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House of Commons Hansard #157 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was businesses.

Topics

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, again, this is exactly what the commission started to do months ago, and we hope that the House of Commons will let the commission get on with its work as the law of Parliament requires it to.

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Bloc Charlesbourg, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister needs to understand that the entire APEC inquiry process has been sabotaged by the former solicitor general.

Does the minister not consider it essential to go back to square one with the inquiry process so that everyone will know everything that happened in the APEC affair between the PMO and the RCMP?

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the commission of inquiry is entitled to ask any and all questions that it may wish to ask. Besides, my chief of staff and Mr. Carle have already offered to testify and have said “If you wish to interview any other public servants, they are available to you”.

The commission has been working for months, and if people want to know the truth, let us allow the commission to get on with its work. I have no intention of going back to square one.

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Bloc Charlesbourg, QC

Mr. Speaker, everyone wants to know what really happened between the Prime Minister, the PMO and the RCMP in the shameful events of the Vancouver APEC summit.

The sabotaged RCMP commission cannot cast full light on these questions.

Are we to understand from the Prime Minister's answers that, by sacrificing the hon. member for Fredericton, he has done everything he was prepared to do and now thinks he can get away without an independent judicial inquiry?

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, a commission of inquiry is working on this at the present time, and we want it to ask all the questions it has to ask, and to answer all the questions the hon. member has asked.

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, now that the solicitor general and the Prime Minister's cover are gone and now that the public complaints commission is hopelessly compromised, an independent judicial inquiry must be permitted to get to the truth about the role of the Prime Minister and his staff in the APEC fiasco.

When will the Prime Minister do the right thing and appoint a judicial inquiry?

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there are three commissioners on this inquiry. They are three honourable people who have been in the job for months. They have invested a lot of time and effort into it.

We want this tribunal, set by the laws of parliament, to look into the operation of the RCMP, to do its job as quickly as possible and to interview all the people which it decides to interview.

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is the only living, breathing Canadian who continues to maintain that the former solicitor general did nothing wrong.

First Hughie was going to take the fall. Now the former solicitor general has taken the fall. How many more people will have to take the fall to protect the Prime Minister and his staff? How many more people will take the fall before the Prime Minister appoints a judicial inquiry into his handling of the APEC fiasco?

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, she wants me to name an inquiry. An inquiry was named a long time ago by the laws parliament, with three independent people who are looking into that.

I want them to do their job. I want the opposition to let them do their job. Three times the leader of the NDP made affirmations in the House and later when she was proven wrong made no apologies to anybody.

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the new solicitor general.

Now that the Prime Minister has one less fall guy it is time to focus on the real issue, that is one of serious political interference by the Prime Minister's Office at last year's APEC summit.

The public complaints commission has never had a mandate to investigate these allegations. The government has an obligation to pursue the truth over the entire APEC affair. When will the new solicitor general, in his first exercise of office, call a complete independent judicial inquiry into the security at APEC?

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this question is a repetition of all the other questions.

At this time we have an inquiry under the laws of parliament. I have said and I repeat that it can ask questions on all subjects it wants to of anybody in the bureaucracy, and even in my office, and not only of the RCMP.

It has already started its work. I want it to finish it as quickly as possible.

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, if the Prime Minister had such confidence in this process he would not have allowed his solicitor general to twist in the breeze for six weeks.

Why does he persist with Bill C-44 which will allow the government to fire the chair of the RCMP Public Complaints Commission at will. Will the solicitor general admit that a mistake is there? Will the Prime Minister remove this sword that hangs over the public complaints commission in the form of Bill C-44, which further politicizes the entire process?

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, I would like the member to listen to the answers that have been given in the House.

I announced last week that the government would amend that section in Bill C-44 so that CBC is seen to be as it is with all the possible freedom in its operational and program requirements.

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

John Reynolds Reform West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has said the commission was not compromised. He can say it until he is blue in the face. The solicitor general's embarrassing resignation this morning proves that it was compromised. If this had happened in a court of law there would have been a mistrial.

Could the new solicitor general tell us that he will take his responsibilities on and ask the Prime Minister to create an independent judicial inquiry immediately to get to the bottom of this issue?

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the solicitor general has been the solicitor general for an hour. He has taken over the job and has to be briefed on everything.

I repeat that we have a commission that wants to do its job, but the opposition is not interested in the truth. The opposition just wants to debate that in the House of Commons because it cannot find anything else to seriously attack this government on.

If the opposition really wants the truth, it will let the commission do its work and not ask it to start all over again.

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

John Reynolds Reform West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, blaming the opposition for the solicitor general's resignation is like Brian Mulroney blaming the Prime Minister when he won the election.

The solicitor general resigned, a very serious resignation. The lawyers for the government and the RCMP have applied to have the APEC commission quashed. It is the government, the RCMP and the solicitor general's people who want this commission quashed.

When will the government give us an independent judicial inquiry just like its own lawyers are asking for in Vancouver?

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I repeat again that the commission will finish its job. It was set up under a law of parliament, a law introduced in parliament and voted on by parliament. The member of parliament was a Tory at that time and voted for that law and today he is attacking the leader who got him to the House of Commons at that time.

Canadian Olympic CommitteeOral Question Period

November 23rd, 1998 / 2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Bloc Rimouski—Mitis, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Canadian Heritage.

In Nagano, the Minister of Canadian Heritage explained that she could not intervene with the olympic committee to defend the French language, because the committee was independent.

Why did the Minister of Canadian Heritage decide this time to intervene with the Canadian olympic committee in the case of the city hosting the 2010 games?

Canadian Olympic CommitteeOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I would remind the hon. member opposite that her claim that I did not intervene in the case of Nagano is absolutely false.

I would ask her to withdraw the false remarks she just made in this House.

Canadian Olympic CommitteeOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Bloc Rimouski—Mitis, QC

Mr. Speaker, everyone thinks the minister should have abstained from political meddling with the olympic committee.

My question is for the Prime Minister. Does the Prime Minister not consider, once again, that one of his ministers was lacking in judgment by intervening as the Minister of Canadian Heritage did with the olympic association?

Canadian Olympic CommitteeOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, if the member does not remember, I will remind her that in a letter written in the hand of Suzanne Tremblay dated August 14, 1998, she said “I remind you that during a similar incident at the Nagano games—”

Canadian Olympic CommitteeOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

I would ask the minister not to use the members' names.

Canadian Olympic CommitteeOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Sheila Copps Liberal Hamilton East, ON

In a letter written in the hand of the member for Rimouski—Mitis, she says clearly that yes, I should have intervened in the case of Nagano, and congratulated me on doing so.

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Myron Thompson Reform Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, first there was a Mountie named Hughie who was being set up to take the fall. Now the solicitor general has sacrificed himself to protect the Prime Minister. That still does not get at what started this whole scandal.

My question is easy and is directed to the Prime Minister. What role did he play in having a crackdown on the students at the APEC conference last year?

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the long answer is none.