House of Commons Hansard #114 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was political.

Topics

Political Party Financing
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Minister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I think there are crocodile tears on the other side of the House when there is talk about the subsidies to political parties. As I outlined in the House last Friday, every Alliance MP elected and all of their defeated candidates who had 15% of the vote received a taxpayer subsidy last election.

Do you know, Mr. Speaker, how many of them gave it back? Zero.

Political Party Financing
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Scott Reid Lanark—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, while the minister of self-righteousness is at it, he might offer to--

Political Party Financing
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Political Party Financing
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. member for Lanark--Carleton has a supplementary question and everyone will want to hear it, particularly the government House leader who might have to answer.

Political Party Financing
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Scott Reid Lanark—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, while the minister of self-righteousness is at it, he might offer to give back all those terrible corporate donations that he and his Prime Minister have suddenly discovered.

The newly boosted subsidy will guarantee the Liberals a massive $9.1 million annual subsidy, year in and year out, with the first $9 million coming in a lump sum next January, just in time to replenish Liberal coffers drained by the leadership race.

Why are taxpayers paying for the shortfall caused by the 18 month leadership race imposed on this country by the Prime Minister and Paul Martin?

Political Party Financing
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member knows he must refer to hon. members by their constituency name or title, and not by their names. I know they are very good friends, but it is still not appropriate to use their names.

The hon. government House leader.

Political Party Financing
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Minister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I am sorry if the hon. member has not read the bill. There is no subsidy on contributions to leadership campaigns.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the sponsorship scandal, the tightly knit network of firms alluded to by Public Works Canada not only benefited advertising agencies, the Liberal Party, its cronies and their families, but we now learn that the son of Alfonso Gagliano, the minister who orchestrated the entire system, was a huge beneficiary.

Will the Prime Minister admit that there is a direct link: Alfonso Gagliano grants a contract to an intermediary, his son's employer gets the subcontract and, end result, the son collects?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, as I have explained many other times in the House, the government has been proactive and conscientious in dealing with the troubled communications files. Management issues are the subject of a government-wide audit by the Auditor General. The responsibility of public servants is being pursued under the Financial Administration Act and any possibility of illegality is being examined by the RCMP.

In addition, for the future, the rules, terms and conditions pertaining to all of these programs have been substantially revised on the instructions of the Treasury Board to ensure that the situation cannot recur.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister was telling us that the government was proactive. In this case, it was Alfonso Gagliano who was truly proactive.

When he was a minister, Alfonso Gagliano categorically denied all allegations of conflict of interest relating to contracts granted by the government and work that these same contracts gave to his son's employer. Alfonso Gagliano stated that his son was not directly or indirectly involved.

Since Vincenzo Gagliano now admits that he benefited from this situation, will the Prime Minister recognize that there was clearly a conflict of interest, and that the very active Alfonso Gagliano deserves being investigated?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, all dimensions of this situation are being thoroughly investigated and examined. I have indicated a number of those already. Audits are underway and the RCMP is at work when issues of illegality are raised. Administrative reviews are underway under the Financial Administration Act.

The government said, at the very beginning, that the whole situation with respect to sponsorships and advertising needed to be thoroughly ventilated and the appropriate corrective action taken, and we are in the process of doing just that.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Lanctôt Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, Vincenzo Gagliano agreed that the sponsorship contracts boosted his sales. It was his responsibility to expand business for his group and the contracts gave his career an edge.

When the decisions of the father benefit the son, which was the case with the Gaglianos, does the Prime Minister not believe that his former Minister of Public Works was in a direct conflict of interest and that this unacceptable situation reflects on his entire government?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, let me say again that where there was anything wrong with previous contracting, that will be disclosed and dealt with through all of the various inquiries, examinations, and investigations that we have underway.

For the future, the rules are being changed in a major way to ensure strong management, more competition, transparency, accountability and full value for taxpayers' money.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Lanctôt Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, nothing has been settled. An independent public inquiry would settle things. The Prime Minister is letting Alfonso Gagliano, his former right-hand man who was the driving force behind the Liberal machine in Quebec, off the hook easy.

How can he deny that this calls for a public inquiry when his right-hand man took decisions—several of which are currently under police investigation—when stakeholders took their share in passing, making sure that his party was generously financed, and when his minister's son benefited directly?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the answer to the hon. gentleman's question is indeed in the question itself. All matters that raise any issues that are of a legal nature are within the purview of the RCMP, and the RCMP, I have every confidence, will do their job.