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House of Commons Hansard #13 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was crime.

Topics

Grants And ContributionsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deborah Grey Canadian Alliance Edmonton North, AB

The Prime Minister benefited from that very sale of the land that was adjacent to the golf course which added value to the shares that he was trying to sell in the golf course itself. The Deputy Prime Minister tries to fog that over, not to mention the $10,000 political benefit.

I am sure Mr. Gauthier is good to know but it is obvious that the Prime Minister is better to know. Mr. Gauthier got $7 million from federal programs and another $9 million from investor immigrant funds. The benefit to him is obvious. Why is it not obvious to the Prime Minister that he is afraid of this independent investigation?

Grants And ContributionsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there was already an investigation by the ethics counsellor who found that the Prime Minister had acted within the rules. If anybody else wants to carry out an investigation, they have the independent authority to do that. It is not a matter of direction one way or another by the Prime Minister or the solicitor general.

The facts are that the Prime Minister had no interest in the golf course at the time of the land purchase. I have been advised that Mr. Gauthier competed for a CIDA contract and won it because he had the lowest bid. Why does the Alliance Party refuse to admit this simple fact?

Grants And ContributionsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deborah Grey Canadian Alliance Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, we will not admit it because we know it is simply not true. It is not true and there is no way that the Deputy Prime Minister can defend that.

Conflict of interest guidelines are to prevent the appearance of conflicts, not just to prevent them from actually happening. He can talk all he likes around the bush about it but it simply will not add up. The relationship between Claude Gauthier and the Prime Minister has a very bad appearance.

If these dealings are as innocent as the Deputy Prime Minister claims daily, then why will the government not just call for an independent investigation and clear the air?

Grants And ContributionsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Beaches—East York Ontario

Liberal

Maria Minna LiberalMinister for International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member keeps talking about the CIDA project. First, seven companies sent bids to the president and that company's bid was 30% below the bids by the other companies. It was a straightforward bidding process.

Telefilm CanadaOral Question Period

February 14th, 2001 / 2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, Telefilm Canada's new feature film policy is aimed primarily at increasing the market share of Canadian films from 1% to 5%. This policy ignores the Quebec reality, since the share of producers and films there is already 6.5%. This then is a Canadian problem to which a Canadian solution is being applied, without regard to the industry in Quebec.

I would ask the Minister of Canadian Heritage if she is aware that Telefilm's new policy achieves only one objective, that of penalizing those who are already successful, Quebec producers?

Telefilm CanadaOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Parkdale—High Park Ontario

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to say that the new Canadian feature film policy is designed to promote the quality, diversity and accessibility of Canadian feature films to all Canadians.

Currently Telefilm is continuing its consultations with all of its stakeholders and expects to announce new guidelines by the end of February.

Telefilm CanadaOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, what concerns me about this diversity criterion is that Canadian films are going to be required to produce receipts of $240,000, whereas Quebec films will have to produce $455,000 to meet the same criteria.

I would ask the minister how she will explain to producers of Quebec films that they will have to meet criteria that are twice as high, when they operate in a market three times smaller?

Telefilm CanadaOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Parkdale—High Park Ontario

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. leader of the Bloc knows, the Canadian television film policy was brought together after consultations with many of our Canadian film producers, including Quebec producers.

Last week when members of the Canadian Film and Television Production Association met here they applauded the minister on her new consultations with Telefilm.

Telefilm CanadaOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the situation the film industry assistance fund is likely to create will most certainly be prejudicial to Quebec producers, because they will be set receipts objectives that are much higher than elsewhere in Canada.

Is Telefilm Canada's program in its present form not likely to make Quebec producers the victims of their own success?

Telefilm CanadaOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Parkdale—High Park Ontario

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I believe the hon. member has not heard my response previously.

The minister is continuing her consultations. Telefilm is continuing its consultations with all film producers across Canada, including the producers from Quebec. The guidelines will be announced at the end of the month.

Telefilm CanadaOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, indeed, it appears that the head of Telefilm is open to the idea of giving consideration to Quebec's situation and proposing a program more suited to the context.

I therefore ask the minister if she intends to support the approach of head of Telefilm Canada, rather than keep a system that is considerably more demanding of Quebec producers?

Telefilm CanadaOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Parkdale—High Park Ontario

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I will repeat again what I said previously. When we have concluded all of our consultations the policy will be presented.

TradeOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the supreme court of British Columbia is about to hear an appeal of a NAFTA decision that awarded Metalclad Corporation $17 million in damages.

Why? Because NAFTA upheld Metalclad's insistence on setting up a toxic waste sight against the wishes of local citizens and their democratically elected government. Canada will be an intervener in the precedent setting case.

Whose side will the government support, the polluters or the citizens and their right to a healthy environment?

TradeOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as always we will strive to protect the best interests of all Canadians.

TradeOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the city of Vancouver recently called on the federal government unanimously to refuse to sign any trade deals that include investor state provisions similar to NAFTA's chapter 11.

The government is intent on expanding NAFTA to the entire western hemisphere. The trade minister hints at concerns about investor state provisions, but hinting will not provide a lot of protection to our citizens.

Will the minister make the commitment today that the government will not under any circumstances sign on to the FTAA or any trade deal that favours corporations over citizens?

TradeOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

London—Fanshawe Ontario

Liberal

Pat O'Brien LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, the minister has repeatedly made very clear that Canada is in full support of an open and transparent process.

We have received a number of written submissions from NGOs. We continue to receive daily submissions from various stakeholder groups and Canadians in response to our website. Canada will ensure that our position is only taken after full consultation with all Canadians.

TradeOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

John Herron Progressive Conservative Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, Canadian potash exports to Brazil are worth $210 million annually. Health Canada officials have publicly stated that there is no scientific justification for banning Brazilian beef.

Brazilian longshoremen have said that beginning tomorrow they will stop unloading Canadian ships, despite the fact that we have potash on the water as we speak. Why is the government willing to jeopardize the potash industries from Sussex, New Brunswick, to Lanigan, Saskatchewan?

TradeOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

London—Fanshawe Ontario

Liberal

Pat O'Brien LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, clearly this issue is a matter of food safety for Canadians. It is not related to our dispute with Brazil.

We would find it most regrettable if certain Brazilian companies, prior to receiving the report from our experts currently in Brazil, would threaten to boycott Canadian products.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Progressive Conservative Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, after many mixed messages from the Russian foreign affairs department it indicated that after 10 days there would be a decision whether Andrei Knyazev would be prosecuted for his role in the fatal accident in Ottawa.

That time has now expired. Will the Minister of Foreign Affairs tell us whether Mr. Knyazev will be prosecuted in Russia for his actions?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I understand that the time estimate given was 10 working days. That time has not expired yet. I still have every reason to have confidence in the assurances that were given to me by the Russian government and its representative in Canada.

Ethics CounsellorOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Canadian Alliance Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, the ethics counsellor has called the Prime Minister's ownership in the golf course a bad debt and admitted that the Prime Minister faced a possible loss.

A financial loss is something that the Prime Minister wants to avoid. Did the Prime Minister avoid a financial loss by getting benefits for the Auberge Grand-Mère?

Ethics CounsellorOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, no.

Ethics CounsellorOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Canadian Alliance Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, the ethics counsellor also said of the Prime Minister that the question at the end of the day was whether he would be fully reimbursed or whether he would just have to settle for something. A benefit is not only a financial gain; a benefit is also escaping a financial loss.

It is clear that the Prime Minister avoided losing his shirt on the golf course by keeping the Auberge Grand-Mère afloat. If he can explain his actions, why is he opposed to an independent investigation?

Ethics CounsellorOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is my understanding that the ethics counsellor consulted with the trustee and legal adviser to the Prime Minister. As I understand it, what was done to settle the debt in question was done in full consultation and with the agreement of the ethics counsellor.

The hon. member's premise, as always, is totally wrong. He should do the House and the Canadian people a favour and withdraw his insinuations. Why not raise some questions of real interest to Canadians? Why is he not concerned about health? Why is he not concerned about our legal system? That does not matter to the opposition any more.

Budget SurplusesOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, nine months into the financial year, the government surplus is said to be 59% higher than last year at the same time.

What is rather embarrassing is that this figure was released just as the government is about to pass the bill that will allow it to get its hands on the employment insurance fund without being accountable to anyone. Under this bill, merely 8% of what the government took from the unemployed will be given back to them.

How can the Minister of Human Resources Development accept that one third of the government surplus, which is in excess of $17 billion, comes from the employment insurance fund?