Mr. Scott Reid (Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington, CPC): Reid.S@parl.gc.ca
Mr. Speaker, David Ahenakew was stripped of his Order of Canada for repeatedly making racist anti-immigrant statements and in particular, for stating that Jews are a disease, they currently control the media, and the Holocaust was justified because it was Hitler’s way of preventing the Jewish control of Europe.
Notwithstanding these facts, the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations recently decided to reinstate Mr. Ahenakew as a senator within its organization, a position which is considered to be one of honour and leadership.
This is a disturbing decision. I would like to know what actions is the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development planning to take in this matter?
Hon. Chuck Strahl (Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, CPC): Strahl.C@parl.gc.ca
Mr. Speaker, I am extremely disappointed and disturbed by the decision of the federation to reinstate David Ahenakew as a senator.
The past comments by this person have been very hurtful, inappropriate, and go against everything that this country stands for. There is a trial scheduled for this fall and it must run its course.
Our government has valued the positive working relationship that we have had with the federation. However, based on its latest decision, we will be reviewing that relationship including the funding that goes with it.
In the meantime, I have given clear instructions to my staff and to my department that they are not to participate in any meetings with the federation if Mr. Ahenakew is involved.
Again, I urge the FSIN to reconsider its regrettable decision.