February 8, 2001

BQ

Richard Marceau

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Richard Marceau (Charlesbourg—Jacques-Cartier, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, this month marks the second anniversary of the agreement on social union.

Under that agreement, all the provinces, with the exception of Quebec, agreed to let the federal government intrude into provincial jurisdictions. Moreover, the throne speech recently confirmed the government's intentions to continue to infringe on provincial jurisdictions and, worse still, to build Canada by denying the Quebec reality.

The intergovernmental co-operation that the government raves about seems to apply only to provincial issues.

Indeed, the federal government has never agreed to co-operate with the provinces in its own areas of jurisdiction, such as monetary policy.

The choice that Quebecers will have to make is not between the status quo and sovereignty. They will have to choose between a Canadian state that is increasingly centralized and unitary, and the country of Quebec.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Speech From The Throne
Permalink
LIB

Shawn Murphy

Liberal

Mr. Shawn Murphy (Hillsborough, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce that this weekend the city of Charlottetown will be hosting the East Coast Music Awards. More than 1,200 delegates representing every facet of the music industry will be in Charlottetown for talent showcases, jam sessions, workshops and the nationally televised awards show.

The festival recognizes the finest singers, songwriters and musicians in the region. Since its creation in Halifax more than 10 years ago, the East Coast Music Awards has grown into one of the biggest entertainment events in the country. The highlight of the weekend shall be the presentation of the director's special achievement award, being awarded this year to Anne Murray.

I congratulate the organizers of this event and I wish all participants, organizers and fans a most enjoyable and rewarding weekend.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   East Coast Music Awards
Permalink
PC

Norman E. Doyle

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Norman Doyle (St. John's East, PC)

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are outraged. The government has so mismanaged the heating relief fund that multiple cheques are going to some households, prisoners are receiving the rebates and people who do not pay for heat are qualifying for heating relief. Yet Canadians who need the assistance to help combat the high cost of heating fuel are not receiving these funds.

How could the government have administered this program so poorly? Canadian taxpayers do not want to see their money being given to people who are not bearing the burden of high heating costs. The government has allowed all GST credit recipients to qualify for this relief, at a cost of $1.3 billion. There is no connection between receipt of a GST rebate and entitlement to a heating fuel rebate.

The government has shown once again that it is governing by default. Could the government tell us why some people are receiving rebates when they are not paying heating fuel costs? All we are asking for here is a bit of common sense.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Heating Fuel Rebate
Permalink
LIB

Rodger Cuzner

Liberal

Mr. Rodger Cuzner (Bras d'Or—Cape Breton, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I rise in the House today to thank the people of Bras d'Or—Cape Breton for electing me as their member of parliament. I extend a special thanks to my family for their love and support and to all those committed individuals who worked countless hours on my election campaign.

As the member for Bras d'Or—Cape Breton I will work to represent the needs of my constituents. I will be a strong voice on the issues of employment insurance and job creation. I will work toward a strong, thriving economy to ensure that our young people have a future on Cape Breton Island.

I look forward to working with and serving the people of Bras d'Or—Cape Breton and once again thank them for their support.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Bras D'Or—Cape Breton
Permalink
CA

Randy White

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Randy White (Langley—Abbotsford, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, here is another bit of brain surgery by the other side. We know the federal government is giving natural gas rebates. Are they based on the people who paid the bills in the first place? Nope. They are based on the 1999 GST rebate.

Who is getting these rebates? Why, federal prisoners who have not paid one cent in natural gas bills are getting the rebates. People who are out of the country are getting the rebates. People who are deceased are getting the rebates.

What is wrong with the government over there? Does it have no sense? Does it have no sense of responsibility at all?

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Heating Fuel Rebate
Permalink
LIB

Claude Drouin

Liberal

Mr. Claude Drouin (Beauce, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take a few moments to mention one of the many measures taken by our government to support exporters in their efforts to consolidate and diversify their export markets.

On January 22, the Minister of National Revenue and Secretary of State for the Economic Development Agency of Canada announced a non refundable contribution of $700,000 by the Government of Canada for an economic forum organized by Americontact 2001.

This international event, which will take place from April 3 to April 5, 2001, will be attended by business people from the greater Quebec City region and by financial partners from the 34 countries that will participate in the Summit of the Americas.

This is a unique opportunity to promote the commercial, scientific and industrial value of the Quebec City-Chaudière-Appalaches region.

This is a clear commitment by our government toward the future of Quebec and Canada.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Americontact 2001
Permalink
CA

Deborah Grey

Canadian Alliance

Miss Deborah Grey (Edmonton North, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I asked the Prime Minister about his involvement in arranging $2.35 million worth of immigrant investor funds for the Auberge Grand-Mère. I remind the House that the auberge had a golf course right next door to it, which the Prime Minister owned at the time. He said there was no conflict because the Quebec government administered that fund.

No such luck. In 1996 brokers decided where those immigrant investor funds were spent and the Prime Minister met with those brokers. Why is he denying the link between his meeting and those millions?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Grants And Contributions
Permalink
LIB

Jean Chrétien

Liberal

Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I have explained all that very clearly to everybody. I receive visitors in my office. I receive all members who want to come and have a picture taken in my office. A group came, took a picture, and I never talk to anybody. I have nobody to take notes.

