House of Commons Hansard #30 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was trade.

Topics

Air Transportation
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, since he is a member of the transport committee, the entire matter of transportation policy and air policy is being worked on by the committee and by the government. Discussions are going on between the airlines to resolve the situation.

In the meantime, there is a particular problem involving Inter-Canadien. It is a serious problem and hopefully in the next few days there will be a resolution to that issue.

Canada Elections Act
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Ted White North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister for International Trade denies having received an unreported $10,000 in cash along with transportation services for his election campaign in return for appointing a supporter to the parole board. However, his official agent has already admitted that transportation services were received from a company in Montreal and not reported.

The House leader for the government knows that a complaint cannot be launched with the commissioner 18 months after the election. So who is going to take the fall for contravening the elections act, the minister or his official agent?

Canada Elections Act
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, there is no question of taking a fall or any such nonsense. This is far more serious than to say something like that, and the hon. member knows it. The information given to me as late as an hour ago is that the official agent had no such information as the hon. member across alleges.

In any case, as I said previously, if the hon. member feels that he has a legitimate complaint, and he probably feels that he does because this is the third question that has been asked—and if the hon. member from Edmonton would listen, perhaps she too would want to inform herself—they should inform the commissioner of elections if they feel they have a complaint.

Canada Elections Act
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Ted White North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, any minister found guilty of improperly reporting campaign expenses automatically loses his seat in the House and cannot accept any patronage appointment from the Prime Minister for seven years. That is a tough situation for a Liberal.

Will the government do the right thing and arrange for the release of the taped telephone conversations between the minister and his Parole Board appointee so that the air can be cleared and we can find out the minister's involvement in this case?

Canada Elections Act
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Cardigan
P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, no person is appointed to the Parole Board unless they are qualified, have related experience and go through a screening process. That is exactly what took place.

Minister For International Trade
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is alleged that, during the 1997 election campaign, the Minister for International Trade, through his chief organizer, Jacques Lamoureux, accepted $10,000 in cash and the use of a chauffeur driven car, which do not appear on his election report, as prescribed by the Canada Elections Act.

Members may remember that Marcel Masse had to leave cabinet in 1985 under similar circumstances.

Does the Prime Minister not consider that the Minister for International Trade is now finding himself in a similar situation and should therefore resign?

Minister For International Trade
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is referring to an allegation made elsewhere. He knows the context in which it was made.

If the hon. member feels that the allegation is founded, I would urge him to file a complaint with the Commissioner of Canada Elections, who will take whatever measures are required. This includes, of course, if he deems it appropriate, calling on the police.

Minister For International Trade
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, we should be concerned that the government does not seem to think that these are serious allegations.

Under the circumstances, would it not be proper for the minister to temporarily leave cabinet, while an investigation is conducted into this matter?

Minister For International Trade
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, first, no investigation has been initiated. Second, the allegation may not be founded.

The hon. member, who is a practising lawyer, is well aware that, when an allegation is made, it definitely does not mean that the person is guilty.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

November 29th, 1999 / 2:50 p.m.

Reform

Howard Hilstrom Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, the government has stated that reductions in agriculture subsidies will be a priority in the WTO millennium round of trade negotiations. However, these talks will take up to five years to complete. Farmers cannot wait for five years for these talks to be successful. Foreign subsidies are driving them into bankruptcy today.

Why is the Prime Minister refusing to launch a team Canada mission to Europe and Washington aimed at reducing agriculture subsidies immediately?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Egmont
P.E.I.

Liberal

Joe McGuire Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, our government is on record as saying that one of our first priorities is to reduce international trade subsidies and domestic subsidies. That is what we are doing in Seattle today and what we will continue to do.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Howard Hilstrom Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals seem to think that the millennium round means that they have a thousand years to negotiate. Farmers will not survive on Liberal promises.

The Prime Minister has had since 1993 to negotiate reductions in foreign farm subsidies. He has not even tried. Why is the Prime Minister willing to sacrifice thousands of farmers by waiting another five to ten years hoping for subsidy reductions?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, in my capacity as Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board, what the hon. gentleman should know is that the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Minister for International Trade, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and myself have raised this issue with the Europeans repeatedly, including commissioner Fischler, and with the United States, including the trade representative Charlene Barshefsky and secretary Glickman. We have also raised it with the Argentinians, the Brazilians and the Australians at the OECD.

If the hon. gentleman wants an all out assault by Canada on the subsidies of foreign countries, that began a long time ago and we will continue until we win.

Minister For International Trade
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Pierrette Venne Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, on September 25, 1985, upon learning that he was being investigated for services rendered by Lavallin but not declared in his election expenses return, former minister Marcel Masse resigned, stating as follows “The possibility that I might be charged casts doubt on my honesty, which would reflect on the government”.

My question is for the Prime Minister. How can the Prime Minister tolerate standards of honesty that are not just as high for his Minister for International Trade as they were back then for Marcel Masse?

Minister For International Trade
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt that the standard of honesty is much higher among Liberals than among Progressive Conservatives. I am sure the member opposite knows this, given the caucus to which she once belonged.

Now, on a much more serious note, with respect to the allegation made by the member in the House, if she believes it to be well founded, she can of course inform the Commissioner of Canada Elections. That gentlemen may, if he wishes, conduct an investigation and, should he feel the matter to be a serious one, request the assistance of the authorities, if he deems it necessary.