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House of Commons Hansard #221 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was environment.

Topics

Code Of EthicsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Code Of EthicsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Sheila Copps Liberal Hamilton East, ON

However, that did not prevent every single member of the Reform Party from taking the government rebate that was offered to them at the end of the election campaign.

Code Of EthicsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Preston Manning Reform Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, pretending to not see an ethical issue is ignoring it or covering it up. We cannot go on with that vein of reply.

What has also become clear over the last two weeks is that the government's mechanisms and procedures for dealing with breaches in its code of ethics are simply not working. The heritage minister was caught in an obvious conflict of interest, yet the ethics counsellor was powerless to act. The Prime Minister only consulted the ethics counsellor as an afterthought and his report remains a deep, dark secret.

If this government is serious about restoring integrity to government and is unwilling to act itself, will it at least free the hands of the ethics counsellor and make him directly accountable to this Parliament?

Code Of EthicsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the Reform Party says he sees no conflict in taking a public position that his party should not accept political tax credits nor should they accept money from the taxpayers, but when it is coming they are very happy to take it.

While the leader of the Reform Party was up very righteously in the House last week attacking the Minister of Canadian Heritage for having a private dinner, he himself was attending another private dinner at the posh Windsor Club where initiation fees are $1,000 and annual dues are $600.

Code Of EthicsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Code Of EthicsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Sheila Copps Liberal Hamilton East, ON

However the press was not allowed because according to the press secretary of the leader of the Reform Party it was only a "get to know you" session.

Code Of EthicsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Code Of EthicsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Preston Manning Reform Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, surely the minister can see the difference between a regular political fundraising event and one where a minister is soliciting clients of his own department. If the minister cannot see the difference there, we really have an ethics problem.

No ethics code can be enforced as long as the government practices double standards when it comes to dealing with its own members. Liberal backbenchers who occasionally vote against the government at the direction of their constituents are punished. "I will not sign your nomination papers", says the Prime Minister. However cabinet ministers found flouting the federal code of ethics are defended and even applauded for their actions.

As a discipline for violating the conflict of interest guidelines has the Prime Minister told the heritage minister that he will not be signing his nomination papers at the next election?

Code Of EthicsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, speaking of double standards, it seems to me that the leader of the Reform Party should explain to the House of Commons why he asked for his justice critic to be removed when he did not like some of the positions he took.

Referendum On Quebec SovereigntyOral Question Period

June 19th, 1995 / 2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs said that the federal government would follow the letter and spirit of the Quebec referendum act.

Yet, in a letter addressed to business people concerning the referendum campaign, the Privy Council suggests that they make a list of speakers to include current, former or retired business leaders who would like to speak in Quebec, and to give those names to the Privy Council or to the Council for Canadian Unity.

How can the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs justify giving the Council for Canadian Unity, which is a charity receiving 60 per cent of its funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage, responsibility for the pre-referendum campaign on behalf of the Privy Council?

Referendum On Quebec SovereigntyOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Mr. Speaker, the Council for Canadian Unity is an independent organization. This registered private organization has no official link with us. The government finances the council because that organization seeks to promote Canadian unity, which is a perfectly valid goal.

When the opposition or its big brother finances the council on Quebec sovereignty with my taxes and with the taxes paid to the Quebec government, it is clear that the opposition's big brother uses taxpayers' money to sell its option.

Referendum On Quebec SovereigntyOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is a case of seeing the mote in one's neighbour's eye, but not the beam in one's own.

Referendum On Quebec SovereigntyOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Referendum On Quebec SovereigntyOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

In that same letter, the Privy Council suggests to business people that they should fund the advertising or

promotion costs of events such as the 30th anniversary of the flag, or citizenship ceremonies.

How can the minister claim that federal advertising on the Canadian flag and citizenship is not part of a huge multi-million dollar pre-referendum campaign, considering that the Privy Council is asking companies to integrate these themes into their advertising, in the fight against the yes side in the Quebec referendum?

Referendum On Quebec SovereigntyOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Mr. Speaker, how can the opposition dare to ask such a question, considering who is doing the advertising in the Montreal metro, who held the regional commissions, who is using Quebec taxpayers' money to carry out, through its departments, false advertising on what goes on-

Referendum On Quebec SovereigntyOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

Dear colleagues, some pretty strong words are being used today. I ask the hon. minister to retract the word "false".

Referendum On Quebec SovereigntyOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Massé Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, I retract that word and replace it with "misleading". Advertising which-

Referendum On Quebec SovereigntyOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

Again, I will ask the hon. minister to simply retract the word.

Referendum On Quebec SovereigntyOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Massé Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

I do Mr. Speaker, but I want to carry on-

BosniaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Jack Frazer Reform Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, all Canadians are grateful that the troops at Ilijas and Pale have finally been released.

Now that they are free, the government is also free to address our continued presence in Bosnia in a more objective way. Approximately 700 Canadians remain on their base at Visoko, stuck between hostile armies in the midst of an escalating conflict. They are pinned down by land mines and threatened if they try to leave their compound.

Will the minister now accept that continuing this deployment is pointless, dangerous and irresponsible and that Canada should urge withdrawal as soon as possible?

BosniaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, in terms of the 700 members of the Royal Vandoos Regiment in Visoko, it is rather regrettable and certainly unacceptable from Canada's point that these people are confined to their base.

We will be making the strongest protest to the Bosnian government. The local commander has been trying to negotiate the passage of goods, food and personnel to the base. There is no reason to fear for their safety, but that is a matter we will be concerned about and we will be negotiating with the local commanders.

With respect to the general policy, the Prime Minister has made the government's commitment to the United Nations force absolutely clear. We believe the force can continue to do its job with the goodwill of the parties to start negotiating again.

BosniaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Jack Frazer Reform Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government continues to waffle about whether Canada will join the UN's rapid reaction force. It stalls for time, refusing to make the tough decisions about the mission in Bosnia. The government owes it to Canadians to stop dithering and decide its course.

Will Canada join the rapid reaction force and commit itself more deeply to the fighting or will it, as the Reform Party has been suggesting, begin to wind down its participation?

BosniaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it is very nice for the hon. member from the Reform Party to express a sign of relief at the freedom of our hostages.

However I would like to remind the House that at the height of this crisis, when all Canadians and all parliamentarians should have been rallying around, this was the party that was telling us to withdraw. This was the party with a wanton disregard for the safety of our troops.

Canadian UnityOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, two weeks ago, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs stated that the Privy Council would be spending $2.5 million of its budget on Operation Unity this year. The Clerk of the Privy Council said that, of this amount, $1.4 million would be for salaries and $1 million for the purchase of goods and services. However, the minister and departmental employees carefully avoid talking about the total cost of Operation Unity.

Will the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs tell us what the total cost of Operation Unity will be, including transferred employees, goods and services and the rental of office space?

Canadian UnityOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Mr. Speaker, we have very clearly estimated that the total cost of Operation Unity will be $2.5 million. This was the amount noted in the estimates, which are drawn up to give us an idea of how much money we need for the fiscal year.

But obviously, since then, our big brother from the Bloc Quebecois decided to put off the referendum, so we may have to

spend more than we previously estimated. How much more, we will only know once the referendum date has been set.