House of Commons Hansard #34 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are very satisfied that the PMO is going to draft a whitewash report that will be jammed through by the Liberal majority that has wrested control of that committee, without hearing from Mr. Guité which will not happen before an election is called.

With the public inquiry not happening for six months, why is it that the government is effectively shutting down the only inquiry in town that is trying to get to the bottom of Liberal corruption?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, the only thing that is being shut down here is the opposition trying to make sure that Canadians do not have the opportunity to hear Mr. Guité's in camera testimony. That is why government members passed a motion this morning to ensure that Canadians will have access to that testimony. In addition, we on this side of the House are looking forward to hearing from Mr. Guité on April 22.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, following one of the promises made by the Prime Minister in the sponsorship scandal, the Prime Minister's Quebec lieutenant, Jean Lapierre, promised that the tainted sponsorship money—to use his words—would not be used in the coming election campaign.

So far, all we have heard is the statement of an intention. How can we be certain that this tainted money will not be used to pay for the Prime Minister's current advertising campaign, an $850,000 campaign?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Brossard—La Prairie
Québec

Liberal

Jacques Saada Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, the money the Liberal Party will be campaigning with is just as clean as the money the Bloc Quebecois used when the Parti Quebecois gave it money to finance the 1997 campaign.

The Bloc has absolutely no right to cast aspersions on the integrity of our party, the integrity of this money and the integrity of the campaign we are going to run—no right at all.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, what we understand is that, when the Prime Minister of Canada promised not to campaign with the tainted sponsorship money, in the words of Jean Lapierre, perhaps it was true, but he did not tell us he was planning to use it before the campaign.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Brossard—La Prairie
Québec

Liberal

Jacques Saada Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, I think that the double standard for integrity in that party is absolutely shocking. They did not raise their voices at all when the Parti Quebecois, under Mr. Parizeau, during or prior to the referendum, planned to steal $18,000 from every family in Quebec to preserve the sovereignty they did not want. Let us have no lessons in morality from those people—none at all.

The Budget
Oral Question Period

April 1st, 2004 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec and the provinces are having trouble balancing their budgets and several are in a deficit position. There is even reference to being at the breaking point, so perilous is their financial situation. According to some reports, the provinces are reduced to providing essential services, nothing more.

Does the Prime Minister realize that he has not invested a single cent of new money, particularly as far as health services in Quebec are concerned, although he had the means of doing so, and if he continues this way, the provinces are at risk of budgetary disaster and a return to deficits?

The Budget
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, for a variety of measures, the budget transferred $2.5 billion to the provinces. In addition to that, I am pleased to note specifically with respect to Quebec that its budgetary documents acknowledged federal assistance and flexibility in managing a number of its equalization issues, and that at the bottom line, Quebec has been able to increase its spending, cut its taxes and declare 2003-04 in balance.

The Budget
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Quebec Minister of Finance has been forced to sell $880 million worth of assets to balance his budget. Oddly enough, the federal government has a $5 billion surplus, while the provinces' deficits also happen to total $5 billion. The federal government confirms this in its own documents.

Does the Prime Minister realize that, unwittingly, he is offering an excellent illustration of fiscal imbalance: $5 billion over in Ottawa and $5 billion under in the provinces?

The Budget
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, in fact the federal surplus at the end of the last fiscal year, 2003-04, was $1.9 billion, which is exactly a margin of error of 1%.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I just want to clarify the answers of the Deputy Prime Minister on the public accounts committee. Is the government guaranteeing to the House that Chuck Guité will be heard and examined in public, full testimony, before a federal election is called?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, I think I have been absolutely clear. We on this side of the House look forward to Mr. Guité's testimony on April 22.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we all look forward to Mr. Guité's testimony. The question is whether we will ever get a chance to hear it. Let us be absolutely clear. Is the government guaranteeing to us there will not be an election call, and has said that we will be here and the press and the public will hear in person the testimony of Mr. Guité before a federal election is called? Yes or no?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, I understand, based on a motion by government members this morning at committee, that Mr. Guité will appear before the public accounts committee on April 22. Unlike those members, we on this side of the House look forward to hearing Mr. Guité's testimony.

Liberal Party of Canada
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are wondering about the Prime Minister's commitment to democracy. In a frantic search to find sacrificial lambs in British Columbia, the Prime Minister has decided today to appoint five candidates in British Columbia.

Does the Liberal Party not trust British Columbians to select their own candidates? Do you not trust British Columbians?