House of Commons Hansard #205 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was lead.

Topics

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, first of all I would point out to the House that the Prime Minister consulted with leaders of the other parties before appointing Mr. Wilson. Mr. Wilson has shown in the course of the years that he has held his important position that he is capable of carrying it out responsibly and effectively.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, the ethics counsellor has been advising the Prime Minister and the cabinet on ethical conduct for eight years. He is the one who advised the Prime Minister that sleeping at a chalet owned by one of the government's chief advertising contracts was ethical. He is the one who exonerated the Prime Minister for his call to the president of the BDC over a loan to a friend while holding an interest in an adjoining property.

Was this atrocious appointment due to an appalling lack of judgment or was this a deliberate ploy to give the Prime Minister leverage just in case the commissioner questioned his own lack of ethics?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Industry

And, Mr. Speaker, he is the ethics counsellor who appeared before the committee this morning, answered questions and very openly explained how he does his work.

The ethics counsellor has for a number of years been giving good advice to the Prime Minister and the government.

Perhaps the member might tell us the next time he is on his feet, just who was the ethics counsellor for Brian Mulroney? Who was the ethics counsellor for the right hon. member for Calgary Centre?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Carol Skelton Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, for the record, that consultation was a phone call telling us who the ethics counsellor was.

In March of this year, a B.C. firm, Dynamic Maintenance Ltd., won a $77,000 contract to provide cleaning services to the Natural Resources Canada building in Calgary.

On the face of it, this would seem like an ordinary matter. However, the Minister of Natural Resources owns Dynamic Maintenance and his company is now making money from his department.

Does the Prime Minister agree that it is wrong for a minister to do business with his own department?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby
B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should know how the system works.

This is a contract that is put out by Public Works and Government Services Canada. As the hon. member and members across know, I have a number of businesses and they are in trust but they continue to operate. All contracts are done through the normal process. Public works puts them out, not natural resources.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Carol Skelton Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, let me quote the Prime Minister's toothless suggestions on ethics: “public office holders have an obligation to perform their official duties and arrange their private affairs in a manner that will bear the closest public scrutiny, an obligation that is not fully discharged by simply acting within the law”.

The Minister of Natural Resources is not meeting that standard by doing business with his own department. Does the newest contract with his own department not violate the Prime Minister's own rules?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, obviously there are particular challenges every time a person enters parliament with private interests. These need to be dealt with in accordance with rules that are well understood and are well documented. The procedures need to be followed very carefully.

In this case I am sure that if the hon. member has the decency to look at the facts, something they did not do on the question of Harrington Lake, she will find that the ministry acted in accordance with all standards for ministers.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

June 13th, 2002 / 2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Lebel Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, since the minister of public works does not seem to understand the questions we are asking him, I have one for the President of the Treasury Board.

While Media IDA Vision was enjoying the use of taxpayers' money, the President of the Treasury Board was happily telling us at every opportunity that all treasury board rules had been respected.

How can the President of the Treasury Board, the person responsible for the proper management of taxpayers' money, explain that she failed to notice that millions of dollars were going through Media IDA Vision's accounts, constituting an undue advantage to a company—

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Public Works and Government Services.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, again the hon. gentleman raises the question of money that was paid in the form of a commission to an agency of record that held that money for some period of time before paying its subsidiary accounts.

That is part of the nature of an agency transaction. That is why we are examining the issue of value for money and that is exactly why we want to dispose of the agency system so that this problem does not occur.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Lebel Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, how does the President of the Treasury Board explain that she rose in her place and told the House that the rules of proper management were being scrupulously followed, when that was far from being the case?

How does she explain this, except to say that, like her other colleagues who are involved, she was always trying to put a lid on things?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the treasury board encourages every department of government to have a strong internal audit division that can investigate issues of financial probity within the various departments.

My department happens to have a particularly good internal audit section. The auditor general herself has said that. It was the internal audit that disclosed that some treasury board procedures had not been respected and that is why we have taken corrective action.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's actions make a mockery of his own ethics guidelines.

The newly revealed audit from HR speaks of companies that may have been set up just to defraud, companies in the Prime Minister's riding. It shows that the Prime Minister broke the rules in trying to arrange money for those selfsame companies.

Does the Deputy Prime Minister not see the irony in the Prime Minister proposing ethics guidelines that still allow the same sort of behaviour that the RCMP is investigating today in Shawinigan?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, here we go again, throwing mud, unsubstantiated allegations, smear campaigns. Yesterday they got up and accused the government of misusing Harrington Lake. We have demonstrated the falsehood of that allegation.

Do we hear a word of apology? Do we see any contrition? No, because these people are in the scandal-mongering business. Questions like that are not worthy of a response.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Deputy Prime Minister's indignation will not rearrange the facts for him. The truth is, we have an audit from the Department of Human Resources Development and the Deputy Prime Minister denies the truth. I think he has an ethical problem.

My question is for the Deputy Prime Minister. Why does he sit there and defend ethical guidelines that today would allow the same sort of behaviour that the RCMP is investigating today in Shawinigan?