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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

MulticulturalismOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

No, Mr. Speaker.

Ethics CounsellorOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Bloc Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, the ethics counsellor said that the documents for the period from 1993 to 1999 were not released because they were not relevant.

Yet, there must be documents from those years that would tell us why the Prime Minister got involved in the 1999 transaction, when he claims to have sold his shares in 1993.

I am asking the Prime Minister how the ethics counsellor can justify his decision not to release the documents for the 1993-1999 period, when it is precisely during that time that the Prime Minister put himself in a conflict of interest.

Ethics CounsellorOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, earlier in question period a member opposite asked whether or not we in this party had discussed this matter today in caucus. I should not talk about caucus but I will tell the member that we did.

I will sat what members told the Prime Minister. They said to the Prime Minister “You have gone above and beyond the call of duty. You have answered all the questions. We on this side think you should now tell them enough is enough”.

I say to the Prime Minister that we on this side have it. We will stand with you right to the wall on this issue.

Ethics CounsellorOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I hope it is not necessary to continually remind the House that members must always address the Chair and not one another.

Ethics CounsellorOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Bloc Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister is right. The Prime Minister does have his back to the wall right now. He does indeed.

How could the ethics counsellor, who admitted that he is not an expert in corporate law, arrive at these conclusions? How can we be sure that his decision does not yet again serve the sole purpose of protecting the Prime Minister, his boss, his employer?

Ethics CounsellorOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the ethics counsellor has the advice of lawyers at his disposal and he acts upon that advice, which is more than is obviously the case on the opposite side of the House.

Members can ask these questions if they like. Let us serve notice that every day for the next four years we will be here. We will be doing our jobs. We will do our best to answer.

This Prime Minister and this government are not going away. We will stay on the job and stay on the real files important to the people of Canada.

MulticulturalismOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

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

Mr. Speaker, there has been no apology to Kamloops for the slur. The Prime Minister said yesterday that no one from the junior minister of multiculturalism's office phoned the RCMP.

Now we know that Steve Bourne on her staff phoned the B.C. hate crimes unit. Why will the Prime Minister not fire the junior minister immediately instead of letting her hide behind him?

MulticulturalismOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I would like to say that an officer of the Vancouver office, Fiona Weller, called Mr. Bourne, not vice versa. This is the way that the discussion occurred.

He never called with the permission of the minister and the minister never called anybody. Nobody in his office—

MulticulturalismOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

MulticulturalismOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Liberal Saint-Maurice, QC

I said I was going to respond to the House of Commons. There was a phone call made by somebody in the department to the RCMP without any authorization.

MulticulturalismOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

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

Mr. Speaker, first she said there were cross burnings in Kamloops, but there were not. Then she said there were cross burnings in Prince George, but there were not. Then she said she had a letter from the mayor, but she did not. Then she said there were no contacts with the RCMP, but there were.

That is not three. That is four strikes. When will the Prime Minister finally tell her “You're out?”

MulticulturalismOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, again, we have a tradition in the House of Commons. When somebody gets up and has the courage to say “I made a mistake” and apologizes, there is a custom that we accept it.

I will have been in the House of Commons 38 years next week. I have never seen an opposition like that one which does not respect the tradition of civility that exists in the House of Commons. I regret that.

When the departing leader came in with his new party I remember him saying that he would bring a new mentality into the House of Commons. This is not what he had hoped to achieve. He wanted to have civility—

MulticulturalismOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Mississauga West.

HealthOral Question Period

March 28th, 2001 / 3 p.m.

Liberal

Steve Mahoney Liberal Mississauga West, ON

Mr. Speaker, while Canadians see the pictures on the evening news of huge piles of burning animal corpses in the United Kingdom and of thousands of British sheep being dumped in a huge pit for burial, the opposition in this place have asked one question on this issue since it arose, so I guess we have to do their job for them.

While other countries strive to control the spread of foot and mouth disease, can the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food tell the House what we are doing to stop this scourge from entering Canada?

HealthOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Hastings—Frontenac—Lennox And Addington Ontario

Liberal

Larry McCormick LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, Canada is doing everything it can to stop this disease from entering this country.

