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House of Commons Hansard #26 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was judiciary.

Topics

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, when, I repeat, there was sufficient information such that the RCMP felt that it could be brought to the attention of the immigration people, this was done. It included a positive identification and knowledge of Mr. Amodeo's whereabouts.

As a result, as the ministers have said, the immigration department receiving this information issued the appropriate warrants and within three weeks Mr. Amodeo was arrested. He remains in custody right now.

I do not know why the Leader of the Opposition is opposed to that. I thought he would be happy that Mr. Amodeo is in custody.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I will try one more time. The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and apparently the solicitor general said that they knew nothing, or they kept the information from the House. It was the Italian government that told us that it had informed the RCMP over two years ago, not just recently.

Now I will ask the Prime Minister, which of the two ministers, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration or the solicitor general, will he ask to resign over this scandal?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition is the last person who should be talking about somebody else resigning after the problems he has had the past several years over his lawsuit and the donation. Speaking of resigning, he should start any parade on his side of the House.

The fact of the matter is that Canadian officials have been co-operating and sharing information with their Italian counterparts since 1999. I have said that and I repeat that. The hon. member is not providing anything new to the House. I repeat the answer I have given and I stand by that answer.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Randy White Canadian Alliance Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Deputy Prime Minister's answers are a little bit misleading. A fugitive, described by Interpol as being armed and dangerous and wanted for murdering a police officer, lived in Canada for two years. The RCMP and Citizenship and Immigration Canada both knew he was here for two years. Both ministers knew he was here.

Is it not really time that the minister of education-immigration was held responsible and accountable for this and resigned for leaving the Canadian public open to this kind of risk?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I reject the premise of the hon. member's question. I do not see what basis he has for alleging that both ministers knew for two years. That is not the fact of the situation as far as I am aware.

The two Alliance members keep saying that they want to ask questions about education. They should have gone back to Alberta and ran in the election that is taking place now. I am trying to educate the hon. members and they are not capable of learning.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Randy White Canadian Alliance Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, we will get to the facts. The Deputy Prime Minister can attempt to avoid this but it will not work.

The moment Gaetano Amodeo's name appeared on an application for permanent residency back in June 1999, the department of immigration should have run his name through both Interpol and the database of the RCMP, especially since it was advised by the Italian police that he was wanted.

Can the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration explain why her department did not check RCMP and Interpol in 1999 to see if there were any outstanding—

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Deputy Prime Minister.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I will have to get further information but I want to add that the application was not granted. Landed immigrant status was not granted to this individual and that is the important fact.

Auberge Grand-MèreOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is still not able to shake off the serious appearance of a conflict of interest hovering over him in the matter of the Auberge Grand-Mère. In fact, the Prime Minister is counting on others to do the job for him.

After the ethics counsellor, who took his boss' side, David Asper, a senior executive with CanWest Global, is now coming to the Prime Minister's defence.

When will the Prime Minister realize that the only way to remove the doubt about his actions is to make public all the documents linking him to the Auberge Grand-Mère file and prove himself that he is beyond reproach?

Auberge Grand-MèreOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the ethics counsellor testified before the parliamentary committee and answered questions on the documents. I wonder why the member is not prepared to accept the words of the ethics counsellor and of the Prime Minister in this House?

Auberge Grand-MèreOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the ethics counsellor is a past master at camouflage, nothing more. He was hired by the Prime Minister, reports to the Prime Minister and is paid by the Prime Minister. There is nothing credible about this man.

For his part, David Asper is not a neutral observer in the Auberge Grand-Mère matter. He hopes that the government will soon pass regulations favourable to this business.

When will the Prime Minister realize that David Asper is in a very poor position to exonerate him and that only one person can shed light on the matter? That person is the Prime Minister himself, the only one who can shed light on his behaviour.

Auberge Grand-MèreOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Scarborough Centre Ontario

Liberal

John Cannis LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the member keeps bringing up names and names. If any credibility can be applied it is to the RCMP which came out and unequivocally clarified its position in answer to the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party. The leader of the Progressive Conservative Party said that it appeared the decision was acceptable and that there was no wrongdoing. He said that he accepted the decision by the RCMP based on the facts.

