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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

MulticulturalismOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in the House last week I said that the minister apologized to the House of Commons. She did that, just like the member for Edmonton—Strathcona. It is not for me to question what is done and all the plotting for this and that. He stood in the House and said “I apologize”.

After 36 years in the House of Commons, and in fact it will be 38 in two weeks, when a member stands and apologizes there is a great British tradition that we accept that and turn the page. I know it is not the tradition that the present opposition wants.

MulticulturalismOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, a few years ago Jean Charest sent a letter to a judge and was disciplined. The member for Fredericton had loose lips on an aircraft and was disciplined. The member for Edmonton—Strathcona did a little thing wrong with his assistant and was disciplined.

The member for Vancouver Centre contacted the RCMP in strict violation of cabinet code and everything else that is ethical in the House. I ask my question as a former British Columbian. What will the Prime Minister do to discipline the member for Vancouver Centre, to put some ethical treatment back into the House?

MulticulturalismOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have the right to know if there is any information that is public which they can give to any member of parliament. It is not an inquiry then to ask if anything has happened in the public in the past because it is subject to public record. If it is what she did, there is nothing wrong.

This is the first time I am hearing this allegation by the member.

MulticulturalismOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

MulticulturalismOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Liberal Saint-Maurice, QC

I am saying that I heard about it this moment. I will check that, but last week I said that the minister after she had made—

MulticulturalismOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Richmond—Arthabaska.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

André Bachand Progressive Conservative Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, today the Prime Minister announces, in order to try to get out of the mess he is in, that he has asked the ethics counsellor to make public all documents on which the latter's decision to pardon him was based.

Could the Prime Minister at least ask the ethics counsellor to table a list—not the contents, just a list—of the documents the counsellor used to analyze the situation? Can he confirm to the House that his lawyer-trustee did inform him that his name had indeed been stricken from the golf club shareholders' list?

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have authorized Mr. Wilson to table all documents he used in reaching his conclusion that I had no conflict of interest and that the shares had been legally and actually transferred to Mr. Prince on November 1, 1993. I hope he will make them public, but he has to meet the obligations placed on him by law.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, there are numerous inconsistencies and contradictions on the public record by the Prime Minister over the Auberge Grand-Mère affair. One thing the Prime Minister has said consistently is that he wanted to get paid for his shares.

Will the Prime Minister simply inform the House what was the original asking price for the shares in the Grand-Mère Hotel, agreed to by Jonas Prince in 1993, and what was the final price paid to him by Mr. Michaud in 1999?

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as I said a moment ago, the corporations directorate is nearing completion of its examination of corporate records of this company. Once that is completed the information that is appropriate will be conveyed to the ethics counsellor for his judgment as to their use.

With respect to further information, the Prime Minister has just indicated that he has agreed, and hopes others will as well, to make information public and have that information released by the ethics counsellor as soon as possible.

MulticulturalismOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Betty Hinton Canadian Alliance Kamloops, Thompson And Highland Valleys, BC

Mr. Speaker, it appears the Secretary of State for Multiculturalism is making a habit of slandering British Columbians. Last week she denigrated the people of Prince George, but that was not the first time.

In 1997 the minister was quoted in a newspaper article saying “Crosses are burned outside Kamloops”. That is absolute nonsense and my constituents are outraged. What proof does the minister have that crosses are being burned outside Kamloops or anywhere else in B.C.?

MulticulturalismOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Vancouver Centre B.C.

Liberal

Hedy Fry LiberalSecretary of State (Multiculturalism)(Status of Women)

Mr. Speaker, it has never been my intent to disparage communities, either in British Columbia or in Canada. I deeply regret the hurt the statement I made last week in the House caused. I apologized for it and I apologize again for it.

MulticulturalismOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Betty Hinton Canadian Alliance Kamloops, Thompson And Highland Valleys, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister has a track record for making inflammatory statements that insult and embarrass British Columbians and all Canadians. She has no proof of crosses being burned outside Prince George, Kamloops or anywhere else.

