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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was justice.

Last in Parliament May 2004, as Liberal MP for Etobicoke Centre (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2000, with 56.37% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Ethics October 27th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, integrity is honesty and being straightforward, which I have been. Integrity is making full disclosure, which I have done. Integrity is taking the advice of the ethics counsellor. Integrity is disqualifying myself in these circumstances from areas where decisions would be made affecting the Irving interests. Integrity is standing in the House and responding frankly and fully to questions that have been asked.

I think by that standard I have respected the integrity required of a minister of the Crown.

Ethics October 27th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, it is the one I gave. Eighteen months ago when I asked the ethics counsellor for advice, the issue of payment did not arise. I have asked the ethics counsellor to provide me with advice on the basis of which a payment would be made. It is as simple as that.

The fundamental thing is that the House has to know that I never acted in conflict of interest. That is the fundamental thing here. Having sought and received the advice of the ethics counsellor, I disqualified myself from matters where there were decisions to be made affecting the Irving interests. I believe I can assure the House that I have not acted in conflict of interest.

Ethics October 27th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I disagree with the facts as laid out by the member. They are not the facts. That is not what happened.

The ethics counsellor told me to disqualify myself from the file in question, which I did. The Minister of Finance made clear in the House last week the decision in that regard was taken entirely without my involvement, which reflects the advice I got from the ethics counsellor. On every other count I respected his advice.

Because questions have been raised, and it is not that I agree with the points expressed but because I respect the process, I have referred them to the counsellor. The counsellor will let me have his advice when he is ready to do so.

Ethics October 27th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I disagree with the facts as recited by the member.

I have set the record very straight. I have said that I respected entirely the advice I got from the ethics counsellor in terms of what I should do and what I should disqualify myself from.

When issues were raised, even if I did not agree with the hon. members, in good faith referred them to the ethics counsellor for his opinion.

I believe I have followed completely the advice he gave me, but because the issue has been raised, in good faith I have sent it on to him to look at and he has been good enough to agree to give me his opinion.

Ethics October 27th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, the member is absolutely wrong. The fact is my family and I spent a weekend as described. I made full disclosure to the ethics counsellor, took the ethic counsellor's advice and followed that advice.

I have openly acknowledged it was a mistake to have gone and I have apologized for it. I now have asked the ethics counsellor for a sound basis on which to tender payment for the hospitality.

That member is reaching far beyond that in a way which is just not reasonable, and I reject the allegation.

Ethics October 27th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, the member of the opposition is reaching beyond reason here. We are talking about an occasion on which I spent a weekend with my family, not talking health policy and in no way exposing myself to that kind of lobbying.

What we are talking about here is a situation in which I made full disclosure to the ethics counsellor of all the circumstances of the trip. I took the ethics counsellor's advice and I followed that advice.

Ethics October 27th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I was very clear about this last week. It was 18 months ago that I reported to the ethics counsellor, took his advice, told him everything and followed his advice to the letter.

I have acknowledged openly that it was a mistake for me to have gone. I have apologized for it. I have also asked the ethics counsellor to tell me the most sound basis on which to pay for the trip by tendering payment to the Irving family. I have responded to these questions last week and again today.

Research and Development October 23rd, 2003

Mr. Speaker, the point raised by the member must be looked into. I will look into it and respond to her when I have the information.

Automobile Industry October 23rd, 2003

Mr. Speaker, in June 2002 I created the Canadian Automotive Partnership Council with the CEOs of the big five, labour unions, provincial ministers, parts dealers, and everybody involved in the industry in order to work together to develop an effective auto policy for Canada, to attract investment, and to build on what we have.

Last year, Canada was third in the world in the amount of money invested in the auto sector. We are going in the right direction, but we must do more.

I assure the member and the House that the auto sector is a priority for me. I will continue to work away to broaden and deepen investments in Canada.

Ethics October 23rd, 2003

Mr. Speaker, as far as I am aware, all Treasury Board guidelines were respected.