House of Commons Hansard #44 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was first.

Topics

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the rules are in place and the rules will be followed. All members of the cabinet will comply.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Well, they have not thus far, Mr. Speaker. The ethics counsellor, the Prime Minister's alter ego, lists on his website that there are a number of ministers who have not filed their declarations of assets.

Yesterday the Prime Minister told us that members have been given an extension by that champion of democracy and protector of the government, the ethics counsellor. When was that extension granted? How long will it be? When were these details going to be made public? Is it again a case of being caught before they give the truth?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, all the applicable rules will be followed with care. Obviously the hon. gentleman knows that he is perfectly at liberty to direct his questions to the ethics counsellor.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, this is question period. It is funny how the government continually waits to get caught before reacting.

The Prime Minister feigned outrage over the sponsorship scandal when information went missing. Well, information is missing. Canadian taxpayers have to file their tax forms on time or the government comes knocking.

If the information was readily available at the time of the appointment, which presumably it had to be, where is it now? Why has the Prime Minister not acted and what is he hiding?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, obviously the Prime Minister and the cabinet are hiding nothing at all. The rules are in place to make sure there is full disclosure and there will indeed be full disclosure.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister said he granted extensions to his cabinet so they would not have to file their declarations of assets on time.

Since these assets were already disclosed to the PMO prior to the formation of the current cabinet, the conclusion must be drawn that they knew these ministers are in a conflict of interest, a fact the PM must be trying to hide before the election.

Why was the extension granted? What are they trying to hide?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the question is nonsensical because the premise is nonsensical.

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, how difficult can it be for the cabinet to declare their assets? It begs the question if they actually know their elbow from their assets.

When the Liberals continue to be mired in scandal, one would think that the Prime Minister would do everything in his power to ensure that no further embarrassment would come out of his cabinet.

They have had ample time. How can the Prime Minister justify this extension?

Ethics
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the question is about as good as the attempt at humour.

There are rules in place to ensure disclosure. Those rules will be followed. There will be full disclosure according to the rules and any allegation to the contrary is completely bogus.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to the Globe and Mail , the government has secretly agreed to sign on to an aerospace early warning system for North America, smoothing the path for Canada's participation in the U.S. missile defence shield and the weaponization of space.

In this context, how can the Prime Minister meet with President Bush and not raise this issue, especially without telling Quebeckers and Canadians, who will soon go to the polls, that his government has already decided to take part in the U.S. missile defence shield program?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as much as I respect the Globe and Mail , sometimes there needs to be just a little bit more in terms of caucus research.

The government's position on ballistic missile defence is quite clear. We are absolutely opposed to the weaponization of space.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, they are absolutely opposed to the weaponization of space, but they are ready to sign on and take part in the missile defence shield. Go figure.

President Bush wants to start deploying his missile defence shield in the fall. The pressure on Canada was so intense that the government caved in to President Bush.

Will the Prime Minister, who supported the war in Iraq last year, admit that Canada's participation in the missile defence shield has already been decided upon and that he does not want to talk about it in Washington for the simple reason that he wants to hide the truth on the eve of the election?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Liberal

David Pratt Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, let me be as clear as I possibly can be on this issue. Canada has not signed on to Canadian participation in the ballistic missile defence system.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence stated yesterday, when discussing the missile defence shield, that his goal was to protect the safety and security of Canadians, that he was involved in discussions with the United States with respect to missile defence, that those discussions were going well, and that he thought Canadians would be better protected as a result.

Do the words of the Minister of National Defence not confirm that the decision about Canada's participation in the missile defence shield has already been made and that the Prime Minister will not discuss this issue with President Bush, purely for electoral reasons? In the end, he has decided to behave like the head of a party rather than a head of government.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Liberal

David Pratt Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, let me restate what I said earlier, which is that we have not signed on to ballistic missile defence. It is important to note that discussions with the Americans are continuing. Our objective obviously in all of this is to provide for the safety and security of Canadians. The latest information that I have is that it may not be until the fall before we have a final decision on this.