We are banning the import of susceptible animals and animal products from the European Union and from Argentina. We are increasing the inspection and surveillance of passengers, baggage and luggage from these countries. We are implementing disinfectant shoemats at all the international airports.

We are increasing our investigations on the handling and disposal of international garbage at airports and seaports. These precautions and many more will continue until we are—

HealthOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Prince George—Bulkley Valley.

MulticulturalismOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dick Harris Canadian Alliance Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Secretary of State for Multiculturalism did not simply make a mistake. She deliberately fabricated a story about some phantom letter and about some phantom cross burning in some phantom city in British Columbia. She slandered the people of Prince George. She slandered the people of Kamloops.

How much more shame does the minister have to cause the government, the House of Commons and the country before the Prime Minister fires her? Why does he not do it now instead of—

MulticulturalismOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

The right hon. the Prime Minister.

MulticulturalismOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, she said she made a mistake and she has apologized. We on this side of the House accept that people can sometimes make a mistake and it is acceptable to apologize, which is exactly what we have done with the minister. She regrets what she said and she has made her apologies.

The member for Edmonton—Strathcona has done worse. He fabricated something by having somebody speak on his behalf during an interview. However, he said he made a mistake. We said “Fine, sir, you made a mistake”, and we accepted that he made a mistake. We can—

MulticulturalismOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Jonquière.

Code Of EthicsOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, the code of ethics provides that “On appointment to office, and thereafter, public office holders shall arrange their private affairs in a manner that will prevent real, potential or apparent conflicts of interest from arising but if such a conflict does arise between the private interests of a public office holder and the official duties and responsibilities of that public office holder, the conflict shall be resolved in favour of the public interest”.

Will the Prime Minister admit that for everyone—parliamentarians in the House, citizens, and all remotely objective observers—he has crossed that fine line between the defence of—

Code Of EthicsOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

The Right Hon. Prime Minister.

Code Of EthicsOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I put these shares in trust. Everything was managed by my trustee, who is also my lawyer. On every discussion she had, and every decision she had to take, she consulted the ethics counsellor, who said publicly that he had had the greatest possible co-operation from the person responsible for taking decisions without any involvement on my part.

The decisions were taken. There was a debt to be collected. She collected the maximum she could in the circumstances. I think that that is very clear: there is no conflict of interest.

Code Of EthicsOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

I have notice of a question of privilege from the hon. member for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca.

PrivilegeOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Keith Martin Canadian Alliance Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 48(2), I rise on a question of privilege arising from comments made yesterday by the hon. member for Burnaby—Douglas.

In response to a question he had asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the hon. member said the following:

While he is at it, the minister referred to a group of members of parliament who travelled to Sudan. How does the minister feel about the fact that the tickets for that trip were paid for by Talisman Energy?

Does the minister feel it is appropriate that two Liberal colleagues and one Alliance member, one of the Liberals being the vice-chair of the foreign affairs committee, should be travelling to Sudan, paid for by Talisman Energy? Is that acceptable to the minister?

The hon. member for Burnaby—Douglas has deliberately misled the House. I have a letter from the Canada Arab Council which I would like to table in the House today which states unequivocally that it was the Canada Arab Council that paid for those tickets.

If I could read from that letter, dated March 28, 2001, it responds to your request, Mr. Speaker. I made a request in response to the allegations by the hon. member just to reconfirm what I had known prior to this trip. The letter states:

In response to your request for confirmation of the funding arrangements covering airfare and accommodation of the recent Nile River Valley familiarization trip to Egypt and central Sudan, March 9-10 to 20, 2001 by three federal MPs and a Quebec MNA, I wish to confirm:

  1. The trip was organized and sponsored, including airfare, by the National Council on Canada Arab Relations in accordance with its public education mandate.

  2. More specifically The National Council on Canada Arab Relations purchased the air tickets with funds from its general account.

I will table the letter in the House today. I am demanding that the hon. member apologize to myself for impugning my reputation and not dealing with the larger issue of a country that is racked by civil war and for that member to put his skills toward advocating a peace plan that will hold the government of Sudan, the FPLA and Talisman Energy's feet to the fire to develop peace in that country.