House of Commons Hansard #14 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was defence.

Topics

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. It is impossible to hear what is being said in the House right now. If hon. members want to waste their time, it is not my fault.

The hon. member for Winnipeg—Transcona.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, at the risk of being a bit anti-climactic, I have a question for the Prime Minister, who yesterday accused me of attacking public servants. The person I mentioned actually was a political staffer and the Prime Minister should know the difference. Public servants are the ones who got their salaries frozen and political staffers are the ones who got the 30% increase.

I would like to ask the Prime Minister a question about the inquiry, because in an answer he just gave, it seemed like he was not concerned about the open-ended nature of the inquiry. Is he not concerned that the inquiry may be so open-ended that it would go past the election that he intends to call?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the reason for my response was because the question was asked of the individual at a time that he was a public servant.

If the hon. member does not want the inquiry to be thorough and if he does not want the inquiry to go down every single avenue, that is his opinion. That is not the opinion that the government would adopt.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, what we all want and what the Prime Minister says he wants is for the Canadian people to know everything they need to know before they have to render a judgment on the government. That is what we should all be interested in.

I want to switch from Liberal wars to star wars. I want to go beyond the lover's quarrel between the Tories and the Liberals on the scandals and get to where they are really of one mind when it comes to star wars.

Today the Russians successfully tested a new anti-missile defence technology, thus contributing to the argument that this will all lead to a new arms race.

Will the Prime Minister stand up in the House today and say that Canada will not contribute in any way--

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we had a debate in the House two nights ago and we are having a debate on this issue today. The government has been absolutely clear. The Prime Minister and the government are on the record.

We are entering into negotiations and discussions with the United States, our neighbour, to seek to protect Canada against a potential danger. We are not in any way engaged in, nor will we permit ourselves to be engaged in, anything to do with the weaponization of space. It is a clear policy of the Government of Canada and we will stick to it.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

February 19th, 2004 / 2:25 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deborah Grey Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, a week ago, on February 12, the Prime Minister said, “Well, the fact is that very few ministers, Quebec ministers did know”.

He acknowledged that some Quebec ministers knew what was going on in this scandal. Now he pronounces that they are innocent and has hurt feelings that anyone should even dare ask a question about who knew what.

I would like to ask the Prime Minister, how far will he go to defend his cabinet ministers?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Winnipeg South
Manitoba

Liberal

Reg Alcock President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, what the Prime Minister has done is put in place a process. The opposition would like us to tell the inquiry commissioner what to do, when to do it, and how to do it; however, we prefer to leave those judgments up to him and to allow him to make them as independent and open as possible.

I note that the member for St. Albert today said that this is an historic day for democracy in Canada thanks to the Prime Minister.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deborah Grey Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure what Canadian is going to lie in bed and feel relieved about that tonight.

It is bizarre to think that so many people down the chain knew how to access so many millions of dollars, but those at the top were just wide-eyed innocent and claim they knew absolutely nothing.

Will the Prime Minister stand up today and announce that he will resign if even one of those cabinet ministers was in cahoots with those gold diggers?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Winnipeg South
Manitoba

Liberal

Reg Alcock President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, given the propensity of the member's party to base its questions on altered documents, let me remind her of a comment she made during the HRDC issue. I refer to a policy study from Queen's University that suggested that the billion dollar boondoggle was actually a $6,500 boondoggle.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear. This is a $100 million boondoggle and the government is in the middle of it.

Last week the Prime Minister said in a written statement that a few Quebec cabinet ministers were involved in this mess and knew all about it, but now he is saying they are all innocent.

Will the Prime Minister resign if it is revealed that any of his cabinet ministers knew anything about this sponsorship scandal?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Winnipeg South
Manitoba

Liberal

Reg Alcock President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, a lesson in mathematics from the member who believes that the Prime Minister signs all 252 million cheques is not really on the floor today.

I want to point out to the member what the Auditor General said this morning, not a week ago, and not two weeks ago. The Auditor General said that the Prime Minister and the government have taken the issue seriously and have implemented measures along the lines recommended in her report. That is today's statement from the Auditor General.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, I suppose that after their poll numbers have dropped as dramatically as they have, they have to take it pretty seriously, do they not?

Last week the Prime Minister said in a written statement that a few Quebec cabinet ministers were involved. If he knows that some of them were involved, surely he knows who they are. Why does he not stand up in the House and tell us who they are?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, at the time cabinet was chosen, all ministers were interviewed as to the knowledge that they had in a wide range of areas.

Subsequent to that, I asked cabinet, at a full cabinet meeting, if there were any ministers who had had previous knowledge of these unacceptable activities. I am prepared to say right now that I have tremendous confidence in these cabinet ministers and in their integrity.

This is the government that brought down the commission of inquiry. This is the government that asked for the special counsel to get the money back. This is the government that put in place the parliamentary committee.