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House of Commons Hansard #146 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was code.

Topics

EthicsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, that he still has the gall to get up in the House and talk about ethics is beyond comprehension. He is the leader of that little party because one man made a deal with him. Within months he double-crossed him. He now gets up to complain because somebody slept one night in a lodge where they do not serve alcohol, which is why the Minister of Fisheries stayed there only one day.

This is the big problem of the opposition. It is a compliment because it is a sign that we have a--

EthicsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is really sad that the Prime Minister would make light of such a serious issue. The fact remains, I will take no lessons from the king of broken promises, a man who would make Maurice Duplessis blush.

In 2001, while his department was investigating the Irving aviation services jet fuel spill, the Minister of the Environment accepted an invitation to stay at the Irving lodge, repaying the money only when he got caught, taking a gift that clearly places him in a conflict of Interest.

To give at least the appearance that the Prime Minister still cares somewhat about accountability, somewhat about--

EthicsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

Could we please have a little order. I am sure the Prime Minister is having trouble hearing the question. I certainly am. The right hon. Prime Minister.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I can comprehend the frustration of a person who will not be the leader of his party for even one year. He is already on death row, and the other one in front of me is the interim leader.

They just talk about little things because they have no policy to offer to Canadians. They are a completely empty bunch of people who do not care about the real problems of the nation.

QuebecOral Question Period

October 29th, 2003 / 2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Quebec National Assembly—

QuebecOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

QuebecOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. If hon. members want to have a general discussion at the far end of the chamber on various topics, I invite them to go into the lobby at the far end and continue there. I will be glad to send them out by naming them, if necessary. However, the hon. member for Roberval has the floor and we all want to hear him.

QuebecOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Quebec Liberal Party and the Parti Quebecois reached consensus in the Quebec National Assembly on the existence of the Quebec nation. On that occasion, Premier Charest showed no hesitation in stating that the Quebec people were a nation.

Does the Prime Minister of Canada intend to make a significant gesture toward the Quebec people and follow the example of his Liberal counterpart in Quebec City by acknowledging here in this House, without any shilly-shallying, that the Quebec nation does indeed exist?

QuebecOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, people can always resort to word games. I have a clear recollection of the day I took them at their word. I asked them to vote in favour of the distinct society and they voted against it. Everyone will remember that. It was the embarrassment of the year. They are resorting to word games because they do not really want to talk about the nation's real problems.

QuebecOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's words truly sadden me because when he was elected in 1963 he said, and I am quoting the Prime Minister here: “It is a matter of drawing up the constitution anew, not among ten provinces, but between two nations”.

If the Prime Minister was capable of being that frank at the beginning of his career, given the fundamental nature of this issue, why is he not capable 40 years later, as he prepares to make his exit from the political stage, of acknowledging what is a fact: the Quebec people constitute a nation?

QuebecOral Question Period

2:30 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, just as the 1995 referendum question was a fraud, mixing two questions, independence and partnership, up into one, today we have the Bloc Quebecois engaged in the same tactics. It is confusing the question of nationhood with the question of opting out with financial compensation. This is a dishonest approach. The government of Canada will have no part of it in either instance.

QuebecOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, contrary to what the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs said, the BQ's definition of the nation of Quebec is an inclusive one. Witness the fact that, in this rare instance, Jean Charest and the sovereignists agree that the nation of Quebec is both inclusive and open.

Could the government not show the same openness toward Quebeckers by recognizing their nation?

QuebecOral Question Period

2:30 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, if the question was along the lines of the one put to the Premier of Quebec yesterday, as to whether Quebec is a nation within the Canadian nation, we would vote yes right away. Would the hon. member also vote yes?

QuebecOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, instead of the bogus motion on the distinct society, which turned out to be an empty shell, should the federal government not recognize the nation of Quebec by entrenching this recognition in a legally binding framework which would provide Quebec with a real option to opt out with full compensation?

QuebecOral Question Period

2:30 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, I asked the hon. member a question. Is he prepared to recognize that he is a member of the nation of Quebec and the Canadian nation, and the French-Canadian nation as well?

I am, as are all Quebeckers on this side of the House, a proud Quebecker, a proud French Canadian and a proud Canadian. Can he say the same?

EthicsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Canadian Alliance Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Industry. His fishing trip at the Irving lodge while he was the minister of health with a registered health lobbyist was a clear conflict of interest. The industry minister just does not get it.

Did the minister consult the ethics counsellor while he was the minister of health about the fishing trip with that health lobbyist?

EthicsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as I recall, last week the suggestion from this member and his colleagues was that I was in a conflict because of the connection with the shipbuilding industry. I understand that now they have decided I am in a conflict because of the health industry. It is neither.

The fact is I made full disclosure to the ethics counsellor of all the circumstances. He gave me advice which I took and which I respected to the letter. I have satisfied all the requirements for which the ethics counsellor has provided.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Canadian Alliance Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, the excuses of that minister are absolutely astonishing. A minister of the crown cannot and should not accept a trip from a lobbyist while that lobbyist is actively lobbying that minister's department. That is exactly what the minister did.

Could the minister explain how this is not a conflict of interest?

EthicsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, it is time for those members to get their stories straight. He just said I took a trip from a lobbyist. I thought the allegation was that I took the trip from the Irving family.

They are desperately trying to make something of nothing. I made full disclosure to the ethics counsellor. I sought his advice. I followed his advice. They are left with nothing.

FinanceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I might change the subject because we in the NDP have bigger fish to fry. My question is for the Minister of Finance.

There is $44 billion in outstanding credit card debt in this country to Visa and MasterCard alone. He knows that the spread now between the prime rate and credit card rate is 14 points. It is clear that Canadians are being gouged. If the Liberals are concerned about debt reduction, they should be concerned about this kind of debt reduction.

Will the Minister of Finance finally do something about this and tie the credit card rate to the prime rate in some way?

FinanceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we have taken extraordinary measures to ensure that consumers have full information about rates, about how they are calculated and can make comparisons among cards.

The effect of limiting the amount that could be charged on cards is that many Canadians would not be able to access cards at all. I think it would not be in the interests of Canadians, and I would have thought the NDP would agree with this, to leave large portions of the population without any access to credit.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians do not need more information, if they are up to their you know what in alligators. They do not want the Liberals counting the alligators. They want them to do something about it.

I have a question is for the Minister of Public Works and it has to do with the awarding of the census contract to Lockheed Martin.

I have information from a competitor of Lougheed Martin that it received this contract, not through due process, but sometime after the RFP had been initiated and others had gone through the process. However, Lougheed Martin showed up at the end and received the contract.

Could the Minister of Public Works undertake to look into this and report back to the House as to why that American corporation received favourable treatment in that way?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the information that the hon. gentleman has just described is certainly at odds with the information I have. He has asked me if I will look into what he has suggested. I certainly will do that, and I will get back to him if there is anything further to report.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn Progressive Conservative St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, licence or no licence, our fishing trip yesterday was successful. Divine revelation struck the HRDC minister last night and she remembered that she too had been at chateau Irving with Paul Zed.

How can the minister explain her poor memory and how can she explain misleading the House yesterday?