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House of Commons Hansard #241 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was magazines.

Topics

Merchant NavyOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Merchant NavyOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I would like the hon. member for Saint John to please put her question now.

Merchant NavyOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians want to know if this government will offer compensation to the Canadian merchant navy men as it did with the Hong Kong veterans, and rightfully so at that time. We want the government to correct this injustice. I ask the Prime Minister to please do so.

Merchant NavyOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Nipissing Ontario

Liberal

Bob Wood LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I said, to the best of my knowledge the report has not been tabled. Until the official report is tabled any commentary on the contents of the report would be strictly speculation.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Reform Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's own conflict of interest code says: “Public office holders shall not have private interests...that would be affected particularly or significantly by government actions in which they participate”.

The Prime Minister's continuing financial interest in the Grand-Mère golf course breaches his own public code of ethics since that course stands to gain from the awarding of government grants and loans.

Why does the Prime Minister think that stonewalling will make this conflict go away?

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the ethics counsellor replied to all of these questions. I have followed the code that applies to all members. I put my assets into a trust fund and it is managed by these people.

I have said, and I repeat, that I sold the shares in November 1993. Having sold the shares, I have no interest in the golf course or anything like that. It was confirmed by the ethics counsellor who examined the case with the person who is in charge of administering my assets.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

Once again I appeal to members. We want to hear both the questions and, of course, the answers.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Reform Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, this “I know nothing” approach is not good enough for Canadians.

The heritage minister used to rail against the Mulroney government for not answering her questions. During the Sinclair Stevens affair she said:

I think the actions of the Acting Prime Minister certainly do bear some public scrutiny. I believe his intention right from the beginning was to block the free flow of information in the House of Commons by daily stonewalling.

Why is the Prime Minister trying to out-stonewall Brian Mulroney?

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, on May 6 the ethic counsellor spent a long time in the committee replying to all of the questions that were asked of him on the issue. He confirmed that the shares were sold before I became Prime Minister. It is very clear and very open.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister says that he sold his shares in 161341 Canada Inc. and did not receive any money.

The Deputy Prime Minister says that the Prime Minister's trust tried to help Mr. Prince sell the shares and Mr. Prince states that he does not have them, that they were returned. We are up to our eyeballs in contradictions.

Today is Wednesday. The session is coming to a close. Is it not appropriate to the Prime Minister's position that he clarify this situation? The best way to do so would be to table the contract. That will settle it.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again I repeat what the Deputy Prime Minister has said.

On May 6 the ethics adviser testified before a committee and answered all these questions. He confirmed that the shares were sold before I became Prime Minister.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are playing with words here.

Instead of hiding behind the ethics adviser, the Prime Minister ought to understand that, in 1993, he managed to find a buyer in six days, but has not managed to get paid in six years.

How can we not believe sincerely that this was a sale of convenience? Why does he not clarify the matter by tabling the record of sale? We will understand.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the ethics adviser has examined the matter and reported publicly on it before a committee of this House. One cannot ask for anything clearer than that.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Reform Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister keeps relying on the ethics counsellor. He says that the ethics counsellor backs him up on this and said so in the industry committee, but I was there and that is just not so.

The Prime Minister said he sold shares in 1993. The Prime Minister himself said to the ethics commissioner “They came back to me in 1996. What should I do?” In other words, the sale never went through. There are no receipts. There is no bill of sale that he has tabled in the House. There are no answers.

When will the Prime Minister just clear the air and give us some answers on this stuff so we can leave the House this spring with the answers here for the Parliament of Canada?

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this was answered by the ethics commissioner on May 6. I can tell the hon. member “that there was a sale free and clear of the Prime Minister's interests in that golf course. There was a sum of money that has been denominated and there was a repayment schedule”. That is exactly what the ethics commissioner said. The rest is administered by the trustee. I have nothing to do with it.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning ReformLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, it is obvious that the Prime Minister has chosen not to answer fully and openly these questions about his conflict of interest.

If the Prime Minister were in a court of law or before a public inquiry and gave the answers that he has given here, he would be found in contempt.

Therefore, the official opposition wishes to register its profound objection. We find this Prime Minister in contempt of this parliament.

KosovoOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, in recent days a peace plan has been taking shape in Kosovo and is sure to lead to the adoption of a resolution by the security council. However, opinions diverge on whether bombing should continue, including China and Russia, despite the imminence of a political agreement.

My question is for the Prime Minister. Does he think bombing must be stopped immediately to promote the adoption of a resolution by the security council?

KosovoOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there was agreement among all the countries present at the negotiations, including Russia, and this is the course events must take. First, the Serbs have to leave Kosovar territory. There are currently indications of probable movement.

As soon as movement has been confirmed, and the troops have taken to the road in order to return to Belgrade, under the agreement the bombing will stop and, accordingly, the resolution that was agreed to will immediately be put before the security council.

KosovoOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Beauharnois—Salaberry.

KosovoOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, China and Russia are making an end to bombing the condition for their support of the security council resolution. In fact, this morning they got the support of the Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan.

If Kofi Annan is calling for an end to bombing, should Canada as a member of the security council not support its secretary general?

KosovoOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there is no disagreement between the secretary general, Canada's position and everyone else's position. There was an agreement that soldiers were to leave Kosovo to return to Serbia. As soon as their movement may be clearly determined, bombing will cease, and the resolution will be automatically introduced in the security council.

The resolution is being discussed at the moment by members of the security council. They will vote on it once the soldiers have begun to withdraw and bombing has stopped. There is no disagreement between the UN secretary general and our position.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

June 9th, 1999 / 2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Human Resources Development himself admitted that EI reforms had resulted in problems for young people and women.

Will the minister be announcing changes before the end of the session?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, as members know, we have always been extremely clear about this. Our government is committed to keeping a very close eye on the impact on primary clients of our EI reform.

In fact, with the second monitoring report on the employment insurance program, we noted that too many women did not have access.

I have asked my officials to look very carefully at this issue in order to determine why certain women were penalized, and we will correct the situation as quickly as possible.

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Liberal Beaches—East York, ON

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

Back in March the member for London West asked the minister if he was supportive of approving the medical use of marijuana. The minister committed to clinical trials of marijuana, access to a safe supply and guidelines for its use. Will the minister tell the House what progress he has made to date?