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 langley.

Topics

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, yesterday they were making the same type of error over there by accusing the Prime Minister of making calls on behalf of individuals. Today maybe they are wrong again. We will not know until we have Justice Gomery's report.

We are not afraid to have the full report because we are not afraid of the truth here in this government and we are looking forward to that report.

Again, I would urge the hon. members to discontinue prejudging the work of Justice Gomery by commenting on testimony and by making errors on a daily basis because after a while it gets embarrassing on all sides of the House.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, when the Prime Minister lets his little helper answer these questions instead of answering them for himself, he makes a mockery of his own commitment to get to the bottom of this.

Why will the Prime Minister not meet the standards that he set for everybody else back when he was mad as hell about the sponsorship program? Why will he not meet those standards right now and tell Canadians directly, here and now, what he knew and when he knew it with regard to his own staff lobbying the sponsorship program to get money for his fundraiser?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I rise today in the House to provide a little help to the opposition. In fact, I want to point out the important work being done by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works who has done the most extensive procurement review in this country since 1963.

That procurement review will provide exceptional value for the Canadian taxpayer and better services for Canadians. I am proud of the work that he is doing and the work the Department of Public Works is doing.

I would urge the hon. members opposite to become involved in this exciting future vision for the department and not to continually focus on the past.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Charlevoix—Montmorency, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's defence that it is up to the Gomery commission to receive the testimony relating to the sponsorship scandal collapsed yesterday. Although the PM has been questioned five times in this House, after yesterday's oral question period someone from his office revealed to the press the identity of the individual in his office who called Gagliano's office.

Since the Prime Minister himself admitted during the election campaign that there was indeed political involvement in the sponsorship program, I ask again, who was behind that political involvement in the sponsorship program?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the advice that I have provided very graciously to the members opposite in the Conservative Party also applies to members of the Bloc. Both parties have intervener status at the Gomery inquiry and are participating and being supported during that process. We are supporting Gomery. We are providing a tremendous level of openness, transparency and information to Gomery, including cabinet documents to 1994.

We are not afraid of Mr. Gomery's work and we are looking forward to Justice Gomery's report.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Charlevoix—Montmorency, QC

Mr. Speaker, the investigation carried out in 2000 revealed, after the fact, that certain ministers intervened in the sponsorship program.

I ask the Prime Minister, which ministers?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, when one really considers what the Prime Minister has done to ensure that we get to the bottom of this issue, I think the hon. member is being petty and partisan.

Canadians want this Parliament to work and, whether a minority Parliament or not, they are depending on us to make this Parliament work. I would expect all members of Parliament to be constructive and focused on seeking the right solutions for Canadians. That is what Justice Gomery is doing, so why do we not support him?

Canada Elections Act
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to some unofficial information, the government might amend the Canada Elections Act and take a step backward by once again allowing companies to provide funding to political parties beyond the annual limit of $1,000, despite the undesirable effects of such a measure.

Will the Prime Minister pledge to leave the Canada Elections Act in its present form and confirm that it is out of the question to go back to a system allowing contributions from friends, who then become entitled to certain favours, as we saw with the brokers retained for the sale of Petro-Canada shares?

Canada Elections Act
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa—Vanier
Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, when Parliament passed Bill C-24 on election financing, it provided for a statutory review following the tabling, in the House, of the recommendations of the chief electoral officer, which are expected early in the new year.

At that time, the act that was passed will be reviewed, as provided in the legislation.

Canada Elections Act
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, if the government wants to improve the Canada Elections Act, would it not be preferable, instead of changing the rules on political party financing, to review the appointment process for the positions of returning officers, which currently benefits Liberal friends?

Canada Elections Act
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa—Vanier
Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I should mention that the statutory review was suggested by the committee itself and approved by Parliament.

As regards returning officers, the government asked the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs to examine the issue and make recommendations to the government. We are waiting for these recommendations.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

October 20th, 2004 / 2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister will not answer straight questions because he cannot defend the fact that his word has been broken time and time again. He pledged to cooperate fully with Parliament's investigation into the sponsorship scandal. He said:

--the government will ensure that every single piece of information and every fact on this matter are made public as quickly as possible.

Shame on him. His government failed to comply with about half of the committee motions requesting pertinent documents.

Why did the Prime Minister withhold vital information until the election was safely behind him?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the government has responded to all requests for information from both the public accounts committee and from the Gomery commission commensurate with the authorities of each and consistent with the laws of the land. We are aiming to and continuing to cooperate fully with both bodies.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, withholding relevant documents from Parliament has nothing to do with the Gomery inquiry. It is a question of the Prime Minister's contempt for our committee and for members of this House.

The Prime Minister made a clear pledge to make all documents public. He did not. He promised to cooperate fully with the investigation of the parliamentary committee. He failed to keep that promise.

Is it not just a little too convenient that the most damaging evidence of Liberal skulduggery in the sponsorship mess was not released until after the election?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, in fact, my department has responded to over 20 requests from the public accounts committee and will continue to respond to further requests as they come in from the public accounts committee as it continues its work.

The Prime Minister has made a decision that cabinet documents back to 1994 will be made available. This is why the information commissioner is lauding the Prime Minister and the government, and recognizing that openness and transparency is a priority for this government.