This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #139 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agency.

Topics

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, if the Prime Minister is not afraid of the truth, he should get himself on an airplane and get out to that inquiry and tell it exactly what the story was. That is the problem.

It seems to me that the government and the solicitor general have already determined what the truth is. We want to know about the Prime Minister's actions, not the RCMP. We know they are being investigated.

I ask the Prime Minister right here, right now, what was the level of his own involvement in this, or is the Shawinigan schemer just going to say “It is none of your business?”

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

It is Wednesday and we know it. I urge all members to try to keep their words a little more reserved.

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I was there as Prime Minister of Canada hosting the heads of government of all members of APEC. It was one of the most important international meetings held in Canada.

I was the host of all heads of government, including the President of the United States, the President of China and the Prime Minister of Japan. I wanted to make sure they had a good meeting, that they would have a peaceful discussion—

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The Prime Minister, if he so wants, has more time.

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Liberal Saint-Maurice, QC

Mr. Speaker, all these nations were at this international meeting to discuss the extremely important problem of the crisis in the Pacific at that time. My role was to chair that meeting. Everybody said that it was a very good meeting.

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Reform Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, the RCMP was asked to release all relevant documents and tapes on the APEC affair, but a majority of the audio tapes of the RCMP radio transmissions around the affair is not available.

According to a source within the RCMP “Jean Carle wants this” and “Jean Carle wants that” are all over these tapes. Jean Carle was the director of operations for the Prime Minister. Is that why these tapes are missing?

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the counsel to the commissioners said that they are very satisfied with the co-operation they are getting from the government. They are having access to all kinds of information. There have been no problems in that regard at all.

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Reform Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, all the officers who were on duty that day heard the name Jean Carle this and Jean Carle that. Yet surprisingly any of the documentation, tapes or transcripts that have been revealed by the commission to this point do not include his name.

My question is very straightforward. If Jean Carle was giving direction to the RCMP about the operation, who was giving Jean Carle his direction?

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I said, the counsel has said that there has been no problem in that regard. I understand the gentleman in question is appearing before the counsel himself.

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, after the Prime Minister and the Solicitor General found themselves in hot water over the “Peppergate” affair, the president of the Liberal caucus is now blaming the young victims' lawyers. This is crazy.

Not only should the students be grateful not to have been hit over the head with baseball bats, but their lawyers should apologize for not working for free. Where will the government's arrogance stop?

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as a matter of fact the complainants in this case were the people who requested this hearing.

The public complaints commission was established to deal with these kinds of issues and that is exactly what it is doing.

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, during the Somalia inquiry, the government took aim at Justice Létourneau. During the tainted blood inquiry, the government took aim at Justice Krever. Now, in the “Peppergate” inquiry, the government is taking aim at the young victims.

Is it not sad to see that, whenever its actions are called into question, this government's only defence is to blame others, without ever admitting that it was wrong?

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the Bloc Quebecois leader that we never targeted Justice Létourneau and Justice Krever. We took their recommendations into consideration.

In this case, the students are represented by the commission's lawyer. The commission was set up to allow any citizen to file a complaint against the police without having to hire lawyers to represent him or her.

The court officer is there to serve the students, and he stated that he would provide them with all the services they—

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Charlesbourg.

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Bloc Charlesbourg, QC

Mr. Speaker, the RCMP has lawyers paid with public funds, the Government of Canada has lawyers paid with public funds and even the CBC cameraman has a lawyer paid with public funds. In the end, the only ones without lawyers are the students who got beaten up in Vancouver.

Why does the Prime Minister not realize that his position is untenable?

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the complainants in this case have the public complaints commission.

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Bloc Charlesbourg, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are going to talk about that very thing.

The Solicitor General said yesterday that the commission's funds could not be used to pay a lawyer for the students.

How can the Prime Minister let people think that the commission can look after representation for the students, when his Solicitor General has said the very opposite?

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday, we have increased the amount of money available to the public complaints commission by some $650,000 to facilitate the process in the way that parliament originally intended.

EmploymentOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

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

Yesterday we had the very disturbing announcement by CN of a permanent layoff of 3,000 workers. This was on top of another recent announcement by Volvo in Halifax of closure. All these were done only in the name of preserving shareholder value.

The Minister of Finance often lectures Canadians on their responsibility to seek work. Does he not feel that corporations have a responsibility to maintain employment in this country and not lay off people permanently or otherwise simply to increase their shareholder value? Is there not such a thing as corporate responsibility in this country?

EmploymentOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the decisions that are taken by private corporations are decisions which reside within the capacity of those corporations.

That being said, I have said on numerous occasions that the downsizing which has taken place over the last two or three years in many cases is the equivalent of dumbsizing. In fact, it leads to lack of employee loyalty. It leads to absenteeism. I do not think it makes a lot of sense.

This is not to deal with this particular issue, but it certainly deals with a movement that we have seen throughout North America.

EmploymentOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, the reason CN is a private company is that the treachery of the Liberal Party sold off the CNR and made it for all intents and purposes an American owned company that now operates without giving two hoots about Canada.

Does the Minister of Finance not see that this was a mistake? Will he be speaking to CN about operating in the interests of Canada and not in the interests of its 60% American shareholders thanks to the Liberal Party of Canada?

EmploymentOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I am quite affronted. The hon. member talks about treachery when he knows he is talking about a decision democratically taken by members of the House of Commons to privatize Canadian National Railways. I think he should withdraw that slight of CN and members of the House.

As the Minister of Finance has said recently there are some troubled waters. There are ups and downs in the economy and what CN is doing is reflecting a downturn in revenues.

Let us hope that this will only be temporary and that those people will be rehired at a later date.

Immigration And Refugee BoardOral Question Period

October 21st, 1998 / 2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister must be aware that one of his patronage appointments committed a most repugnant act.

John Frecker, deputy chair of the Immigration and Refugee Board, has admitted to giving a nazi salute and a sieg heil comment to another board member who is a Holocaust survivor. Such behaviour is disgraceful and should not be tolerated.

The Prime Minister appointed Mr. Frecker. We know the Prime Minister likes shaking hands with dictators who abuse human rights, but will he do the right thing here and will he replace John Frecker immediately?