Madam Speaker, on November 17, 1997 I asked the government, in light of the millions of dollars and the forced apology of the Liberal government, who was responsible for the Airbus affair scandal. Scandal is the appropriate word.
I also asked the government when it would withdraw the bogus letter and accusations which were sent to the Swiss authorities. It appears that the Liberals, when faced with the reality that they have done something completely wrong and at a cost to Canadians—needless to say this is not the first time nor the last—they refuse to answer questions, and the word helicopters comes to mind.
Canadians know better. Canadians know that the Airbus affair was political revenge from the Liberals extracted upon a man from whom they had been stealing ideas and programs since they were elected in 1993. I mention free trade and GST as a few examples there.
Canadians deserve answers when the cost is millions of dollars from skulduggery. The former prime minister was recklessly and falsely described as a criminal in a Canadian document which was sent to a foreign state which obviously the CBC and the RCMP bought hook, line and sinker.
The government acted on the fictional prose of Stevie Cameron and the mysterious Mr. Pelossi. The Government of Canada admitted that there was no basis for the conclusions, apologized to Mr. Mulroney and paid his legal fees.
Yet, the letter falsely accusing him is still in circulation and the government refuses to withdraw it. On top of that, the RCMP say they are still investigating, incredibly and increasingly so I am told.
Is this truly in the criminal investigating tradition? Is there any likelihood of conviction? What are the reasonable and probable grounds that will even bring this to a charge?
Many journalists last November said that this was an astonishing expression of cruelty and personal attack on Mr. Mulroney by the government. Sadly enough, this is only part of the continuing scandal.
Corporal Mike Niedubek of the RCMP came out last November and said something that people already knew, that was that the whole thing was highly political and that the RCMP were being asked to cover up a government mistake.
Staff Sergeant Fiegenwald, the designated fall guy, has mysteriously disappeared from the scene, something that the former Minister of Justice said that he lamented.
Here we are again. The government is faced with a very important issue which relates directly to integrity and accountability. It is all talk and no action.
I would like to pose some very serious questions that need answering. Who among the cabinet knew and were responsible for this scandal? Why is the government fighting so hard at the supreme court level to retain the anonymous and arbitrary power to exercise search warrants against Canadians abroad without judicial review, something two courts have already ruled on?
When is the government going to withdraw the letter containing the false allegations which they admitted were false? Why is the RCMP still conducting this abortive, futile and ill-founded investigation for which there has been no basis?
Further, how many more resources—and I am talking about money and manpower—will be sunk into this farcical witch-hunt? Who speaks for Canadian taxpayers on this issue? When the investigation grinds to its inevitable halt and no conclusions are reached, who will be held accountable?
If they are really investigating, why has Mr. Mulroney never been questioned?
Will the government do the right thing, clear the air on this sordid affair and call a public inquiry into the Airbus scandal? If the Prime Minister and the present Minister of Health had no roles in this affair, surely there is nothing to hide. When this happens, Canadians will be allowed to finally see the truth.
I have to ask the question: What is the government afraid of? If the Prime Minister and his government really cared for this country and the reputation of fairness and democracy, they would themselves call for a public inquiry and present themselves as witnesses.