House of Commons Hansard #217 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was guns.

Topics

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Saint-Maurice, QC

We used to have debt, but we do not have debt any more. For the last eight years I raised money to pay the debt. When we raise money it is to pay the debt and to have enough money for the next election. The minister raised money for the Liberal Party that will be used in the next election. That money will compete with the money the leader of the Reform Party is raising when he has his own private dinners around the country.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Preston Manning Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's obsession with protecting a party loyalist is clouding his judgment.

The heritage minister violated the federal code of ethics, not once, not twice, but three times. He targeted departmental clients for donations. He rewarded some with heritage contracts and appointments, placing himself in direct conflict of interest. Now there is the question of raising money under cloudy pretences to pay off debts that did not exist. Canadians are right to wonder what kind of example this sets for other ministers.

My supplementary is to the ultimate arbiter of government ethics. Since the Prime Minister is unwilling to discipline the Minister of Canadian Heritage, does this mean that other ministers are free to hold similar fundraising dinners that target departmental clients?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, ministers are advised as I am that they have an obligation, like any other member of Parliament to help to raise money for the next election of the Liberal Party. They have to do it according to the rules, and the rules are very clear by Elections Canada. Every contribution has to be made public if it is more than $100. That is exactly what ministers are instructed to do and they are doing it. It is known by the public.

I had great success in the city of Calgary. Many of the friends of the leader of the Reform Party came, paid, and were happy with the speech.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Preston Manning Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, according to Mitchell Sharp, the government's original ethics adviser, the heritage minister's dinner may be just the tip of an iceberg.

Mr. Sharp said yesterday the government's code of ethics was clear and tough but that some cabinet ministers are not following it. He went on to say that business should be separate from fundraising to eliminate the appearance of conflict of interest and that cabinet should receive a refresher course on the code of ethics.

Since the Prime Minister has personally assumed the role of ethics counsellor, which other ministers are not following the government's guidelines? And will they be invited to an ethics summer course, which Mr. Sharp advises?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Sharp advises me and ministers when we need advice. He is correct when he tells every one of us to be prudent. Being prudent is to make sure that every contribution is paid, a receipt is made, and it is published under the Canada Elections Act. That is exactly what happened in this case.

Every contribution has been above the table and according to the laws of Canada. Unless we pass a law in the House that all political party expenditures are paid by the nation, we will have to raise money according to this law. This law permits ministers and members of Parliament of all parties to raise money as long as they give receipts in accordance with the Canada Elections Act.

Job Creation
Oral Question Period

June 13th, 1995 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to Statistics Canada, net job creation over the past six months has been zero, although the Minister of Finance's budget predicted job growth of three per cent in 1995. In addition, economic growth has literally gone flat in the first three months of 1995, with an annualized growth rate of 0.7 per cent, yet the Minister of Finance forecast in his budget that the rate of growth would hit 3.8 per cent this year.

Since everything points to the fact that the minister's predictions will not come true this year, will he acknowledge that zero economic growth will not generate any new jobs and that he is going to have to review his budgetary forecast regarding the deficit?

Job Creation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance and Minister responsible for the Federal Office of Regional Development-Quebec

Mr. Speaker, firstly, I would like to congratulate the hon. member for getting his leader to allow him to ask a question.

Job Creation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Job Creation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Martin LaSalle—Émard, QC

I know why this is; those hon. members contradict themselves so much.

I would like to point out to the hon. member that over 200,000 private sector jobs were created in the past eight months. This trend even applies in Quebec, where over 50,000 jobs were created in the past year.

There is no doubt that the economy is slow, due to a slowdown in the American economy and to the fact that the economic recovery was based mostly on our capacity to export. This having been said, most economists predict that the slowdown that everybody was expecting next year will hit us this year and that next year, we can expect a recovery.

Job Creation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, instead of spinning yarns, the Minister of Finance would be well advised to take a real look at his balance sheet since coming to office.

Mortgage rates, for example, have increased by 30 per cent, the growth rate for exports dropped 90 per cent over three months and there has been no net job creation over the past six months. That is the real balance sheet of this government, of the Minister of Finance. Therefore, he should have given me real answers and real figures instead of making it all up.

I would like to ask him the following question: Will he acknowledge that a growth rate of close to zero confirms the failure of his economic strategy, which has not enabled us to create any new jobs or to offer Quebecers and Canadians the hope of dignity through employment, which the Prime Minister keeps on repeating?

Job Creation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance and Minister responsible for the Federal Office of Regional Development-Quebec

Mr. Speaker, I have no idea where the hon. member gets his figures. Maybe from the "Just for Laughs" festival. Please allow me, Mr. Speaker, to give you the real figures.

The unemployment rate in May of this year was 9.5 per cent, compared to 10.4 per cent in May 1994; shipments in the manufacturing sector were 17 per cent higher this month than in May 1994; the trade balance surplus hit an all-time high of $23.2 billion in the first quarter of 1995; the deficit in Canada's current account, which is normally around 4 per cent, is currently at 2 per cent. We are very proud of our accomplishments.

Bosnia
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Bob Mills Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, since it appears the Canadian hostages in Bosnia are being released, the government now has an opportunity to safely scale down the Canadian commitment to Bosnia, which is scheduled to end in just three months. An orderly withdrawal started now would take about that time to be completed.

Will the Prime Minister end his chronic waffling and hand-wringing and announce the Canadian contribution will not be extended beyond September?

Bosnia
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I said, the Canadian soldiers there are playing an extremely useful role. We have decided to extend our mandate for another six months. We will make a decision at that time. We have to finish the job we started. We will not quit in mid-term. We said we were to be there for six months, and Canadian soldiers and the Canadian people are the kind of people who do the job they say they will do. If we decide to go it will be decided in accordance with our commitments and with our partners in this situation.

I have to say to the House of Commons that when we look objectively, before the UN troops arrived there were approximately 200,000 people killed in one year, and it was reduced to 3,000 last year. This means the presence of the UN troops there has saved thousands and thousands of lives. The Canadian soldiers and the others in the UN force have done a very good job.

Bosnia
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Bob Mills Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, talking about Bosnia, the Prime Minister stated in this House: "We are very far away from this part of the world and in many ways it is somewhat more of a European problem than a Canadian problem".

If the Prime Minister actually believes what he said, will this be the position the government will take at the G-7 summit?