Hon. Michel Cote (Langelier):
Mr. Speaker, yesterday, at the request of the Prime Minister (Mr. Mulroney), I handed in my resignation as Minister of Supply and Services. Today, I would like to explain here in the House the circumstances that led me to do so. The demands of political life in recent years, both on my family and on me personally, led me to ask an old friend for a personal loan, and he agreed.
Mr. Speaker, I want to make it clear before the House that this circumstance never in any way placed me in a position where my interests conflicted with the ministerial duties that were mine in this Government. Furthermore, Mr. Speaker, 1 can assure my colleagues in the House that the friend in question never received any favours or privileges in return.
However, I involuntarily neglected to declare this situation as required by the conflict of interest directives, thus contravening the spirit of the Ministers' code of conduct.
Mr. Speaker, I can assure you that I sincerely regret this serious error of omission.
Mr. Prime Minister, obviously I sincerely regret the embarrassment I have caused the Government and you yourself, Prime Minister.
In concluding, Mr. Speaker, 1 would like to say that it has been an honour and a privilege to serve as a Member of Cabinet, and 1 would like to thank my colleagues and all Members of this House who gave me their support when I was exercising my ministerial duties.
Finally, Mr. Speaker, 1 also wish to thank my constituents in Langelier for their constant support, and I can assure them that I will continue to be a faithful defender of their interests, both here and in my riding.