House of Commons Hansard #140 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was election.

Topics

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

Mr. Speaker, the information about the arrangements to rationalize, to diversify, the Saint John shipyard are very clear. We will engage in an environmental remediation on a cost shared basis. We will work with the Irving shipyard to look at a diversification for the economy of the province and the region. It is very simple. That is well explained within the press release that was issued to the public.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, in 2002, shortly before resigning, the then minister of public works presented a cheque in the amount of $800 for his weekend at the home of the president of Groupe Everest. The situation of the Minister of Industry is identical, except that there is no cheque to cover the over $20,000 cost of his fishing trip to New Brunswick. Where is the cheque? If there is no cheque, where is his resignation?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, I made full disclosure to the ethics counsellor in the circumstances that I have described, not only about the trip but about my own activities subsequent to that time. The ethics counsellor gave me advice, which I followed.

I know that issues have been raised across the way. I believe that I complied fully with the advice, but because those issues have been raised, I have directed them to Mr. Wilson. He has been kind enough to say he will look at them. I look forward to his response.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, the ethics counsellor's advice is clear: no gifts over $200.

You received a gift worth 100 times--

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

No, I did not. The hon. member, I am sure, is addressing his remarks to the Chair.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore, NS

Absolutely, Mr. Speaker.

The Minister of Industry received a gift worth 100 times the allowable amount. Can the member explain to the House how accepting a gift worth 100 times the allowable amount is not breaking the rules? Or would he prefer to have the Prime Minister answer that question for him?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, that is the very reason why I spoke to the ethics counsellor, told him what I had done, told him about the circumstances and told him about my activities as minister after that time. As a result of what I told the ethics counsellor, I received his advice to disqualify myself from any further involvement in matters involving the Irving family. No decision had been taken in relation to their matters before that point. After that point, I disqualified myself. Decisions were made by others.

There are issues that have been raised. I have referred those to the ethics counsellor. I am grateful that I will have his advice.

1995 Referendum
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, in his book, journalist Lawrence Martin quoted the then Minister of Defence, who is now the Minister of Transport, as saying, “I was minister of defence. There were things that went on that had to be prepared for”.

I would like the Minister of Transport and then Minister of Defence to tell us what it means “to be prepared” in the context of a referendum in Quebec. That is what we want to know.

1995 Referendum
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, there is only one Minister of Defence at any given time. The hon. member is referring to a time when I was not the Minister of Defence. I was not even in politics.

1995 Referendum
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the defence minister's logic is implacable. He was not there. Therefore, he does not know what happened. If he does not want to take part in the discussion, he should not get involved.

My question is for the Minister of Transport, who was quoted as saying that they were prepared. We want to know what it means when the Minister of Defence talks about being prepared in the context of a referendum in Quebec. We have the right to know, and I urge him to stand up and justify his own remarks.

1995 Referendum
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member insists on asking questions that are out of order, because there is, of course, only one minister at any given time. He must accept that the Prime Minister has already denied what Lawrence Martin wrote.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, when the Irvings lost a 2002 ExxonMobil contract, the industry minister threatened ExxonMobil's president. He wrote that “ExxonMobil is risking the good working relationship with Canada and Nova Scotia”. The minister had already taken his Irving vacation and was now returning the favour. This is a clear conflict of interest and over the line for a minister.

Will the minister now resign?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as I recall the circumstances, there was important work for ExxonMobil. The possibility was that it was going to be taken south to the United States, to Louisiana as I recall. Efforts were made in conjunction with the provincial government to keep that work in Canada.

Along with others, I interceded to get ExxonMobil to award those contracts to Canadian firms. Speaking up for Atlantic Canada and trying to keep the contracts here I think is fully consistent with my obligations as Minister of Industry.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, the industry minister accepted a trip from the Irvings that was well over the $200 limit in the code of conduct.

He threatened the ExxonMobil president on behalf of the Irvings. He failed to notify the ethics counsellor about his trip until after he had lobbied for the Irvings. After the ethics counsellor warned him, he continued to lobby for the Irvings and even co-signed the $55 million grant to their company.

Will the minister now resign?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I must correct the facts as stated by the member.

The fact is that after I received the ethics counsellor's advice, I took no further steps to advance the interests of the Irving companies. I respected the ethics counsellor's advice.

The only document I signed in relation to the $55 million was after the decision had been made, a decision in which I played no part. There was a technical requirement the Minister of Industry had to sign to process the matter before Treasury Board. It was under those circumstances that the document was signed.

However, because that issue has been raised I have referred it to the ethics counsellor and he has been good enough to say he will consider it.