What surprises me is that for two elections the member was telling the people that she was holier than anybody else and that she would never accept a pension from anybody. Now she is elected and is entitled to a pension, she changes her mind. What about hypocrisy?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Grants And Contributions
Permalink
?

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Grants And Contributions
Permalink
?

The Speaker

Order, please. We all want to hear the questions as well as the answers. I invite hon. members to restrain themselves while the questions are being put and the answers being given. The restraint must apply to both sides of the House.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Grants And Contributions
Permalink
CA

Deborah Grey

Canadian Alliance

Miss Deborah Grey (Edmonton North, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, I know they changed the ground rules on the pension, but we should not be surprised they change it on just about everything.

In fact, the Prime Minister just reiterated what he said:

I receive members of parliament from both sides every day at 3 o'clock (now it is for photos) and visitors also come to see me...We shake hands, discuss things for two or three minutes and then they leave. This visit was of the same nature.

Now it is for photos. I could only imagine how many the millions could have been raised if they had stayed for six minutes in his office.

The Prime Minister needs to clarify this point. Did he have more than one meeting with the immigrant investors?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Grants And Contributions
Permalink
LIB

Jean Chrétien

Liberal

Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I met them. I never had any other meeting. I do not remember the names of these people. I saw their picture later on.

I meet hundreds of people and I try to be nice with everybody, even if the hon. member comes to my office with some of her own electors.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Grants And Contributions
Permalink
CA

Deborah Grey

Canadian Alliance

Miss Deborah Grey (Edmonton North, Canadian Alliance)

So, Mr. Speaker, here he is. He did not have relations with those people.

There is an unbelievable connection here with a meeting that he had with a representative of the immigrant investor fund and money flowing to the Auberge Grand-Mère. He could try and trivialize it away, but during the election campaign he said “He has not invested a damn cent in that”. Surely he must know who he is talking about.

The fact is we now know that $2.35 million was invested and funnelled into his own riding. I am sure the Prime Minister would never try to mislead Canadians during an election campaign, so why did he deny that that money was ever invested?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Grants And Contributions
Permalink
LIB

Brian Tobin

Liberal

Hon. Brian Tobin (Minister of Industry, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister would have no reason to know what the immigrant investor fund is investing or not investing. It is administered by the government of Quebec, and the member ought to know that.

Today is February 8. As recently as January 29, the ethics counsellor wrote to the Leader of the Opposition in a two page missive in answer to the latest allegations: “Therefore it has been my position that the Prime Minister had no financial links with either the golf course or the auberge”. It is time to stop these scandalous attacks on the Prime Minister.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Grants And Contributions
Permalink
CA

Grant McNally

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Grant McNally (Dewdney—Alouette, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, the new member for Vancouver Quadra says it is dangerous when a politician bends the rules to benefit a constituent.

When asked specifically about the Prime Minister lobbying the president of the BDC, the member for Vancouver Quadra said “I do not think any of us should be comfortable with the confusion and the public unease that it caused”.

I have a question for the Prime Minister. Who is right on this? Is it his new member, the former ombudsman for British Columbia, or him?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Grants And Contributions
Permalink
LIB

Brian Tobin

Liberal

Hon. Brian Tobin (Minister of Industry, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I will tell the member who is right. Who is right is the gentleman, and the only gentleman, who has done an objective analysis of this issue.

He is not part of a partisan campaign. He was not part of the same nonsense that was raised during the election and failed to persuade the people of Canada. That is the ethics counsellor who has answered every question with a clear statement that the Prime Minister has acted with integrity. That is who is right.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Grants And Contributions
Permalink
CA

Grant McNally

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Grant McNally (Dewdney—Alouette, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, I wonder what the minister thinks of his colleague. The member for Vancouver Quadra went on to say that a case like this should be put into the hands of an independent conflict commissioner and a special prosecutor.

Why will the Prime Minister not allow for a truly independent investigation into his dealings in Shawinigan?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Grants And Contributions
Permalink
LIB

Brian Tobin

Liberal

Hon. Brian Tobin (Minister of Industry, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, this matter has been looked into by an independent ethics counsellor.

What has not been looked into by an independent counsellor is the fact that the leader of the Alliance has personally benefited from public funds to the tune of $800,000. That has never been looked into but may in a court of law in the province of Alberta.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Grants And Contributions
Permalink
BQ

Gilles Duceppe

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Gilles Duceppe (Laurier—Sainte-Marie, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food said in the House, and I quote “We have one of the best food safety systems in the world—”

This morning, we learned that not only does the auditor general have doubts about this, but the agency's even said they are unable to say when food inspection problems will be corrected.

Does the minister still stand by his statement about the superiority of our inspection system, or does he intend to take the necessary corrective action?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Food Inspection
Permalink
LIB

Lyle Vanclief

Liberal

Hon. Lyle Vanclief (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, as we have always said, we appreciate the comments and the review by the auditor general.

I believe the hon. member was referring to a specific area. The auditor general was concerned with structural things. I think he referred to such things as paint chips and rooms in facilities that needed to be painted.

I assure the hon. member and all Canadians again that food provided to Canadians through our food processing and manufacturing facilities is safe.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Food Inspection
Permalink

February 8, 2001