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.