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House of Commons Hansard #197 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-15b.

Topics

Children's Groundwater FestivalStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Liberal Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I ask the House to join me today in recognizing the excellent work of the Waterloo Wellington Children's Groundwater Festival. This festival promotes awareness that water, our most precious resource, is the basis of all life.

Last week over 4,000 Waterloo students in grade three through six participated in a hands on, interactive activity at 40 different centres.

Maintaining groundwater quality and quantity in the year's ahead is extremely important for the economic growth and the stability of the Waterloo Wellington area. Through this children's festival, the next generation will become better educated and more environmentally aware by participating in a fun, innovative program.

This is how we meet the environmental challenges of the 21st century. We all need to protect our lakes and rivers from pollution, and work to conserve this precious natural resource for the generations that will follow.

Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

June 3rd, 2002 / 2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Peter Goldring Canadian Alliance Edmonton Centre-East, AB

Mr. Speaker, Liberals are in a free fall or is it that they are in a free for all?

More ministerial heads rolling than in a maritime fish cannery.

The minister of finance, axed for ambition. The minister of national defence, banished for billing. The minister of public works, deported to Denmark. The second minister of public works, returned to sender. The minister on the status of women, canned for crosses. The minister of industry, turbot Tobin turfed. The deputy prime minister, Gray given the gate. The second Deputy Prime Minister, given ministerial role after role to cover the last minister's mess.

Soon the minister of all might be a lonely cabinet of one.

It is a true Liberal meltdown before our very eyes. A long lapse in ethics in character, now a collapse in ability to govern.

The Liberal way in complete disarray, from corruption crisis to catastrophic chaos, spelling the beginning of the end for the Liberals.

NunavutStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Nancy Karetak-Lindell Liberal Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay tribute today to a great Canadian, Graham Rowley and his wife, Diana.

Graham Rowley has dedicated his life to Nunavut and Nunavummiut from mapping unchartered land in the 1930s by dog team to excavating archaeological sites in the Iglooik area. He has contributed greatly to the knowledge of Nunavut while working with the Inuit respectfully sharing and learning with them.

Graham has received both the Order of Canada and the Northern Science Research Medal and has written an exciting book about his adventures in Nunavut.

My son, Keenan, and I have had the honour of spending time with both Graham and his wife Diana, and I ask my colleagues to join with me to pay tribute to this great explorer and his wife.

Holy Ghost Fraternal Aid SocietyStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I bring exciting news from Winnipeg's famous northend community.

This weekend marked the 100th anniversary of the oldest remaining Polish organization in Canada, an occasion worthy of parliament's special attention and our highest words of praise.

On June 1, 1902, the Holy Ghost Fraternal Aid Society, located in the heart of Winnipeg North Centre, was established by the first Polish immigrants to Canada and to this day continues in the service of others promoting Polish culture, welcoming new immigrants and strengthening the community.

This is an anniversary of monumental significance, not only for my own community but also for the whole country. Imagine 100 years of service to Canada and still going strong.

From its earliest days, the society helped settlers adjust to life in a new land, was key to the preservation of Polish culture and played a role that is vital to our nation today.

Today let us honour the pioneering spirit of Polish Canadians who contribute so much to life in this country and let us express heartfelt thanks to the Holy Ghost Fraternal Aid Society.

Hell's AngelsStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week we learned that members of the Hell's Angels criminal organization would be taking part in the parade celebrating the golden jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.

How can this decision be explained to the parents and friends of the innocent victims who died at the hands of this organization in recent years in Quebec? How can we remain silent about the mockery that this makes of the countless efforts made by police and communities to put a stop to this group's deadly activities? How can this decision be explained when only a few weeks ago, in Queen v Maurice Boucher, she sent him to prison for murder?

Let it be known that in Quebec, we jubilate for different reasons. We jubilate when justice is done and when the murder of two prison guards does not go unpunished.

How can we not comment on the submission shown by the members of the House who rejected the Bloc Quebecois motion condemning this royal parade? This is not cause for jubilation. Under these conditions, it is royally inappropriate.

EducationStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

John Maloney Liberal Erie—Lincoln, ON

Mr. Speaker, U.S. immigration and naturalization service has decided that education is not a valid reason for Canadians to cross the U.S. border.

Beginning May 22, part time Canadian students were delayed at the border or denied entrance. Students who began classes prior to May 22 will be allowed to finish their current course but only after stopping at the border to fill out an I-94 application each and every time they cross. What is more troublesome is that part time students enrolled after May 22 will not be allowed to cross the border for this purpose.

In light of September 11, we appreciate that stricter U.S. policies are being implemented in relation to student visas. However an absolute prohibition of border crossing for part time students is simply overkill. This INS policy has the potential to undo a beneficial arrangement enjoyed by hundreds of Canadian students and American schools for decades.

I urge the United States to allow an exemption for part time Canadian students. Education is a precious resource. George Bush must not deny Canadians this opportunity.

Government of CanadaStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rick Borotsik Progressive Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, this brouhaha between the Prime Minister and his ex-minister of finance has distracted from the government's policy issues and focused instead on Liberal infighting.

How surprised I was this morning when I heard the Prime Minister's senior policy advisor tell us that this government was focused on a policy agenda. Eddie Goldenburg said:

I think the agenda of this government on health care, the agenda on agriculture, the agenda on a whole host of issues, is a very important one. The government has a terrific record, every government goes through a rocky period.

