House of Commons Hansard #26 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was liberal.

Topics

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, to paraphrase the Prime Minister the other day, these matters will be thoroughly ventilated come hell or high water.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the President of the Privy Council, who is steering the whistleblower legislation through the House, is in fact being fingered by a whistleblower for his involvement in the sponsorship scandal. According to a former employee, the minister regularly pressured Pierre Tremblay, director of the sponsorship program.

To borrow the terminology of this Public Works employee, will the President of the Treasury Board admit that he “abused his power” by interfering in the way sponsorship contracts were awarded?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bourassa
Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Mr. Speaker, allow me to inform the friends of Pierre Falardeau, Jacques Parizeau and Gilles Rhéaume that, after oral question period this afternoon, we will be again moving ahead with an extremely stringent action plan. We will be moving ahead with a bill that will protect our public service and allow it to meet its responsibilities.

We are very pleased to have such an extraordinary public service. Once again, it is proof of this government's transparency and sense of responsibility.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I agree that the public service is extraordinary. The problem lies not with the public service, but with the ministers over there.

The public servant in question worked in the communications branch with Pierre Tremblay, and she states categorically that the minister contacted Pierre Tremblay on a number of occasions in connection with the sponsorships, but took great care not to leave any tracks.

Will the minister admit that his contact with Pierre Tremblay was unacceptable, which is why it was not recorded on anyone's day planner and everything was done secretly over the phone, using secure lines?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I have mentioned in reply to other questions, there are detailed investigative procedures underway to allow all of the people who have evidence or comments to make with respect to this issue to bring that evidence forward.

It will be decided in due course in terms of the proper reaction in response to that.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is here in this House that transparency must start. The Prime Minister tells us that he met with all his ministers, including the President of the Privy Council, before he formed his cabinet, to verify whether there was any involvement in the sponsorship scandal.

I ask this of the President of the Privy Council. Can he tell us if he did indeed inform the Prime Minister that he had close ties to Pierre Tremblay, that he used a secure telephone line to talk to him, and that he avoided writing these meetings in his agenda, so as not to leave any traces of his encounters with Mr. Tremblay? Did he say that to the Prime Minister?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has informed the House that he made the appropriate inquiries of all his ministers and all the ministers informed the Prime Minister that there is no cause for concern.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, today the President of the Privy Council will table a bill in this House to protect those who blow the whistle on wrongdoing in the public service.

By making the President of the Privy Council responsible for the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act—the very person who was the first victim of a disclosure, does the government not see that there is a definite credibility gap? The one who has been denounced is the one who will protect the whistleblowers? It seems very odd.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bourassa
Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Mr. Speaker, this is not the first time we have seen such a show of hypocrisy from the Bloc. This is not the first time they have tried to tarnish people's reputations.

Not only are we very proud to be part of this government, but we are very proud to show all Canadians that we are going to shoulder our responsibilities. I hope that the Bloc will vote in favour of this bill, which is essential to demonstrate transparency once again.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health.

I am sure as we speak the Liberal propaganda machine is devising a plan to vilify the new leader of the official opposition because he wants to privatize our health care system. Yet it is under the Liberals that we have seen the progressive privatization of our health care system.

I want to ask the Minister of Health, where do the Liberals get the nerve to attack the leader of the official opposition for wanting exactly the same kind of health care system that is being brought to us courtesy of the Liberal Party?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the government is absolutely committed to the Canada Health Act. We realize that the five principles of the Canada Health Act are very popular with Canadians from coast to coast and we stand by the five principles of the Canada Health Act.

We take the sustainability of our health care system extremely serious which is why it was already the subject of the first ministers' meeting in January. The Prime Minister has committed to holding another first ministers' meeting on the subject this summer.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is not enough just to get up and repeat this mantra about the Canada Health Act. The fact is that the government has not done anything with respect to the Romanow recommendations. It has weakened the Canada Health Act by changing the regulations. It has allowed all kinds of privatization to the health care system.

How the Liberals can attack the Tories on this is a bit like Bush attacking Kerry for making things up. The fact is that it is under the Liberal government that privatization has been proceeding.

Will the Minister of Health not just stand by the Canada Health Act but move against privatization and say that his government will not tolerate the privatization of our health care system?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I do not see why the member gets all excited about attacking the Conservative Party, the Tories. As of this morning their website was still the Canadian Alliance.com. Therefore we can tell very well that it is just an Alliance takeover of the Conservative Party.

However the one thing I can say is that Canadians are proud of their health care system and they want us to stand by the health care system. We will work in collaboration with the provinces to make sure Canadians receive the best possible delivery of health care.

The Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

March 22nd, 2004 / 2:25 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, even though the Prime Minister was both vice-chair of the Treasury Board and the finance minister and he had also taken control over the Liberal Party, he claims that he knew nothing at all about ad scam, which is exactly the same as what Gagliano is saying.

How can the Prime Minister fault Gagliano when they are both using the same I was ignorant talking points?

The Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, again I say to the hon. gentleman that the Prime Minister is absolutely determined to deal with this issue. He has dealt with it in the most open, comprehensive and transparent way. He has not been in a bubble hiding away from Canadians. He has been confronting the issue directly and squarely.