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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

Budget SurplusesOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, thanks to our fiscal policies, we will enjoy a large surplus. That is obvious. I want to congratulate all those Canadians who made a contribution.

As we have always said, premiums and costs were reduced, but we increased benefits. We are very proud of these results.

Budget SurplusesOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, does the government not feel embarrassed to use 43 cents of each dollar paid into the employment insurance plan by employees and employers to pay off Canada's debt?

Does it not find it despicable to use an insurance paid by contributors to pay down the accumulated debt, when more than half of the unemployed do not even qualify for benefits?

Budget SurplusesOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, before this year, the reductions in the tax burden of employers and employees totalled $6.4 billion. This year, these reductions have increased by a further $1.2 billion. That is very good.

Ethics CounsellorOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Randy White Canadian Alliance Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Deputy Prime Minister told the House that it was okay, in fact it was even justifiable for the Prime Minister to breach a code of ethics or have a conflict of interest because he was re-elected.

My question is of interest to Canadians. Why does the Prime Minister seem to be the only person in our nation who is above an ethics code, above conflict of interest rules, or even possibly above the law?

Ethics CounsellorOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has totally misstated what I said. I absolutely did not say what he has asserted, and he should withdraw that. If he does not withdraw it, it undermines and taints everything else he says in the House now and so long as he is here, which will not be all that long.

The Prime Minister is living within the code of conduct. That was confirmed by the ethics counsellor and that is the fact of the matter.

Ethics CounsellorOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Randy White Canadian Alliance Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, it could only come from over there. I see the Prime Minister is in China now expressing his disdain for its ethics in its justice system, but back at home in our country we are told he is above his own code of ethics. How does the Prime Minister justify not practising in Canada what he is preaching in China?

Ethics CounsellorOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is wrong. The Prime Minister is not living outside his own code of ethics. He is living within that code of ethics, as confirmed by the ethics counsellor.

We should be proud of our Prime Minister speaking up in China for human rights, instead of spouting the kind of nonsense the Alliance member is trying to abuse the House with today.

Summit Of The AmericasOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, despite what the Deputy Prime Minister would have us think, the Bloc Quebecois represents the views shared by all Quebecers with respect to the free trade area of the Americas.

In a unanimous—and I emphasize the term “unanimous”—report, the institutions committee of the Quebec National Assembly is calling on the Government of Canada to periodically report on the progress of negotiations in the sectoral working groups.

How does the government think that Quebecers and Canadians can form an opinion on the validity of the Canadian positions if they do not know what is on the table, if they have not seen the basic texts being negotiated?

Summit Of The AmericasOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, it must be four or five times now that I have offered the member and his colleagues a briefing session on the Summit of the Americas, so that they will be better informed before asking such questions.

The offer still stands. We are prepared to brief him, if he wants. We are prepared to give briefing sessions as soon as possible, for the member's benefit.

Summit Of The AmericasOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have already told the House that what we need are not briefing sessions, but the basic texts. That having been said, the institutions committee of the Quebec National Assembly is asking “That the final accord of the free trade area of the Americas be submitted to the elected bodies of Canada before being ratified by the federal government”.

Will the government promise, as the U.S congress has done, that the final accord of the free trade area of the Americas will be debated and voted on in the House?

Summit Of The AmericasOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, according to our information, as soon as our documents are finished they are published on the Internet. They are in the public domain, and we will continue with this open policy.

Grants And ContributionsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian Alliance Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Deputy Prime Minister again today said that the province of Quebec administered the investor immigration fund.

What he failed to mention was that the province of Quebec had nothing to do with where those funds went. That responsibility was in the hands of brokers who met with the Prime Minister just days before millions of dollars started to flow to Shawinigan. How is it that the Deputy Prime Minister cannot see this as a conflict of interest?

Grants And ContributionsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I do not know why the hon. member cannot see that the brokers carry out their activities under the rules set by the province of Quebec in its immigrant investor program.

The Prime Minister said very clearly that he never discussed any project or proposal under the Quebec immigrant investor program with any of the brokers in question.

Grants And ContributionsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian Alliance Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister said very clearly that the shares were in a blind trust back in 1993. We now know that those shares were in his hands in 1996. They were in his possession; they were his shares in 1996.

Is it not true that the only blind trust here is Liberal blind trust in a Prime Minister on unethical grounds?

Grants And ContributionsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, when I listen and look at the hon. member I know the basis for the quotation “None are so blind as those who cannot see”.

