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House of Commons Hansard #145 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was pornography.

Topics

EthicsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the hon. member, who is up on his feet on ethics, what David Orchard would say about the hon. member's ethics after he signed a document in writing making a promise and double-crossed him, and after that getting up in the House of Commons and talking about ethics. He should be ashamed of himself.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, what an absolutely pathetic answer. It is what we have come to expect. I can say this, it did not cost the Canadian taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars like some of the ethical breaches on that side of the House.

The Prime Minister must wish that he had stayed away. The industry minister, the fisheries minister, the labour minister and now the environment minister, practically his entire front bench are mired in scandal, placing themselves in breach of the rules of ethics and withholding key information from the ethics counsellor who is a joke, and we all know it.

In light of this onslaught--

EthicsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The time for the question has expired. The right hon. Prime Minister.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, for a person to get up from his seat and admit clearly that he double-crossed Mr. Orchard, after making a solemn promise on TV in front of all the nation that he would never make a deal with the opposition, even saying at one time that he would rather run for the separatist party of Nova Scotia than join that gang in front of him; and yet he has the gall to get up today and talk about ethics.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I remind all hon. members that this is question period with answers or responses. The Chair has to be able to hear the questions and the answers. The answers and the questions now are causing severe disorder. Think how much worse it would be if something out of order was said that I could not hear.

I urge hon. members to show a little restraint so that we can hear the questions and the answers. Everyone wants to hear them.

The hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie will have the next question.

Liberal GovernmentOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, because of the behind-the-scenes games the future Liberal leader is playing, the Prime Minister can claim all he wants that he is governing, but he is not the one leading the government any more. His successor has confirmed that his government will be reviewing all the decisions made by the current administration.

So that the government does not spin its tires for another four months, will the Prime Minister, for reasons of state, leave office as quickly as possible, so that the man who is really leading can finally be held accountable to the House?

Liberal GovernmentOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the reason of state is this: three years ago, the people of Canada gave the member for Saint-Maurice a mandate to be Prime Minister of Canada for the next five years. That is the reason. Nevertheless, I indicated that I would be leaving in February, and that is what I intend to do. It is clear to everyone.

The successor to the President of the United States is chosen in November and sworn in only at the end of January. So, there is nothing so strange. We are able to walk and chew gum at the same time.

Liberal GovernmentOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that the system here is not the same as that in the United States. The reality is that the Prime Minister wanted another mandate. It was his own troops that said no, and it was the member for LaSalle—Émard who pushed him out. That is the reality. What is happening now is that we have a virtual prime minister, but the real decisions are being made by the member for LaSalle—Émard.

In the name of democracy, can he let the true leader of the party come into the House and be accountable for his actions, and let democracy rule here again?

Liberal GovernmentOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I can understand why the hon. member is nervous. It is because in the next election, his party will not even have official party status in the House of Commons.

And speaking of leaders, they have had three since I have been leader. We have no lessons to learn from them. Other parties have had eight leaders. We have one until he decides to leave.

Liberal GovernmentOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, if there is one important step for a government, it is the preparation of the budget. Yet the Minister of Finance himself admits he does not control everything in the current budget preparation process.

Will the Prime Minister admit that budget preparations are going on in the parallel government, and that his remaining on the job is creating problems for everyone, because the real policies are coming from outside the government?

Liberal GovernmentOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary committee is meeting. Meetings are being held all across Canada to gather people's opinions on the next budget.

There will certainly be a new finance minister come next February. The budget will again be a good one. Once again, the budget will be a balanced one. The budget for the coming year will make Canada the only country still capable of balancing its books.

Liberal GovernmentOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister may try to justify staying on, despite the actions of the future PM which are undermining his authority. Events, however, speak for themselves.

Will the Prime Minister agree that the decision made by the premiers of Quebec and the provinces to go to his successor for answers on the issue of health care funding are a clear illustration that neither he nor the present finance minister have the necessary authority to provide any kind of answer?

Liberal GovernmentOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I really wonder why the ministers met with the federal finance minister on this matter last week.

Our contacts with them are ongoing. We have a budget. We gave considerable amounts of money for health in the last budget. In February we signed an accord with the provinces. They were very pleased with it, but as always they would like to have more.

Never once in the past ten years has a provincial premier called me to ask “Mr. Prime Minister, could I return some money?” This has never happened yet, and I do not think it is likely to happen any time soon.

EthicsOral Question Period

October 28th, 2003 / 2:25 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Bob Mills Canadian Alliance Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is rather interesting that the Prime Minister forgets how he treated one of his own stalwarts of close to 40 years, Mr. Herb Gray, when he talks about how members treat each other.

My question is for the Minister of the Environment. Has the minister received any other gifts in excess of $200?

EthicsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I cannot recall any gift whatsoever that would be over $200.

In the case in question to which he is referring, the trip with the former Governor General Roméo LeBlanc, any obligation I have is to Mr. LeBlanc, not the Irvings.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Canadian Alliance Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is the ministers who set the policy. It is the ministers who are influenced. That is exactly why these guidelines are in place.

I would like to ask the Public Works minister whether he has ever received an undeclared gift of over $200.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, to the best of my knowledge and belief, I filed all the returns required by the ethics commissioner to disclose all these matters in the public domain.

International AidOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, the House seems preoccupied with gifts over $200 and the role of the member for LaSalle—Émard. Perhaps I could combine the two in a serious question to the Prime Minister by asking him to imagine what a $200 gift of generic drugs would do for a person with AIDS in Africa.

When will the Prime Minister make that happen? When will that legislation come forward? Is it the member for LaSalle—Émard who is holding up this process? Whatever it is, we want it addressed and soon.

International AidOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this is a very serious question that needs attention. We have decided that we want to proceed with a change in legislation to ensure that the medication is made available to the people who are suffering from AIDS and other similar types of disease in Africa and elsewhere.

We have been working on this file for a long time. We have been helping, for example, the foundation of former President Clinton on this matter. We have been at the forefront.

I am happy the member from the NDP knows that there are other problems rather than trying to destroy the reputation of members of Parliament.

International AidOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, no one knows better than the Prime Minister that time is running out for various political agendas. To the extent that this is on his political agenda, I wonder if he could tell the House that he will ensure this kind of change in legislation, which would provide generic drugs for people with AIDS and malaria and other diseases in Africa, will happen before the House adjourns or prorogues.

International AidOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is a complicated file. There is some work to be done and if it can be done before we adjourn, it will be done. If not, it will be done early in the next year.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, I am going to avoid the occasion to take a lesson from the man who wrote the book on saying one thing and doing another, and ask the Prime Minister a very direct question.

The ethics counsellor's website indicates the Prime Minister has not reported any gifts since November 19, 2001. Has the Prime Minister received any gifts with a value over $200 since November 2001, almost three years ago?

EthicsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have a process on that. I do not know if it has been filed. Every one has been reported and every one will be reported. I do not know if there are some lagging in time, but if they arrive there is a person in my office who takes care of that. I do not do the filing myself.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Norman E. Doyle Progressive Conservative St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, it is cabinet members who set policy. It is cabinet members who are influenced. That is why we have guidelines.

My question is for the Minister of Industry. Has the minister ever received any other undeclared gift in excess of $200?

EthicsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, to the best of my knowledge I have complied with all the requirements, all the guidelines and made all the filings required by the ethics counsellor.