House of Commons Hansard #134 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was kosovo.

Topics

Merchant Navy Veterans
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Brome—Missisquoi.

International Eastern Townships Duck Festival
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Paradis Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, from October 2 to 31, 1998, the municipalities of Bromont and Lac-Brome are hosting the third International Eastern Townships Duck Festival.

This is a high quality gastronomical event that is already well-known abroad. The international duck festival received the award of excellence in the tourist event category at the recent Quebec tourism awards.

The Government of Canada contributed $128,000 to support the promotion and marketing of the festival on foreign markets, and to promote the development of international tourism in the Eastern Townships.

Given the current rate of exchange for the Canadian dollar, we must take advantage of every opportunity to attract tourists from abroad. This is what the riding of Brome—Missisquoi is doing, with the greatly appreciated support of the Government of Canada.

Apec Summit
Oral Question Period

October 7th, 1998 / 2:15 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, the solicitor general is supposed to be the nation's top cop. He is supposed to enforce the law, not prejudge it or jeopardize investigations that are ongoing like he did last week.

Why is the solicitor general still sitting in cabinet?

Apec Summit
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, it is very clear, as I said on Tuesday, that the allegations which have been made are unfounded. I denied them. The person I was speaking with supported my position.

The hon. members are joining in this story when in fact there is no reality in it.

Apec Summit
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is a funny thing that a Liberal lawyer might just agree and corroborate with him.

Last week the solicitor general publicly bragged to his long time Liberal pal on the airplane what a hot rock he had become in Ottawa. Yet he bragged at the same time about the secret Airbus investigation and about who the fall guys might be for APEC.

These petty boasts have betrayed sensitive government business. When will the Prime Minister demand the solicitor general's resignation?

Apec Summit
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I would like to refer the hon. member to what was said because she referred to Airbus in the scrum by the member for Palliser, the famous member we have to watch for all the time.

“There was absolutely no reference per se to Airbus. I do not recall the solicitor general ever saying the word Airbus in the course of the remarks that were made”.

Again the hon. member does not have her facts right, as usual.

Apec Summit
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is a funny thing. If a lawyer betrayed his client he would be disbarred. If a doctor revealed sensitive information about a client he would lose his practice. However the solicitor general discusses sensitive government business about Airbus or individuals connected with it or APEC, and what does the Prime Minister do? He defends him, supports him and brags him up.

How could the Prime Minister defend behaviour that would have other Canadians disbarred, banned, fined or fired?

Apec Summit
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I just said to the hon. member that the member for Palliser said the word Airbus was never used or heard by anybody or discussed.

That is the best proof coming from that member. She knows it. She is bringing it up, repeating it, having no respect for what is known in the House, that there is some respect for the truth.

Apec Summit
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, until now it has been a sacred parliamentary rule that solicitors general do not talk about cases that are under their jurisdiction.

Yet this solicitor general felt at ease discussing Frank Moores and Karlheinz Schreiber who are principals in the Airbus affair, if not by name at least by implication. He was comfortable discussing the outcome of the APEC inquiry, and he did all this with a fellow passenger on a public commercial airline. That is a public forum.

Does the Prime Minister not see that the solicitor general has compromised the integrity of his position and that he must ask for his resignation?

Apec Summit
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there is absolutely no respect for the truth. There was no discussion of Airbus in that discussion.

It is not only the solicitor general or the lawyer; it is even the member for Palliser who said that the word Airbus was never mentioned in relation to any of this.

Apec Summit
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, by refusing to ask the solicitor general for his resignation the Prime Minister is setting a dangerous precedent.

It means that there is a new rule for solicitors general. It means that confidential investigations under his care are fair game and open for public discussion and debate, and even prejudgment in public fora.

To restore public confidence in the position of the solicitor general, the highest lawmaker in the land, will the Prime Minister do the right thing and ask for his resignation today?

Apec Summit
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I repeat that there was no discussion at all, according to the member for Palliser, about Airbus.

The hon. members have written questions. They are not quick enough to correct them. They have to read them again. I am telling them not to refer to Airbus. According to the member for Palliser there was absolutely no discussion of Airbus during that—

Apec Summit
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. leader of the Bloc Quebecois.

Apec Summit
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in his letter, Mr. Toole not only confirms that the topic of APEC was indeed discussed by the Solicitor General last Thursday on the plane, he also states that he did not interpret the words of the Solicitor General as prejudicial to the RCMP inquiry.

Does the Prime Minister realize that the Solicitor General's alibi is nothing more than a letter from a friend, who interpreted what he heard as a good little Liberal, and that it therefore does not have much substance to it?

Apec Summit
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows very well that an inquiry has been under way since Monday.

All we are asking, and all the government wants—and the House of Commons as well, I hope—is for the commission to look at the matter, hear witnesses describe what occurred in Vancouver that November afternoon, and report to the government, which will act accordingly.

At this time, however, Parliament should let the commission do its job, instead of speculating about hearsay.