House of Commons Hansard #151 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was strategy.

Topics

Parti Québécois
Statements by Members

November 16th, 2005 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, last night, 29 years to the day after the sweep by René Lévesque's Parti Québécois, the party faithful chose André Boisclair as their leader.

This leadership race, a 149 day marathon, proved beyond all doubt that the idea of Quebec as a sovereign nation is stronger and more present than ever.

The Bloc Québécois salutes all the candidates who campaigned with such determination and loyalty to Quebec during this leadership race.

Thanks to the efforts of all the candidates, the Parti Québécois now has over 147,000 members. The democratic exercise of the past few days attests to the party's strength and health: 76% of all members voted.

With the first step now behind them, sovereignists from all walks of life will join forces to achieve this ambitious and exciting plan for a free Quebec.

Aboriginal Affairs
Statements by Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Prentice Calgary North Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, in 12 years in power, the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development has done a terrible job for aboriginal communities in Canada.

Expenditures over the past 12 years have been astronomical, but with what results? The policies are not working. A number of reserves still have no drinking water, and residential school victims have yet to receive any compensation. In many ways, aboriginal communities live in third world conditions.

How can the Liberal government justify such waste to Canadians?

The first ministers are scheduled to meet next week in Kelowna. The Conservative Party hopes that the Prime Minister will not cancel this important meeting.

Canadians hope that he will not abandon aboriginal Canadians. Canadians have had their fill of the errors of this corrupt and incompetent government. They want real change.

Remembrance Day Train
Statements by Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, I want to pay tribute to the organizers and to the veterans throughout Canada who ventured to Ottawa on board the VIA Rail Remembrance Day train.

As young men and women, they took a similar train in the opposite direction. The train of their youth took them into harm's way. It took them away from family and homes in response to a call to duty and to face combat, injury and death.

Veterans and their families, including a contingent of some 20 veterans from Prince Edward Island, boarded train No. 15, the Ocean , in Halifax and Moncton for the journey to the national Remembrance Day observance in Ottawa last week.

I want to extend the appreciation of all members of the House to VIA Rail for providing the train of remembrance, to Atlantic Superstores for providing the meals and to the other contributors and volunteers who helped make this a memorable national event.

I thank them and congratulate them.

Airports
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Torontonians are increasingly upset over the huge fee hikes at Pearson International Airport. The airport says that the fee hike is necessary because the federal government is charging unreasonable ground rent.

Today the International Air Transport Association said that rent is, “the biggest single obstacle to lowering airport fees at Pearson”.

When will the Prime Minister show some leadership, stop punishing Toronto, and lower ground fees at Pearson Airport?

Airports
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the biggest factor that is influencing rent in Toronto is the debt factor which is over 40%. The rent represents 14% of the expenses.

My colleagues have been looking at that with the GTA and we have had discussions with the airport authority. Obviously, we are giving them $5 billion in relief. That $5 billion in relief is coming by 2011.

Perhaps in the short term, we may be able to do something up front to help them because --

Airports
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

Equalization
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, hopefully before that relief is delivered in 2010 there will be a new government.

The Prime Minister is also failing Saskatchewan on equalization. The government promised to reform the equalization program in 2004 for Saskatchewan. The government now says it will not get to that until at least 2006, costing Saskatchewan over $750 million in lost revenue.

When will the Prime Minister overrule his finance minister and make the changes necessary, so Saskatchewan does not lose this money?

Equalization
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the reform process that we launched in 2004 with respect to equalization is going forward. In fact, we expect it to take place during the course of 2006.

In the meantime, there have been floor payments and other arrangements put in place to assist the provinces that are going through various forms of transition. In Saskatchewan's case thus far, that has resulted in payments of $799 million in the last 18 months.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Premier of Saskatchewan does not buy that and no other federal members buy that. In fact, the only person in Saskatchewan who believes that is the finance minister.

It is now 16 days since Justice Gomery made his report public. In it, he says that certain Liberal riding associations in Quebec pocketed stolen money, but the names of those ridings remains a mystery.

Will the Prime Minister be frank enough to make public the names of these ridings that used money stolen from the taxpayers?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition needs only to read Justice Gomery's report. All the points Justice Gomery wished to examine are covered by it. Now, if any investigation is required, that will be the role of the RCMP. I know that all stakeholders are prepared to speak to the RCMP at any time, as every citizen has a duty to do.

It is, however, not the role of either the Leader of the Opposition or the Prime Minister to carry out a judicial inquiry.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, in reference to ad scam the Prime Minister said, “The problem did not lay with the concept of the sponsorship program”. That concept, according to cabinet material examined by Justice Gomery included, “strengthening of the organization of the Liberal Party of Canada in Quebec”.

The Prime Minister, as finance minister, sat in the cabinet that discussed the creation of the program. He sat as vice-president of the Treasury Board that reviewed the audits of the program. In his leadership lust, he took over the machinery of the Liberal Party.

Does the Prime Minister now realize that Canadians do not believe his ongoing claim that he knew nothing of the wrongdoings in the Liberal Party's sponsorship program?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, this is what Justice Gomery said in his report:

[The Prime Minister], whose role as Finance Minister did not involve him in the supervision of spending by the PMO or PWGSC, is entitled, like other Ministers in the Quebec caucus, to be exonerated from any blame for carelessness or misconduct.

That is exactly what Justice Gomery said. After hearing from 172 witnesses and after his commission reviewed 28 million pages of documents, Justice Gomery exonerated the Prime Minister completely.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, that is another non-answer from one of the turncoat, twin towers of virtue on the Prime Minister's ad scam defence team.

Mr. Chrétien said he was told by the Treasury Board members that there were no problems with the program. The current Prime Minister, as Treasury Board vice-president, would have to sign off on that response. In reference to the Prime Minister's knowledge, Mr. Chrétien said, “He was aware like I was aware”.

Was Mr. Chrétien correct in his assertion that the current Prime Minister was “aware like I was aware”, or does he need more proof of the truth to be proven?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, for most reasonable Canadians Justice Gomery represents the truth.

Beyond that, the hon. member and I were once both members of a moderate, progressive and centrist party that believed in bilingualism, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and multiculturalism. I still am and he is not.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, Michel Béliveau, the former director of the Liberal Party banned for distributing envelopes of dirty money from the sponsorship scandal told the Gomery commission that he had paid off the $8,000 debt accumulated by the candidate in the riding of Louis-Hébert in the 1997 election. The Liberal candidate in Louis-Hébert in the 2004 election received $5,000 from the president of Norbourg, who swindled thousands of small investors.

How can the Prime Minister claim that the sponsorship scandal file is closed and that things have been cleaned up when a number of allegations regarding the Liberal Party remain unanswered?