House of Commons Hansard #38 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was new.

Topics

Arts And Culture
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Brent St. Denis Algoma—Manitoulin, ON

Mr. Speaker, I invite all members to join me at the National Press Club after the votes tonight to help celebrate the unique partnership between the Serpent River First Nation and the City of Elliot Lake in my northern Ontario riding of Algoma—Manitoulin.

These partners have come together to create the White Mountain Academy of the Arts, a new fine arts institute dedicated to teaching both aboriginal and mainstream visual arts.

The academy is unique in North America and deserves our full support. It is one of the many creative ideas which have been implemented to diversify the area's economy from the loss of all the mines which happened a number of years ago.

I ask all members to come out tonight to see some of the art, meet the students, community leaders, staff and board members who are working together on an adventure in art which will benefit all of us for years to come.

I want to congratulate all those involved. I ask all members to come out and show their support for this very unique project.

Softwood Lumber
Statements By Members

March 28th, 2001 / 2:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, the softwood lumber issue is coming to a head as we speak and Canada has yet to establish a united position against the impending U.S. trade actions.

The risk to the industry and the country is substantial and the result of countervail and anti-dumping action will be devastating.

Leading members of the softwood lumber industry are today asking the Minister for International Trade to convene a meeting of the managers of the key softwood corporations to establish a unified stand against this threat.

Time is running out and I ask the minister to follow the advice of the industry and call a meeting of the industry leaders now.

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Watergate tapes had 18 missing minutes. The Shawinigan papers have six missing years.

On Monday, the Prime Minister said that the ethics counsellor would release all documents. On Tuesday, the ethics counsellor admitted that he had not released all the documents. We want to see the documents that show who owned the shares between 1996 and 1999, the years the Prime Minister was shovelling all that government money into the hotel next door.

Will he release those documents that show who owned the shares between 1996 and 1999?

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, anyone who can read, can read the documents. It is very clear that the shares were not mine since November 1, 1993.

I want to repeat that I have complied with the wishes of the opposition. On March 15, the member for Edmonton North said:

The Prime Minister could get over this in a heartbeat by just tabling his bill of sale for those shares in 1993.

It was done by the ethics counsellor yesterday morning.

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, he keeps talking about one of the documents we wanted on the table. We also want the ones that are under the table.

Jonas Prince changed his story in 1999 under pressure from the Prime Minister's lawyers. The former owner said that he had made a payment of $40,000 and optioned to get himself out of the agreement. He said that he did not have any more ownership in the Grand-Mère. That was said by Mr. Prince. However, the ethics counsellor did not release those documents related to that transaction in November 1997.

Will the Prime Minister table the documents that reflect on that transaction in November 1997, the transaction that Mr. Prince said brought him out of the shares and left them with the Prime Minister?

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the ethics counsellor has said, at least 10 times in front of committee or in the press, that the shares had been transferred, that he was satisfied and that there was no conflict of interest.

I think the only thing under the table is the payback that the Reform Party got from the law firm. It changed the books of the law firm. The first cheque was signed by the firm and after that it was an individual who so generously paid $70,000 to the party after the firm gained $400,000 of legal fees.

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I would like him to say that outside the House at five past three today.

Mr. Speaker, there are more holes in the Prime Minister's version than there are in the whole Grand-Mère golf course.

The Prime Minister has released a few selected documents. But there is a period of six years between 1993 and 1999.

Will the Prime Minister stop hiding the facts and set up an independent inquiry to settle this scandal once and for all?

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I said it before and will say it again, I tabled the documents they asked for. They said if I tabled the agreement of sale, they would ask no further questions.

I know a colleague who was in the House for two terms, Jim Hart, was promised $50,000 if he would resign his seat. He has told some of my colleagues that it was easy to talk to Liberal members but the Leader of the Opposition never returns his phone calls because he does not want to pay.

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Val Meredith South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is hard for us to believe that the Prime Minister would sell one of his most treasured assets by writing out an agreement in longhand, without witnesses and without a deposit.

It is hard for us to believe that it took two years for the Prime Minister to realize that Jonas Prince had neglected to pay him $150,000. It appears to us that the Prime Minister never intended to get paid for the shares, that he intended to take them back after he retired from politics.

Was this originally meant to be a contract of convenience?

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, all these matters have been dealt with properly by all the proper authorities.

As I was listening to the Leader of the Opposition, I was reminded that I am somewhat of an expert on endangered species, and there is no doubt that what this leader and a turbot have in common is that they are both hanging on by their fingernails.

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Val Meredith South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, investors were not rushing out to buy the shares in this golf course. It took the Prime Minister six years to find somebody to pay him for his shares.

Had the Auberge Grand-Mère gone bankrupt nobody, not even his partners, would have been prepared to further invest in the golf course.

Was not the real reason why the Prime Minister took such a personal interest in the hotel to keep it afloat, that he was protecting his assets?

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, Canadians would do well to remember that members opposite initially asked for an ethics counsellor investigation. They got it. The leader of the Conservative Party demanded that the RCMP investigate the matter. They did, and they closed the books.

The leader of the Conservative Party, an expert investigator, a private eye, then asked if the they had asked all the right questions.

They then asked for the bill of sale. They got the bill of sale. Yesterday they were complaining there were not 300 original bills of sale.

The Prime Minister has done everything but offer up his underwear and his socks in this investigation.

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister admitted to the House that the purpose of the September 1999 agreement released yesterday was to end his involvement in the Grand-Mère golf club. The Prime Minister said that its purpose was to “wrap up matters as clearly as possible”. Those were his words.

If matters were still ongoing, this would mean that the Prime Minister still had financial interests in the Grand-Mère golf club when he tried to obtain financial assistance for the Auberge.

Will the Prime Minister admit that the agreement, like his own statements, shows that he was in complete conflict of interest when he intervened in the Auberge affair?

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, while the country is wondering what the opposition is up to, while there are real problems, this is what they are focusing on. I have answered all the questions.

It was the member for Roberval who said:

Does he not understand that the only way to settle this matter—the only way, there are not 50 of them, only one—is to provide us with the record of sale—

This is exactly what was done. This morning, in caucus, we discussed softwood lumber, health, energy, the North, tobacco, all sorts of things—

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie.