August 31, 1988

BROADCASTING ACT

PC

Robert E.J. Layton

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Bob Layton (Lachine):

Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the report of the legislative committee on Bill C-136, an Act respecting broadcasting and to amend certain Acts in relation thereto and in relation to radiocommunication.

[Editor's Note: See today's Votes and Proceedings.]

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   BROADCASTING ACT
Sub-subtopic:   PRESENTATION OF REPORT OF LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE
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GOVERNMENT ORDERS

MEMBERS OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF COMMONS CONFLICT OF INTEREST ACT MEASURE TO ENACT


The House resumed consideration of the motion of Mr. Mulroney that Bill C-114, an Act to provide for greater certainty in the reconciliation of the personal interests and duties of office of Members of the Senate and of the House of Commons, to establish a Conflict of Interest Commission and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, be read the second time and referred to a legislative committee.


NDP

John R. Rodriguez (Deputy Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. John R. Rodriguez (Nickel Belt):

Madam Speaker, I want to participate in this debate because I have been a close

observer of what was supposed to be a brand new era. The Tories swept out the Liberals because the Liberals had done so many bad things. They had established bad practices like tollgating, patronage, and pork-barreling. I was here when the Liberals were in power and every time they got up we sang "Roll Out the Barrel".

We all remember very vividly when, in the leadership debate, the Prime Minister (Mr. Mulroney) recited the list of appointments which Mr. Trudeau had made, to which the Leader of the Liberal Party (Mr. Turner) had not objected. He pointed at him and said those memorable words, "You had an option, Sir". Everyone said that that was the turning point, and I believed it because I observed that debate. The Prime Minister established himself as a harbinger of new beginnings, of a clean slate. There would be no more of this dirty stuff, we were going to have Mr. Clean in spades. The honeymoon of the Tories with the people of Canada lasted six short months. Then we saw the deluge.

I listened to the Minister who introduced this second reading debate. To hear him tell it, Bill C-l 14 is somehow or other a normal evolutionary process of Conservatives on the way to becoming clean, cleaner, and cleanest. That is the impression he left. The Prime Minister is lying on his bed crying out for absolution. He is saying, "Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa, ideo precor beatam Mariam virgine". That has not been brought about by any evolutionary process but because of a list of scandals.

We had the Sine Stevens scandal. The taxpayers of this country know full well that the Parker inquiry has cost them millions of dollars. They know who picked up Mr. Stevens' bills. It was the taxpayers of Canada. They know of the stonewalling that went on in this House for weeks by Erik Nielsen. He stonewalled day after day as the Opposition ferreted out the facts one after the other. The Government was pushed into establishing the Parker Commission inquiry.

We have not forgotten the Bissonnette affair, the Cote affair, the Frank Moores affair, or the toll-gating claims made by the former Minister only a couple of weekends ago. The most recent one happened in July and was raised in the House today. The wife and daughter of the Minister for International Trade (Mr. Crosbie) accepted two freebie tickets worth over $5,600. The Minister said that she does not have to declare that.

In an open letter to me and to all Members of Parliament written on September 9, 1985, the Prime Minister said the following about ethics: "It is a great principle of public administration, I could even say an imperative, that to function effectively the Government and public service of a democracy must have the trust and confidence of the public they serve. In order to reinforce that trust, the Government must be able to provide competent management and, above all, to be guided by the highest standards of conduct".

August 31, 1988

The height of their standards is the gutter. We have seen evidence of that. These are not figments of the imagination and the people of Canada are responding to it.

I suggest that you read the latest polls. When asked which leader reflects honesty and integrity the Prime Minister is not the first choice. He does not emulate those qualities. He does not show leadership in those qualities for Canadians. After all, 26 million Canadians cannot be wrong.

Expecting me to believe that Bill C-l 14 has arrived on our desks for debate as a result of an evolutionary process is like expecting me to believe that Moby Dick once existed as a minnow. That is crazy. There is no Canadian in this country who would believe that.

Let me give you another example. Everyone heard about the Gucci shoes. The Prime Minister received a $158,000 loan from the PC Canada Fund. The guidelines said that loans had to be declared. That came out as a result of the Cote deal. It was then discovered that the Prime Minister got a loan. He said that it was not a loan but an advance. When is a loan an advance, Mr. Speaker? When the Prime Minister gets it. Then he said that he paid it back. If you give me an advance and I pay it back, is that not a loan? Of course it is a loan. Canadians are not simple-minded, they understand that. One of the clauses in this Bill is called the Gucci clause.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MEMBERS OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF COMMONS CONFLICT OF INTEREST ACT MEASURE TO ENACT
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PC

Claudy Mailly (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue)

