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

Petro-Canada
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentleman is simply mistaken.

I am proud to salute the work of the team that was created and also emphasize the fact that this transaction was an opportunity for companies from one end of the country to the other to show their talents, in particular, two Quebec companies, the Banque Nationale and Casgrain.

Petro-Canada
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is interesting to see that most of the brokerage firms chosen by the government have contributed money to the Liberal Party of Canada. RBC Dominion Securities contributed $117,000, BMO Nesbitt Burns $79,600, while GMP Securities contributed $51,000 to the Prime Minister's leadership campaign. There is only one important exception: the Desjardins Group did not make a contribution to the Liberal Party of Canada.

Did the Minister of Finance have the contributions to the Liberal Party in mind yesterday when he said that all the companies had been chosen according to objective criteria?

Petro-Canada
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I have no knowledge whatsoever of what the corporations contribute.

However I want to tell the hon. gentleman that in order to secure the very best results, we first consulted thoroughly with the Department of Justice to make sure all the rules were complied with. Second, we consulted with senior officials in the Department of Finance with long experience in these matters. Third, we went entirely outside the government to get two independent experts to verify to us that the pattern we were following was precisely proper in the context of the transaction.

Petro-Canada
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is too bad. If he consulted the Department of Justice, the choice available to the government is even better today. One of the firms chosen under the Minister of Finance's objective criteria is UBS Security, which had to pay a $2 million fine, one of the biggest fines ever paid, for questionable trading practices. That must have been quite the consultation at the Department of Justice.

How does the minister explain choosing UBS Security over Desjardins, the largest brokerage firm in Quebec and, as a result, denying numerous Quebec investors the opportunity to buy Petro-Canada shares?

Petro-Canada
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, in the context of this transaction, it was not possible to include every conceivable worthy applicant. We included 22 very worthy applicants. Unfortunately, it was not possible to include everyone. We did include Casgrain and the Banque Nationale.

I want to tell the hon. gentleman that we went outside the circle of the government to get professional independent advice so that I could absolutely assure myself that the transaction was conducted properly. That advice came from a former governor of the Bank of Canada and a former auditor general.

Government Policies
Oral Question Period

October 20th, 2004 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

On his recent foreign trip, foreign leaders had to point out to the Prime Minister that he had not kept his promise on foreign aid.

Students, meanwhile, of course know that he has not kept his promise on student debt. People trying to breathe clean air know that he has not kept his promise on pollution control. Cities know that he has not kept his 5¢ promise and the result is property taxes are going up.

Will the Prime Minister give an undertaking that he will keep all his promises before he starts to reduce taxes?

Government Policies
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, let me simply tell the hon. leader of the NDP that we are keeping our promises on cities. I would quickly remind him of the $7 billion on GST over the next 10 years alone.

We have increased every single year the amount of money that we are putting into foreign aid. I would remind him of the very important role that Canada is playing with the most heavily indebted countries in the world.

I would ask the hon. member to take a look at the amount of money that we have put in terms of the municipalities and the environment, and the fact that the Minister of Finance has committed over $1 billion to go into environmental technologies from the sale of Petro-Canada.

Let me assure the hon. member that we are keeping our promises.

Government Policies
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Finally, Mr. Speaker, in this House I get to say that this so-called GST promise to the cities, this giving of money to the cities, is the government not taking money from the cities. That is what it is.

I am just trying to understand this House. What we have here is an opposition leader who wants to separate English from French and we have a Prime Minister who wants to separate words from action.

Why is it that the Prime Minister has an infrastructure minister who is crying poor when he has a finance minister who says his pockets are full of our money?

Government Policies
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have gone across this country, as has the minister who is in charge of cities and communities and infrastructure. I have met with the people in small towns and with the mayors of the biggest cities. In every single meeting they have praised the government for the $7 billion that they will be receiving over the next 10 years.

Let me just say that if I have to choose between the judgment call of the leader of the NDP and the mayors, the reeves and the wardens of this country, I will choose the mayors, the reeves and the wardens.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

James Moore Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, when it comes down to it, what Canadians want to know about the sponsorship scandal is whether the Prime Minister is or is not responsible. The facts are fuel for speculation.

Yesterday, his assistant at the time admitted to having requested over $1 million in funding for his organizer, Serge Savard. Did she do so on her own, or at her boss's behest? Is the Prime Minister now going to disavow any connection with this?

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, the Prime Minister has been extremely accountable, which was why he ended the sponsorship program and commissioned Justice Gomery to do his work.

I urge hon. members opposite to support Justice Gomery and not to prejudge Justice Gomery, because it is an independent judicial inquiry. They would also do themselves a favour by not making grievous errors on the floor of the House of Commons on a daily basis.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

James Moore Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is being so open he cannot even answer a question in the House of Commons. Canadians want to hear from the Prime Minister, not from the minister of public sell-outs.

We know the Prime Minister's Office intervened to support a $1 million grant for his friend, Serge Savard. We know that Mr. Savard turned around and raised $1 million for the Prime Minister's leadership. Only the guilty hide.

When did the Prime Minister know that his office was calling to secure money for his millionaire finance raiser?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam knows well that making up fictitious names for ministers is not helpful for order in the House. While some may be amused by names, I am sure others are not, and it only creates disorder to do that.

I assume he was referring to a particular minister but of course I have no idea, but if he was, I hope he would use the proper nomenclature in future. I believe the hon. Minister of Public Work and Government Services will answer the question.

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, I think the hon. member was perhaps referring to a speech I gave on September 21 when I talked about the strategic direction for the future of the public works department, which is a very positive direction. It involves new approaches to procurement, real property and IT, all aimed at providing better value for Canadian taxpayers and better services for Canadians.

I would urge the hon. member to get involved and get engaged in a positive debate about the future of our department, and to let Justice Gomery do his work.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is a fact that the Prime Minister's Office staff lobbied the sponsorship program for money for Serge Savard who in turn raised a bunch of money for the Prime Minister. It is also a fact that the Prime Minister said that he wanted anyone who knew anything about this to come forward.

Well, here is his chance. Why does he not come forward right now and tell us what he knew and when he knew it with regard to his own staff lobbying the sponsorship program for Serge Savard?