House of Commons Hansard #13 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was crime.

Topics

Business Development Bank Of Canada
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Lanark—Carleton.

Ethics Counsellor
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Scott Reid Lanark—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, several days ago the ethics counsellor stated that the Prime Minister's shares in the Shawinigan golf course were not in a blind trust.

Why then did the industry minister publicly state that those shares were in a blind trust?

Ethics Counsellor
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, in a scrum outside the House I made reference to the shares being in a blind trust and then within two sentences corrected myself and referred to assets being looked after by trustees.

With reference to the request for information to be tabled, the leader of the Conservative Party knows much ofthat information is subject to the provisions of the Privacy Act.He also knows that if I were to table that information, I would have to tender my resignation 10 seconds later.

Ethics Counsellor
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Scott Reid Lanark—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians want to make sure that government appointments and government programs are equally available to all Canadians in all provinces.

Does the industry minister consider it fair or ethical that the Prime Minister could interfere with the Business Development Bank, with the immigrant investor fund or with any other organization to direct funds for his personal benefit?

Ethics Counsellor
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I would not consider it fair and I am happy to report that it did not happen. Those are the facts.

What is happening here on the basis of no evidence and no new information is a systematic attempt to use parliament through allegations and through smear to injure the character of somebody who has served the House and the country for 38 years. That is what is happening here. Members opposite know it and we know it on this side of the House as well.

Official Languages
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

A visit to the websites of the diplomatic missions in Ottawa reveals that 75% of them have no French content, while the remaining 25% contain less French than English.

Is the minister aware that this situation does not reflect the reality of Canada's two official languages?

Official Languages
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member is well aware, not long ago the website with the most French content in the world was the SchoolNet site. He will therefore accept that I am extremely aware of the importance of our bilingual reality. We are going to ensure that both languages are equally represented on the website.

Official Languages
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would remind the minister that my question related to the embassies located here in Ottawa.

In the same vein, can the minister tell us whether he intends to suggest to the embassies that they use both of Canada's official languages, thus enabling Quebecers and the francophones of Canada to communicate with embassies in their own language?

Official Languages
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Minister of Foreign Affairs

Absolutely, Mr. Speaker.

Ethics Counsellor
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Pallister Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Deputy Prime Minister may recall saying “The Prime Minister did not own shares at any relevant time”. This is just wrong.

Canadians know that the Prime Minister owned shares at the time when he met with immigrant investors. Canadians know that he owned the shares at the time he recruited funding support from the president of the Business Development Bank.

My question is for the Deputy Prime Minister. If these are not relevant times, what are?

Ethics Counsellor
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is as out to lunch in the Alliance Party as he was in the Conservative Party.

He is quite wrong in saying that the Prime Minister solicited investor funds or solicited funds from the Business Development Bank. This was confirmed by the ethics counsellor. What I said yesterday is correct and what he says today is wrong.

Ethics Counsellor
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Pallister Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, let us see if it is as foggy over the Grand Banks. Last week we asked about the Prime Minister's stake in the hotel Grand-Mère and the industry minister replied, and I quote from Hansard , “There were no private benefits by the Prime Minister whatsoever”.

That statement counters the ethics counsellor's own words. It serves to heighten the suspicion of the Canadian people about the Prime Minister, his leader. Why does he not clear the air today and clarify the erroneous statements that he made in the House last week?

Ethics Counsellor
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I ask the hon. member why he does not clarify and withdraw the erroneous statements on which he bases his question.

The ethics counsellor did not find what the hon. member asserts. The ethics counsellor found that the Prime Minister acted perfectly correctly and perfectly properly.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Oak Ridges, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Recently Canada established diplomatic relations with North Korea. The regime in Pyongyang is signalling its interest in modernizing its economy with the latest technology.

Given the fact that North Korea's missile and nuclear program has contributed to uncertainty in the region and that it has withdrawn from the International Atomic Energy Agency, how will Canada approach engagement with this regime in terms of trade, regional security issues. and the need to encourage and promote North Korea into rejoining the atomic energy agency?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, first let me say that I think all members of the House recognize that President Kim Dae-jung of South Korea won the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in opening up the Korean peninsula and building peace there, very deservedly so.

Canada has followed his encouragement in establishing diplomatic relations with the north. That provides us with an increased opportunity to work with the North Koreans in advancing Canadian values, including democratic rights, human rights, economic development and trade issues.

On the specific matter of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Canada annually co-ordinates a resolution before the agency at an annual meeting concerning North Korea. We will continue to do so.