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

Trade
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The right hon. Prime Minister.

Trade
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to inform the leader of the NDP that as recently as Monday afternoon I discussed with the prime minister of Italy putting the question of HIV-AIDS on the agenda of the summit in Genoa in July.

Our goal is to make sure where there are millions of people dying of AIDS that medication could be made available to them at the lowest price possible.

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

March 28th, 2001 / 2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister claims there was a bona fide sale to a Jonas Prince company in 1993. If so, why was it necessary to sign a side agreement six years later which stipulates that neither J&AC Consultants Inc. nor any other third party will have any right of ownership or interest in the shares upon transfer of the shares from Akimbo to Michaud in 1999?

Why the side agreement? Was it because at least one party to this affair believed that J&AC Consultants Inc. had an interest in those shares between—

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The right hon. Prime Minister.

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, lawyers who have passed their exams are very prudent when they draft documents. It is part of the normal preoccupation of a good lawyer to put in a document to definitively finalize any transaction.

It was done among lawyers. I read this document yesterday because everything was dealt with by my trustee and lawyer in collaboration with Mr. Wilson who is there to advise all the people in public administration in Ottawa about conflict of interest and the trust they have to establish to be protected.

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, why was it not done in 1993? The Prime Minister told the House that the value of the shares—

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. It is impossible for the Chair to hear the right hon. member who has the floor.

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, they cannot shout the House of Commons down. The Prime Minister told the House that the value of the shares did not matter because it was just a debt that the Prime Minister wanted to collect.

The documents released yesterday show clearly that the Prime Minister lost money on the final sale of these shares, so he had a financial interest and he had that interest when he called the bank to arrange a share for the auberge. Was one reason that he interfered with the bank to protect his own interest from—

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The right hon. Prime Minister.

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, if that leader of the opposition read the letter that I sent to him yesterday, he would have found out that tourism is very important in my riding. I listed at least eight or nine projects where there were government interventions in a riding with 20% unemployment to develop tourism. Eight hundred jobs have been created since this government has been in power to reduce the unemployment level from 20% to 10%.

With the permission of the Speaker, yesterday I did something very unusual because—

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

I am sure the Prime Minister will get more questions.

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday's documents confirm the Prime Minister's personal interest in the Grand-Mère golf course in the form of a huge debt whose value was falling.

In spite of this personal stake, he personally intervened in at least three instances that we know of to prop up the value of adjoining real estate with public money. Each of these is covered by a cloud of questionable flip-flops in the Prime Minister's story and a very apparent conflict of interest.

Why will he not just put these issues in the hands of an independent inquiry and clear them up for Canadians?

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, all the information that has been asked for and each process that has been demanded by members opposite have been fulfilled. Each time information is provided or each process is fulfilled members opposite say “Let us go one step further”.

It is very clear to the people of Canada that there is no conflict here and furthermore no wrongdoing. It is quite the opposite: a prime minister who has gone through extreme scrutiny has taken the extraordinary step of giving up private information, a prime minister who has maintained his integrity after 38 years in public life.

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, I know that is the government's official line but it is just nonsense. What the documents showed was that our concerns about the Prime Minister's conflict of interest were correct all along.

He did have a conflict of interest. He did have an interest in the value of the golf course at the time he was pouring public money into adjoining real estate. These questions have to be cleared up for the sake of the Prime Minister, the integrity of his office and for Canadians. Why will an independent inquiry not be called?