Progressive Conservative

Mrs. Mailly:

Mr. Speaker, we are very much amused but we are afraid our colleague will have another heart attack. He is not being relevant to the Bill, apart from the fact that he is being dishonest in the way he is presenting his so-called facts. I would like him at least to be relevant while he is entertaining us.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MEMBERS OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF COMMONS CONFLICT OF INTEREST ACT MEASURE TO ENACT
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PC

Allan Bruce McKinnon

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McKinnon):

I am sure the Hon. Member is going to touch on the Bill occasionally during his oration.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MEMBERS OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF COMMONS CONFLICT OF INTEREST ACT MEASURE TO ENACT
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NDP

John R. Rodriguez (Deputy Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Rodriguez:

Mr. Speaker, I can understand why the Conservatives are so sensitive. We are debating principle on Bill C-l 14 which talks about truth and honesty, and that is what I am talking about. They are trying to tell me that the Gucci shoes did not exist. Of course they did.

The Minister who introduced this Bill for second reading and spoke on it first compared it to a football game. I want to compare it to a boxing match. The image is that Bill C-l 14 is a peak-a-boo Bill, now you see it, now you don't. It's the Cassius Clay stance, the peak-a-boo stance. Every time you think it's there, it is not. When you think you have an opening to take a punch, you find it is closed, the gloves are there and your punch gets picked off.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MEMBERS OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF COMMONS CONFLICT OF INTEREST ACT MEASURE TO ENACT
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?

Some Hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

Conflict of Interest

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MEMBERS OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF COMMONS CONFLICT OF INTEREST ACT MEASURE TO ENACT
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NDP

John R. Rodriguez (Deputy Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Rodriguez:

It is obvious that I have them on the ropes, Mr. Speaker, and now I am going to deliver the knock-out punch. I am going to give them the left upper-cut. Of course it will be a left upper-cut. This Bill was introduced by the Prime Minister himself back in February. It is now August, the dying days of this Parliament, and at the eleventh hour Bill C-l 14 is put forward for debate and we have some more scandals brewing.

We heard the Member for LaSalle (Mr. Lanthier) talk about crumbs falling off the table. One Member said that if he told what he knew he could put 12 people in jail.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MEMBERS OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF COMMONS CONFLICT OF INTEREST ACT MEASURE TO ENACT
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?

An Hon. Member:

Oh, come on!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MEMBERS OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF COMMONS CONFLICT OF INTEREST ACT MEASURE TO ENACT
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NDP

John R. Rodriguez (Deputy Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Rodriguez:

It is not New Democrats who are saying that. It is Conservatives. They are not only shooting themselves in the foot, but in the head. That is not difficult if they can find it.

Why have the Conservatives brought the Bill in at this last minute? They do not want to pass the Bill. It is as simple as that. They want no change in the rules. They are not even being honest about Bill C-l 14.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MEMBERS OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF COMMONS CONFLICT OF INTEREST ACT MEASURE TO ENACT
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?

Some Hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MEMBERS OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF COMMONS CONFLICT OF INTEREST ACT MEASURE TO ENACT
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NDP

John R. Rodriguez (Deputy Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Rodriguez:

They do not want an effective conflict of interest law. You know that the Bill will not pass when an election is called within the next couple of weeks.

We paid several million dollars for the Parker Commission report. Maybe we ought to look at what Justice Parker had to say about conflict of interest. I want to quote Justice Parker. Justice Parker said that the key-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MEMBERS OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF COMMONS CONFLICT OF INTEREST ACT MEASURE TO ENACT
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PC

Sinclair McKnight Stevens

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stevens:

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Can the Hon. Member give us the page he is quoting in the Parker report?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MEMBERS OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF COMMONS CONFLICT OF INTEREST ACT MEASURE TO ENACT
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PC

Allan Bruce McKinnon

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McKinnon):

The Hon. Member for Nickel Belt (Mr. Rodriguez).

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MEMBERS OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF COMMONS CONFLICT OF INTEREST ACT MEASURE TO ENACT
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NDP

John R. Rodriguez (Deputy Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Rodriguez:

Justice Parker said: "In my view-"

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MEMBERS OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF COMMONS CONFLICT OF INTEREST ACT MEASURE TO ENACT
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PC

Sinclair McKnight Stevens

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stevens:

A point of order, Mr. Speaker.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MEMBERS OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF COMMONS CONFLICT OF INTEREST ACT MEASURE TO ENACT
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NDP

Nelson Andrew Riis (N.D.P. House Leader)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Riis:

That is not a point of order.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MEMBERS OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF COMMONS CONFLICT OF INTEREST ACT MEASURE TO ENACT
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August 31, 1988