House of Commons Hansard #177 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was nafta.

Topics

Apec Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the member should wait for the commission to do its work. I said in the House, and I repeat, that in Canada the RCMP is known to be very efficient police. The commission is looking at whether they acted properly at that time.

We said we will offer all the collaboration needed by the judge who is presiding over the commission, so that he knows all the facts and can inform the public. I always said, and I repeat, that in many, many instances in the past when we have visitors in Canada, including at the G-7 meeting in Halifax, the RCMP acted extremely well.

Apec Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, speaking of the commission and the judge, he has recommended funding for the students so that this is a fair process.

The solicitor general has had another 24 hours to take a look at that. I know it is a very difficult question but let me put it to him again. Is he going to fund the students? Yes or no.

Apec Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Cardigan
P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated to my hon. colleague yesterday, I have received a letter. I will review it with my staff and when I do so I will make it public.

Apec Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, obviously this very difficult question is beyond the capacity of the solicitor general, so let me ask the Prime Minister.

Considering that Justice Hughes has asked for funding for the students in order for there to be a fair process, will the students receive funding from the government? Yes or no.

Apec Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I think the solicitor general gave a very good answer earlier.

King Of Jordan's Funeral
Oral Question Period

February 9th, 1999 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has the unfortunate habit of not admitting that he is capable of making a mistake. Yesterday, the Bloc Quebecois gave him the benefit of the doubt, but the facts are overwhelming.

In an attempt to cover up his error in judgment, the Prime Minister cited scheduling problems as an excuse for his failure to attend the King of Jordan's funeral. This was another error in judgment, because the facts are there for examination.

What explanation can the Prime Minister give us today for the fact that he preferred skiing to fulfilling his official responsibilities?

King Of Jordan's Funeral
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the member must know that the Department of National Defence informed me and my office that it could not make the necessary arrangements to get me to the funeral in time.

We had done all the planning and a PMO team was already on site but, because there were less than 24 hours between the death and the funeral, it was unfortunately impossible for the Canadian armed forces to get me there.

King Of Jordan's Funeral
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the United States showed more consideration and foresight in planning for a precipitous departure, and there were even three former presidents in the delegation accompanying President Clinton.

I ask the Prime Minister whether he does not think his first error in judgment was to head off skiing last Thursday, instead of remaining in Ottawa, when the entire world knew that the king was near death?

King Of Jordan's Funeral
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, if I had had a Boeing 747, as President Clinton does, I could have made the trip non-stop.

The Prime Minister of Canada does not have a jet at his disposal for travelling around the world. The hon. member should perhaps move that a Bombardier aircraft, a Global Express, be bought for that purpose. If the opposition asks me to buy one, I would be pleased to study the proposal.

King Of Jordan's Funeral
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has been trying for the past couple of days to rationalize his error in judgement in failing to attend King Hussein's funeral because he could not get there in time.

How could the Prime Minister give such a lame excuse, when the Liberal members of the Canadian delegation had been on standby in Ottawa since Friday, ready to leave for Jordan on short notice?

King Of Jordan's Funeral
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we had been preparing for a possible state funeral since last week and expected to receive adequate notice so that I could attend.

However, since the funeral was held on less than 24 hours' notice, it was impossible for the Canadian Armed Forces to take me where I wanted to go, in spite of the fact that I had made arrangements to attend the funeral.

King Of Jordan's Funeral
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister was so prepared to go that the opposition was notified at 8 a.m. and the Prime Minister at 10 a.m., Ottawa time.

Will the Prime Minister admit that the only thing we know for sure in this whole affair is that the decision not to travel to Jordan had been made before he even left for Vancouver?

King Of Jordan's Funeral
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member's assertion is totally wrong, because I have been in constant communication with my office throughout the weekend and I was planning to go.

What was not planned was for the funeral to be held within 24 hours of King Hussein's death.

Homelessness
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister was too busy skiing to attend the funeral of King Hussein. Now we have learned that the Prime Minister is too busy to meet a delegation of Canada's homeless who will be in Ottawa tomorrow, too busy to think about the plight of hundreds of thousands of Canada's homeless.

What sport will the Prime Minister use as an excuse this time?

Homelessness
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member likes to make personal attacks.

I did make time while on holiday to attend the funeral of the Inuit who were killed by the avalanche in New Quebec. Also, the same day that an attempt was made on my life, I took a plane to attend Premier Rabin's funeral.

I had made all the arrangements to attend King Hussein's funeral, but the Canadian Armed Forces said they could not get me there. Regarding the delegations, our ministers are there to receive people. There is a well-established procedure and they follow it.