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House of Commons Hansard #140 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was magazines.

Topics

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Reform Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's former director of operations, Jean Carle, is heard over and over again on the RCMP APEC audio tapes. But guess who is screening the tapes? The lawyer protecting the Prime Minister at the APEC hearings.

Why is Ivan Whitehall, the Prime Minister's APEC lawyer, being allowed to block access to those tapes?

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the matter of these tapes, in today's Ottawa Citizen the member for Kootenay—Columbia is reported to have conceded to reporters that he has no idea what Carle might have been directing the RCMP to do or, indeed whether he may simply have been giving innocuous instructions about arrival and departure times and motorcade routes for the leaders.

Why does the hon. member not admit that when he made his allegations yesterday he did not really know what he was talking about?

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Reform Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, the issue is the tapes. Let me make that very clear for the Deputy Prime Minister.

The solicitor for the Prime Minister is blocking access to the RCMP tapes. This is completely unconscionable and goes against anything reasonable.

I ask again why is the solicitor for the Prime Minister blocking access to the RCMP tapes?

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I will have to check the accuracy of the hon. member's assertion. It may well be that he does not know anything more about what he is saying today than he did yesterday.

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Reform Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, the counsel for the commission has acknowledged that the tapes exist. Yet despite repeated requests by the students for those tapes, they have not had one audio tape produced to them. This is evidence that the Prime Minister's solicitor is burying the tapes. Why?

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, according to today's Ottawa Citizen , RCMP spokesman Sergeant Russ Grabb said in an interview that the police force has turned over all the tapes deemed relevant by the public complaints commission so far. The other allegedly missing tapes are still available and will be turned over when and if they are requested by the commission.

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Val Meredith Reform South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I think the problem here is that only the tapes that have been deemed relevant by the solicitor for the Prime Minister have been turned over.

The students were forced to turn over every shred of evidence that they had, including Craig Jones' e-mail to his girlfriend. I mean, come on. Yet the Prime Minister's lawyer refuses to release important audio tapes that will show that the Prime Minister's office directed the police crackdown at APEC.

How can the commission's inquiry be deemed to be fair if the—

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Deputy Prime Minister.

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Herb Gray Liberal Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I repeat, I think we ought to check the accuracy of the allegations on which the hon. member bases her question.

In the past they have often been quite wrong in the allegations behind their questions. We had better find out whether they know any more today than they did on these matters in past days.

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Val Meredith Reform South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, we know the tapes exist. The real issue here is why is the government vetting any of the material being dealt with by an independent commission.

Can the Prime Minister give Canadians the assurance that all evidence will be turned over to this commission without being vetted, being uncensored? Will the true information go before the independent commission?

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as far as I am aware, the government is co-operating with this independent commission. The hon. member's allegations and innuendoes are unwarranted and unsubstantiated.

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, what we just learned is more than troubling. This commission was supposed to get to the bottom of the peppergate scandal. Yet we just learned today that audio tapes incriminating the Prime Minister are allegedly being kept in an RCMP safe.

Can the solicitor general tell us whether or not audio tapes are being kept in an RCMP vault?

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the important person in this case is the counsel for the commission who has not indicated at any time that there was any problem. He says the government is co-operating completely. He is the person who should be speaking to this issue.

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the solicitor general is responsible for the RCMP. I asked him a very clear question. I would like him to answer my question as freely as if he was on a plane.

Are audio tapes being kept in an RCMP vault, yes or no? Can the minister give me an answer?

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I said, this is the subject of an independent inquiry. The person to whom that question should be addressed is the counsel for the commission who is holding that inquiry.

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Bloc Charlesbourg, QC

Mr. Speaker, the peppergate scandal smells a lot like déjà vu.

We just learned that audio tapes that would be incriminating for the Prime Minister's Office seem to have disappeared. This reminds me a lot of the Somalia inquiry, where lost documents paralyzed the armed forces for a whole day.

In the peppergate scandal, is the government about to announce that a special day will be set aside to find the allegedly lost tapes?

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I said, the government is co-operating completely. The counsel for the commission confirms that.

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Bloc Charlesbourg, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government is clearly on the defensive. My question is very simple: What does the government have to hide?

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the government's position on this is very clear. This is an important investigation. The public complaints commission is the agency to look into this and to get to the truth. That is exactly what it should be allowed to do.

HealthOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

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

Before a Senate committee this morning health protection scientists described under oath how in the course of their work they have been muzzled and gagged, directed to alter documents and have had their files rifled and removed.

With these police state tactics how can scientists do their jobs of protecting the health of Canadians?

HealthOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, as I understand it, the hearings this morning had to do with the process by which the application for approval of something called rBST was carried forward.

So not to lose sight of the facts, I want to stress that rBST has not been approved in Canada. It has not been approved by Health Canada. Even though it has been approved in the States we have said no. We have not given approval. We will not give approval until the safety of that substance is determined to our satisfaction. This has been under review for nine years.

HealthOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the health minister can pretend that everything is fine in health protection. Is he saying it is fine to muzzle scientists? Is it fine with the minister to alter documents? Is it fine to secretly remove files?

If the health minister has nothing to hide why not agree to a full and open inquiry to investigate these serious allegations?

HealthOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, were the member not speaking in the political theatre she would concede that many of these allegations have already been investigated. Some of them are now before the Public Service Staff Relations Board which has had a full hearing and has had this testimony before it. Some of the allegations she mentions go back to 1990. They were the subject of television programs in 1994.

These have been looked at over the years. Now they are before the Public Service Staff Relations Board. Let us let that board consider the evidence and come to its own conclusions.

As far as Health Canada is concerned we will continue to act in the public interest.

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

October 22nd, 1998 / 2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, the public complaints commission needs access to all audio tapes of RCMP officers and Jean Carle's discussions regarding security during the APEC summit. This would be irrefutable evidence of PMO interference in the RCMP.

Did the Prime Minister ask Jean Carle to direct security arrangements so that peaceful Canadian protesters would not upset brutal Asian dictators?

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Jean Carle is coming to the commission to testify. Why don't we let him testify. I am sure he will confirm that the Prime Minister acted properly in this matter.