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House of Commons Hansard #36 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was children.

Topics

Prime MinisterStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

I wish to say that the Chair has already taken this matter under advisement. I am now preparing a ruling on the issue raised and mentioned by the hon. member. It is not for the House to discuss these issues at this time because, as I said, the Chair is now considering the matter.

CurlingStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Joe McGuire Liberal Egmont, PE

Mr. Speaker, sometimes it is not a sin to steal, especially in the great state of Utah.

A few weeks ago I stood in the House to congratulate Suzanne Gaudet's junior curling team from Summerside, P.E.I., for winning the Canadian junior women's championship and to wish them well in representing Canada in the world tournament in Utah.

Suzanne's Silver Fox Curling Club rink won the world junior women's championship for Canada. In a miracle last stone finish, the Gaudet rink finished this tournament with a record of 9-2 overall.

Inspired by flag waving fans from Summerside and Stephanie's red hair, the Canadian champions, Suzanne Gaudet, who skipped with poise and cool leadership, third Stephanie Richard, second Robyn MacPhee and all star lead Kelly Higgins, with Carol Webb and coach Paul Power, gave a great demonstration of strategy and shot making all week long.

In the championship game Saturday night, which I believe all P.E.I. watched, the young ladies from the Silver Fox Curling Club curled with poise as Suzanne drew—

CurlingStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for St. John's West.

CurlingStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn Progressive Conservative St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, I think it is very appropriate that I follow the hon. member, because I, on behalf of my colleagues in St. John's East, the people of Newfoundland and all of us here, would like to congratulate Brad Gushue and his team from Newfoundland who yesterday won the world junior men's curling championship.

Brad Gushue and his team of third Mark Nichols, second Brent Hamilton and lead Mike Adam, on a final end last rock hit-and-stick, delivered the world junior championship, not only to Canada but to Newfoundland, where it was really the first official team sport championship that our province has achieved.

We are very proud of them simply because they are great people. Equally proud are the curling club in St. John's, the people of Newfoundland generally and the whole country. They are great Newfoundland champs, great Canadian champions and a great bunch of young men.

Herbert RiceStatements By Members

March 26th, 2001 / 2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Beth Phinney Liberal Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to acknowledge the retirement of an extraordinary soldier in my riding. A decorated reservist, Honorary Lieutenant Colonel Herbert Rice was honoured recently for his lifelong contribution to Canada's military. At an incredible 94 years of age, he has retired as Canada's oldest serving military officer.

Lieutenant Colonel Rice joined the 14 Company, Canadian Corps of Signals, in Hamilton in 1922 at the age of 15, reaching the rank of major by 1936. During the second world war, he served in Great Britain, Washington and Halifax, leaving the regular forces in 1946. In 1980, he was named honorary lieutenant colonel of the 705 Communication Squadron, a reserve unit in Hamilton. He performed these duties with pride for 21 years.

I know all members will join me in recognizing the remarkable contribution this man has made to our country. I congratulate Colonel Rice and hope he enjoys his well earned retirement.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, with the Prime Minister in the House maybe we can get a direct answer. So many facts have now come out that prove his statements over the last two years to be inaccurate. Every day there is more evidence that points to a possible conflict of interest and cover-up.

There is only one way to clear the air. Would the Prime Minister call an independent judicial inquiry to clear the air on the Shawinigate scandal?

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have said, and I repeat again, that I sold my share on November 1, 1993. Last week the lawyers for the company said that they had passed a resolution accepting the transfer of their share, and this is where we are. After that, the ethics counsellor looked into it, during which time he consulted with my lawyer and trustee at every step. He concluded that I never had any conflict of interest. I stand on what I said. They have asked the police to look into that. They have asked the ethics counsellor six or seven times to comment on that. They got answers. They were never satisfied.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, even his own Liberal backbenchers are now calling for an inquiry. The cover-up and attempts at obstruction are no longer working. The Prime Minister must shed some light on Shawinigate.

Will the Prime Minister finally set up an independent commission of inquiry to determine whether or not he behaved improperly?

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the ethics counsellor appeared before the committee several times in 1999. He kept the committee informed about what was going on.

