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

Leader of the Opposition
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, first, I would like to congratulate the Leader of the Opposition on his outstanding victory on the weekend. It was an outstanding and well-deserved victory.

This is not the first time that the Leader of the Opposition has been chosen Leader of the Opposition, but it is indeed the first time that I have had the opportunity to congratulate him. I appreciate him coming back for a second time in allowing me to do so.

I also want to say that it was a victory and I have had some experience in this kind of endeavour. It was a victory that was well merited. It was a victory for which the Leader of the Opposition worked very hard and indeed, we all share the enthusiasm that some of the members of his party have for this victory.

I want to say a couple of other things. First, I would like to congratulate his party on the convention. Those of us who watched the convention thought that it was indeed very well run.

As I listened to the speeches of the three candidates, and the number of times that I heard my name being taken in vain, I thought I should have at least received an award for best actor in a supporting role.

This House is where the great national debates take place. The choice of the leader by the new Conservative Party gives us in this House an opportunity now to have those debates in a way that will make this country proud.

Never before, or certainly not in recent years, have the divisions, and the differences of opinion and philosophy between all of the parties in the House been as clear as they are today.

Therefore, I congratulate the new leader. I congratulate him very sincerely and let the debate begin.

Leader of the Opposition
Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, first, I would like to sincerely thank the Prime Minister for his remarks today, which I appreciate very much. I also appreciated what he said on Saturday night, when he telephoned me at the Conservative Party convention to congratulate me.

I do appreciate the Prime Minister's kind words. He did call me on Saturday night and he did observe that, notwithstanding the apparent delight I had to hear from him, I had perhaps used his name in vain on one or two occasions.

I did explain to him there could be some mistake there. I am an intense follower of hockey. There is a hockey player that my son and I occasionally have some difficulties with, Paul Martin of New Jersey. He is what we call the Devil we know.

To say a few other things, I appreciate the congratulations and the Prime Minister did not miss the irony. I think I am the first opposition leader in history to be re-elected by his party without actually ever facing a general election. However, there are a lot of ironies in politics these days.

I noted the Minister of Finance today wished me a long and successful career in my post as Leader of the Opposition. I would just say that what we have seen in the past few years, the past year or so particularly, convinces me that it is impossible to have a long and successful career in that position, unless of course one is inside the cabinet.

I want to end my few remarks by also congratulating the Prime Minister--I have not had the chance to do it publicly in the House--on his own election to the high office of Prime Minister of Canada. I know this is something he aspired to for a very long time. My father, were he here, would say “Be careful what you ask for”.

However, I know how much he has cherished this role and I know how much he wants to serve the people of Canada. I will tell him what I told him when we talked on that occasion. Having lost my own father in the last year, I appreciate now more than ever how important those influences have been in both our lives and it is something we share. Certainly, as I am sure my own father is proud of me today, I am sure the Prime Minister's father is equally proud of the achievement that his son has made.

I will end by saying that I welcome the debate. The Prime Minister has spoken of the clear differences we have. I would agree with some of my friends in the NDP that from time to time, I have not really understood that the Prime Minister wanted to create these differences. It seems to me he often wants to look like me, but if he wants to have clear differences we are certainly going to look forward to that debate in the upcoming battles that are in front of us.

Leader of the Opposition
Government Orders

7:10 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I also rise to salute the election of the hon. member for Calgary Southwest as leader of the new Conservative Party of Canada. I have known him since 1991, when we had our first one-on-one debates, not here in the House of Commons, because he had not yet been elected, but in English Canada in the televised debate concerning the future of the Reform Party as well as the Bloc's positions on the upcoming Charlottetown accord.

I will not be revealing any secrets in saying that I disagreed with him on many subjects, and I still do. Nevertheless, over the years we have been able to develop common positions on a number of subjects, in which all the opposition parties agreed to stand up to the government.

However that may be, in a democracy I think it is healthy and normal that various positions clash; if not, there would be no debates. I can say that I have always appreciated his energy, rigour, tenacity and high level of debate.

Therefore, I wish him good luck, especially in English Canada. In Quebec, there will be confrontations. Good luck.

Leader of the Opposition
Government Orders

7:10 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of my colleagues here in the House, I certainly want to welcome the Leader of the Opposition to his latest political incarnation.

I am told that before he came to Ottawa he was once a Trudeau Liberal and since then he has been a Progressive Conservative, a Reformer, an Alliance MP, and now a Conservative. We hope for his sake that his grand tour of the political right is over, that the pilgrimage is over, and that he can now come safely to rest.

We hope that in the days and weeks ahead he will have a chance to put flesh on the bones of his policy pronouncements. We hope that we will have an opportunity to have a debate in this country with some clear choices in the coming election, whenever the Prime Minister decides to call it, and I will not give him any advice on that at the moment.

I noticed that he made reference to supporting roles. We thought that perhaps the Prime Minister should receive an award for best actor in a foreign film given some of the issues that we have raised with him.

The Leader of the Opposition accused the NDP of wanting to destroy the system. The hon. member has certainly not shrunk from the destruction of several political systems on the right in his own political career, so perhaps he is more attached to systemic change than he is willing to admit.

In any event, we would certainly welcome a debate between him and our leader about what part of the Liberal system he wants to protect from the NDP.

I extend our congratulations to the Leader of the Opposition and wish all the best to him and his family as he takes on these new responsibilities.

The House resumed consideration of the motion.

Supply
Government Orders

7:15 p.m.

The Speaker

The question is on the motion.

(The House divided on the motion which was negatived on the following division:)

Supply
Government Orders

7:25 p.m.

The Speaker

I declare the motion defeated.

The House resumed from March 11, 2004, consideration of the motion.

Supply
Government Orders

7:25 p.m.

The Speaker

Pursuant to order made Thursday, March 11, 2004, the House will now proceed to the deferred recorded division on the motion by the hon. member for Joliette concerning supply.

(The House divided on the motion, which was negatived on the following division:)

Supply
Government Orders

7:35 p.m.

The Speaker

I declare the motion lost.

Supplementary Estimates (B), 2003-04
Government Orders

March 22nd, 2004 / 7:35 p.m.

Winnipeg South
Manitoba

Liberal

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

moved:

That Vote 1b, in the amount of $200,000, under GOVERNOR GENERAL—Governor General—Operating expenditures, in the Supplementary Estimates (B) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2004, be concurred in.

Supplementary Estimates (B), 2003-04
Government Orders

7:35 p.m.

The Speaker

Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Supplementary Estimates (B), 2003-04
Government Orders

7:35 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, if you were to seek it, I believe you would find unanimous consent that the members who voted on the previous motion be recorded as having voted on the motion now before the House, as well as on Motions Nos. 2 and 3 by the President of the Treasury Board, with Liberal members voting yes, except those who indicate otherwise.

Supplementary Estimates (B), 2003-04
Government Orders

7:35 p.m.

The Speaker

Is there unanimous consent of the House to proceed in this fashion?

Supplementary Estimates (B), 2003-04
Government Orders

7:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.