House of Commons Hansard #33 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

Government Appointments
Statements By Members

March 31st, 2004 / 2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, this Prime Minister's promise to end the democratic deficit is being abandoned.

Today we learned that the Prime Minister will appoint five Liberal candidates in British Columbia.

Among those the Prime Minister will appoint is former NDP premier, Ujjal Dosanjh, who was a senior cabinet minister in a scandal plagued NDP government that proved so unpopular that, under Dosanjh's leadership, only managed to elect 2 MLAs in the 79 seat B.C. legislature.

If this is the Prime Minister's response to B.C. alienation, he has proven that he, like all Liberals before him, fails to understand British Columbia.

Appointing candidates is precisely the kind of undemocratic elitism that Canadians want to see ended in politics. British Columbians will not be impressed by the Prime Minister's games and will punish the Liberals at the polls in the coming campaign.

However I would like to thank the Prime Minister for giving British Columbians and all Canadians one more reason to vote for the new Conservatives and against the Liberal government.

The Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, before the Prime Minister runs out of town once again, I would like to observe what a disappointment his government has been.

He promised Canadians an ambitious agenda but all we have is empty plans and recycled legislation. Now he wants to bury all the important issues until after the next election, whether it is the judicial inquiry into sponsorship, the Arar inquiry, the gun registry review or his own plans for health care.

After more than a decade of coveting this job, how can the Prime Minister explain his total failure to offer an agenda?

The Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, speaking of disappointment, given the fact that the democratic deficit has been so important and that this government has brought in ground-breaking measures time and time again, I would like to ask the Leader of the Opposition if his definition of the way to respond to the democratic need is by asking the chairman of the public accounts committee to systematically obstruct its work.

If it is his idea that the chairman of the public accounts committee should refuse to call witnesses, if the public accounts committee should stall on every major issue, it is not our view.

The Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I will tell the Prime Minister that in a few weeks he will be asking the questions and I will be sitting where he is.

The Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

The Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I know preambles are always popular but we do have to be able to hear the question. The hon. Leader of the Opposition has the floor and we will want to hear the question.

The Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister promised to get to the bottom of the sponsorship scandal and instead we see today that he is undermining the chairman while he has been blocking the release of documents, hurrying to get a whitewashed, premature report, and his own public inquiry has not even started yet.

How can the Prime Minister explain his total failure to accept accountability for the sponsorship scandal?

The Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, with regard to the release of documents, why has the chairman of the public accounts committee refused to allow the testimony of Mr. Guité to be made public? Why did they vote against it yesterday? Why has he refused to call witnesses who are prepared to come? Why has he ridiculed witnesses who have been there? Why has he trampled on civil liberties? Is he doing it on the Leader of the Opposition's instructions?

The Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the public accounts committee would not have to do it all itself if the Prime Minister were trying to get to the bottom of this scandal.

Let me ask about another failure, the failure to fix the democratic deficit. No real reform at committees, instead the same old games the government is playing with public accounts. The government invoked closure in the House after only six days. There is no reform or election of Senators. He is driving opponents out of his party, appointing candidates and playing with the election date as a personal political football.

How does the Prime Minister explain his total failure to implement even a single, meaningful democratic reform?

The Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition is right, the chairman of the public accounts committee is not doing it on his own. He is doing it with the connivance of every other single member of the Alliance Conservatives and sitting in that seat.

The fact is that Canadians want to get to the bottom of this. Liberals want to get to the bottom of the matter but they are being obstructed by the Alliance Conservatives who are afraid of the truth. The fact is we want the parliamentary system to work. We want Parliament and committees to work and the one committee that is being headed up by the Alliance is turning into a farce because its leader will not allow it to function.

The Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is feeling a little testy today. He has failed miserably to deliver on his previous promises, and yet he is heading full bore into an election.

Full steam ahead for the good ship corruption under this captain. The captain of CSL was active in his own interest, yet the steerage of the ship of state seems to take a back seat.

There is a litany of broken promises under this Prime Minister: no more free votes, no independent ethics counsellor, a widening democratic deficit. Why would Canadians believe a single promise from this Prime Minister today?

The Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

The Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. We have to have a little order in the chamber. I do not know how the Prime Minister can hear the question. I cannot. I hope we will have a little order so we can hear the questions and the answers. It is question period, not yelling period.

The Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, broken promises; let us take a look at the record in the promise in terms of free votes. The fact is on free votes members of the Liberal Party have voted against Liberal motions. The fact is that if we look at the opposition, they have all voted like robots.

What is really ironic is that member dares to stand up in the House and talk about broken promises--

The Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.