The government has done nothing to forward this agenda or in fact any agenda. The government has left it up to the provinces to deal with the crisis in health care. The government turned down a motion that would have worked toward reducing student debt. The government has ignored the dangers of U.S. protectionism, ignored the dangers of yet another drought and ignored the falling farm income.

Where is the agenda that the Prime Minister's staff is referring to? This government of broken promises has--

Government of CanadaStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The House will now proceed to oral question period which will continue until 3.10 p.m.

Member for LaSalle--ÉmardOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, in an unprecedented move, the Prime Minister dismissed his most senior cabinet colleague, the former minister of finance, and he provided absolutely no comprehensible reason for doing so.

We know the former minister of finance had some ethical difficulties. We know about the $75,000 contract that went from the finance department to one of his fundraisers. Was the dismissal of the former minister of finance due to any ethical misconduct on his part?

Member for LaSalle--ÉmardOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

No, Mr. Speaker, absolutely not. They are still throwing mud.

The former minister of finance was an excellent minister of finance for nine years. I am very sorry, as I explained in the letter I sent to him, but after the discussion I had with him, he and I agreed that we had to move on. This had nothing to do with the economic policies or the honesty of the former minister of finance.

Member for LaSalle--ÉmardOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, he speaks about mud slinging. Last week it was the Prime Minister who not so subtly, publicly and privately, accused the former minister of finance of leaking information and double-crossing him in running an unauthorized leadership campaign.

Since the Prime Minister still has not given a reason for the dismissal of the former minister of finance, was the dismissal due to any violations of cabinet, caucus or party rules?

Member for LaSalle--ÉmardOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I never referred to the former minister of finance because he did not do that. The press told me that there was information coming from my caucus. I asked them to give me names because I could not work just on rumours. I told them to give me the facts and then I would take action. They did not give me any names.

The former minister of finance decided it was time to move on. He gave an indication on Friday that he was not comfortable any more to stand as minister of finance and a conclusion was reached on--

Member for LaSalle--ÉmardOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

Member for LaSalle--ÉmardOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, that certainly is not the former minister's story.

On Friday of last week the former minister of finance spoke to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities on a new deal for municipal governments. Over the weekend there were reports that the Prime Minister did not agree with the proposal by the former minister of finance.

Was the dismissal due to policy difference? Does the Prime Minister stand behind the positions the former minster of finance took in that policy statement on Friday?

Member for LaSalle--ÉmardOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the former minister of finance made comments on the question of finding ways to help the municipalties, and I agree with that. We are doing that at this time with the infrastructure program. We are looking to see if there will be a more imaginative prospect to do that. However there is no new program. There was no discussion about it in the cabinet and no disagreement because there was no concrete proposition.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian Alliance Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister says that he likes a good fight. I thought he meant that he would fight against ethical misconduct by his ministers in cabinet.

Could he explain why he instead chose to fire a senior finance minister? Another leadership candidate gone.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am not an Alliance person. I will not run to replace myself. There are no members of cabinet and no former ministers running against me because I am the leader. One day when I am not the leader I know a very good Liberal leader will be there to replace me.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian Alliance Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, ethics in cabinet are far more important than these petty leadership battles. In recognizing the ethical problems, last Friday one of the parliamentary secretaries said “The government wants to get to the bottom of this mess”.

Why did the Prime Minister not get to the bottom of the ethical mess instead of going through another leadership rival? Tobin was first. The finance minister was second. Who is next?

EthicsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I want to have a bit of fun. I have here an ad paid for by an unknown subscriber to defeat Jim Hawkes. The citizens coalition gave money to the Leader of the Opposition to defeat a very good member of the House at that time, who is in the gallery today and who I want to salute, Jim Hawkes.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

I know the right hon. Prime Minister will not want to breach the rules by referring to the presence in the gallery of anyone. We know that is not the thing to do.

The hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, instead of launching a public inquiry to get to the bottom of the scandals that reflect upon his government and making this a priority, the Prime Minister tells us that Canadian unity is justification for the theft of millions of dollars in public funds, and then he sacks his Minister of Finance.

With such actions, is the Prime Minister not confirming that, for him, it is more important to solve his leadership problems than to attack the credibility crisis that is shaking his government relating to the scandals about awarding contracts to his party's cronies?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I made a speech on this in the House of Commons two weeks ago. I intend to present the eight point program this week, or early next week. I note, for example, that the Alliance Party is already indicating that it does not want to participate in having a code of conduct for MPs, senators and ministers approved by the House of Commons.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I imagine that the first rule has already been announced in Winnipeg: it is OK to steal millions, provided the purpose is to fight sovereignty.

The Prime Minister's priorities are very much out of order. By making his first priority the leadership race within his party, he is putting his personal interests before his responsibilities as a head of government.

Will the Prime Minister admit that, instead of putting a political rival out of cabinet as he did, he ought to have seen it as urgent to call a real public inquiry into all the scandals that are undermining public confidence in this government, particularly when they are being told that stealing is no big deal?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the intellectual dishonesty of this party leader is unbelievable.

What I said was “If money has been stolen, even millions of dollars, the guilty parties will have to go to court and face the consequences”. This is what I have always said, and the RCMP is doing its job at this time, as is the auditor general, in order to ensure that, if money has been lost, the guilty will be punished.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister expelled the Minister of Finance from cabinet because, in his opinion, the minister was responsible for the leaks concerning what the Prime Minister himself called a “theft of a few million dollars”.

Could the Prime Minister tell us why, instead of expelling those members of his government who are up to their neck in scandals, he chose instead to shoot the one whom he thinks is the messenger?