House of Commons Hansard #68 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister himself said that this cannot go on indefinitely and that consultations were continuing in order to set a deadline. While the United States wants to invade Iraq, thus confirming the logic of war, Hans Blix is asking for a few additional months, which is more consistent with a logic of peace.

By proposing a March 28 deadline, is Canada not confirming our apprehensions that its mind is made up and that it supports those who advocate a logic of war?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as we said and as the Prime Minister repeated yesterday, Canada's goal was to focus the Security Council's attention on disarming Saddam Hussein within a set timeframe.

Of course, it is up to the Security Council, based on its consultations with Mr. Blix, to determine this period of time. That was our goal. Our goal was never to set a date for war, but to ensure a peaceful resolution of this conflict.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, not only is Canada playing into the hands of the United States by proposing a deadline, it is also siding with the Americans, who claim that resolution 1441 is, in and of itself, sufficient to invade Iraq.

Are this date and this message not yet additional proof that Canada is resolutely siding with those who are preparing for war?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I think that opposition members are really looking for war. What we are trying to do here is to set conditions, so that the Security Council can establish parameters that will help avert war.

Of course, there must be a limit as well as conditions. Everyone is looking for these conditions. Let us work together and try to find conditions that will both disarm Saddam Hussein and maintain the Security Council in place, in its present status, because this is very important for the future of our world.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I say to the Minister of Foreign Affairs through you that it certainly appears that the government should take seriously the charge that it is participating in the logic of war through this proposed resolution, which the United States has described as merely procrastinating, procrastinating in terms of when the war will start, not whether there will be a war.

I want to ask the Minister of Foreign Affairs, will he share the Canadian resolution with this Parliament? The presidential spokesperson, Ari Fleischer, said earlier today, “Describe the Canadian resolution to me”, when he was asked. We ask the same question. Describe the resolution to us. Give us the details so we can make our own judgment.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the inconsistency of the hon. member was right at the beginning: that the United States accuses us of trying to procrastinate and at the same time he is trying to suggest we are playing the game of the United States. He cannot have it both ways.

We clearly are seeking, as the Prime Minister said in the House yesterday, in back channels, in the Security Council, as we are not members of the Security Council, to work with members of the Security Council to help them find clarity in a way in which we can keep the Security Council united and get Saddam Hussein disarmed without the necessity of going to war. We will continue those efforts.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is not the opposition that is trying to have it both ways. It is the Liberal government that is trying to have it both ways when it comes to the possibility of a war in Iraq.

You will notice, Mr. Speaker, that the minister neither shared the Canadian resolution with the House nor promised to share it with the House.

So I ask him again, why do members of Parliament have to be in the dark with respect to what the Canadian government is proposing? Why can everybody else comment on it but we cannot because we do not know what it is? Will you share it with Parliament or will you give up on your own resolution--

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The Speaker has nothing to share. The hon. member, I know, will want to address the Chair at all times during his questions.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, through you to the hon. member, I would say that my problem with sharing a resolution is that there is no resolution. The hon. member knows that. This was deliberately referred to in diplomatic parlance as a non-paper. It is therefore not a resolution. It is actually what the diplomats call ideas which are being circulated among other diplomats. If he wants to get an idea about it, which is all it is, he can read the various newspaper accounts, which have described it quite well.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, the minister seems to be circulating in circles. Speaking of procrastination and uncertainty, listen to this: Canada's ambassador to the UN has proposed a plan that would set a deadline of March 31 to verify Iraqi compliance. Just last week, following the ambassador's speech to the UN, the Prime Minister told reporters that it was not Canada's policy to propose a deadline.

So as usual the Prime Minister has left great confusion and uncertainty. Does the Prime Minister agree or disagree with our ambassador? Will he confirm that Canada is proposing a decision date of March 31 and will he share it with the House?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has always made it clear to the House that Canada is not on the Security Council at this time, that we are working with members on the Security Council who have asked Canada's opinion as to how we can bridge an important gap between the French and German position and the American, British and Spanish positions.

One way that this can be done is to allow everybody to understand, with Dr. Blix's help, what is a reasonable time for the inspections to be accomplished and what must be accomplished in the inspections. That was the purpose of the paper, no other purpose. It has been well received by members. They are discussing it. It has been helpful. Let us not look for--

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Pictou--Antigonish--Guysborough.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

February 26th, 2003 / 2:35 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, there certainly is a gap all right: between the minister's position and the truth.

While the former finance minister's so-called blind management agreement allows for the briefings on matters related to Canada Steamship Lines in exceptional circumstances involving an extraordinary event--pretty subjective--the member for LaSalle--Émard has refused to answer the question. But as the person responsible for enforcing the code of conduct for ministers, would the Prime Minister tell the House what was exceptional or extraordinary about a sweet deal in Indonesia that would have allowed the former finance minister to peek through the blinds?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the subsection of the agreement of the former minister of finance reads: “...at no time while this agreement remains in effect shall the Supervisors disclose to the Public Office Holder nor to anyone on the Public Office Holder's behalf any information respecting the Assets, other than such periodic information as may be required for the completion of the filing of income tax returns, or”--and I underline or--“as may otherwise be allowed by the Assistant Deputy Registrar General”.

These are the guidelines that followed the ones established by the Mulroney government in 1988.

Transportation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Transport raised the idea of tolls, meaning a new tax. I see that the only thing the Minister of Transport knows how to do is introduce new taxes. The chair of the Société des transports de Montréal said that he had reservations about a new tax to access the downtown core. The mayor of Toronto said that this idea is, and I quote, “stupid”.

Why does the Minister of Transport not contribute anything new to the debate on transportation, except to suggest new taxes?