Mr. Nathan Cullen (Skeena—Bulkley Valley, NDP)
Mr. Speaker, I extend my colleague's comments to say that we are accountable to the people who sent us here, specifically on the promises we made to them during the election and since.
The Prime Minister made a commitment, as did all of his cabinet ministers, that their personal holdings would bear the fullest public scrutiny. That is from the Prime Minister's letter to his cabinet ministers.
We only found out about the Morneau Shepell shares that were still being held and controlled, and not in a blind trust, and not sold, because journalists at The Globe and Mail dug until they found them. It was not the finance minister, for all his great character, which my friend from Winnipeg talks about, who came to Canadians and said, “By the way, I know I let it be known that my affairs have been placed in a blind trust.” The Liberals repeated that line ad nauseam. Morneau Shepell believed that as well. That turned out to be a lie.
A question of trust and confidence in a finance minister is pivotal, because he or she is such a powerful figure. As the ethics code sits right now, which this minister apparently, allegedly followed, there is a distinction between whether shares are held in direct control or are placed in a numbered company wholly owned by an individual and wholly benefiting that individual. The ethics code right now makes a distinction between those two situations, whereas a Canadian will look at that and say, “If the money is going to the same person wholly, what is the difference?”
I am wondering if my friend can comment on this loophole that may have been exploited by the finance minister to relieve himself of any alleged conflict of interest.
Subtopic: Business of Supply
Sub-subtopic: Opposition Motion—Finance Minister's assets