House of Commons Hansard #39 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agreement.

Topics

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

That is just it, Mr. Speaker, I do understand the seriousness. These types of statements by a key person seen to be the main spokesperson for the Prime Minister in Quebec about an ongoing police investigation are completely unacceptable. It is reminiscent of the same old Liberal Party approach, the machinations and manipulations that we have seen during Shawinigate, APEC, Airbus and now ad scam. This is more evidence for Canadians that there is not a shaft of daylight between this Prime Minister and his predecessor.

The Prime Minister has been appointing candidates. Maybe it is time he fired one. Will he do that?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated, and the hon. member is fully aware, police investigations in this country proceed without any reference to the personal opinions of anyone.

I also want to reassure everyone in the House that any decisions in relation to final prosecutions in these cases will be made by the attorney general of Quebec.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, I asked the Prime Minister to demand that CSL International, a subsidiary of his family business, repay the $100 million it illegally avoided paying in taxes to Quebec and Canada. While the Bloc Quebecois is condemning the objectionable behaviour of the subsidiary, the Minister of Finance is talking about the head office.

Will the Prime Minister, who is no stranger to his family empire, have the decency to recognize that, in Barbados, the CSL International subsidiary is just a front, that all the decisions are made in Montreal and that, consequently, $100 million in taxes was not paid, thereby contravening the Income Tax Act?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, once again, the leader of the Bloc is misinterpreting the facts. The legislation that is involved here, Bill C-28, which is the genesis of his inquiry, has no connection whatsoever with CSL.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance is deliberately confusing the head office and the subsidiary. Furthermore, he is suffering from amnesia. Yesterday, he falsely claimed that, in terms of tax havens, all the bills introduced in the House by the current Prime Minister sought to eliminate loopholes.

So I ask the Prime Minister himself, who sponsored Bill C-28 in 1998, to tell the House what the purpose of that legislation was, other than to ensure that CSL International—I repeat that I am referring to CSL International, which is merely a front, and not CSL—is automatically considered an active business operating so as to avoid paying taxes?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, a senior official of the Department of Finance explained the situation in enormous detail before the standing committee of the House. There were questions a number of months ago from the Bloc along the same line.

The fact of the matter is that Bill C-28, the legislation in question here, deals with foreign corporations and has nothing to do with CSL.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister maintains that he excused himself from cabinet each time decisions about shipping were being discussed.

If that is the case, how does the Prime Minister explain that, when Bill C-28—which deals with shipping companies, among others—was introduced, he was the one who sponsored it in the House?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, again, the bill in question deals with nothing whatsoever that could put the Minister of Finance in conflict with his responsibilities.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, here is yet another example of the fact that, each time he finds himself backed into a corner, the Prime Minister refuses to speak.

Will he admit that, when it comes to granting benefits to one of his companies, he does not hesitate to intervene directly and even make legislation retroactive for his own purposes?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the question is simply nonsense. There is no truth or basis whatever to the allegations.

The hon. gentleman is trying to draw connections between different companies that are entirely different and a piece of legislation that has absolutely nothing to do with CSL. That was described in detail by tax experts from the Department of Finance before the transport committee.

Human Rights
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the right hon. Prime Minister who I am glad is meeting with the Dalai Lama.

I hope that when he does meet with the Dalai Lama that perhaps the Dalai Lama could instruct the Prime Minister as to the difficulty of separating the spiritual and the political. Indeed, many of the best things about political life ought to be grounded in some sort of a spiritual view of the world.

Does the Prime Minister not think that it is difficult to separate the spiritual and the political? Would he not regard the whole question of human rights as having a spiritual dimension, and if so, will he be raising that with the Dalai Lama?

Human Rights
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I think that the comments in the preamble by the interim leader of the NDP are very much to the point.

I absolutely believe that human rights are a spiritual issue as well as others. I certainly have no difficulty raising the issue of human rights with anybody, anywhere, at any time.

Human Rights
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, having said that, could the Prime Minister tell us whether he intends to discuss with the Dalai Lama what can be done to get China to improve its human rights record, to treat Tibet with more respect, to negotiate autonomy within the Chinese state, and all the things that the Dalai Lama has talked about?

What would be so spiritually uninformed or inappropriate about talking about those kinds of things?

Human Rights
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the interim leader of the NDP that I intend to discuss a whole series of spiritual issues. The Dalai Lama himself declared that he was coming as a monk. These are subjects he wants to talk about.

That having been said—absolutely, the question of human rights must be brought up when one meets with any international leader, especially one with such broad influence as the Dalai Lama.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

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

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's hand-picked Quebec lieutenant is trying to give political direction to the RCMP to lay criminal charges in the sponsorship scandal. By the Prime Minister's silence, the Prime Minister is allowing his political friend to direct and influence the RCMP criminal investigation.

The Prime Minister appointed Mr. Lapierre. Will he hold him accountable for his reprehensible action or is that what he expects of his political friends?