He cannot see that the Prime Minister did not own the shares at the relevant time in 1996. The ethics counsellor confirmed to the industry committee of the House that the Prime Minister did not own those shares.

If the hon. member wants to maintain the respect of the House, he should withdraw his unwarranted and inaccurate assertion in this regard.

Games Of La FrancophonieOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour—Petitcodiac, NB

Mr. Speaker, what is the reaction of the minister responsible for the IV Games of la Francophonie, which are to be held in Ottawa-Hull, to yesterday's statement by the Bloc Quebecois to the effect that Franco-Ontarians are not worthy to host those games next summer?

Games Of La FrancophonieOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Liberal Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, I find it most regrettable that a statement was made by a Bloc Quebecois MP yesterday, claiming that our minority status here in Ottawa does not give us the right, as francophones in this country, to host the Games of La Francophonie. We are full-fledged citizens, regardless of what the Bloc wants to make us out to be.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

February 14th, 2001 / 2:40 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs. It concerns the greatest possible threat to human rights, and that is nuclear war.

The Chinese government has strongly condemned the proposed U.S. national missile defence system that would breach the ABM treaty, destroy the non-proliferation treaty and ignite a new global arms race.

Did the Prime Minister in his meeting yesterday with the Chinese leadership make it very clear that Canada also opposes the destructive new star wars scheme and that Canada will not participate in any way in this scheme? If not, why not? When will Canada finally get off the fence and say no to the national missile defence system?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as far as I can tell, the New Democratic Party says no to everything with the United States except possibly for trade in automobiles.

That being said, I think it is fair for us to say that it is as appropriate to give the United States, as it has asked us to do, the time to define what the project is that is being described as national missile defence—it has indicated that it has not done that yet—and the time it has asked for to take up what its plans are, not only with its allies but with the Russians and the Chinese. It has recognized with us that it is overall global security that we want to achieve, not just continental security.

Canada Elections ActOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Lorne Nystrom NDP Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the government House leader. In the November election there were problems with thousands of people being left off the voters' list across the country. I think this is a problem that all members of parliament agree on.

In light of that I would like to ask the minister whether or not he is willing to bring in amendments to the Canada Elections Act to deal with these problems to ensure that no Canadian citizen will be denied his or her democratic right in a future election campaign.

Canada Elections ActOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for this excellent question. Many Canadians, particularly candidates and eventually members of parliament, were quite rightly upset because too many Canadians were left off the voters' list.

Once the chief electoral officer tables his report in the House, the report will be sent to the parliamentary committee. I have asked the chair of the committee personally that this be one of the items studied to see how we can improve the list. I agree with the hon. member who raised the question.

Business Development Bank Of CanadaOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, a moment ago the Deputy Prime Minister spoke about retaining the respect of the House. One way in which he could do that is to lay upon the table facts which would help the House come to a judgment about the Prime Minister's activities.

Will the Deputy Prime Minister table the recommendations of all executive searches performed over the last four years for the Business Development Bank by the firm Spencer Stuart Canada?

Business Development Bank Of CanadaOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we seem to have a competition today between which of the leaders, the leader of the Alliance or the leader of the Conservatives, will be the real leader of the opposition.

One leader is best known for his wetsuit and the other is just all wet. He asked questions two days ago about this issue and discovered there were not two search teams but ten search teams.

The leader of the Conservative Party continues to make allegations which are unsubstantiated. Whether he is fishing, playing hockey or simply fooling around, it is time to get serious and real on this important question.

Business Development Bank Of CanadaOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, the questions keep getting asked and the answers keep being avoided. The government owes it to the people of Canada and to the Parliament of Canada to lay facts on the table about the behaviour of the Prime Minister.

Let me quote the Prime Minister's speech in 1994 in which he said “I promised Canadians we would provide an open and accountable government, and we have”.

Will the Deputy Prime Minister, in the interests of open and accountable government, table all documents relating to the transaction between the Prime Minister and the Akimbo Development Corporation respecting shares in the Grand-Mère Golf Club?

Business Development Bank Of CanadaOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the simple fact is that the Prime Minister sold his shares before becoming Prime Minister.

I am advised that all relevant documentation has been reviewed by the ethics counsellor who told the industry committee of the House on May 6, 1999, that he had seen the agreement of sale. He described it as follows: “It is unambiguous in language. It is fairly simple. There is no basis for anybody trying to say that there was an option aspect to it. It was a sale and it was an unsecured sale. I know the Prime Minister does not own the shares and has not owned the shares since November 1, 1993, which from my point of view is the only—”