House of Commons Hansard #26 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was judges.

Topics

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there is no contradiction here.

What I said was that, as soon as the RCMP provided the department of immigration with the necessary information, the department issued the appropriate notice and Mr. Amodeo was arrested within three weeks; he is in prison at this time.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Joe Peschisolido Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, for two years the RCMP knew Gaetano Amodeo was a convicted murdered and for two years Mr. Gaetano Amodeo had several contacts with the department of immigration.

The department of immigration claimed it did not know. The RCMP says it did know. Either way the government has failed Canadians. Which of these two ministers will the Prime Minister ask to resign?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the two ministers have been carrying out their work as ministers in a way that indicates the highest of integrity and the highest of ideals. I think the hon. member should recognize that, instead of making these unwarranted innuendos, assertions and slurs.

Media Concentration
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, contrary to what the Deputy Prime Minister would have us believe, it is a cause of considerable concern that the owner of a major newspaper chain, and one that wants to concentrate the media still further, would impose his opinion on journalists and influence editorial policies in order to come to the rescue of the Prime Minister, who is in a predicament.

Could the Deputy Prime Minister tell us whether the example of Mr. Asper, who is highly placed at CanWest Global Communications, is not eloquent proof that the concentration of Canada's press constitutes a very grave danger, the danger that political reporting will reflect the views of the Prime Minister and his government?

Media Concentration
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I believe Mr. Asper enjoys the same freedom of speech as Conrad Black.

Media Concentration
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Deputy Prime Minister's reply is not very reassuring.

I would remind him that, given the fact that Mr. Asper controls the majority of Canada's newspapers, it is of considerable concern to the members of this House, the reporters in the gallery and the people listening to us that the government attaches so little importance to a situation of information control such as we have here, which serves this government's purposes and shows just how arrogant it is.

Media Concentration
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member is serious, he can file a complaint with the Competition Bureau. I note that he had nothing to say when Conrad Black controlled those same newspapers. I wonder why that is.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this is very serious. We have a situation where one minister tells us one thing. The solicitor general appears to withhold information. It is all related to the security of our citizens and an accused murderer, and the Deputy Prime Minister stands up, laughs and makes a joke about it.

The principle of ministerial responsibility is a foundation of our democracy. Will the Prime Minister ask one or both of these ministers to resign over this irresponsible action?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am not making a joke about the matter. I treat it very seriously and I have given serious answers.

The joke is to be found in the words of the Leader of the Opposition in not looking at what I have to say and treating it with the same seriousness as I am willing to treat a serious question from him.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, that is a living demonstration. Five minutes ago he was joking about this matter and now he says he was not.

The Prime Minister has rejected the principle of ministerial accountability with regard to the HRDC file. He has rejected the principle of ministerial accountability with regard to the Shawinigate mess, and now he is rejecting ministerial responsibility and accountability related to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and the Solicitor General.

When will the Prime Minister live up to at least one of his red book promises, the one of ministerial accountability, hold one of these ministers to account and ask for their resignation?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, if I did not want to be accused by the Leader of the Opposition of making jokes about him, I would say that his followers just got up to give him a standing ovation for his comedy routine.

If what he said were serious, he would recognize that the ministers have acted with the utmost integrity and that there is no basis for calling on either of them to resign. They are carrying out their jobs in a very efficient and effective manner.

Lumber
Oral Question Period

March 12th, 2001 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister for International Trade has just told us that everyone in Canada wanted to see a return to free trade in the softwood lumber industry, which is true.

How does this square with his statement in the House a few weeks ago to the effect that he was contemplating transitional measures before the application of free trade, before the end of the agreement on March 31?

How does this square with the parliamentary secretary's statement about a long term objective in connection with free trade? Are all these muddled statements not just a way of getting Canadians ready for the idea of throwing in the towel?

Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I will be very clear. I think that after consultation with industries across Canada, after very close consultation with provincial governments, we are absolutely determined to head in the direction of free trade.

Obviously, if the agreement ends on March 31, this means we will be in a free trade situation on April 1. It is my hope that, for the good of every one of our industries throughout the country, we will get through this transition to free trade as flexibly as possible.

Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, April 1 will see either a transition to free trade or free trade. The government must tell us what its intentions are.

What is very worrisome is that just today, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade issued a communiqué saying that the government is still evaluating a broad range of solutions and ideas in connection with the softwood lumber dispute.

With just three weeks to go until the agreement terminates, how does the government propose to avoid a trade war with the Americans over softwood lumber?

Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, the member for Joliette knows full well that if we have free trade, we face the possibility of trade conflicts.

Since we will no longer have an agreement, which is what his party seems to want, this means that the United States may resort to their national laws and free trade panels.

Do not therefore ask me, on the one hand, to guarantee trade peace and, on the other, to negotiate nothing and head in the direction of free trade. The Bloc Quebecois' position is completely contradictory.