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

Shipbuilding
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, during last fall's election the Minister of Industry campaigned throughout Atlantic Canada making a personal commitment to shipyard workers in Saint John, Halifax, Dartmouth and St. John's, Newfoundland, that he would bring in a shipbuilding report by the middle of January 2001.

Sadly the minister has chosen to delay the release of the report on shipbuilding. Government sources close to the minister have confirmed that the report has been completed and it sits on the minister's desk. Why has the minister not released the report? Why will the Minister of Industry not table the report in the House today?

Why does the government continue to ignore the serious problems facing our shipbuilding industry? Why does it insist on prolonging the hardships being endured by our shipyard workers and their families?

Grants And Contributions
Oral Question Period

February 14th, 2001 / 2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the official opposition believes that Canadians want governments to be above suspicion but not above the law, and so as the Shawinigan file continues to grow we continue to demand accountability.

Members will remember Mr. Claude Gauthier as the man who bought the piece of land from the Prime Minister back in 1996 and then donated $10,000 to his 1997 election campaign. He was also the gentleman who got the $6 million government contract, even though he was not qualified, and another $1 million from the transitional jobs fund. Now it turns out that Mr. Gauthier also lucked into $9 million worth of immigrant investor funds after the Prime Minister met with those investors.

Why would the Prime Minister not be concerned about this conflict of interest?

Grants And Contributions
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is quite wrong in his assertions when he alleges a conflict of interest. I repeat that the immigrant investor program in the province of Quebec is a Quebec provincial program and is managed by the province. It makes its decisions on people who are entitled to offer immigrant investor funds. The rules of the flow of funds are according to the rules of the Quebec provincial government. The Prime Minister has nothing to do with those matters and has had nothing to do with those matters.

Grants And Contributions
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, he does not agree with either the ethics counsellor or the auditor general. I want to remind him that Claude Gauthier bought the land from the Prime Minister that helped boost the value of his shares in the neighbouring golf course. He then donated $10,000 to the Prime Minister's election campaign. During that same period of time, Mr. Gauthier received $7 million from federal government programs, nearly all of which the auditor general says he was not entitled to.

How many millions need to go to Mr. Gauthier before the solicitor general will call for an independent inquiry into this?

Grants And Contributions
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I want to again point out that what the Leader of the Opposition says about the views of the ethics counsellor are totally inaccurate with respect to this matter.

In an interview the ethics counsellor made speculative comments about a hypothetical situation. At the same time, he insisted that he had not changed his original decision from last November. He reiterated in January that the Prime Minister was operating within the rules and that he had not broken any conflict of interest rules. The ethics counsellor has maintained this position and the Leader of the Opposition ought to admit that.

Grants And Contributions
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Deputy Prime Minister deals with material that may be up to four years old. It is the ethics counsellor who finds the Gauthier case questionable. It is the auditor general who has brought questions about receiving these funds. It is the ethics counsellor and the auditor general. Why will they not deal with this basic question of conflict of interest?

It is very clear that as the items continue to pile up on this file the questions continue to pile up. I would like to know if there is actually some other information that the Prime Minister is aware of that he does not want us to know about, and that is really the reason he will not allow the solicitor general to move ahead with an independent investigation.

Grants And Contributions
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the short answer is, absolutely not. The Prime Minister acted correctly and ethically. That was the finding of the ethics counsellor, which he has reiterated over and over again.

The Leader of the Opposition ought to tell us why he is raising these matters. Is it because he does not want Canadians to know that he really believes we are doing a great job on the economy, a great job on health and a great job on the needs of children? Why does the Leader of the Opposition not tell us that we deserve a valentine instead of raising these misleading and false assertions?

Grants And Contributions
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deborah Grey Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, what a farce.

The Prime Minister benefited from the sale of the land adjacent to the golf course which—

Grants And Contributions
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Grants And Contributions
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. Obviously the excitement of receiving valentines has struck home. The hon. member for Edmonton North has the floor and every member will want to hear her.

Grants And Contributions
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deborah Grey Edmonton North, AB

The Prime Minister benefited from that very sale of the land that was adjacent to the golf course which added value to the shares that he was trying to sell in the golf course itself. The Deputy Prime Minister tries to fog that over, not to mention the $10,000 political benefit.

I am sure Mr. Gauthier is good to know but it is obvious that the Prime Minister is better to know. Mr. Gauthier got $7 million from federal programs and another $9 million from investor immigrant funds. The benefit to him is obvious. Why is it not obvious to the Prime Minister that he is afraid of this independent investigation?

Grants And Contributions
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there was already an investigation by the ethics counsellor who found that the Prime Minister had acted within the rules. If anybody else wants to carry out an investigation, they have the independent authority to do that. It is not a matter of direction one way or another by the Prime Minister or the solicitor general.

The facts are that the Prime Minister had no interest in the golf course at the time of the land purchase. I have been advised that Mr. Gauthier competed for a CIDA contract and won it because he had the lowest bid. Why does the Alliance Party refuse to admit this simple fact?

Grants And Contributions
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deborah Grey Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, we will not admit it because we know it is simply not true. It is not true and there is no way that the Deputy Prime Minister can defend that.

Conflict of interest guidelines are to prevent the appearance of conflicts, not just to prevent them from actually happening. He can talk all he likes around the bush about it but it simply will not add up. The relationship between Claude Gauthier and the Prime Minister has a very bad appearance.

If these dealings are as innocent as the Deputy Prime Minister claims daily, then why will the government not just call for an independent investigation and clear the air?

Grants And Contributions
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Beaches—East York
Ontario

Liberal

Maria Minna Minister for International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member keeps talking about the CIDA project. First, seven companies sent bids to the president and that company's bid was 30% below the bids by the other companies. It was a straightforward bidding process.

Telefilm Canada
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, Telefilm Canada's new feature film policy is aimed primarily at increasing the market share of Canadian films from 1% to 5%. This policy ignores the Quebec reality, since the share of producers and films there is already 6.5%. This then is a Canadian problem to which a Canadian solution is being applied, without regard to the industry in Quebec.

I would ask the Minister of Canadian Heritage if she is aware that Telefilm's new policy achieves only one objective, that of penalizing those who are already successful, Quebec producers?