House of Commons Hansard #13 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was board.

Topics

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is hard to explain the ethics counsellor's recommendation that the Solicitor General resign, if those were the motives. It is rather odd.

Even the best ethical guidelines in the world are of no use in the end if the Prime Minister is always talking of getting around them. Does he realize that the ethical guidelines cannot be of any help when the only thing he is trying to do is, as always, to save his government, save his own skin, and save his ministers, by circumventing the truth?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have accepted his opinions in other circumstances. This is an ethics counsellor and he gives advice.

Last week in the House, the Leader of the Opposition said that, when all is said and done, the Prime Minister is the one who must face up to his responsibilities. And that is exactly what I have done.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, true to form, the Prime Minister continues to defend the indefensible. After having cleared his name in the Auberge Grand-Mère affair, now he is exonerating the former Solicitor General, despite the opinion of his own ethics counsellor.

Is this not a very clear demonstration that even a new code of ethics, when applied using the old mentality, will give the same old results?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in a democracy, there is a Parliament. The Prime Minister becomes Prime Minister and he is responsible before Parliament for decisions that he makes.

I have accepted other resignations in other circumstances. I have asked some ministers to step down in other circumstances. In this case, I believe that the residents of Prince Edward Island should not have suffered discrimination because the minister was the brother of the president of a public college where there were no personal interests involved. The gentleman in question had been working there for a long time on a set salary.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister just admitted that in some cases, he has asked for ministers to step down, and in others, he has accepted their resignation.

Did he not accept the former Solicitor General's resignation because the situation in which he found himself is exactly the same situation that the Prime Minister found himself in in the Auberge Grand-Mère affair? It is the exact same situation. Passing judgment on the former Solicitor General would have meant passing judgment on himself.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the situation is quite clear. Obviously the member, who likes to make noise, did not take the time to read the Solicitor General's letter.

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

When it comes to Kyoto, Liberal leadership is an oxymoron. Enlightened NGOs and progressive unions have had to fill the vacuum, educating the public about climate change.

Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union members are in Ottawa today continuing their pro-Kyoto campaign. Quite properly they are demanding that just transition measures for workers and communities be fully integrated into the Kyoto plan.

Will the Prime Minister give assurances today that a just transition fund for workers and communities affected will be integral to the Kyoto implementation plan?

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Kyoto protocol will have its full effect in 2012. I cannot promise today what the government will have to do at that time. Is the member trying to find a reason to oppose it now?

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the opposite is the case.

It has been obvious from the very beginning that the energy sector would have to undergo a major redefinition, a reorientation with Kyoto implementation. The government needs progressive unions and NGOs to stand with it for Kyoto, but those workers and communities need the government to stand behind them to effect a just transition.

Will the Prime Minister today commit the resources to ensure that integrated into the Kyoto plan from the beginning are the resources for just transition?

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is amazing. Now that the time for voting is coming, the member is trying to find a way out.

On this side of the House a great majority of the people know that we have an international obligation to meet because we believe it is very important to do something about climate change. We are thinking not just of the people today, but of the children of our children.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister refused to publish the ethics counsellor's report on the former Solicitor General.

The ethics counsellor's website publishes the reports on ministers who were exonerated, but in the case of reports that prove ministerial wrongdoing, the evidence is kept secret.

Why does the government hide the evidence that leads to changes in cabinet? Will the government publish the full report on the Solicitor General and all other ministers of the government who have been forced to resign?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the advice I received from the ethics counsellor is always a personal and confidential communication. He is a counsellor. In many cases he has advised me on this and that about ministers who have consulted him, members of Parliament, bureaucrats and so on. He tells me what he said and what happened.

In this case he did the same thing, but that led the Solicitor General of the day to resign. The former Solicitor General himself wrote a letter explaining his position and defending his right as the only minister in the cabinet representing his province to defend the interests of his province.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, in Beirut, Canada announced the creation of a fund to support the democratization of countries of the Francophonie, a bonus for good governance. The Francophonie includes ethical issues as one of its criteria.

Does the Prime Minister intend to judge good governance in African countries by using the same criteria that he uses to judge the behaviour of his own ministers?

Does he intend to call on his own experts on ethical issues, including Alfonso Gagliano or the former Solicitor General?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in a recently released international report, Canada ranked number one in the world for ethics in both the public and private sectors.

However, with a mentality such as that of the leader of the fifth party, it is no wonder that Mr. Lord does not want to join such a group.

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

October 23rd, 2002 / 2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the number of people disagreeing with the Liberals' approach on Kyoto is growing.

For instance, C.D. Howe president Jack Mintz disagrees. This is what he has to say. He predicts higher energy costs and gas prices. He also says, and this is very important, that low income Canadians will bear the brunt of the cost.

Why are the Liberals so intent on forging ahead with the Kyoto protocol when it is poor Canadians who will bear the brunt of the cost?