House of Commons Hansard #146 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was criminal.

Topics

Quebec
Oral Question Period

October 29th, 2003 / 2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Quebec National Assembly—

Quebec
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Quebec
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. If hon. members want to have a general discussion at the far end of the chamber on various topics, I invite them to go into the lobby at the far end and continue there. I will be glad to send them out by naming them, if necessary. However, the hon. member for Roberval has the floor and we all want to hear him.

Quebec
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Quebec Liberal Party and the Parti Quebecois reached consensus in the Quebec National Assembly on the existence of the Quebec nation. On that occasion, Premier Charest showed no hesitation in stating that the Quebec people were a nation.

Does the Prime Minister of Canada intend to make a significant gesture toward the Quebec people and follow the example of his Liberal counterpart in Quebec City by acknowledging here in this House, without any shilly-shallying, that the Quebec nation does indeed exist?

Quebec
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, people can always resort to word games. I have a clear recollection of the day I took them at their word. I asked them to vote in favour of the distinct society and they voted against it. Everyone will remember that. It was the embarrassment of the year. They are resorting to word games because they do not really want to talk about the nation's real problems.

Quebec
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's words truly sadden me because when he was elected in 1963 he said, and I am quoting the Prime Minister here: “It is a matter of drawing up the constitution anew, not among ten provinces, but between two nations”.

If the Prime Minister was capable of being that frank at the beginning of his career, given the fundamental nature of this issue, why is he not capable 40 years later, as he prepares to make his exit from the political stage, of acknowledging what is a fact: the Quebec people constitute a nation?

Quebec
Oral Question Period

2:30 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, just as the 1995 referendum question was a fraud, mixing two questions, independence and partnership, up into one, today we have the Bloc Quebecois engaged in the same tactics. It is confusing the question of nationhood with the question of opting out with financial compensation. This is a dishonest approach. The government of Canada will have no part of it in either instance.

Quebec
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, contrary to what the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs said, the BQ's definition of the nation of Quebec is an inclusive one. Witness the fact that, in this rare instance, Jean Charest and the sovereignists agree that the nation of Quebec is both inclusive and open.

Could the government not show the same openness toward Quebeckers by recognizing their nation?

Quebec
Oral Question Period

2:30 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, if the question was along the lines of the one put to the Premier of Quebec yesterday, as to whether Quebec is a nation within the Canadian nation, we would vote yes right away. Would the hon. member also vote yes?

Quebec
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, instead of the bogus motion on the distinct society, which turned out to be an empty shell, should the federal government not recognize the nation of Quebec by entrenching this recognition in a legally binding framework which would provide Quebec with a real option to opt out with full compensation?

Quebec
Oral Question Period

2:30 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, I asked the hon. member a question. Is he prepared to recognize that he is a member of the nation of Quebec and the Canadian nation, and the French-Canadian nation as well?

I am, as are all Quebeckers on this side of the House, a proud Quebecker, a proud French Canadian and a proud Canadian. Can he say the same?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Industry. His fishing trip at the Irving lodge while he was the minister of health with a registered health lobbyist was a clear conflict of interest. The industry minister just does not get it.

Did the minister consult the ethics counsellor while he was the minister of health about the fishing trip with that health lobbyist?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as I recall, last week the suggestion from this member and his colleagues was that I was in a conflict because of the connection with the shipbuilding industry. I understand that now they have decided I am in a conflict because of the health industry. It is neither.

The fact is I made full disclosure to the ethics counsellor of all the circumstances. He gave me advice which I took and which I respected to the letter. I have satisfied all the requirements for which the ethics counsellor has provided.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, the excuses of that minister are absolutely astonishing. A minister of the crown cannot and should not accept a trip from a lobbyist while that lobbyist is actively lobbying that minister's department. That is exactly what the minister did.

Could the minister explain how this is not a conflict of interest?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, it is time for those members to get their stories straight. He just said I took a trip from a lobbyist. I thought the allegation was that I took the trip from the Irving family.

They are desperately trying to make something of nothing. I made full disclosure to the ethics counsellor. I sought his advice. I followed his advice. They are left with nothing.