House of Commons Hansard #75 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was flag.

Topics

The Senate
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, every document is absolutely public. Everything occurred during the time when I was not a member of Parliament. Every transaction is absolutely legal.

The Reform Party likes to attack the personal integrity of people rather than deal with the issues of Parliament.

The Senate
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Ross Fitzpatrick made a private stock deal with the Prime Minister. He sold him shares at a huge discount, which the Prime Minister flipped a week later. That stock flip gave the Prime Minister at least $45,000 in a single week.

The Prime Minister said he received no remuneration for his work at the company so what was the $45,000 for? Was it a downpayment on a seat in the Senate?

The Senate
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I was out of politics and I never told my father that I would be Prime Minister so I had no commitment with destiny. I did not know at that time that I would come back to the House of Commons as Prime Minister.

I know why the leader of the Reform Party is preoccupied with this issue. It is because Senator Fitzpatrick is an extremely able citizen of British Columbia. For years he has worked in the public domain giving advice to a lot of people. He has served the province very well, as the premier of B.C. said a few days ago.

The Senate
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the government feigns outrage at our questions on this subject but it is the people of British Columbia who ought to be outraged. A Senate appointment tainted with patronage. A Senate appointment tainted with backroom deals. An appointee who could not get elected dog catcher in British Columbia if he had to submit to a democratic vote.

If the Prime Minister wants to clear the air, why does he not cancel this outrageous appointment now?

The Senate
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud of Mr. Ross Fitzpatrick the senator, as I stated. At a very early age he worked in Parliament as an assistant to a minister. Since he has left that job he has remained committed to public service helping everybody who wanted to serve, whether it was a provincial or federal government. There were years when it was not easy being a Liberal in British Columbia, but because of his good work it is now very pleasant.

The Senate
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, we are not accusing the Prime Minister of doing anything illegal with those things back then. We are just asking questions now about the fact that just last week in the House of Commons the Prime Minister said he received no remuneration. In fact he got $45,000 in one week.

What we want to ask is this: What is the problem with the Prime Minister saying “Sure, here is a Senate seat for you” a few years later. Was this $45,000 not a downpayment on a Senate seat, yes or no?

The Senate
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, a few months ago the hon. member made an accusation against me about my riding and she had the company completely wrong. It was a company from Winnipeg and she did not know the difference between Winnipeg and Shawinigan.

I am still waiting for the hon. member's apology because she misled both the House and the nation.

The Senate
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Let us be very judicious in our questions and our answers please.

The Senate
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, we are taking our facts from the insider trading reports. The Prime Minister knows exactly where he got the cash, how much he bought the shares for and how much he sold them for just one week later.

Air Canada, Canadian Airlines and the Prime Minister all seem to offer seat sales, but there is only one of those that flies straight to the Senate.

Let me ask the Prime Minister this. The swearing in ceremony is going on right now, at 2 o'clock. Will he cancel his Senate appointment while there is still time?

The Senate
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, certainly not. I am delighted that he will be a senator and he will represent British Columbia in Ottawa better than any member of the Reform Party.

Semaine Nationale De La Francophonie
Oral Question Period

March 17th, 1998 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in a letter dated March 5, the president of the Association canadienne d'éducation de langue française accuses the heritage department of trying to use the Semaine de la francophonie to serve its own ends.

He wrote as follows: “The heritage department feels that it is legitimate to appropriate the week and to alter it to suit its own exaggerated need for visibility”.

What does the Minister of Canadian Heritage have to say in response to the president of the ACELF's accusation that she is appropriating the Semaine nationale de la francophonie in order to raise the government's profile?

Semaine Nationale De La Francophonie
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, this year's contracts to the ACELF were in the same amount as those awarded in previous years.

Semaine Nationale De La Francophonie
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

We were not disputing the amount. We were questioning those who received it.

The ACELF president, Mr. Bordeleau, speaks out against what he calls, and I will repeat his exact words, “the heritage department's exaggerated need for visibility”.

Does the minister realize that she is insulting francophones, offending them, just to satisfy her burning need for visibility?

Semaine Nationale De La Francophonie
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, if anyone is trying to make political hay at the expense of francophones, it is the Government of Quebec.

The Quebec minister of the day never supported francophones in getting the Jeux de la Francophonie for Canada. He even wrote saying they ought not to come here, but he had a change of heart this week because it is the Semaine de la Francophonie.

Semaine Nationale De La Francophonie
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are going to set the record straight for the Minister of Canadian Heritage.

In a letter dated March 5, the president of the Association canadienne d'éducation de langue française, Louis-Gabriel Bordeleau, said, and I quote “Less than a month before the event, greatly disappointed and with reluctance, we had to let the private firm of Leroux Rhéal & Associés use our trademarks until March 31 in exchange for a grant from the Department of Canadian Heritage”.

What explanation does the minister have for resorting to such blackmail?