House of Commons photo


Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was health.

Last in Parliament September 2008, as Liberal MP for West Nova (Nova Scotia)

Lost his last election, in 2011, with 36% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Donkin Coal Block Development Opportunity Act November 20th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, the member is a former minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and understands very well the plight of the people of Cape Breton.

He recognizes, I am sure, that there has been a sea change in Cape Breton. Employment is increasing. Over the last 10 years there have been some great improvements, but there have been some very difficult times with the closing of the mines. Now we have a bill here that makes it possible for a mine to reopen, operated by the private sector. It gives an opportunity to have a good regulatory system that brings the feds and the province together. That is good news.

Would he not, like me, like to see good news like that continue to extend with good cooperation between the federal and provincial governments? He raised the fact, and I raise it again, of honouring past commitments, such as the Canada-Nova Scotia accord and the Newfoundland-Canada accord.

We have seen today where the minister at the very last minute backed out of a briefing, where he was going to explain why the figures that we have been able to see, between what the feds are telling us and what we know to be true, are completely different on the Canada-Nova Scotia side deal.

Does he know from his vast experience in Parliament any other reason than completely trying to hide, why a minister of the Crown would put off these meetings so many times, and again today cancel it at the very last minute?

November 19th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, what is interesting is I read in the House of Commons not very long ago a letter sent by the same individual to the Prime Minister's Office and “un accusé de réception”, a letter by the Prime Minister's Office stating that the letter by Mr. Schreiber had been received by the Prime Minister and copies of the documentation attached and the letter forwarded to the Minister of Justice. All of a sudden they tell us somehow this one did not get to the Prime Minister.

He started his comments by saying perhaps it was not sent, that Schreiber was lying. It is possible, but that is not what PCO tells us. It did not tell us that it did not receive the letter. The member said it was not forwarded to the Prime Minister.

If a letter of this sensitivity was not forwarded to the Prime Minister, it was because people were told not to forward it to the Prime Minister. They knew what could come in those letters. In my mind, unless proven otherwise, I see a full-fledged cover-up by the Prime Minister's Office.

November 19th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, I have the pleasure to rise today to follow up on a question I asked in the House on November 1. I asked the Prime Minister to have a full inquiry into the Mulroney-Schreiber affair and the full Airbus affair. He adamantly refused, laughed it off and the government laughed it off as well. He did that for two weeks until Brian Mulroney himself ordered an investigation.

What concerns me is the management of the file by the current government. We know the Prime Minister received a letter from Karlheinz Schreiber seven months ago, indicating the dealings that he had with Brian Mulroney, the exchange of money, when the money was transferred and when the negotiation happened. For seven months there was no action by the Prime Minister, zero.

This is a letter that calls into question the following of Canadian laws, a letter that should have been transferred to the RCMP immediately. When the same letter was received many months later by the Leader of the Opposition, he transferred it to the RCMP, which opened an investigation within 14 days after it received that letter.

Karlheinz Schreiber said he sent that letter to Mr. Mulroney when Mr. Mulroney was seeking financial help. In the letter to Brian Mulroney he states:

During the summer of 1993 when you were looking for financial help, I was there again. When we met on June 23, 1993 at Harrington Lake, you told me that you believe that Kim Campbell will win the next election....You also told me that...the Bear Head project [a business proposal] should be moved to the Province of Quebec, where you could be of great help to me. We agreed to work together and I arranged for some funds for you.

We have since found out that the funds were $300,000 given in cash, the first $100,000 of that while Mr. Mulroney was still a member of Parliament. Mr. Mulroney was still prime minister in June at that time, and Harrington Lake is an official government residence.

When this letter came into the correspondence unit in the government building, at Langevin Block presumably, it would have gone to PCO and then from PCO logically transferred to PMO. From PMO, logically when something is that sensitive, it would have gone directly to the Prime Minister or to very senior staff, who would have briefed the Prime Minister.

However, that is not what the Prime Minister would have us believe. He would have us believe that this correspondence with Schreiber was dealt with by junior officers at the Privy Council Office.

