House of Commons Hansard #12 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was speech.

Topics

Sponsorship Program
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

David Anderson Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker,

In '95 during the fallWhen the PQ cast a pall,

The PMO said, “Stand Tall!We'll go to the wall--There'll be money for all! You don't have to crawl--Just give us a call”.

And so, Mr. Speaker, some had a ballCollecting cash, what a haul!

And so it went well...all in allUntil it hit the fan (or the wall).

Word got out. “We have to stall!Hide the stuff, no one will fall”.

“I'm mad as hell!” we heard in the hall.“I knew nothing at all.And what I do, I can't recall!”

Now it turns out he's had a ball.A million dollars--that's quite a haul!Well, old fundraisers, we helped them all.

But the question remains--and please don't stall--who really made the call?Was it Paul?

Tommy Douglas
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, on October 20, 1904, Tommy Douglas entered the world and set about changing it.

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Tommy Douglas, and I am honoured to salute his memory.

As the first premier in our party's history, he brought public medicare to the people of Saskatchewan. As the first leader of the NDP and an MP in the House, he helped expand that victory to all Canadians in a minority Parliament that worked.

Tommy Douglas modernized Saskatchewan with roads, water, telecommunications and electricity. He humanized Canada with his passion and ideas.

Fourteen years before John Diefenbaker, Tommy Douglas passed a bill of rights.

His commitment to these rights led him to take a stand against the War Measures Act, a brave step that inspired me to join this party.

A smiling bust of him sits in my office, reminding me that this place can make life better for people.

On behalf of a grateful nation, we remain awed by Tommy's courage and touched by his compassion. Let us be guided by his words, “Courage, my friends, 'tis never too late to make a better world”.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has been asked 585 questions on the sponsorship scandal this year. He has maintained he knew nothing, he saw nothing and he did nothing, except that we now know his office placed calls to secure sponsorship money for his fundraiser, money that funnelled through Groupe Everest.

When did the Prime Minister learn that his office had made these calls?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as has been explained in the House, Mr. Justice Gomery is dealing with this issue, and the commission certainly will deal with it.

What the Gomery commission cannot deal with is the evolving position of the Leader of the Opposition on Belgium. Let me just simply say this. First he wants to cohabit with the Bloc. Then he wants to cohabit with Mario Dumont. Now we learn that he wants to do it with the both of them in a bed and breakfast in Brussels.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Judge Gomery, unless the Prime Minister is planning to give up his seat, cannot come here and answer for the Prime Minister's behaviour on the floor of the House.

The Prime Minister said that he was out of the loop on the sponsorship scandal, but apparently his staff were in the loop. They knew exactly whom to contact to get money for his Liberal fundraiser friends.

When did the Prime Minister know his office was placing calls to Alfonso Gagliano to get sponsorship money?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I have reminded the hon. members opposite not to prejudge Gomery by commenting on day to day testimony for a very important reason. That is to respect the independence of a judicial inquiry. However, there is another reason why it is important. That is to save them from themselves and to prevent them from making the grievous errors that their leader did yesterday when he made false allegations on the floor of the House of Commons. That is the risk he is taking and they are taking when they comment on day to day testimony without the full report.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, apparently these questions finally got the government to answer outside the House of Commons. If the government is prepared to tell us who made the calls, I want to find out when the Prime Minister learned. I will ask again in French if it will help.

We now know when the office of the Prime Minister placed calls to Alfonso Gagliano to get sponsorship money for his fundraiser friend and who placed these calls.

Now, when did the Prime Minister know these calls were being placed from his office?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, all the answers will be in the report of the Gomery commission, and the Leader of the Opposition knows it.

What we want to know is who is advising the Leader of the Opposition on constitutional matters, Tintin and Snowy?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, obviously the Prime Minister was not looking in the mirror when he said last spring, “anyone who knows anything...should come forward and not wait to be compelled to do so”. In a case of do as I say, not as I do, the Prime Minister refused to follow his own advice. Now we know his staff routinely made calls looking for sponsorship money and hid this information from a parliamentary committee.

When did the Prime Minister know that calls were made and why did it take a judicial inquiry for Canadians to find out that the Prime Minister's staff and his invisible hand were guiding the sponsorship program?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, two days ago the deputy leader of the Conservative Party said that Francis Fox was on the board of Internationaux du Sports de Montréal. He was wrong. Yesterday the leader of the Conservative Party said that the Prime Minister personally made calls. He was wrong.

That right-wing party seems to be wrong a lot of the time. I would urge the Conservative Party to fire its research staff and to support the work of Justice Gomery. That would be the right thing to do.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, one columnist said that the testimony at the Gomery commission is “a Liberal Party mired in patronage, political interference and yes, corruption”.

Three witnesses have said that the sponsorship program was initially kept secret and only Liberals knew about it. The rules for the program were written after the media requested it, years after the program began. Political direction was given to public servants and were told to use Liquid Paper to blank out certain names. Now we learn the Prime Minister's staff was involved in directing the program.

My question is for the Prime Minister. What has his staff whited out?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I fear that the hon. member may be wrong yet again.

I have a letter here addressed to the former minister of public works from my good friend Elsie Wayne, a former senior member of the Conservative Party, in the year 2000, seeking funding from the sponsorship program.

The folly of commenting on day to day testimony of a judicial inquiry is that one runs the risk of being wrong. I am surprised they do not break limbs jumping to conclusions on that side of the House.

Petro-Canada
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance can say what he likes about following objective criteria, it is still true that Desjardins Securities was excluded from the sale of Petro-Canada shares in a cavalier fashion.

If the federal government acted as properly as the finance minister claims, why did the Prime Minister tell Alban D'Amours, president of the Desjardins Group, that he was sorry, if, indeed, the federal government did all it was supposed to?

Petro-Canada
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt that the Minister of Finance followed the proper procedures with enormous integrity, exactly as he was supposed to.

I think that all Quebeckers and all Canadians recognize the importance of the cooperative movement and the role Desjardins plays in it, as well as its role both inside Canada and in less-developed countries. The growth of the cooperative movement in Canada is something I have always recognized and shall continue to recognize.

Petro-Canada
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, it might also be interesting if the federal government were to recognize that movement when it is time to do business, and not just pay lip service to it. When the Minister of Finance has the nerve to call this transaction one of the “single most successful transactions of its kind in the last decade in the western world”, I would like to remind him that Quebec is also a part of the western world.

It is the best vehicle for selling shares in Quebec, and Quebeckers have been excluded from buying Petro-Canada. That is what was done, the same way André Ouellet tried to use Bill S-31 to prevent Quebec from buying shares in Canadian Pacific. That is what happened.