House of Commons Hansard #18 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was countries.

Topics

Canadian National Railway
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe
New Brunswick

Liberal

Claudette Bradshaw Minister of Labour and Minister responsible for Homelessness

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the hon. member that under part I of the Canada Labour Code if employees feel that somebody is out there doing their work, they can bring their complaint to the Canada Industrial Relations Board.

Canadian National Railway
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, where is the Prime Minister when Americans are being imported to do the work of striking Canadian workers? I ask him again, is this silence related to the fact that one of his cronies, John Duffy, is now a registered lobbyist for CN? Is this the explanation for the silence and for the pathetic answer of the Minister of Labour?

I ask the Prime Minister to get on his feet and either defend Mr. Duffy or tell us he is going to do something about this revolving cronyism between the Liberal Party, the PMO and corporate Canada.

Canadian National Railway
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe
New Brunswick

Liberal

Claudette Bradshaw Minister of Labour and Minister responsible for Homelessness

Mr. Speaker, I will stand up as Minister of Labour and defend the Canada Labour Code any time because it was done by the employees and the employers and this part of the House is very proud of that.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

February 25th, 2004 / 2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, Jamie Kelley, a friend of the Minister of the Environment from Victoria, said, “Political parties by their nature support and advocate their supporters and I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with that. That's just the way it is, and that's just the way life works”.

It is no wonder that this gentleman was of course courted to be a Liberal candidate with this kind of mentality.

I want to know philosophically from the Liberal government, do these Liberals and this Prime Minister really believe that it is the role of government to advocate specifically on behalf of their friends and to give them money ahead of other people? Is that the government's agenda?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra
B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member did not introduce the question, but I assume he is speaking about the fourth-hand information that was presented yesterday and that since has been either varied or denied in the interim by people in the press.

In any event, it is the appropriate role for any member of the House to make representations on behalf of constituents by referring them to an opportunity for funding of local events through the federal government. That is something that we all do, I am sure, and I am sure the member opposite has.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, what is not appropriate is the whole point of this scandal. What is not appropriate is for somebody to come forward and say “give me money” , and the government then to give money to this person through a Liberal ad firm for the money then to be kicked back to the Liberal Party.

What is it about this system of money going through this circle and going back to the Liberal Party that this minister does not seem to understand?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra
B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, this minister sees very clearly that there was a problem in the flow of money between legitimate representations by constituents and their MPs and the festivals or whatever other activity was being funded. There is a major problem in the flow of the money. That is why we have a public inquiry. That is why the public accounts committee is studying it. That is why we have a special counsel appointed to recover money wherever possible. That is why we have 18 RCMP investigations.

We are getting to the bottom of it: come and help us do it.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, what a tangled web we weave. It turns out that the current industry minister, the former president of the Treasury Board, in the year prior to the approval--

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. We have to be able to hear the question from the hon. member for Calgary Southeast or the minister will not be able to give an answer.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

I guess the slush fund junkies are in rehab, Mr. Speaker.

It turns out that the Minister of Industry, when she was the president of the Treasury Board, in the year prior to the formal approval of this program, received or was attributed as having received, according to the government, 28 sponsorship grants worth over $3 million, grants that went through no formal process, that totally violated all of the Treasury Board guidelines.

I want to know, how did the Treasury Board president allow this to happen under her own nose?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Winnipeg South
Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I would like to quote something the member for St. Albert said yesterday: “...people please respect the confidentiality of these documents until the meeting commences on Thursday morning”. He asked that of all members. The documents that are being referenced are ones that have leaked out of that committee. It undermines the respect of the process. On this side we will respect the request of the chair until such time as the documents are published.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, this is based on a document that he tabled. This minister does not know what he is talking about. The point is that the former president of the Treasury Board was in this right up to her neck, watching 28 grants get attributed to her to get political advantage.

I would like to know how many tax dollars were stolen by Liberal ad firms in commissions for the grants that were attributed to the former minister of the Treasury Board.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra
B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, all the grants from this program are on the government website so that members opposite have the opportunity to see them, for their own ridings as well as others.

Political donations in this country are public. They are on the website.

The Liberal Party of Canada has offered to engage and is engaging an independent forensic auditor to look into the books of the Liberal Party of Canada and of Quebec.

This side is being perfectly open with what happened in this program and we have various processes to get to the bottom of it. Instead of carrying on with accusations in this House, why do we not talk about missile defence or--

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Hochelaga—Maisonneuve.