Mr. Speaker, as we know, the topic of ethics has come up a lot lately. Today, we witnessed a fine piece of theatre as the Minister of Finance tabled his fall economic statement as a diversion.
I have a good memory, and I am pleased to tell you what we on this side of the aisle have been seeing for almost a month. We believe that all parliamentarians, regardless of professional background, must obey the rules and publicly disclose their private financial interests.
We have repeatedly asked the minister to do so, but unfortunately we have never gotten a straight answer. The finance minister did the right thing last week when he decided to disclose his information, more than two years after taking office. Everyone in the House was under the impression that he had already disclosed his assets and placed them in a blind trust. His colleagues in the Liberal Party, the Conservative Party, the Bloc Québécois, and the NDP were all convinced that he had already done the right thing two years ago.
Unfortunately for us, in light of certain information, it became apparent that that was not at all the case. In my mind, that is unacceptable. It is unacceptable for such a person, a minister in charge of billions of dollars of public funds and government bonds, a minister responsible for all the government's savings at the Bank of Canada, for hundreds of billions of dollars of mortgage insurance, a minister involved in his government's financial discussions about Barbados. I find it beyond belief that he would not have realized that he had a conflict of interest when he was elected two years ago.
This is the Prime Minister's right-hand man we are talking about. He has access to all the information, he drafted Bill C-27, and he owns assets. I find that unacceptable.
The question we have always asked, that we are still asking today, and that we will continue to ask is the following: did this Minister of Finance recuse himself from discussions that could have placed him in a conflict of interest?
I am asking this question again and I will continue to ask it. If necessary, I will keep asking it for two years. I will continue to ask it until this side of the House receives a clear-cut answer.