House of Commons Hansard #43 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was workers.

Topics

Softwood Lumber
Statements By Members

April 4th, 2001 / 2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

John Herron Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, the government has failed Canadians through its incapacity to obtain a uniform Canadian position in advance of the softwood lumber dispute despite the fact that it was very easy to predict that at the very least this would be a very contentious issue.

Now the Liberal government is squandering an opportunity to address something that the premiers, congressional leaders and the industry actually agree on.

In Monday's announcement, a congressional leader stated:

The softwood lumber products that are the subject of these Petitions are produced in Canada. As explained in section VII...petitioners do not allege that softwood lumber production in the Atlantic Provinces benefits from countervailable subsidies.

By not moving forward immediately with respect to a maritime accord, the government is intentionally and deliberately putting Atlantic Canada into the mix on countervail.

We call on the government and the Liberal members to be vocal and ensure that we get a maritime accord so we can protect softwood lumber.

New Homes Month
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Jeannot Castonguay Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce that April is New Homes Month.

This is an annual opportunity for the Canadian Home Builders' Association to pass on to consumers information about buying a new home, and to showcase building industry specialists and the products and services they provide.

Since April is one of the busiest months of the year for Canadians wishing to buy or sell a home, it is a good time for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to inform them about the main products and services it offers to assist them in making their decision: products such as a free step-by-step homebuying guide, and services such as mortgage loan insurance, which is available from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation under the National Housing Act and which makes home ownership possible for a downpayment as low as 5%.

As the national organization responsible for housing in Canada, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation plays a vital role in helping Canadians find information that will help them make the best decisions with respect to—

New Homes Month
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

I would invite all hon. members to come and meet the Children's Miracle Network 2001 Champions Across Canada at a reception in room 216-N following question period. These young persons have overcome life-threatening illnesses or injuries and have been chosen to represent the two million children who are treated annually by the Children's Miracle Network hospitals and foundations.

I therefore urge members to come and meet these remarkable young people.

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's attempts to maintain absolute control over the government and over parliament may result in the public never learning the truth about Shawinigate.

The Prime Minister is both judge and jury in this scandal. Why does the Prime Minister not give up his obstructive tactics and give the green light for an impartial and independent inquiry?

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I have said on numerous occasions, the matter has been debated in the House for months, as well as being brought up in 1999.

The RCMP has examined the file. The ethics counsellor has testified on several occasions at the request of the opposition and at all times has stated that there was no conflict of interest. I have done something exceptional, a first, by tabling personal contracts in the House.

I believe the matter is clear and the House will have its chance to vote on this issue this afternoon.

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, he talks about the ethics counsellor, but yesterday he deflected questions from us about the ethics counsellor and said “go to the committee and ask the ethics counsellor yourself”.

We went to that committee yesterday afternoon. We asked questions but the Prime Minister's handpicked head of that committee absolutely refused to allow us to ask those important questions.

Does the Prime Minister not see that we need an independent inquiry and somebody heading it up whose job is not dependent on the Prime Minister?

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the only thing I will add is that the people of Canada are extremely disappointed in the attitude of the opposition parties. While we have very important problems in the country, they ask dozens and dozens of questions but virtually no questions on the real problems of the nation.

The reason the Leader of the Opposition is in so much trouble as leader is that he does not know that the people of Canada want him to be a real politician who cares about the future of the nation rather than asking those kinds of questions.

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister does not answer our questions on the economy, on softwood lumber or on anything else either.

Here is the situation. The Prime Minister sells a hotel to a convicted criminal. Right next to the hotel is a golf course in which the Prime Minister has a financial stake. The golf course then gets HRD funds, improper loans and immigrant investor funds after the Prime Minister intervenes. The golf course then gets $500,000 from somebody who was improperly awarded a $6 million government contract.

Will the Prime Minister tell us whether there is anything wrong at all with this business or is it normal—

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The right hon. Prime Minister.

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, he is the person who was condemned for slandering another person.

I have had no connection with this business since November 1, 1993. Because the Leader of the Opposition slandered somebody, the taxpayers of Alberta had to pay $700,000 in legal fees, and of that money, $70,000 went back. They changed the books to make sure that $70,000 would go back to the Alliance Party.

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

I recognize it is Wednesday, but it is difficult to hear the questions and answers.

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Val Meredith South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we asked about a piece of land purchased for $500,000 by Claude Gauthier, a friend of the Prime Minister, at a time when the Prime Minister was owed nearly as much for his shares in the same golf course.

Mr. Gauthier's investment unquestionably increased the likelihood that someone would buy the Prime Minister's shares.

Was the Prime Minister or his agent involved in any way in the sale of the land to Mr. Gauthier?

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have said no. Mr. Gauthier won a bid with the government. His bid was $2.5 million less than the second bidder. As the Minister for International Cooperation clearly explained, a bid was made and the lowest bidder got the contract.

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Val Meredith South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, Claude Gauthier got the $6.3 million CIDA contract, for which he did not qualify, and soon thereafter bought land from a company in which the Prime Minister had a financial interest.

After donating $10,000 to the Prime Minister's election campaign, the PMO ensured that Mr. Gauthier received a $1.2 million HRDC grant.

Is this what the Prime Minister had in mind when in 1993 he promised Canadians to govern with integrity?