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 foundation.

Topics

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I find it absolutely incredible that the member opposite, who initially raised questions about hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars being given to a law firm and the chairman of the law firm subsequently writing a personal cheque for $70,000, said the question had to be answered but ever since has been silent.

Where there is a question to be asked she will not ask it. Where there are no questions to be answered she stands and raises all kinds of nonsense. It simply will not fly with the people of Canada.

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, a Toronto alderman stated yesterday that “the Prime Minister is not allowed to be involved in any issue affecting interests adjoining his properties”.

Ethics expert Arthur Schafer said that the Prime Minister is in a conflict of interest situation according to every municipal bylaw in Canada. He went on to say that he has also probably breached most provincial codes and possibly even his own federal rules. I know of what I speak, having been president of the Union des municipalités du Québec.

Will the Prime Minister agree with me that, had he been a mayor instead of Prime Minister, he would have already been called upon to step down?

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, quite frankly no list of continued aspersions, no continued list of attacks will take away the fact that the RCMP, which is respected in the country by citizens from coast to coast, has at the request of members opposite opened the file, looked at the file, and said there was no basis for any further investigation.

The ethics counsellor, who was quoted whenever it was convenient and has come to the conclusion there was no conflict of interest, has spoken repeatedly. In conclusion, there simply is no conflict. There is no wrongdoing.

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to the Commission des affaires municipales du Québec, any citizen may lay a complaint against an elected representative suspected of conflict of interest, and the person who has committed the act is not the one to judge it, but rather the courts, who can judge it independently. If the Prime Minister were an elected municipal official, he could not be the judge of his own actions.

Is the fact that the Prime Minister is both judge and party to this affair not another conflict of interest?

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the opposition has asked the RCMP to look into the matter. They found nothing and so they closed the file.

The ethics counsellor, who was appointed by the Conservative Government as Deputy Registrar General, has analyzed the matter, appeared before the House committees, spoken on radio and television, and he has always made one thing very clear: the shares were sold in 1993 and there was no conflict of interest.

The time has come for people to start talking of real problems. I am very well aware that the opposition is not capable of attacking the government on its policy, so it amuses itself trying to—

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Peace River.

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Charlie Penson Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we asked the Minister of Industry about a breach of the Canada Business Corporations Act. He refused to answer the question.

I remind the House that as Minister of Industry he has the statutory responsibility for this act so I want him to answer a straight question today. Will the minister tell us whether the share registry of the Grand-Mère Golf Club complied with all applicable laws?

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, if the member has looked at the act he will know that the minister has a responsibility to respect the privacy rights of the individuals affected.

He will know further that it is the responsibility of the directorate to give direction to bring information to compliance. Once that information is brought into compliance, that information is made public. The member knows all of that.

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Charlie Penson Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister might note that unless he stops his ministers from shouting, the minister over here will never have a chance to respond to anything.

Both the Prime Minister and Jonas Prince are corporate lawyers. They know they are supposed to comply and abide by the law and have the shareholder registry reflect the real situation. They know that. Could the Prime Minister provide any record, any proof at all, that he requested his name be removed from the registry?

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we have repeatedly received very conclusive evidence that the Prime Minister as of November 1993 no longer owned these shares. Therefore, effective November 1993, the Prime Minister did not have and should not have had any direction given by him with respect to how this company operated.

Ethics Counsellor
Oral Question Period

March 28th, 2001 / 2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, among other statements to the Standing Committee on Industry, the ethics counsellor said that the value of the sale of shares in the Grand-Mère golf club could neither rise nor fall.

Yesterday's documents indicate clearly that the Prime Minister lost money in this venture. With this inaccuracy, the Prime Minister's ethics counsellor has lost whatever credibility he had left.

How can the Prime Minister not admit that we have before us one more reason to think that his counsellor tried to cover for him in all this?

Ethics Counsellor
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, first, I would have to go back because I know it would be prudent to find out exactly what it was the ethics counsellor said rather than take the assertion here in the House.

Second, the fact of the matter is that we know the Prime Minister actually lost money on the sale as it was disposed by his trustee. I think most Canadians know that if we had an unethical prime minister who did not care about the rule of law, he could have picked up the telephone, called a friend and said “Buy these shares; make sure I do not lose any money”.

The Prime Minister did not do that. He stayed out of it. He let his trustee handle it and, yes, he lost money. That shows how honest he is.

Ethics Counsellor
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, the ethics counsellor knows perfectly well that the name of the Prime Minister remained on the shareholders' record, since he had examined all the books, so he said.

How does the Prime Minister explain the ethics counsellor's failing to reveal this fact during the election campaign, other than in order to keep the fact that he was in a conflict of interest from the public?

Ethics Counsellor
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, any lawyer knows that a contract is completed with the consent of the parties. This is something known to every lawyer. When there is mutual consent, the sale is complete.

In Quebec, this applies even to real estate transactions. In Ontario, this does not apply to property, but it does for other personal property.

Everyone knows that. You pick up the phone. You call your broker and tell him to buy or sell shares. There is no contract, but you have to pay if you have told him to buy or sell shares.

Multiculturalism
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deborah Grey Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, the junior minister of multiculturalism slandered the people of Prince George and then tried to cover it up. The Prime Minister said twice yesterday:

—there were no phone calls made by the minister or anybody in her office about that.

In fact, Sergeant Fiona Weller of the B.C. hate crimes unit, that one RCMP and one local police officer, said she was telephoned by one Steve Bourne of the minister's office to ask about cross burnings.

If the Prime Minister will not fire her for intolerance or slander, will he fire her for making him look like a fool yesterday?