House of Commons Hansard #145 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was energy.

Topics

Carmen Provenzano
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Port Moody--Westwood--Port Coquitlam.

Justice
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

James Moore Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, the first responsibility of the state, above all else, is to protect law abiding citizens from those who would do them harm.

Lauri Tinga, a constituent of mine, is in critical condition at this hour in hospital after being shot in the head by a stray bullet while she was sitting in her living room in Port Moody. Port Moody police believe the shooting to be gang related and that Linda was caught in the cross fire.

Our gun laws do not work. They are not protecting Canadians and they need reform. While the Liberals have wasted billions registering firearms with no impact on reducing gun crime, Canadians believe in taking action and so do Conservatives. We believe in mandatory minimum sentences for gun crimes and consecutive not concurrent sentencing for violent crimes.

My private member's bill, Bill C-289, would impose a lifetime ban on gun ownership for anyone convicted of a violent crime. Bill C-291 would impose tough new penalties for people convicted of illegally trafficking firearms.

On behalf of all members of the House, I wish Lauri a speedy and full recovery. On behalf of all victims of gun crime, I call on the government to wake up, change our laws and start protecting Canadians.

René Lévesque
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Maka Kotto Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in the House to pay tribute to the memory of a remarkable sovereignist leader and one of the most prestigious builders of modern Quebec—a man who hungered and thirsted after freedom.

I refer to the man who reinvented the meaning of the word “pride” in linking it with the word “Quebec” and giving new resonance to the word “Québécois”. I refer to the man described by Félix Leclerc as being on the short list of liberators of peoples. I refer to the war correspondent, that rare being, the visionary politician, the charismatic leader and exemplary democrat who left us on November 1, 1987. I refer to René Lévesque.

The Bloc Québécois respectfully salutes his memory.

Sponsorship Program
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, today, as this country pours over the details of Justice Gomery's interim report on the sponsorship program, I would like to remind the House of those individual Canadians who are truly affected by this scandal.

We should think of whom that $250 million, when combined with the money blown on all the other scandalous and wasteful Liberal programs, could have helped.

We should think of seniors on fixed incomes this winter who face the choice of heating their homes or putting food on their tables.

We should think of students who face a bleak future burdened by the threat of bankruptcy due to exorbitant tuition and student loans.

We should think of our nation's farmers who face the very real prospect of losing their family farms because they cannot survive one crisis after another.

We should think of the thousands of sick and dying patients who face a wait for desperately needed medical treatment that will not come in time.

We should think of the millions of low and middle income overtaxed parents who face an uphill struggle to provide their young children with a secure and hopeful future.

These are the people the federal Liberal government could have helped but did not because it was more preoccupied with serving its own self-interest.

Iran
Statements By Members

November 1st, 2005 / 2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, further to the resolution passed unanimously yesterday in the House, I rise today to condemn the bigot remarks of the Iranian president calling for the annihilation of Israel, the destruction of the United States, and for a global war against the western world by the Muslim world.

Iran is a dangerous pariah state. It systematically violates the human rights of its people and supports terrorist groups internationally.

Furthermore, Tehran's nuclear ambitions are a threat to international peace and security that merit international action. A nuclear Iran, driven by zealous policies of holy war against non-Muslims, represents an existential threat to Israel and to the whole western world.

I applaud the Canadian condemnation of these unacceptable comments and urge the government to add action to our strong rhetoric.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, today Justice Gomery confirmed that the Liberal Party of Canada master-minded the worst scandal in this country's history for its own benefit. It was not so long ago that the Prime Minister said here, and I quote, “I am very proud of what the last government did and I am very proud that I was part of it”.

In light of the findings of the Gomery inquiry, is the Prime Minister still just as proud?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, what Justice Gomery is saying is that certainly, with respect to sponsorships, there was a group of individuals who did completely inappropriate things. As soon as the Liberal Party became aware of this, we alerted the RCMP and set up the Gomery inquiry. I must say that I am very proud of the Gomery report because now, for the first time, we have all the facts. Yes, I am very proud to be a Liberal.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I expected some expression of shame, but the Liberal Party knows no shame.

Justice Gomery clearly lays the blame at the feet of the entire cabinet for the creation of the sponsorship program. He said a decision in principle reached at the February 1996 cabinet retreat was to pursue an improper partisan strategy that was inconsistent with democratic values.

In light of this conclusion, does the Prime Minister accept his part of the blame for the creation of the sponsorship program?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member is asking whether cabinet has a collective responsibility, obviously it does. However, the fact is that the opposition has a responsibility, when it stands up, to accurately quote what Mr. Justice Gomery said.

Now that Mr. Justice Gomery has established the facts, the Leader of the Opposition refuses to accept what Mr. Justice Gomery said. The fact is that we accept it, he knows what happened, and we accept his conclusions.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, let me zero in again on what Justice Gomery said. He said the program was dirty from the outset. Its sole objectives were to be partisan. This was illegitimate and inconsistent with democratic values. The Prime Minister was part of the cabinet that made that decision.

Does the Prime Minister accept the blame for that decision, here, on the floor of the House of Commons?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as to what Mr. Justice Gomery said, I would ask the hon. member to read the preface. He talks about the strength of our democracy. He talks about the strength of accountability. He asked what other country would call a commission of this kind? What other country would be as open and transparent? What other government would call for otherwise confidential documents to be made public?

We asked that the facts be established in an open, transparent and public way. That is what has happened and I am very proud of that.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, one would think there would be some element of shame from the Liberal Party regarding today's report but there is none whatsoever.

I want to get past the bluster. The Prime Minister wants to take credit for the Gomery commission. Does he accept his part of the blame for the creation of the sponsorship program in the first place, yes or no?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, first of all, over a year ago, I apologized. Over a year ago, I said that I wished that I had been more vigilant. Last night I read Mr. Justice Gomery's report which clearly established the facts in this particular case. He said where in fact the responsibility lies.

He went on to say that measures had to be taken. We look forward to his second report, building on the reforms that we have brought in, the most extensive reforms possible in terms of running the government. Perhaps the Leader of the Opposition ought to begin to address those.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Harper Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, the truth is if this party were in office, we would not have to clean up the mess in the first place.

I am asking the Prime Minister a simple question. Justice Gomery has identified that the entire cabinet is responsible for the creation of this program. Will the Prime Minister simply stand and admit that is what Justice Gomery says and accept his share of the blame, yes or no?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw the Leader of the Opposition's attention to page 77, the introduction to the report, where in fact it says that the Prime Minister as finance minister was exonerated from any blame by Justice Gomery.

The fact is this type of activity that Justice Gomery was investigating was inappropriate. It was totally wrong. This type of behaviour went on in Canada for far too long under successive governments. But it was this Prime Minister who said, “Enough is enough. We are going to clean it up and we are not going to let it happen again”.