Mr. Speaker, this House either means something or it does not.
The reason why the Prime Minister's office put out a press release was to inform Canadians of a fact, that Mr. Landry was appointed or accepted the invitation to head the foundation. As a result of that press release the Toronto Star ran an article in today's paper. The headline of that article is “Chrysler chief to run scholarships”. The sub-headline is “No bias for high-tech training, Landry says”. This is the information that those who read the Toronto Star are receiving.
That assumes that the announcement made by the Minister of Finance will in fact become law. Not only has legislation not been presented in this House, we do not know the nature of the legislation. This House might decide, for whatever reason, that instead of having a foundation to dispense the millennium fund, it might choose another mechanism. By inviting Mr. Landry to be the head of the foundation, they are in effect assuming that this Parliament will ratify and endorse whatever the plan is for this foundation.
As a member of Parliament, I have not seen the legislation. I do not know how many members will be on this board. I do not know what the provisions are with respect to the head of the foundation.
Not only is this action a contempt of this Parliament, it is also a contempt of the Senate. While the Prime Minister and his majority might be able to make an assumption that they could in effect pass legislation through this House, they cannot assume that the Senate down the way will also give its endorsation to identical legislation.
At the very least, the invitation was premature. The government should recognize that the invitation was premature. If it has any confidence in the integrity of this House, that invitation should be withdrawn pending the passage of that legislation in this House and in the Senate.