My lawyer, who is also my trustee, informed the ethics counsellor without fail each time she had to take a decision in order to ensure that we were within the established guidelines.

I wish to point out that the ethics counsellor was the assistant deputy registrar general, and that he was appointed to this position by the previous government.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, he refuses to table the documents. He will not call an independent inquiry. He will not clear the air. In 1993, the Prime Minister promised to bring honesty back to government. He has betrayed this trust.

Does he not realize that his refusal to clear the air brings a cloud of darkness over the Prime Minister's office, over the government itself, over his reputation and the reputation of that high office?

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, from a man who promised a member of parliament $50,000 if he were to quit his seat and who never paid him, from a man who had the taxpayers of Alberta pay $700,000 because he had the foot in mouth disease, I have no lessons to learn from him.

I stand by my words. I want to inform the House that this morning I asked the ethics counsellor to release all the relevant documents he has, if he can get the consent of the private partners in the transaction.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, for a man who ran up a $2.5 million legal fee with Brian Mulroney, for a man who ran up a legal fee that continues with another citizen, for a man who cost us $45 million in liabilities because of another contract cancelled, he talks about asking people to do things.

Would he give us some information on the person from his office who phoned Madam Marcotte and asked her not to talk anymore about the situation? Talk about asking people not to do things. Would he give us some information on that?

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it was Madam Marcotte who called my office to talk with me. She talked with my assistant who told her I was not available.

However, there is one thing I want to say which I have always said. I did work for my riding, not only on this file but on six or seven other files. I made sure that jobs were created so that the people in my district could benefit from the programs of the government. That is why after seven years the level of unemployment in the riding went down from—

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Edmonton North.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deborah Grey Canadian Alliance Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, dear knows what we will uncover next. For two years the Prime Minister has made contradictory statements about Shawinigan.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. member for Edmonton North has the floor.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deborah Grey Canadian Alliance Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, they sound like nervous Nellies.

The Prime Minister said that he had no decisions to make on it, but he was involved all along. He said that the loan was in a blind trust, but it was not. He said that he did not pressure the Business Development Bank, but he did. He said that no immigrant investor funds were involved, but they were. He has denied that he was a shareholder, but he was.

He wants Canadians to believe that he is open and honest. Why does he keep contradicting himself at every turn?

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have always said exactly the same thing here. I have never deviated. I am not like the member of parliament who went to her riding saying that all members of parliament who accepted a pension were pigs, and then became one after the election.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I caution hon. members on their use of language. The hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, at last the Prime Minister is telling us that he asked that all the documents be made public. It took him a long time to do the obvious thing.

The Prime Minister also finally admitted that he had financial interests in that business until 1999. His ethics counsellor told the Standing Committee on Industry that he was directly involved in the negotiations.

Does the Prime Minister realize that it was in his best interests that the Auberge Grand-Mère got funding and did not go bankrupt, so as to find a buyer after a 6 year search, and that he must explain his actions to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs?

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I said many times, this is a jointly funded project, with a mortgage on the building being held by the Caisse populaire in Grand-Mère, by the Fonds de solidarité des travailleurs du Québec—and I doubt these people are my organizers—and by the Business Development Bank of Canada. The whole thing was guaranteed by a mortgage.

In any case, a number of similar projects in my riding received help, not only from the federal government and federal agencies, but also from the provincial government, which is led by the PQ.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is the Prime Minister and no one else who contacted the Business Development Bank of Canada.

It is the Prime Minister and no one else who had the decisions changed. It is also the Prime Minister who had an interest in seeing that the Auberge on the adjacent lot did not go bankrupt, because it is easier to sell the golf course if the Auberge did not go bankrupt.

Will the Prime Minister admit that he must explain his actions before the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, because there is every indication that there was a conflict of interest in this matter?

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I certainly did not influence the decision made by the Fonds de solidarité. I certainly did not influence the Caisse populaire, which are both on the same level in terms of the guarantee.

What I did, what I must do and what every member of parliament must do is to ensure that every government agency can be helpful to his or her constituents. This is what I did.

I no longer owned the shares after November 1, 1993. I did not want—