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House of Commons Hansard #134 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was nato.

Topics

Canadian EconomyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the member is indeed correct, the world is in the grip of serious economic instability, although one would not know it from the questions of the opposition.

Within this context we must recognize that the choice we will make today will govern this country for generations to come.

I am therefore pleased to inform the House that I will appear before the Standing Committee on Finance on October 14 at 2 o'clock here in Ottawa.

I am going to present the country's economic statement on October 14 at 2 p.m. here in Ottawa.

Apec SummitOral Question Period

October 7th, 1998 / 2:40 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Reform Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, the solicitor general talked publicly about fall guys in the APEC inquiry, presuming guilt before the inquiry even takes place.

When the solicitor general is questioned about this the Prime Minister covers for him. When the Prime Minister is asked about it the solicitor general stands up.

I would like to ask the Prime Minister, since the solicitor general really is Canada's worst security breach, why does the Prime Minister not stop covering for him and start firing him?

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have replied to the same question many, many times. The answer is that the solicitor general is a man with a great reputation, who has been a member of the House for five years. He has been an extremely diligent member. He has said that he has never debated anything in relation to things that were not part of the public discussion at any time with anybody, and I believe him. That was confirmed by the lawyer with whom he was talking, but not confirmed by someone who was snooping on him. Usually a snooper does not get his facts right.

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Reform Langley—Abbotsford, BC

That was then, this is now, Mr. Speaker. The solicitor general mentioned Frank Moores and Karlheinz Schreiber in his conversation with Mr. Toole.

If he was not talking about Airbus, exactly what was he talking about?

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as has been stated even by the member for Palliser, Airbus did not come up. The rest of the conversation was private and the hon. member has no right to bring a private conversation to the floor of this House.

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is fascinating to see the reliance on the member for Palliser. The solicitor general has now admitted that the hon. member for Palliser had it right about Airbus, right about the sweat lodge, right about the Yankees and right about his great future as an ambassador.

The solicitor general cannot have it both ways. Will he now admit the member also got it right about APEC? Will he fess up? Will he tell the truth? Will he resign?

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the member for Palliser basically took a few words out of the air and fabricated a story. This parliament is not going to operate on that level—

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

On both sides we are getting very close in our language. I ask you all to be very judicious both in the questions and in the answers.

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, my supplementary is for the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister knows the Malaysian government has brutally beaten former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar, has arrested peaceful demonstrators and gay men and has jailed opposition MPs.

Since the Prime Minister has said that human rights is on the APEC agenda, does he agree with the Liberal member for Quadra that Malaysia is an inappropriate venue for the upcoming APEC summit? Will he boycott the Malaysia APEC summit?

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the government the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Foreign Affairs last week protested against the Government of Malaysia very openly.

At this moment there is no member of the APEC nations planning to boycott that type of meeting. Should we boycott the UN because they are at the UN? Should we boycott every international organization because they happen to be members of those organizations?

I would like to repeat to the hon. member that as far as Indonesia was concerned, President Suharto was—

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Madawaska—Restigouche.

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Jean Dubé Progressive Conservative Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, whether the Solicitor General's conversation was a private or public one is not the question. What is important is that the minister responsible for the RCMP has revealed details concerning an investigation that is under way to a citizen who is not a party to that investigation. This is unacceptable.

That conversation, coupled with his behaviour over the past two days, leaves him no choice whatsoever. Will the minister do the honourable thing and resign?

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, what the hon. member is alleging is absolutely not true.

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Jean Dubé Progressive Conservative Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, it is clear that the Solicitor General will not assume responsibility for his actions. If the Prime Minister allows the Solicitor General to retain his cabinet seat, he is sending the message that he accepts his minister discussing, in public, inquiries that are clearly confidential.

Will the Prime Minister protect the confidentiality and integrity of future inquiries? Will the Prime Minister show respect to this House by asking the Solicitor General to resign?

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the minister made absolutely no allusion whatsoever to the Airbus inquiry. There was no reference to it.

Even the hon. member for Palliser has said that this matter was not mentioned at any time. That, for me, is sufficient. If he had discussed it, I would act differently, but he did not. If I am given concrete, real facts with evidence to back them up, then I will act, but I will not act on hearsay and rumours like these.

IranOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Colleen Beaumier Liberal Brampton West—Mississauga, ON

Mr. Speaker, on July 21, 1998 Iranian authorities executed Ruhullah Rawhani for practising his Baha'i faith. There are presently four more Baha'is on death row.

Would the Minister of Foreign Affairs please explain to Canadians Canada's position regarding Iran's abhorrent policies against the Baha'is?

IranOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I think all members share the great concern the member has expressed.

I took the opportunity last week at the United Nations to raise the matter directly with the foreign affairs minister of Iran, making the case that these arrests were not justified and that they should be released and furthermore that their freedom should be established in Iran as it should be established around the world.

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Dave Chatters Reform Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, the 1994 privy council code of conduct, which all members of the front bench opposite claim to respect, states public office holders shall act with honesty and uphold the highest ethical standards so that public confidence and trust in the integrity, objectivity and impartiality of government are conserved and enhanced.

The Prime Minister and the solicitor general are making a mockery out of these principles and embarrassing this whole House in front of all Canadians. When will the Prime Minister ask the solicitor general to resign?

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I understand what that oath is about. I respect it. I uphold those principles in this House. I have upheld those principles around this commission's inquiry. I take this extremely seriously. I know what the truth is and I am very confident in this position.

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

How can the Prime Minister consider what the member for Palliser says as the norm, as reliable, when he speaks on the Airbus affair, but as inaccurate and unreliable when he speaks on APEC?

Should we believe him in the Airbus case, because it suits the Prime Minister, but not in the APEC case, because it would mean having to fire the Solicitor General?

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in the Airbus affair, both the minister and the lawyer said the same thing. Even the hon. member, in his attempt to embarrass the minister with his fabrication, recognized that he had not talked about Airbus. This is even better.

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

My colleagues, once again I ask you to be very judicious in your choice of words today because we are getting a little carried away.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, as a child I used to watch Robin Hood, and Robin robbed the rich to give to the poor.

But the Robin Hood I grew up with has changed. Today's Robin Hood robs the poor to give to the rich.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.