House of Commons Hansard #14 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was reform.

Topics

Byelections
Oral Question Period

March 15th, 1996 / 11:45 a.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley East, BC

Mr. Speaker, apparently the Liberal pork machine is well in gear for the upcoming byelections.

Pierre Pettigrew has decided that he may have trouble winning his seat so he has decided to try and buy it. He does not have the portfolio which would allow him to spend millions of dollars in his own riding, so he has decided instead to spend $3.8 million in Haiti in an attempt to buy votes in Papineau. Apparently he is shameless.

On behalf of Canadian taxpayers who will have to foot the multimillion dollar bill for this, I ask the Minister of Foreign Affairs if he will bring this matter to the House of Commons for

debate so that we can see whether the $3.8 million is for the benefit of Haitians or for the benefit of Pierre Pettigrew.

Byelections
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Northumberland
Ontario

Liberal

Christine Stewart Secretary of State (Latin America and Africa)

Mr. Speaker, I find the question absolutely incredible. Canada is very proud of its longstanding commitment to Haiti and to the people of Haiti.

The announcement made yesterday by the minister who has the responsibility of the francophonie, of which Haiti is a member, is also the minister responsible for international co-operation. He made the announcement in a series of Canadian government announcements in support of the people of Haiti.

The two projects announced yesterday will be implemented by two Canadian NGOs, CECI and CESO by name. They will be working in collaboration with Haitian non-government organizations.

All of the funding is for the benefit of the people of Haiti, not for the people of Canada, whatever their origin, and certainly not for the personal benefit of the minister.

Byelections
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley East, BC

Mr. Speaker, when a minister does not yet have a seat in the House of Commons, how convenient it is to spend money to buy a few votes in one region of his riding.

Canadians are justifiably proud of their commitment to Haiti. We have sent many people to Haiti. We continue to send money. We want to help to restore democracy in Haiti.

However, it is unconscionable that Pierre Pettigrew would funnel $3.8 million at this time, in the middle of a byelection, at a critical moment, in order to help himself in a byelection attempt.

Does the minister personally condone spending money 10 days before a byelection in an obvious attempt to buy-

Byelections
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

The Speaker

Even by the furthest stretch of the imagination, the question does not fall under the purview of the minister's administrative responsibilities. It is out of order.

Indian Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Maurice Dumas Argenteuil—Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the minister of Indian affairs.

On February 28, the community of Kanesatake voted a resounding no to the following question: "Do you want Jerry Peltier as grand chief and chief negotiator?" Yet, the minister seems torn since Mr. Peltier wrote him that he wanted to remain as chief.

Since the minister has long supported the principle of Native self-government, when will he recognize the Kanesatake community's inalienable right to choose its own leaders?

Indian Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Sault Ste. Marie
Ontario

Liberal

Ron Irwin Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, I responded to that question last week.

That community had an election. We hired Coopers and Lybrand to oversee the election. The report was returned saying that it was a proper election of Jerry Peltier.

The community had a meeting a few weeks ago and they now have a second chief. However, Mr. Peltier's term is for three years and he has not resigned. In the spirit of self-government, I am hoping the community will work itself through the process.

On the upside, the difficulty in the community has not affected the fact that there are seven members on the council. Six are still there. The majority is still working.

Why do Bloc members always pick on Jerry Peltier and the Mohawks? They are back to Mohawk bashing. Why do they not pay some attention to the Algonquins or the Abenakis? They do not have any interest north of here. It is always the Mohawks. Why? The Mohawks see through this party for what they are. They see them as ideologues and they will continue to ask these questions about the proud Mohawks.

Indian Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Maurice Dumas Argenteuil—Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, I should point out to the minister that I am a member of the Bloc Quebecois and not the Reform Party, thank God.

Does the minister not agree that, by continuing to protect former chief Jerry Peltier-who, may I remind you, used to work for his department-and by failing to acknowledge the February 28 vote, he is showing disrespect for the community of Kanesatake and treating all Native communities in Canada like children?

