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House of Commons Hansard #38 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was foundation.

Topics

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Val Meredith Canadian Alliance South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, investors were not rushing out to buy the shares in this golf course. It took the Prime Minister six years to find somebody to pay him for his shares.

Had the Auberge Grand-Mère gone bankrupt nobody, not even his partners, would have been prepared to further invest in the golf course.

Was not the real reason why the Prime Minister took such a personal interest in the hotel to keep it afloat, that he was protecting his assets?

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, Canadians would do well to remember that members opposite initially asked for an ethics counsellor investigation. They got it. The leader of the Conservative Party demanded that the RCMP investigate the matter. They did, and they closed the books.

The leader of the Conservative Party, an expert investigator, a private eye, then asked if the they had asked all the right questions.

They then asked for the bill of sale. They got the bill of sale. Yesterday they were complaining there were not 300 original bills of sale.

The Prime Minister has done everything but offer up his underwear and his socks in this investigation.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister admitted to the House that the purpose of the September 1999 agreement released yesterday was to end his involvement in the Grand-Mère golf club. The Prime Minister said that its purpose was to “wrap up matters as clearly as possible”. Those were his words.

If matters were still ongoing, this would mean that the Prime Minister still had financial interests in the Grand-Mère golf club when he tried to obtain financial assistance for the Auberge.

Will the Prime Minister admit that the agreement, like his own statements, shows that he was in complete conflict of interest when he intervened in the Auberge affair?

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, while the country is wondering what the opposition is up to, while there are real problems, this is what they are focusing on. I have answered all the questions.

It was the member for Roberval who said:

Does he not understand that the only way to settle this matter—the only way, there are not 50 of them, only one—is to provide us with the record of sale—

This is exactly what was done. This morning, in caucus, we discussed softwood lumber, health, energy, the North, tobacco, all sorts of things—

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is a sure bet they did not talk about the Prime Minister's integrity.

When the Prime Minister tells us that releasing the record of sale should put an end to it, it is because they thought that that would clear his name but, in fact, everything that has been tabled has been blackening his name with each passing day; his integrity is being called into question. Will he admit—

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The right hon. Prime Minister.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, when someone makes a lot of noise, it is because he is wrong. I have tabled the record of sale. And I see—

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The Right Hon. Prime Minister.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Liberal Saint-Maurice, QC

There will be a ménage à trois. Now the Canadian Alliance has managed to join forces with the Bloc Quebecois. What a charming trio. Next thing, the leader of the Progressive Conservatives will be in bed with them.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would by far prefer to be an ally of my colleagues here than of the people he befriended in the Auberge affair.

We asked the Prime Minister to table the documents concerning the golf issue, so that he could restore his integrity. Not only do the documents tabled yesterday prove that he was in a conflict of interest, but the Prime Minister now has a financial interest in making sure there is no inquiry.

Will the Prime Minister confirm that, indeed, should an inquiry be held, he would be required under the terms of the contracts to pay for the lawyers' fees of others?

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, what I see is that he is insulting everyone.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Liberal Saint-Maurice, QC

First, I sold my shares in the Auberge in March 1993, six months before I became Prime Minister.

As for the mortgage on the Auberge, the Fonds de solidarité and the Grand-Mère Caisse populaire are involved. If these are undesirable partners, I wonder who would qualify as desirable partners.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister does not have to dodge the issue.

Is it true that the contract provides that he must, with his own money, pay the lawyers' fees of the other parties should he agree to a parliamentary committee, which would call them to testify? In that sense, is the Prime Minister not in a conflict of interest once again?

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I will say it again, because they have a hard time understanding.

On March 15, the member for Roberval said:

Does he not understand that the only way to settle this matter—there are not 50 of them, only one—is to provide us with the record of sale—

That was done.

TradeOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

The current trade regime uncritically embraced by this government treats trade as an end in itself. It is a recipe for the rich getting richer at the expense of the poor.

Under the in common banner, civil society groups want to see poverty on the trade agenda. They are urging this government not to sign any more such trade deals until we have a thorough, transparent evaluation of the contribution of current trade deals to the increase in global poverty.

Will the Prime Minister agree to do that?

TradeOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is exactly what we are doing. We are trying to create growth in the Americas so that there will be more money for more people, there will be better education and there will be better social and medical services in all countries of the Americas.

We are working on a civil agenda to make sure that democracy will remain in this country. The goal of the meeting is not only trade. It is to improve the whole of society in all the countries, in particular the poorest nations of the Americas.

TradeOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, I do not know whether the Prime Minister is just ignorant or whether he really does not understand the toll current trade deals are taking on the real lives of real people.

If we take Brazil today, its government is distributing low cost generic drugs to the poorest of the poor who are suffering from HIV. For this humanitarian act, Brazil is hauled before the WTO by multinational pharmaceutical companies.

What is the charge? It is that their right to make money should take precedence over saving human lives. Will the government drag us farther down the road to such an—

TradeOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The right hon. Prime Minister.

TradeOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to inform the leader of the NDP that as recently as Monday afternoon I discussed with the prime minister of Italy putting the question of HIV-AIDS on the agenda of the summit in Genoa in July.

Our goal is to make sure where there are millions of people dying of AIDS that medication could be made available to them at the lowest price possible.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

March 28th, 2001 / 2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister claims there was a bona fide sale to a Jonas Prince company in 1993. If so, why was it necessary to sign a side agreement six years later which stipulates that neither J&AC Consultants Inc. nor any other third party will have any right of ownership or interest in the shares upon transfer of the shares from Akimbo to Michaud in 1999?

Why the side agreement? Was it because at least one party to this affair believed that J&AC Consultants Inc. had an interest in those shares between—

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The right hon. Prime Minister.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, lawyers who have passed their exams are very prudent when they draft documents. It is part of the normal preoccupation of a good lawyer to put in a document to definitively finalize any transaction.

It was done among lawyers. I read this document yesterday because everything was dealt with by my trustee and lawyer in collaboration with Mr. Wilson who is there to advise all the people in public administration in Ottawa about conflict of interest and the trust they have to establish to be protected.