I invite you, Mr. Speaker, to speak with people who have at one time or another worked at the Prime Minister's Office or PCO. Ask them how a letter like that would be handled. I think they would tell you that they would not walk it across the hall. They would run it across the hall. That letter is very sensitive, very serious and there is no way it would be fluffed off by junior officers. There could be the chance of the Prime Minister being greatly embarrassed, as he did when he went to speak at the dinner honouring Brian Mulroney not too long after that. However, I do not think it was ever thought that this would become public.

If the Prime Minister did not get this information, I can only think of one reason. It would be that he asked not to receive such information for adoption of plausible deniability.

Now that we have all the information, I would ask the government to ensure that Professor Johnston is given the mandate to ensure his public inquiry includes all the activities by the current government in relationship to the Schreiber-Mulroney affair.

Airbus November 16th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, the former prime minister is now saying that he is happy there will be an inquiry, because it will prove that he was the victim of a vendetta. In making these accusations, Mr. Mulroney himself seems to violate the conditions of his friendly $2 million settlement.

Could the leader of the House tell us whether he apologized to his old friend Brian for having tricked him and for putting him in even greater risk of losing his millions?

Airbus November 16th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, on November 2 the government House leader said, “It was a previous Liberal government that launched a political vendetta against one of their enemies--”.

Here is the problem. In the agreement reached in 1997 with the Government of Canada, Mulroney explicitly stated, “--the RCMP, on its own, initiated the Airbus investigation...the Minister of Justice was not involved in the decision--”. In other words, no vendetta, no political motivation.

Why did the minister flagrantly disregard what Mr. Mulroney himself put in writing and signed?

Airbus November 15th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister was not the only government member celebrating Mr. Mulroney. There were 14 cabinet ministers, including the Minister of Transport.

The current defence minister regaled all with a toast. The Prime Minister's speech that night said, “effective leaders in due time are recognized and rewarded. So it is with Mr. Mulroney”: $300,000 worth.

How are Canadians supposed to believe PCO would approve the speech, but not brief the Prime Minister or his staff about the very serious allegations?

Airbus November 15th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, in March the Prime Minister's Office received serious allegations about the Mulroney-Schreiber affair and now he blames the Privy Council Office for the cover-up.

Does it make sense that a few weeks later the Privy Council would send the Prime Minister to deliver a tribute at an embassy dinner to honour the Rt. Hon. Brian Mulroney? The PCO put out a media advisory, a press release and even published the speech on the government website.

Are Canadians supposed to believe the Privy Council would send the Prime Minister off to praise Brian Mulroney and not warn him about the serious allegations of abuse?

Questions on the Order Paper November 15th, 2007

With respect to the Small Craft Harbours Program: (a) what criteria is used to determine what constitutes a “core harbour”; (b) what is the number of core harbours in the ridings of West Nova, Central Nova, Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley and South Shore—St. Margaret's, respectively; (c) what is the total cost of program spending in the ridings of West Nova, Central Nova, Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley and South Shore—St. Margaret's, respectively, for the fiscal year 2006-2007; (d) what is the total 2007 budget allocation for this program; (e) what is the total planned program spending for 2007-2008; (f) what percentage of small craft fishing harbours is currently in a poor or unsafe condition; and (g) what additional funds are required per year to bring all small craft harbours to an acceptable state of repair?

Airbus November 14th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, apparently the Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice did everything they could to be kept in the dark in order to be able to plead ignorance.

Why did one of the minister's representatives say: “A decision has been made and this note concerning Mr. Schreiber will not be forwarded to the minister's office”?

Did that order come from the minister? Where did it come from? From the Prime Minister?

Airbus November 14th, 2007

Mr. Speaker, Canadians find it hard to believe that the Prime Minister was kept in the dark about something as sensitive as criminal allegations about a former prime minister and his political mentor, Brian Mulroney, but if that is true, it suggests the Prime Minister deliberately insulated himself from the facts in this matter.

Ignorance is not an excuse. He should have known and he should have demanded to know. Instead, he demanded to be kept in the dark. Why? What is the Prime Minister hiding from?