Indian Affairs
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Sault Ste. Marie
Ontario

Liberal

Ron Irwin Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, I face the separatists and the Bloc every day and I know they are very concerned about territorial integrity and the political position of the Mohawks.

These are not my words, these are the words of Daniel Turp, the candidate for the Bloc in Papineau and the man who gives this party advice. He said: "If Quebec were to object to sovereignty measures democratically approved, these native nations could undoubtedly claim that their democratic rights to self-determination and to secession have been violated". This party is violating this.

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Mac Harb Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has just returned from Egypt after attending an international conference on terrorism. Would the secretary of state for Africa tell the House the outcome of the conference and what steps is Canada taking to ensure that the peace process is not hijacked by terrorism?

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Northumberland
Ontario

Liberal

Christine Stewart Secretary of State (Latin America and Africa)

Mr. Speaker, the conference that took place in Egypt this week sent a very important message to the international community that collectively people, including those who historically were sometimes antagonists, can come together to confront terrorism, violence and the cowardice of that in our world community. It is an important message, particularly to the Middle East peace process, at this time.

The summit was a very short process. There was agreement that a working group be formed. Canada will participate in that working group to find other ways in which the international community can improve its efforts and collaboration toward ending terrorism and violence around the world.

Our departments are meeting to see how we can, in fact, prevent fundraising and the organizational work of terrorists in our country.

Cornwallis Park Development Agency
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Reform

Randy White Fraser Valley West, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Cornwallis Park Development Agency has some serious problems within it, not the least of which is political interference from the Liberal member for South West Nova.

For example, Mark Phillips got a management job for $33,000 and pocketed another $7,500 as a part time consultant. His qualifications were that of a cook and president of the Digby Liberal Association.

My question is for the minister responsible for ACOA. Will the government disclose the criteria and qualifications for selecting the board of the Cornwallis Park Development Agency besides being Liberal, or do we have to dissect this whole operation piece by piece?

Cornwallis Park Development Agency
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

The Speaker

Colleagues, in question period I try to give every latitude in the framing of questions. I would ask members to be very careful in the preamble.

I have to wait until the end of the question to see if it is in order. That is what we are dealing with here. Sometimes in the questions and sometimes in the answers members are taking, in my view, a little bit of licence. I would ask them to please try to compact the preamble to questions so the wait is not so long before I can intercede and make a decision.

This question is in order and I will allow the solicitor general to respond if he wants to. I saw him on his feet.

Cornwallis Park Development Agency
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

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

I will follow your admonition most closely, Mr. Speaker.

I will say simply that I do not accept in any way what I consider to be the unwarranted insinuations and premise in the hon. member's question. I do not see why his question should start out with an unwarranted attack on a very distinguished and hard working member of this House.

I will be happy to take these allegations, in spite of their unwarranted nature, and bring them to the attention of the minister responsible for ACOA. I understand the new agency is in place and its administration is being put in place in the proper way. I am sure the minister responsible for ACOA will have full answers when he is back in the House.

In the meantime, I see no reason why the hon. member should make these unwarranted attacks on a very distinguished, hardworking and effective member of this House.

Cornwallis Park Development Agency
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Reform

Randy White Fraser Valley West, BC

I guess, Mr. Speaker, when you are dealing with facts, you are dealing with facts and I do not see them as unwarranted at all, having already undertaken an investigation.

We have unsolicited bids, we have hiring of unqualified people and we have political patronage which are commonplace in this particular agency. The vultures have started picking at the carcass of a closed military base.

Will the minister agree to a public inquiry of the Cornwallis Park Development Agency? If he will not, will he allow the opposition to review the records of ACOA and the Cornwallis Park Development Agency with respect to its finances and its operations?

Cornwallis Park Development Agency
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, in answering this question I want to make it clear that I do not accept in any way the premise, the insinuations or innuendos in the hon. member's question.

This matter will be looked into by the minister responsible for ACOA and he will be in a position to report back in the appropriate way.

In the meantime, in spite of the hon. member's reference to facts, he has not demonstrated in this House that he always has a complete grasp of them himself.