This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #194 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-55.

Topics

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Lebel Bloc Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, we know that the minister of immigration stayed at the condo owned by his friend Claude Boulay, the president of Everest, when he was a backbencher. The Prime Minister has played down the whole affair by saying that he was not a member of cabinet at the time.

Will the minister of immigration tell us whether he has stayed in accommodation belonging to Claude Boulay, his wife, or Everest, here or outside Canada, since being appointed minister?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this question is completely unacceptable. One could rise and ask the same question of everyone.

When someone asks a member whether he was in a particular bar last night, even if they know he was not, doubt is created.

One could ask a member whether he beat his wife yesterday. If he does not answer or says he did not, doubt will be created in people's minds. This is a deeply destructive and dishonest line of questioning.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

An hon. member

Really.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Lebel Bloc Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister said that the government would answer all questions in the House, and that that is why there would be no public inquiry.

Yet my question is simple and straightforward. Did the minister stay in accommodation belonging to Claude Boulay, his wife, or his company, since being appointed to cabinet, yes or no?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

I have reservations about the acceptability of such a question. I know that we have already had an answer, but this question does not concern the minister's duties. There is no reference in the question to his ministerial duties. In my view, the question is unacceptable.

We will therefore proceed with oral question period. The hon. member for Crowfoot.

Government GrantsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Canadian Alliance Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, the solicitor general admitted yesterday that he did in fact discuss a $3.5 million grant application with the commissioner of the RCMP. Canadians are offended that he has not admitted and refuses to admit that he blatantly abused his ministerial position.

Will the Prime Minister admit that it was wrong for the solicitor general to lobby the very organization that he controls?

Government GrantsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the solicitor general is the minister responsible in the House for the province of P.E.I. Institutions in that province made an application. They sent a copy of the application to the minister who passed it on to his department. It was the commissioner who discussed it after he had received the document.

It was his duty as a member of parliament to represent his constituency and do something that could be useful for the RCMP and the people of Prince Edward Island.

Government GrantsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Canadian Alliance Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, clearly it is not the responsibility of the solicitor general. It is not his duty to lobby the organization that he controls, and certainly not on behalf of a family member.

Canadians do not need an eight point ethics package to tell them that the solicitor general crossed the line. I therefore ask my question again. When will the solicitor general do the right thing and resign?

Government GrantsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, again, how low can they go?

I know the minister's brother and he has been an extremely competent public servant for a long time in P.E.I., working for a public administration.

The member of parliament says that he was lobbying for his brother. He was lobbying for a public institution in the province of P.E.I. I think it is shameful to act like that in the House of Commons.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, this morning we learned that the series on the Rocket received a grant—

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. We will have a little order. The official opposition has had questions and we will have more later, but we will not have them now.

The hon. member for Longueuil.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, this morning we learned that the series on the Rocket received a grant of $1 million, including $120,000 that was presumably paid in sponsorships to the firm Lafleur, before transiting through VIA Rail Canada and finally ending in the hands of Robert-Guy Scully's production company. Incidentally, Robert-Guy Scully also received $2 million to produce a television series on innovation.

In light of these new revelations, does the minister of public works not deem it appropriate to put the $2 million contract awarded to Robert-Guy Scully on hold, until more is known about this case?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, it is obvious that this file was reviewed by officials in my department. They concluded that there were matters here that raised important questions. Those questions have been referred to the RCMP. The RCMP will investigate and the matter will be disposed of according to law.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, based on the minister's reply, we must conclude that the contract awarded to Robert-Guy Scully should not have already existed.

What we are asking first and foremost is this: In order to spare us the lengthy delays of the access to information requests, will the minister of public works pledge in this House to table, at the earliest opportunity, the contracts for the series on the Rocket and Robert-Guy Scully's new contract, which already exists?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, obviously the matter is in the hands of the RCMP. I am sure no member of the House would want to pursue any course of conduct that would in any way interfere with the RCMP investigation.

On the other hand, I recognize the need for transparency and I will consider what can be done to ensure that while this matter is unfolding there is sufficient transparency to satisfy the public interest.

Government GrantsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Canadian Alliance Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, the president of Holland College is the brother of the solicitor general. In January the RCMP wrote Holland College to tell it there was no funding for its $3.5 million proposal.

Yesterday the Prime Minister admitted that the solicitor general raised this matter with the RCMP in a meeting in May. Today he admits that the solicitor general was lobbying.

Why did the solicitor general reopen this matter with the RCMP when the RCMP formally denied the request?

Government GrantsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I am aware of the letter to which my hon. colleague is referring and I stand by the facts that I gave yesterday. The facts are that the proposal was submitted to the AIF. My office received a copy and it was sent to the RCMP to be reviewed. The RCMP decided it would not support it.

Government GrantsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Canadian Alliance Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, that explanation goes nowhere. The solicitor general should not put political pressure on the RCMP. An independent police force is the hallmark of a democratic society.

How then can the solicitor general possibly suggest he was doing his job when he put political pressure on the RCMP commissioner to reconsider the decision? How can corrupting the RCMP be doing his job?

Government GrantsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday and I will say again today for my hon. colleague, as solicitor general I meet regularly with the commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and he briefs me on issues.

As I indicated yesterday, on May 14 this was one of the issues that came up. I said that yesterday as a fact and it is a fact today.

Francophone YouthOral Question Period

May 29th, 2002 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Simard Liberal Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, this afternoon, the minister of intergovernmental affairs announced a contribution of $3.5 million for a new initiative, “Francophone Youth and Community Futures”.

Three well-established community organizations, the Foundation franco-ontarienne, the Société des Jeux de l'Acadie, and Manitoba's Francofonds, will be the three recipients of this funding.

Can the minister tell us how this announcement will benefit the official language minority communities of Canada?

Francophone YouthOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, is it absolutely appropriate that the first question the hon. member for Saint Boniface asks in this House is on something that will directly affect the youth of Saint Boniface.

For the first time, with the help of Canadian heritage—and I thank its minister—the Government of Canada will be able to provide, direct to young francophones in minority communities throughout this country, assistance that will strengthen their sense of attachment to and full participation in the life of their communities. There is nothing more vital to a community than the enthusiastic involvement of its youth.

WhistleblowingOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, if we are going to get to the bottom of these sponsorship scandals, we need public servants to feel comfortable coming forward with whatever information they have. However they are not going to speak out if they are worried about being disciplined, fired or even charged for the role they may have played.

Canada does not have any whistleblowing legislation. As an interim measure until we do, will the government agree to a general amnesty for any public servant who brings forward information relevant to investigation of these sponsorship contracts?

WhistleblowingOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board

As you know, Mr. Speaker, treasury board has a policy on disclosure and there is an integrity agent officer for the public servants. In no way will they be disciplined if they disclose any wrongdoing in the public service.