House of Commons Hansard #48 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was first.

Topics

Special Olympics Winter Sports
Statements By Members

May 5th, 2004 / 2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, today I have the pleasure of giving parliamentary recognition to 24 outstanding athletes who represented the Calgary area with great distinction as national level competitors in winter sports at the Special Olympics.

Their disciplined training, hard work and determination were the keys to solid performances at the games. Their pride, their passion and their power exemplified the best in sport and sportsmanship at the Special Olympics. These 24 excellent competitors represented their city and their province in a dignified and professional manner, making everyone proud of them and of their achievements.

I have in my hand the names of these 24 special Olympians and their coaches for alpine skiing, figure skating, Nordic skiing, snowshoeing and speed skating. They are: Alpine Skiing: Brenda Hill, head coach; Shaun Johnson, Erin Kotte, Andreas Walther, Alyssa Hatton, Wade Watson; Figure Skating: Barb Prystai, head coach; Kyla Scoville, coach; Rick Pettifor, Corrie Ennis, Sarah Ekman, Erin LeBlanc; Nordic Skiing: Bob Oldridge, head coach; Mary Riddell, Dick Cooke and Patti Fairhart Jones, coaches; Donelda Wood and Walter May, monitoring coaches; Sarah McCarthy, Erica Manson, Trevor Boardman, Anthony Hodgetts, Jennifer Riddell, Jeffery Riddell, Nadia Abbadi, Paul Oldridge, Heather Harrold; Snowshoeing: Kelly Zachodnik, head coach; Martha McCormack, coach; Peter Arsenault, Jody St. Onge, Charlene Stevenson, Fern Bremault; Speed Skating: Jodi Flanagan, team manager; Kimberly Evanochko, Peter Scott.

I sincerely thank all members of the House for honouring these exceptional Canadians in recognition of their participation in the Special Olympics.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, in a letter to the Speaker of the National Assembly, the Prime Minister does not admit that there is a fiscal imbalance. Instead, he invites the provinces to increase taxes even further so that they can fulfil their responsibilities in areas such as health. This is the same Prime Minister who had enough money for the sponsorship scandal, the HRDC boondoggle and the gun registry fiasco.

Yes or no, does the Prime Minister admit that there is a fiscal imbalance between the federal government and the provinces?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is a shame when the leader of the opposition reads a letter and does not read the whole thing. Perhaps I should tell the House what I said, which was that the Government of Canada recognizes the financial pressures the provinces are under and is working closely with them in several key areas such as health.

I went on to say that this summer we plan to discuss a long-term action plan for health. This demonstrates the Government of Canada's commitment.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative Party can say, without hesitation, that there is a fiscal imbalance, and we are going to correct it.

On another subject, the Prime Minister said that no stone would be left unturned in getting to the truth of the sponsorship scandal. Yesterday, he even claimed that he wanted to hear from all the witnesses before the public accounts committee.

Will the Prime Minister guarantee that the committee will hear all 72 of the witnesses that it wants to hear from?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, from the very beginning, members of the Liberal Party have asked to have more witnesses, they have asked to go into greater depth in the questioning and they have asked to work longer and work harder. The problem is that unfortunately the Alliance Conservatives seem to work a three day week and do not want to do the job. That is what has happened.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, not only is that untrue, it is so typical. This Prime Minister blames the bureaucrats, he blames former politicians, he blames the heads of crown corporations and he blames the chairman and the opposition members of the public accounts committee.

Will the Prime Minister admit that if he wanted the job, should he not take accountability for it?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the only people I blame for the stalling at the public accounts committee are the opposition members, and that can be seen in everything they have done. However, if the Leader of the Opposition wants to talk about accountability, I certainly hope that he is prepared to be accountable for everything he has said over the course of the last eight years.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is great to see the Prime Minister did show up for work today. Pot to kettle, Mr. Prime Minister. The political manipulation of the committee process is not unlike the political manipulation of the sponsorship scandal.

The member for Hillsborough has admitted he spoke to officials at the PMO just prior to having a press conference attacking the committee chair. Now his instructions are clearly to spin that the committee has to be shut down without hearing from critical witnesses.

Why will the Prime Minister not let the committee get to the bottom of the ad scandal, as he promised, and does he plan to shut it down before calling an election?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. Assistance for the President of the Treasury Board with his answer seems to be commonplace in the House but it does waste time, and we do want to hear what the President of the Treasury Board has to say. He was asked the question.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Winnipeg South
Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the Leader of the Opposition for raising the question of accountability. He complained a little yesterday that some of his remarks were taken out of context. Perhaps he could clarify this remark:

You've got to remember that west of Winnipeg the ridings the Liberals hold are dominated by people who are either recent Asian immigrants or recent migrants from eastern Canada: people who live in ghettoes and who are not integrated into western Canadian society.

Perhaps the leader would like to clarify that remark.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, the big kahuna opposite is going to get a chance to answer questions soon enough when he is on this side of--

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. member for Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough has the floor to ask another question. We will all want to be able to hear him.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, here is another important quote. This one comes from Quebec lieutenant Jean Lapierre. He says there is something wrong with the Liberal Party of Canada. He said:

It's like we took over a house, all the rooms looked nice and okay, and then we opened the fridge...Inside, we found a big stinking fish. It smells up the house.

We all know the fish rots from the head, and this Prime Minister is stinking up this House with his interference in the ad scandal. Why is the Prime Minister interfering in the ad scandal? Why does he not want the truth to be uncovered?