europeans? Perhaps we can build a wall across the Avalon Peninsula and keep those poor benighted non-Indians penned up ...?That's it! Keep ther nasty Irlandais and Henglish bottled up on the Avalon... Then the rest of us aboriginals can go about killing moose and caribou and planting taters as Lord God meant...

  • John
    May 25, 2013 - 16:35

    Lets see. I am a gainfully employed professional with a university education (That I paid for myself) and have been working for the last 39 years. I am 60+ years old and will have a decent pension. I started my own small business that employs a minimum of 2 people, I pay significant taxes each year. So how David does that make me " helpless, listless wards of the state to the point where they now line up for the 'government man',"? Your ignorance and stupidity is only exceeded by your racism .

    • david
      May 26, 2013 - 13:12

      That would make you a normal adult human being, and in a tiny minority locally. You want a parade?

  • kathleen bennett
    May 25, 2013 - 14:36

    To the person who edits these comments.....why do you have a disclaimer on here stating users may not post insulting, discriminatory or inappropriate content.....then proceed to allow nothing but? As a native woman.....I am very offended by some of these posts. They are hurtful and ignorant.

  • Richard
    May 25, 2013 - 13:48

    The comments posted on here are absolutely disgusting...why don't some of you people educate yourselves on the History of the Native people of NL.? If you did you would understand that this journey for recognition has been ongoing for decades. We do NOT want any more or any less than other Natives in this Country that have been given Status!!! How dare you make prejudiced comments, such as, the bigot David, "complete dependence on ----government for every aspect of their lives, now exemplify how broken, beaten, and dehumanized a group of people can be, without shame or pride, or ambition or hope. Congratulations and good luck to all,"...You David are a prime example of a person filled with jealousy toward your fellow Newfoundlanders/Canadians and that has led you to degrade yourself by actually printing such hatred! I can suggest a therapist who might be able to help you. God Bless you David!

    • david
      May 25, 2013 - 20:49

      Give it rest, man...you're all phonies, moochers looking for a looking for a handout, and playing it up like you're a victim of something. The only thing worse than having to hand over millions of doallrs to the undeserving is having them spit in your face with ingratitude, demanding more and more. No noe is buying your BS. No one.

  • Foghorn Leghorn
    May 25, 2013 - 11:54

    This whole fiasco is nothing more than a money grab. I will be generous and say that 10 percent of the 100,000 applications people are genuinely interested in their native ancestry and culture. It would be interesting experiment to see how many people would reapply if the monetary incentives were taken off of the table.

  • tax payer
    May 25, 2013 - 08:04

    The lone wolf is right on with his comments.The whole agreement should be scrapped and they should start over.There are too many watered down indians looking for financial and tax breaks.Someone has to pay for it and it wouldn't be indians.

  • david
    May 24, 2013 - 19:59

    You gotta admit...this is theatre of the bizarre. A great nation of resourceful, self-reliant, proud people....Newfoundlanders....who since Confederation have en masse devolved into such helpless, listless wards of the state to the point where they now line up for the 'government man', tightly clutching their dubious paperwork showing them to be technically "aboriginal peoples"....you know, the original proud, independent, resourceful, self-reliant people who, through an even longer period of paternalistic, destructive interference by --- and complete dependence on ----government for every aspect of their lives, now exemplify how broken, beaten, and dehumanized a group of people can be, without shame or pride, or ambition or hope. Congratulations and good luck to all, and God guard thee, Newfoundland

    • kp
      May 30, 2013 - 10:25

      Very well said David!

  • Richard
    May 24, 2013 - 18:12

    Lone Wolf...you talk like an utter moron! Revoke and start over??? Why..to please you? We applied in good faith according to the criteria placed by the FNI and the Harper Gov't.. We were told that NL was different...that because NL Natives and their ancestors were never recognized because of Smallwoods...MISTAKE, saying that NL had no Indians. Wrong....there are tens of thousands of NL Natives, they also included those of us that had to leave NL to find work etc.. How dare they try to change the rules in the middle of the game to cut back the under-stated numbers. Your solution is NOT the answer, we need the remainder of the apps to be processed/reviewed using the criteria that the FNI and the Gov't initially set. No more no less. Sure some will not qualify and so be it! This is the only fair way.

  • have to laugh
    May 24, 2013 - 11:17

    it would seem that the monetary issue has risen again. from what I am reading in the paper and the face book groups dedicated to the applicants on hold. they keep saying it isn't monetary all they want is to be recognized. a simple solution would be for the 70000 to wave their rights to any benefits of being in the band if all they want is recognition. but of course not one will agree to waving their rights to monetary gains from being in the band. so why are they so upset someone said it in the house of commons. this fight is going on for greed. if you recognize yourself as an indian and everyone else recognizes you what more do you need if it isn't about the benefits

  • Dave
    May 24, 2013 - 09:41

    100,000 votes is a lot of votes to just piss people off over. also remember these have other family and friends so a member of parliament should be more versed on a subject before he or she gets on their feet to speak to it, otherwise they will have one of their feet in their mouth as Mr Genest-Jourdain did

  • lone wolf
    May 24, 2013 - 07:25

    The fairest way to deal with this whole fiasco is to revoke all cards issued so far and start the whole process over with stritcter and more reasonable eligibility requirements. 100,000 people is nowhere near the number of people who would actually qualify for status given the elgibility requirements under the current agreement.