House of Commons Hansard #118 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was trade.

Topics

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister came to this House and provided members with all the facts and information surrounding the matter. In fact he stated quite clearly that the minister in question made a mistake.

The minister in question made a mistake and the guidelines as they relate to quasi-judicial bodies were not clear. He had moved to rectify the mistake, first of all by the member's letter specifically to the CRTC. Second the Prime Minister moved to clarify the guidelines by asking Mr. Wilson to reintroduce a new package. In the meantime he has established interim guidelines where all future communications of all ministers to quasi-judicial bodies must go through the ethics counsellor.

I think he has done the job in four days and I feel that he has delivered on his promise of honest government. I believe he has reinforced the notion that ethics and integrity are the hallmark of his administration, they are not simply a regulation.

Canadian Security Intelligence Service
Oral Question Period

November 1st, 1994 / 2:40 p.m.

Bloc

François Langlois Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, while the Minister of Canadian Heritage continues his soul searching and is probably getting ready to confess all, let me address another issue. My question is for the Deputy Prime Minister.

CSIS is back in the hot seat. According to a book entitled Betrayal , which will hit the stands this week, CSIS asked one of its agents to plant a bomb aboard an Air India plane in Rome in 1986, so that Sikh terrorists would be blamed for it.

Does the government intend to check such troubling allegations and does it acknowledge that, if they are proven true, the strongest measures should be taken against such criminal activities?

Canadian Security Intelligence Service
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, this matter was reviewed by the Security Intelligence Review Committee and was reported on in its public report in 1987-88. It is my recollection that the Security Intelligence Review Committee in that report found that CSIS had acted properly, contrary to the allegations.

Canadian Security Intelligence Service
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

François Langlois Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, let me point out to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons that one of his own members made this serious allegation.

Considering the allegations that democratic organizations were infiltrated by CSIS, that the conversations of members of the Quebec government were monitored by the CSE and a bomb was placed aboard an Air India plane by a CSIS agent, will the government agree to set up a real public inquiry on the actions of federal secret agents?

Canadian Security Intelligence Service
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, responses about the CSE would have to come from the Minister of National Defence.

With regard to the matter reported in the press as being the subject matter of a book, which I have not seen yet, I have just read about it in the press, I understand the matter of Ryszard Paskowski was thoroughly examined by the Security Intelligence Review Committee. In its annual report for 1987-88 it stated: "CSIS dealt properly with Ryszard Paskowski". I think that speaks for itself.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Ken Epp Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Deputy Prime Minister and has to do with the role of the ethics counsellor in the now infamous Minister of Canadian Heritage affair.

We have it on good authority, namely from the counsellor himself, that he first found out about the letter on Wednesday, October 26 and that his source was the press and not the Prime Minister's office. He was not asked by the Prime Minister's office to do anything. He was not asked to prepare a report on the letter and he has not done so.

My question is simple: Why did the Prime Minister take the trouble to appoint an ethics counsellor and obligate the taxpayers to pay for the cost of that position if he does not consult with him on an issue this critical when he had over a month to do so?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I think the Prime Minister more than adequately answered that question when the same question was posed yesterday and last week.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Ken Epp Elk Island, AB

I suppose, Mr. Speaker, we will ask the same question again until we get an answer that is correct for the Canadian people.

The ethics counsellor has confirmed that it was only on Friday last, October 28, that he was given a document which outlines the rules for ministerial conduct and that he was asked to bring it up to date vis-à-vis dealings with quasi-judicial bodies. The Prime Minister stated yesterday that his recommendations were to be discussed by cabinet.

Would it not enhance public confidence if the guidelines for ministers would be made public, be presented, debated and possibly amended in this House and approved by a free vote of members of Parliament on behalf of all Canadians?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, that is exactly the process that the Prime Minister promised earlier this week.

Electronic Highway
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre De Savoye Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Canadian Heritage. Speaking yesterday at the convention of the Association des câblodistributeurs du Québec , the heritage minister stated that only the Canadian government should control the electronic highway, in order to be able to set national objectives and promote the Canadian cultural identity. He categorically refused to acknowledge the role or responsibility of the provinces in this matter.

How can the heritage minister exclude Quebec and all the other provinces from the electronic highway project and consider them, along with cable operators and municipal governments, as mere lobbies?

Electronic Highway
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Laval West
Québec

Liberal

Michel Dupuy Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, had our colleague taken the time to read the speech I made yesterday, he would know that what he has just said is absolutely incorrect.

Electronic Highway
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre De Savoye Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am just quoting today's newspaper.

Must we infer from the scornful attitude of the minister that not only does he deny in fact Quebec's distinct character, but that he also rejects off-handedly all our historic claims in matters of culture and communication?

Electronic Highway
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Laval West
Québec

Liberal

Michel Dupuy Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, it is interesting to see how my words are distorted. In fact, I have been very open to any contribution the industry and any stakeholder in Quebec can make to the development of the electronic highway.

Industry
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Beryl Gaffney Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to change the line of questioning in this House if I could. My question is for the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry.

It has been one year since we were all elected to this prestigious House of Commons. In reviewing my files I happened to notice that this government had made a commitment one year ago that we wished to become a nation of exporters.

I have a large representation in the business community in Nepean and a large number from the high tech industry asking if this ministry has moved ahead on making sure that we become a nation of exporters?

Industry
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Broadview—Greenwood
Ontario

Liberal

Dennis Mills Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I want to acknowledge this very timely question from the member for Nepean.