House of Commons Hansard #84 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was war.

Topics

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, this is a misrepresentation of the government's position. The Prime Minister made it very clear yesterday in the House that Canada sought to include cluster bombs in the ban covering landmines. We were unsuccessful in that regard.

However, the Government of Canada does not use cluster bombs at all, so we have our house in order. We sought, we tried hard, but we failed in the end to have that same regulation applied internationally. We have done our best on this issue and we have nothing to apologize for to the NDP.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Well it seems to me, Mr. Speaker, if one thinks something is wrong enough to have a treaty about it, one should think it is wrong when it is used.

My question is for the Minister of Finance. He indicated to an earlier question that the question of the tax treatment of dividends had to do with a tax treaty between Canada and Barbados. I am not sure if that is true, but given that the Minister of Finance is right, can he tell this House today whether he will be seeking to change those tax rules which permit flags of convenience to operate the way they do now in Barbados?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am informed that the matter is on the agenda between Canada and Barbados, and a text is under discussion on the proposed changes to the treaty.

Member for LaSalle--Émard
Oral Question Period

April 3rd, 2003 / 2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister told the House that he had “not been informed” of any potential conflict of interest. The Prime Minister, of course, has a duty to inform himself.

Canada Steamship Lines has admitted that its move to Barbados was because of changes in Canadian tax rules that occurred when the company's owner was minister of finance. The ethics counsellor took part in discussions between the then finance minister and his private company.

Has the Prime Minister now received a full report of those conversations? And can the Prime Minister of Canada now say categorically that the then minister of finance had nothing to do with the decision on which his company acted?

Member for LaSalle--Émard
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I can inform the leader of the Conservative Party that the changes with respect to the treatment of dividends from Liberia resulted from the fact that there was no tax treaty extant with Liberia and therefore it was removed from the list of countries from whom active business income was received by way of tax free dividends. As I have explained, there was a tax treaty in effect in the case of Barbados.

Member for LaSalle--Émard
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, Justice Parker defined conflict of interest as:

...a situation in which a minister of the Crown has knowledge of a private economic interest that is sufficient to influence the exercise of his or her public duties and responsibilities.

So, knowing alone creates a conflict of interest. The member for LaSalle—Émard acquired such knowledge at least 12 times while he was finance minister.

The Prime Minister endorsed Mr. Justice Parker's definition in the Sinclair Stevens case. Why is there a different standard for the member for LaSalle--Émard?

Member for LaSalle--Émard
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has established clearly in the House that any minister faced with a conflict of interest must withdraw from the discussion and he has not been informed that this particular rule has been contravened in any way.

The former minister of finance, as we have stated, followed all the rules established by the previous government, of which the right hon. member was a member. I do not think there is an issue here.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deborah Grey Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, this defence minister recently stated that Canadian ships in the gulf are not authorized to intercept, detain or transfer suspected members of the Iraqi regime. Apparently, our sailors can only inform U.S. headquarters that the bad guys went thataway.

We are obviously already involved in the Iraqi conflict. Why will the government not completely commit to our troops and our allies, full steam ahead?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, first of all, we are completely and utterly committed to our troops.

Since obviously many of our troops have put their lives on the line, it is equally obvious that the House should come together united. No matter what our differences are on Iraq in general, we should be united in support of our troops, in thanking our troops for putting their lives on the line, and in wishing them a safe trip home in the not too distant future.

As for our allies, I think I have run out of time, Mr. Speaker.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deborah Grey Edmonton North, AB

He has that right, Mr. Speaker.

In fact, the minister just does not get it: that the war in Iraq is part of that war on terrorism. He claims we are in the gulf for the war on terrorism only, but he has just announced a huge security loophole. Any ship can now get by our naval patrol simply by flying an Iraqi flag. One wonders if they learned about these flags of convenience from the owner of Canada Steamship Lines.

The minister has said that the Canadian navy would protect allied ships from any potential attack, so why patrol the gulf at all if those very ships that pose the greatest danger and threat can just sail on by?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, with all due respect, the hon. member is talking utter nonsense. Our job is to patrol the gulf to protect the shipping in the region against terrorist attacks. It matters not a whit whether the terrorist is an Iraqi or a Saudi or even a Canadian. Any individual in a ship who is suspected of doing damage to shipping in the area will be boarded and inspected. Should any danger be there, the navy will take action to prevent that from happening.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister cited precedents to not officially support the war in Iraq, a war being waged without the UN's approval.

How can the government reconcile using precedents to justify not supporting the war and contending that the decision to send soldiers to war was not based on precedents? Why do precedents matter in one instance and not in the other?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we have tried to explain earlier today that there are principles, and that some are not necessarily explicit in relation to one another. We have followed a very clear principle before the UN, asking that the Security Council support the war. However, we also have agreements with allied countries. Our troops are committed under commitments with other allies of ours. We can therefore do both.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, could the Deputy Prime Minister explain to this House on what basis he can justify the presence of Canadian soldiers in a war he has described as unjustified? How can he justify the unjustifiable?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, our troops are in fact part of a commitment to the armed forces of other countries. That is how our system works. We have done the same thing other times. I think that the principle of meeting our commitments to our allies is totally consistent with the other principles we have followed.