Auberge Grand-MèreOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, do the Prime Minister and the government not agree that the sudden and new defender in the matter of the Auberge Grand-Mère gives himself the appearance of being in conflict of interest, since his company, CanWest Global, is expecting the favour to be returned by the CRTC, which is soon to renew its licenses? Is this another coincidence?

Auberge Grand-MèreOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the communications authority, the CRTC, is an independent body working at arm's length from the government. I wonder therefore why the member is raising such a question. He knows just as well as anyone that this authority is independent and works at arm's length.

Auberge Grand-MèreOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we will talk about something closer to hand, David Asper, who contributed $110,000 to the Liberal Party of Canada in 1999 alone.

Should the government not admit that the defence provided by an executive of CanWest Global is in no way objective and that David Asper not only expects the favour returned by the CRTC but a return on his investment?

Auberge Grand-MèreOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Parkdale—High Park Ontario

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, once again let us not forget that the CRTC is an independent organization.

As the hon. leader of the Bloc knows, the CRTC is currently stimulating a public debate on the importance of Canadian content and the broadcaster's role in the dissemination of that content. The CRTC is welcoming any member of the public to supply submissions by March 23.

LumberOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, on trade matters the U.S. plays by the rules when it suits it. When it does not it plays power politics. Softwood lumber is a perfect example: When we win we lose because the government sells us out.

The current softwood lumber deal is about to expire. Will the government assure Canadians that it will not capitulate yet again to American bullying? Will it finally stand up for Canada's interests in softwood lumber?

LumberOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for her very pertinent question. Softwood lumber is a very important file. It is a file that took up much of our discussions when I met with Ambassador Zoellick in Washington a few weeks ago.

The member is absolutely right when she says that our Canadian practices respect our international trade obligations. Every time the Americans have gone through their own national legislation or to international panels we have won.

What is very important is that our industry is better prepared than ever to meet the challenges of American producers. The government will side with its industries. We will continue to work very closely with the provinces and with industries.

LumberOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, I think Canadians know what is important. What is important is that the government finally stands up for Canada's lumber interests.

Time and again, Canada has won on softwood lumber. Time and again, the government has capitulated to American pressures. The beginning of the Canadian cave-in was when President Reagan was looking for fast tracking authority on the free trade deal. Now President Bush wants fast tracking on the FTAA.

What price will Canadians pay to capitulate to those demands for fast tracking? Will the government finally stand up for Canada's softwood lumber interests?

LumberOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, there is a large consensus in the country that we do not go back to the sort of agreement that we had in 1996. We have been consulting with the industry and the provinces. We all want to go to free trade. We have the right tools and the right ways of dealing with it.

I commend our industry for being well prepared to meet the challenges the American producers might pose to us after the termination of the agreement. However, we will stand united as a country. We will not pitch one region against the other. We will fight for our rights on the American market.

Newspaper IndustryOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I want to come back to the extraordinary defence of the Prime Minister by David Asper, a senior executive of CanWest Global and Southam newspapers which his family controls.

Will the Deputy Prime Minister tell the House whether the Prime Minister or anyone on his behalf made official or unofficial representations to Izzy Asper, to Leonard Asper, to David Asper or to any of their representatives urging publication of this article whose intent was to limit comment on and investigation of the Auberge Grand-Mère file?

Newspaper IndustryOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am not aware of any such action on the part of the Prime Minister or anyone on his behalf, but the hon. member might want to tell us why he wants to limit Mr. Asper's right of free speech.

Newspaper IndustryOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

That is at $120,000 a pop, Mr. Speaker. CanWest Global, as we know, has published guidelines which seek to limit and control the editorials published by the National Post . This is a company that believes in intervention. That is exactly why there is a worry about arm's length representation.

CanWest Global's broadcast licence is up before the CRTC. Will the Deputy Prime Minister tell the House if the CRTC renewal application has been discussed with CanWest Global by anyone in cabinet or in the Prime Minister's Office?

Newspaper IndustryOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am not aware of any such discussions and I am surprised that, someone with the distinction that he claims, the leader of the Conservative Party would try to tarnish in an unwarranted way an arm's length quasi-judicial body.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

March 12th, 2001 / 2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Joe Peschisolido Canadian Alliance Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, in 1999 the RCMP was already aware that Gaetano Amodeo was a wanted criminal.

Nevertheless, two weeks ago the minister of immigration tried to convince this House that the government's reaction was immediate, while we now know it took two years.

How can the minister explain this huge contradiction?