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 riding.

Topics

1995 Referendum
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately for the Deputy Prime Minister, this would not be the first time the Prime Minister denied something that was true.

I am asking the Minister of Transport, who refused to answer, who refuses to answer today and who said they were getting prepared for certain things. When he was Minister of Defence, was he preparing to send the army into Quebec in the event of a yes victory? The people of Quebec and Canada have the right to know. If he has courage and respect for this House, he will stand up and answer.

1995 Referendum
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, this is not the first time that Mr. Martin has written things that are not true. The Prime Minister has already denied these allegations, period.

1995 Referendum
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs has had more to say outside cabinet. According to him, Ottawa's position had not changed since the Trudeau days. The federal government must ensure that order is respected, which was what led to the War Measures Act and its many excesses in 1970.

Can the Minister of Transport tell us whether, following in Trudeau's footsteps, the federal government was prepared to send the army into Quebec the day after the 1995 referendum, if there had been a yes vote? Is that what he was referring to?

1995 Referendum
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is taking a peculiar approach. Might he be claiming from his seat that this is what I said? What he has said is not at all what I said.

I can find no parliamentary terms to describe such a bending of the truth.

1995 Referendum
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, he was not there in 1995 when the Prime Minister said the following in Verdun just days before the referendum, “To stay or to leave. This is the issue of the referendum—the fundamental and irreversible choice of a country”. Once the outcome was known, that is the no vote, that very evening he said, and I quote again, “In a democracy, the people are always right”.

Is the minister trying to tell us that the government had decided to do the exact opposite of what the Prime Minister said, and to thumb its nose at democracy and send the army into Quebec?

1995 Referendum
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, two days after I was sworn in as a minister, I said the following, which is still the government's policy, “If a strong majority of Quebecers unfortunately voted in favour of secession in response to a clear question, I believe that the rest of Canada has the moral obligation to negotiate the division of the territory. In a democracy we do not have the resort to force”.

Those were my words, and that is the government's policy.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, the industry minister was told to cease and desist with respect to Irving family businesses, but he continued to represent their interests. He appointed a member from the Irving empire to advise him. He lobbied on behalf of the Irvings for money and federal contracts. He co-signed a $55 million grant for the Saint John shipyard, which is owned by the Irvings.

How can the minister say that he was not acting on behalf of the Irvings when he was the one who co-signed the grant in the first place?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I disagree with the member. The facts are not as stated. First of all, in relation to the document, the only document I signed was after the decision had been made by cabinet. The money was provided for in the budget. Treasury Board required that the Minister of Industry sign technically to get the money de-blocked, which was done.

With respect to the appointment of the man to the advisory council, that advisory council is 30 volunteers from across the country who serve without pay to give advice to the government on ship policy generally, including labour unions and manufacturers as well as shipyards. A representative of Irving was appointed but there was no pecuniary interest to the company.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, the fact remains that the industry minister actually co-signed the $55 million grant to the Irving shipyard. In fact, in May 2002, ironically just at the time he was consulting the ethics counsellor, he was lobbying cabinet for $100 million for these two shipyards. This goes against his direct testimony in question period today. He violated the terms of the conflict of interest. He violated the blackout period. When is the minister simply going to stand up and resign?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, first of all, these matters have now been referred, at my request, to the ethics counsellor. I spoke with him on Sunday when I came back from Asia. I recognized that these issues had been raised; I am satisfied I acted properly, but I have referred them to the ethics counsellor so that he may look at them, and I am grateful that he will.

On the points raised by the member, the only document I signed in relation to the $55 million was after the decision had been made. I was not part of the decision. I disqualified myself from it. Because technically a document has to be signed to release the funds does not constitute, in my view, a breach of my obligations. The ethics counsellor will look at that as well.

Finance
Oral Question Period

October 21st, 2003 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance. It now appears that the federal surplus will be in the neighbourhood of $6 billion and yet the new Liberal leader--

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Ho, ho.

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

You should take that out of their time, Mr. Speaker.

Yet the new Liberal leader is promising 100 days of cuts, so I want to ask the Minister of Finance, who is still the Minister of Finance and who has some say in these matters, does he believe that an increased surplus is a reason for cuts or a reason for building and investing instead of slashing?

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow I will release the annual financial report for the year ended March 31, 2003. I can confirm that it will reveal that for a sixth consecutive year the government's fiscal account will be in surplus. It is the first time in 50 years that we have done six in a row, and I would say that is cause for celebration.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is probably the first time we have had a surplus and we have had somebody talking about cuts. That is what I wanted the minister to address, but he did not.

I have a question for the Minister of Industry, who understandably is anxious to redeem himself given the situation with respect to the Irvings and the fishing trip, et cetera. I say to the Minister of Industry that all he has to do to show us that he is not under the thumb of the Irvings is to release the details of the $55 million deal. He should release all the details to show he is not under the thumb of the Irvings.