House of Commons Hansard #8 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was liberal.

Topics

Drinking Water
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise to invite members of Parliament and senators to join me this evening to witness a demonstration of an amazing Canadian innovation, the BioSand water filter, sponsored by Samaritan's Purse Canada.

Nearly one in three people in the developing world do not have access to clean drinking water, but thanks to financial assistance from CIDA and aid groups like Samaritan's Purse that is beginning to change. Samaritan's Purse provides humanitarian and development assistance in over 100 countries.

Recently, with the generous support of CIDA, it used the BioSand water filter to bring clean drinking water to over 77,000 people in Cambodia for only $600,000. That is cost efficiency. CIDA and Samaritan's Purse have also partnered to bring the same technology to Nicaragua and Ethiopia.

We are all busy, but we should never be too busy to see how cooperation and Canadian innovation are saving lives around the world. I invite members to see the BioSand water filter turn river water into drinking water tonight from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Room 112N, Centre Block.

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

February 11th, 2004 / 2:20 p.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal culture of corruption is alive and well. Taxpayers' funds poured through Liberal friendly firms in Quebec. This was a money laundering scheme hatched by the Liberal Party for the Liberal Party.

My question is for the Prime Minister. Will the public inquiry be allowed to look right into the heart of the problem, the Liberal Party of Canada?

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I made it very clear yesterday that there will be no limits in terms of the investigation that the commissioner will be able to engage in. He will be given every instrument required to do his job. The fact is that the government wants to get to the bottom of it and the government will.

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the trouble with that is that the Liberal Party is at the bottom of this problem.

The Auditor General said that this goes much higher than she could investigate. She was restricted to going after bureaucrats. She could not go after the Liberal bagmen and backroom boys who are the problem here.

I have a second question for the Prime Minister. Will the public inquiry be able to go right into the Liberal Party and look at those individuals, those bandits, who stole from Canadian taxpayers?

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General said that she could only go so far. At that point, the government had to take a look at ways in which the investigation could be completed.

One way was the public accounts committee. We wanted to ensure that there was no stone unturned, and that is why we asked for a commission of inquiry.

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this scam was set up to put money in the hands of Liberal friendly firms. Money was handed over to those firms for a reason.

How much of that money was given in kickbacks to the Liberal Party of Canada?

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there is no need for the Leader of the Opposition to make allegations of a nature which are vicious in the extreme.

If the Leader of the Opposition would like to make those allegations to the inquiry he may do so. We have made it very clear that the government will ensure that every single piece of information and every fact on this matter are made public as quickly as possible.

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is curious that the Prime Minister is worried about the verbal abuse that he seems to be suffering. Canadians are worried about the fiscal abuse perpetrated by his government on their tax dollars.

Challenger jets, RCMP ponies, shady ad contracts, and five crown corporations are implicated in this huge scam.

Canadians deserve to know why the Prime Minister, who was minister of finance and the man in the best position to protect taxpayers' money, failed them? Why did the Prime Minister fail Canadians?

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General stated that these acts were perpetrated by a very small group of people among the 14,000 people who work for public works. She stated that they operated without surveillance. She also stated that they broke laws.

When they broke those laws and rules, they did not come to cabinet and ask to break those rules. What they did was engage in a very sophisticated way of camouflaging what they were doing. As a result of that, the government did not know.

There were rumours and those rumours eventually came out. That is when there was an internal inquiry--

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Pictou--Antigonish--Guysborough.

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, we are not talking about blind trust today, we are talking about a blind eye turned by the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister likes to pride himself on his business acumen. If he ran CSL the way he ran his department, CSL would be a bankrupt company. Now we are talking about a morally bankrupt government.

Why did the Prime Minister not stand up and say something? Was that stoney silence a result of the fact that he was so anxious to be the Prime Minister that he turned a blind eye to all the corruption that the government was involved in?

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there was a very sophisticated cover-up that was taken on by this small group who did this. Those people were not going to come to the government and say that they were breaking every rule in the book. What they did do was, for a couple of years, basically put this by; however, as soon as the rumours began there was an internal study done.

When that internal study was done, it was turned over to the Auditor General who then completed her report. The former minister of public works acted. We acted on December 12 and we have now brought down the most comprehensive response that any government--

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Laurier--Sainte-Marie.

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister was Jean Chrétien's finance minister when the sponsorship program was created in the aftermath of the referendum. The Prime Minister was the keeper of the public purse when the worst spending excesses were taking place in the name of Canadian unity and to benefit the Liberal Party and its cronies.

How can the Prime Minister say today that he knew nothing of the sponsorship scandal, when he was the number two man in the Chrétien government?

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General has made it very clear that it was a small group of people within Public Works who broke the law and got around the rules.

That said, they did not ask our permission to do so. They did what they did under cover, but eventually there were some rumours. There was an internal investigation; once its findings were provided to the Auditor General, she carried out her investigation, and the government took action. We took action as soon as the Auditor General produced her report.