House of Commons Hansard #141 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was riding.

Topics

Student Loans
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, indeed, we welcome the students to the Hill and are glad to hear the views that they present to us.

The hon. member will know that the question of tuition is clearly a provincial jurisdiction. However I hope he will also know that the government takes the issue of access to post-secondary education very seriously. That is why every year we invest $1.6 billion in the Canada student loan program. That is why we have also introduced the Canada millennium foundation.

There are more programs that the government has put in place to support lifelong learning, and I hope the hon. member will recognize that.

Health Canada
Oral Question Period

October 22nd, 2003 / 2:35 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, my supplementary question is for the Minister of Finance. It has to do with the Governor of the Bank of Canada, rumoured to be possibly the next Clerk of the Privy Council in the government of the new Liberal leader.

Given that Mr. Dodge presided over a misuse of public funds at Health Canada, at the Fontaine addiction centre in Manitoba, that makes that Radwanski affair look pale, does the Minister of Finance still have confidence in the Governor of the Bank of Canada, and why is this man running the economy when he could not run Health Canada properly?

Health Canada
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, let me reassure the hon. member that as soon as allegations of wrongdoing came to light in October 2000, my predecessor took immediate action. The department launched a forensic audit. We contacted the RCMP. We have launched civil litigation to recover any misused public funds. We initiated other audits.

Dare I say the audits we instituted in relation to this event are the most extensive the federal government has ever undertaken. Those audits have been turned over to the RCMP and, as we all know, charges have been laid and the investigation continues.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, another minister has admitted to taking advantage of free flights on air Irving. The Minister of Labour however has volunteered to pay for her flight. Clearly, the Minister of Industry has not.

Does the minister need to be ordered to do so by the Prime Minister before he follows his colleague's example and writes a cheque or is the Minister of Industry above the rules?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I made full disclosure to the ethics counsellor. I took the ethics counsellor's advice and I followed that advice to a T.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore, NS

Obviously, Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Industry is above the rules.

Canadians are all faced with a barrage of licences. Under this government every Canadian has to license every individual firearm they own. They need to buy a licence for their dog. They need to buy a licence for a small motor boat. They need to buy a licence to hunt. They need to buy a licence to fish.

The minister does not even have a cheque for his fishing licence in New Brunswick for $40.25, assuming the Minister of Industry even bought a fishing licence.

It is unbelievable--

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

I am afraid the hon. member has run out of time and I did not hear a question, so perhaps without a licence we will just move on. The hon. member for Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, while the Bloc Quebecois was asking for a shipbuilding policy, and while the former minister of finance was having his ships built in China, the Minister of Industry, on a fishing trip with the Irvings, was discussing compensation for the closing of shipyards and laughing off the demands of workers.

Will the Minister of Industry admit that his close relationship with the Irving family did not predispose him to bring in a shipbuilding policy and that, at that time, the issue was settled in advance?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Industry

No, Mr. Speaker. As I have already explained, under the circumstances, I asked for, received and followed the advice of the ethics counsellor.

Furthermore, as Minister of Industry, I have continued, and I will continue to prepare a pan-Canadian policy for the marine industry, a very important industry for our economy.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, will the Minister of Industry admit that, not only has he contravened ethics guidelines, but in addition, and more seriously, his decision has penalized hundreds of workers who have lost their jobs because of his lack of responsibility? This is very serious. Will he finally admit it?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Industry

No, Mr. Speaker.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jim Gouk Kootenay—Boundary—Okanagan, BC

Mr. Speaker, now that the industry minister has been caught with his hands in the Irving cookie jar, others are starting to admit their breach of the rules.

The latest was the Minister of Labour. She accepted a free trip on Irving's executive jet which was worth far more than the $200 gift limit. The minister now admits that what she did was wrong. If she knows it is wrong now, she must have known it was wrong then.

Why did the minister not disclose at the time? Did she simply think she would get away with it?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe
New Brunswick

Liberal

Claudette Bradshaw Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, I was attending a meeting in Ottawa as regional minister with the Irvings. I was booked on a commercial flight. They offered to take me home to Moncton as they were going to Saint John.

On an oversight I should have phoned the ethics counsellor and he would have told me that I had to pay the Irvings. It was an oversight. I apologize to the House and I apologize to all Canadians. It was an oversight on my part.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jim Gouk Kootenay—Boundary—Okanagan, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Labour has admitted that she did wrong and at least took steps to correct it. The Minister of Industry has done nothing of the kind. He spent years excluding himself from the business he should have been doing, and still accepted the gift.

Will he now either refund the money he was paid as the minister while he was unable to do the job because he excused himself or pay the full cost of the trip?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as I said, I made full disclosure to the ethics counsellor in May 2002, took his advice and followed that advice to the letter.