House of Commons Hansard #18 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agreements.

Topics

Natural Resources
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Loyola Hearn St. John's South, NL

Mr. Speaker, I am glad it was the Minister of Finance who answered the questions because we might get some straight answers on this.

The Minister of Natural Resources has been saying he was given charge by the Prime Minister to do the deal. We know that is not true. He is not trusted anymore. The Prime Minister apparently does not know what was communicated to him.

I ask the Minister of Finance, is he in charge of the ship now? Is he going to be doing the pitching for the government? If he is, maybe we will get the deal we want.

Natural Resources
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, this is an issue that has riveted the attention of the entire government. The Prime Minister is obviously in charge.

His ministers will work very hard on the mandate that we have been given to get a solution that works for Newfoundland, that works for Nova Scotia, and that works for Canada.The Minister of Natural Resources has been very much engaged in trying to get the very best result for his province.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, despite the Prime Minister's exaggerated denials during the election campaign, the former Minister of Public Works has confirmed that all the ministers supported the strategy and method for making Canada more visible in Quebec, including current ministers, namely the Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of the Environment.

In light of these revelations, will the Prime Minister finally admit that not only was he fully aware of the existence and operation of the sponsorship program, but instead of denouncing it, he took advantage of it?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the point has been made clear in the House many times. Were members of the government, members of the opposition, and all members of Parliament aware of the existence of a sponsorship program? Yes, indeed. Were we aware or did we authorize any violation of the rules? Emphatically, no.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, Alfonso Gagliano himself said: the first list of events to be sponsored was approved by the Treasury Board in 1996. We know who was vice-president of the Treasury Board at the time.

How can the Prime Minister still maintain that he knew nothing about the sponsorship program?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa—Vanier
Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has never denied knowing that the sponsorship program existed. All members in this House, including many of the hon. member's colleagues opposite, knew about the program. The issue is whether things were going badly with the program or whether it was being mismanaged. As soon as the Auditor General's report was tabled in this House, the Prime Minister called for a commission of inquiry to get to the bottom of this matter. That is what we are doing. We recommend that the hon. members opposite be a little patient and allow the commission to do its work and come to its own conclusions.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Louise Thibault Rimouski—Témiscouata, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, in response to my question, the Minister of Public Works assured us that his department is now guided by values such as openness, fairness and transparency.

Since he wants to be transparent, I have a very simple question for him. Where is the $620,000 logo?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa—Vanier
Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the issue of how the program was administered is now before the commission of inquiry. This commission has all the power to consult anyone it wants and all the documentation it has received. It will then draw its conclusions. It is important that we, in this House, give the commission time to do its job, however long it takes. When we receive the commission's conclusions and recommendations, we will take action.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Louise Thibault Rimouski—Témiscouata, QC

Nevertheless, Mr. Speaker, department officials seem to be unable to locate the logo, this very expensive logo. May I venture a suggestion to the minister? Perhaps he should look around the shredder. He might have better luck.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa—Vanier
Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, we note the member's suggestion. Still, I maintain that there is a commission of inquiry with the mandate and the power to conduct an in-depth investigation in this whole issue of the administration of the program. Let us give the commission a chance to do its job, to hear whomever it wants, and allow these people to testify. The commission will draw its conclusions and made recommendations, and we will take note of that too.

Industry
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Ed Broadbent Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Industry.

In today's Globe and Mail , Harry Wu, a leading expert on human rights in China, has revealed that Minmetals, as recently as the 1990s, was exporting metals produced by forced labour from that country.

Is the minister aware of this abominable practice, and if so, will he assure us that Minmetals will not be allowed to take over Noranda until its history is thoroughly investigated?

Industry
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Vancouver Kingsway
B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I am aware of the story. I read the story myself.

In the event, and it is hypothetical at this stage, that we do get an application by Minmetals to take over Noranda, we will review it from all perspectives.

We will ensure that the interests of Canada are protected, short term and long term, and that Canada's record of protecting and promoting human rights remains unassailable.

Industry
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Ed Broadbent Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, considering that since 1985 over 1,100 takeover bids have been allowed to go through without serious review, and considering that the foreign minister of China himself has announced his intention to take over much more of our resources, will the minister refer the Foreign Investment Review Act to the industry committee for examination and toughening?

Canadians are not abused at work in Canada and do not expect to be associated with the abuse of workers abroad.

Industry
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Vancouver Kingsway
B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I have a hunch that the Foreign Investment Review Act was repealed in 1985 and the act the hon. member is referring to is the Investment Canada Act.

This is all hypothetical. There are an infinite number of hypothetical questions about who might take over whom in Canada.

We will undertake to ensure that reviews are comprehensive. If the industry committee or other parliamentarians have views, we would be very happy to include those views where they are helpful to the cause of Canadians on this file.

Natural Resources
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

Rob Moore Fundy, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's approach to dealing with Atlantic Canada is nothing short of insulting.

Yesterday the Prime Minister's communications director threatened Newfoundland and Labrador and implied that its premier was not telling the truth. When our former Prime Minister's communications director called the U.S. President a moron, our current Prime Minister's supporters demanded that she be fired.

When will the Prime Minister's communications director be fired for insulting and threatening Newfoundlanders?