The minister's role is to prevent racism, not invent it. Will the minister apologize to my constituents and tender her resignation immediately?

MulticulturalismOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Vancouver Centre B.C.

Liberal

Hedy Fry LiberalSecretary of State (Multiculturalism)(Status of Women)

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased that the member across the way mentioned that. What I am sorry about is that this incident has detracted and moved us away from the attention that should be paid to the way communities across the country have been working to deal with issues of racism and hate within their communities. We have been working with them to do this.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, during the election campaign, the Prime Minister's ethics counsellor took his side when he stated that he had seen all the books and that everything was in order.

How can the Prime Minister explain this statement made by the ethics counsellor during the election campaign, when last week his name was still on the list of shareholders of the golf club?

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once someone has sold his shares he is not responsible for how the books are kept, since he is no longer a shareholder or a director of the company.

I stopped being a shareholder of that company on November 1, 1993. How the books were kept afterwards does not reflect the reality at all. The shares were sold to Mr. Prince on November 1, 1993, as confirmed by the company's lawyer last week and as confirmed repeatedly by the ethics counsellor.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, in light of these facts, we can only conclude that either the ethics counsellor lied or that he did not check the books properly.

My question is very simple: On whose orders did he act like this?

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I just said that, as of November 1, 1993, I no longer had any right or obligation vis-à-vis the books of a company to which I was no longer connected.

I do not know what is in these books. This is irrelevant, because I sold my shares on November 1, 1993, as was confirmed last week by the company's lawyer. What went on with that company between November 2 and now is none of my business.

MulticulturalismOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dick Harris Canadian Alliance Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, last week in the House the minister for multiculturalism stood and said that she had a letter from the mayor of Prince George about a cross burning incident in the city of Prince George. Then the next day she said “Whoops, I made a mistake; it wasn't Prince George”.

I would like to ask a question of the Secretary of State for Multiculturalism. Was there ever any letter from any mayor about any cross burning incident in any city in B.C., or was the letter just a fabrication?

MulticulturalismOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Vancouver Centre B.C.

Liberal

Hedy Fry LiberalSecretary of State (Multiculturalism)(Status of Women)

Mr. Speaker, I already said that I made a mistake with regard to Prince George, that I was very sorry and that I apologized to the people of Prince George.

MulticulturalismOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dick Harris Canadian Alliance Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, her apology referred to saying it was from the mayor of Prince George. That was it. The fact is we believe that the minister deliberately fabricated a story about a letter.

I am asking her this question. Was there ever any letter, from any mayor about any cross burning incident in any city in B.C.? Was there a letter? Yes or no. Will she produce it? If not, will she admit it was a fake statement and resign her position?

MulticulturalismOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Vancouver Centre B.C.

Liberal

Hedy Fry LiberalSecretary of State (Multiculturalism)(Status of Women)

Mr. Speaker, I have already said in the House that I made a mistake with regard to Prince George and I apologized to the people of Prince George.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Liberal Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, I would like to bring to the attention of the House the environmental problem of Sydney tar ponds and coke oven sites in my riding. It is known that the population of Sydney is very concerned.

I would like to take this opportunity to ask the Minister of the Environment this question. What are the time lines regarding the clean up of the Sydney tar ponds and coke oven sites?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the local joint action group has more than a dozen proposals of companies which believe they have the technology and the capacity to clean up the tar ponds site. The technologies are currently under evaluation.

There is no way one can predict when that analysis by the local group will finish, but I can assure him we want to make sure that as soon as we have a decision by the local group of the correct technology we will proceed with the clean up of that site.

MulticulturalismOral Question Period

March 26th, 2001 / 2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gurmant Grewal Canadian Alliance Surrey Central, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister for multiculturalism misled the House when she said she had a letter from the mayor of Prince George asking for help with cross burnings on lawns.

By Friday of last week, one day after her apology to the people of Prince George, the minister was still trying to build a case to defend herself. In fact, she ordered her officials to contact the RCMP and get information on cross burnings. Is that not enough for the Prime Minister to fire her?