House of Commons Hansard #36 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was young.

Topics

Multiculturalism
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Betty Hinton Kamloops, Thompson And Highland Valleys, BC

Mr. Speaker, it appears the Secretary of State for Multiculturalism is making a habit of slandering British Columbians. Last week she denigrated the people of Prince George, but that was not the first time.

In 1997 the minister was quoted in a newspaper article saying “Crosses are burned outside Kamloops”. That is absolute nonsense and my constituents are outraged. What proof does the minister have that crosses are being burned outside Kamloops or anywhere else in B.C.?

Multiculturalism
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Vancouver Centre
B.C.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Secretary of State (Multiculturalism)(Status of Women)

Mr. Speaker, it has never been my intent to disparage communities, either in British Columbia or in Canada. I deeply regret the hurt the statement I made last week in the House caused. I apologized for it and I apologize again for it.

Multiculturalism
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Betty Hinton Kamloops, Thompson And Highland Valleys, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister has a track record for making inflammatory statements that insult and embarrass British Columbians and all Canadians. She has no proof of crosses being burned outside Prince George, Kamloops or anywhere else.

The minister's role is to prevent racism, not invent it. Will the minister apologize to my constituents and tender her resignation immediately?

Multiculturalism
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Vancouver Centre
B.C.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Secretary of State (Multiculturalism)(Status of Women)

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased that the member across the way mentioned that. What I am sorry about is that this incident has detracted and moved us away from the attention that should be paid to the way communities across the country have been working to deal with issues of racism and hate within their communities. We have been working with them to do this.

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, during the election campaign, the Prime Minister's ethics counsellor took his side when he stated that he had seen all the books and that everything was in order.

How can the Prime Minister explain this statement made by the ethics counsellor during the election campaign, when last week his name was still on the list of shareholders of the golf club?

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once someone has sold his shares he is not responsible for how the books are kept, since he is no longer a shareholder or a director of the company.

I stopped being a shareholder of that company on November 1, 1993. How the books were kept afterwards does not reflect the reality at all. The shares were sold to Mr. Prince on November 1, 1993, as confirmed by the company's lawyer last week and as confirmed repeatedly by the ethics counsellor.

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, in light of these facts, we can only conclude that either the ethics counsellor lied or that he did not check the books properly.

My question is very simple: On whose orders did he act like this?

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I just said that, as of November 1, 1993, I no longer had any right or obligation vis-à-vis the books of a company to which I was no longer connected.

I do not know what is in these books. This is irrelevant, because I sold my shares on November 1, 1993, as was confirmed last week by the company's lawyer. What went on with that company between November 2 and now is none of my business.

Multiculturalism
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dick Harris Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, last week in the House the minister for multiculturalism stood and said that she had a letter from the mayor of Prince George about a cross burning incident in the city of Prince George. Then the next day she said “Whoops, I made a mistake; it wasn't Prince George”.

I would like to ask a question of the Secretary of State for Multiculturalism. Was there ever any letter from any mayor about any cross burning incident in any city in B.C., or was the letter just a fabrication?

Multiculturalism
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Vancouver Centre
B.C.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Secretary of State (Multiculturalism)(Status of Women)

Mr. Speaker, I already said that I made a mistake with regard to Prince George, that I was very sorry and that I apologized to the people of Prince George.

Multiculturalism
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dick Harris Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, her apology referred to saying it was from the mayor of Prince George. That was it. The fact is we believe that the minister deliberately fabricated a story about a letter.

I am asking her this question. Was there ever any letter, from any mayor about any cross burning incident in any city in B.C.? Was there a letter? Yes or no. Will she produce it? If not, will she admit it was a fake statement and resign her position?

Multiculturalism
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Vancouver Centre
B.C.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Secretary of State (Multiculturalism)(Status of Women)

Mr. Speaker, I have already said in the House that I made a mistake with regard to Prince George and I apologized to the people of Prince George.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, I would like to bring to the attention of the House the environmental problem of Sydney tar ponds and coke oven sites in my riding. It is known that the population of Sydney is very concerned.

I would like to take this opportunity to ask the Minister of the Environment this question. What are the time lines regarding the clean up of the Sydney tar ponds and coke oven sites?

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the local joint action group has more than a dozen proposals of companies which believe they have the technology and the capacity to clean up the tar ponds site. The technologies are currently under evaluation.

There is no way one can predict when that analysis by the local group will finish, but I can assure him we want to make sure that as soon as we have a decision by the local group of the correct technology we will proceed with the clean up of that site.

Multiculturalism
Oral Question Period

March 26th, 2001 / 2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gurmant Grewal Surrey Central, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister for multiculturalism misled the House when she said she had a letter from the mayor of Prince George asking for help with cross burnings on lawns.

By Friday of last week, one day after her apology to the people of Prince George, the minister was still trying to build a case to defend herself. In fact, she ordered her officials to contact the RCMP and get information on cross burnings. Is that not enough for the Prime Minister to fire her?