House of Commons Hansard #39 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was benefits.

Topics

Quebec
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, the attitude of the Canadian government toward Quebec, its people and its institutions is looking more and more like an obsession.

After the attacks of this government on provincial jurisdictions, as exemplified by the 1999 social union framework agreement, the federal government at it again, stifling the voice of Quebec at the upcoming Summit of the Americas.

The Liberal government is essentially marginalizing Quebec and the existing consensus about its existence as a nation and its legitimate aspirations having to be recognized as such by the world.

Canada's nation building is based on centralizing in Ottawa a number of discretionary powers to spend and to manage affairs that do not belong to the federal government. This is irreconcilable with the aspirations of Quebec and of its people, regardless of their political allegiance. Let those in charge be warned that Quebec is neither stupid nor for sale.

Organized Crime
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

John Harvard Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia, MB

Mr. Speaker, I salute the action taken yesterday by Canada's police forces in cracking down on organized crime.

With up to 150 arrests made, yesterday's operation springtime 2001 is being called the biggest anti-gang operation in Canada's history. This is just part of an ongoing campaign to make it clear to the criminal element that we will be vigilant in demonstrating that these kinds of underworld activities are not tolerated in our communities.

Yesterday's raids came after many months of investigations and groundwork conducted by our police forces. One of the many tools used by police forces was the broader powers granted to them by the anti-gang law passed by the government in 1997.

Putting an end to organized crime remains a key concern of the government. We commit to continue to stand behind our police forces and to ensure they have the powers and resources necessary to keep putting organized crime in its place.

Freshwater Exports
Statements By Members

March 29th, 2001 / 2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

John Herron Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, I have a news flash. Tragically I have to announce that the Liberal Party is now in favour of encouraging bulk water exports, jeopardizing Canada's natural ecological heritage.

The Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Premier Grimes are guilty of this crime by pushing forward with the plan to export freshwater from Gisbourne Lake, a scheme first envisioned by our current Ministry of Industry.

Equally guilty as an accessory to the crime is the Liberal Party of Canada for remaining silent and not condemning the actions of its Liberal cousins. Moreover, the Liberal government is guilty in failing to deliver a national strategy to ensure the prevention of interbasin transfers and bulk shipments of freshwater. Bill C-6 falls short of the mark and does nothing for non-transboundary water.

For eight years we have watched the Liberal government neglect the environment. I ask the ministers of the environment, heritage and international trade, as well as the Prime Minister, why they have flip-flopped and are now encouraging bulk water shipments through their silence and legislative inaction.

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, in provinces like Ontario and British Columbia simply calling crown corporations, let alone arm twisting them for a loan, would constitute a violation of the ethics code.

In most cities and towns in our nation calling an official and arm twisting for a loan for a hotel next to a property which he owned would cost that elected official. It would be a violation of the code of ethics of that town or city.

Why is the highest elected office in the country held to a lower ethical standard than aldermen and alderwomen in small towns? Why is he held to a lower standard?

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister, acting as a member of parliament, did not arm twist. He made representations as all members of parliament do. He was not dealing in a matter connected with a property he owned. He was trying to assist the tourism industry of the area.

Speaking of ethical standards, what about the ethical standards not followed by the Leader of the Opposition in connection with that shameful lawsuit in Alberta?

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, wrong again, wrong again. During the Sinclair Stevens affair the Minister of Industry said:

The spectacle of the wife of a cabinet minister seeking terms for a loan that are unavailable at normal lending institutions would be a conflict of interest.

Those were his words. This is a spectacle of the Prime Minister himself not just seeking but actively arm twisting a public servant to get a loan for a hotel next to a property on which he was owed money.

Why does the Minister of Industry not want the Prime Minister to be held accountable to the same standards that he insisted on for Sinclair Stevens?

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, whether the Leader of the Opposition is aware of it or not, the fact of the matter is that the people of Canada quite frankly are fed up with this line of questioning.

They have come to the conclusion that the Prime Minister of Canada has acted in an honourable fashion. They are quite frankly wondering why the Leader of the Opposition has nothing else he can talk about as he desperately tries to save his leadership.

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the chosen son is learning from his master the art of evasion.

Both William Parker, the judge who presided over the Sinclair Stevens inquiry, and Robert Rutherford, who presided over the Somalia inquiry, called for an independent inquiry into the Shawinigate affair.

Is the Prime Minister going to listen to these universally respected ethics experts and set up an independent inquiry so that we will finally have the whole story on Shawinigate?

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the RCMP confirmed that the Prime Minister acted properly. Over and over again the ethics counsellor confirmed there was no breach of ethics on the part of the Prime Minister.

Once again the Leader of the Opposition is failing Canadians. He is not doing his job by asking questions on matters of importance to Canadians. He does not care about softwood lumber. He does not care about agriculture. He does not care about the health of Canadians. He has failed. He should go, resign today.

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Val Meredith South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the bill of sale the Prime Minister released on Tuesday is a very strange piece of paper. It is amazing that two corporate lawyers would sign a paper with no letterhead, no corporate seal, no witnesses and no deposit.

In fact the payment schedule was even an afterthought, almost as if the Prime Minister did not care if he got paid.

Did the Prime Minister not ask for a deposit because he was more concerned about a parking spot for his shares than getting paid for them?

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member must have gone to the same law school as the leader of the Conservative Party. A binding contract does not need a letterhead. It can be in handwriting. The basic thing is to show the intentions of the parties.

The intention was that the Prime Minister, before he became Prime Minister, sold all his shares to Mr. Prince's company. That is what happened. Those are the facts, and the hon. member ought to admit it.

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Val Meredith South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is interesting that the date of the bill of the sale is the very date that the Prime Minister chose his first cabinet.

Surely the Prime Minister could have found at least one individual who was confident enough to draft a proper legal document. What circumstances forced the Prime Minister to sign such a dubious piece of paper?

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I apologize to the law schools which the Conservative leader flunked out of. I am sure that the hon. member is following the same practice. Her legal advice is equally unsound.

The document is a legally binding one. This is confirmed in a later agreement between Mr. Prince's company and Mr. Michaud's company when Mr. Prince signed that document which contained a statement that he, Mr. Prince, had owned the shares all along from and after November 1993.

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is still claiming that he sold his shares in the Grand-Mère Golf Club to Jonas Prince in November 1993. But, in the September 1999 agreement, it is J&AC Consultants, the Prime Minister's company, which, under article 2.2, indemnifies and saves harmless the new buyer against potential “losses, damages, and expenses” arising from this sale.

Why is it the Prime Minister's company that is providing this guarantee and not Jonas Prince, the supposed owner of the shares?

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the facts are clear. The Prime Minister sold his shares before he became Prime Minister and the shares were sold by Mr. Prince to Mr. Michaud. The facts are clear.

Why is the hon. member not prepared to accept these facts? He must accept them because they are the facts and they are true.