House of Commons Hansard #153 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was first.

Topics

Prime Minister of Canada
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has sent so many different and interesting signals on whether or not he wants an early election that it is hard to keep up.

On the one hand he said, “Under no circumstances will my government attempt to precipitate our own defeat and force an early election”. With those solemn words still ringing through the hallways of this hallowed place, the Prime Minister then chose to introduce four different motions that he specifically declared were confidence motions, motions that could precipitate their own defeat.

Perhaps this was just a mistake because, as we know, the Prime Minister is deeply concerned that an election not happen around Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanza because what he would never do is politicize these holidays. As he himself said, “Christmas is for families” and as we know, Christmas, families and I suppose puppies are his number one priority.

Canadians, I am sure, are touched by the Prime Minister's concern, but what they really want and need is a fresh, clean Conservative government.

Jewish Law Students
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to inform the House that the Canadian Jewish Law Students’ Association will be holding its 19th annual conference at the Château Laurier, here, in Ottawa, from January 13 to 15, 2006.

Students will gather from across Canada to explore the Jewish principle of tikkun olam, repairing the world. Prominent members of Canada's legal community will speak to law students about how they relate their work to social justice. The CJLSA has invited all members of Parliament to participate in this important conference. I know from my participation in last year's conference that this is a terrific platform with which to reach out to young Canadians.

We should never underestimate the impression that we make on law students when we talk to them about public commitment and social justice.

I urge all my hon. colleagues to support this activity.

Government Appointments
Oral Questions

November 18th, 2005 / 11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, a federal court judge has just reinstated Jean Pelletier as chairman of VIA Rail. He says that the government was unfair in the way that it fired him last year. The judge, apparently, has now turned the whole sordid mess back to the federal cabinet to try to straighten out. Apparently the government cannot even fire someone properly.

My question is for the Prime Minister. In light of this, which Liberal crony will get the biggest severance package, Jean Pelletier or David Dingwall?

Government Appointments
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Mount Royal
Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I will not respond to the imputations by the hon. member. I will respond only to the court judgment. With respect to the court judgment, the court asked that it be reconsidered by the cabinet and that is what the cabinet will do.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, knowing how fast the Liberals move, we can expect them to dither on that for awhile, at least until they decide which Liberal will get the biggest payoff.

It has now been 18 days since the Gomery report confirmed what Canadians already knew, which is that the Liberal Party is corrupt. However it has also been 18 days that the Prime Minister has refused to hold the Liberal Party to account over the money that it stole from taxpayers. The right number is not $1.4 million. Justice Gomery revealed that at least $40 million were still missing.

When will the Prime Minister stand up for Canadians and sue the Liberal Party for the missing millions?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa—Vanier
Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Minister for Internal Trade

Mr. Speaker, that is totally preposterous. On the day the report was issued, the Liberal Party refunded $1.14 million to the taxpayers. This was based on the evidence provided by Justice Gomery from his analysis of the millions of pages of documentation and the testimony of 172 witnesses. The Liberal Party of Canada responded immediately on the day the report was tabled.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, I know and the Canadian public knows that $1.4 million is a drop in the bucket of what the Liberal Party stole.

Canadians are asking the Liberal government to show them the dirty money. The Prime Minister has promised to pay back what the Liberal Party of Canada stole from taxpayers but he will not say when. Canadians want their money back now and they want to see the criminal element within the Liberal Party brought to justice.

Justice Gomery revealed $40 million were still unaccounted for. It cannot be traced. When will the government ensure that the Liberal Party of Canada pays back every red cent that it took?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa—Vanier
Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Minister for Internal Trade

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Party of Canada has done exactly that. Based on the facts that were presented by Justice Gomery in his first report on November 1, the party immediately refunded $1.14 million to Canadian taxpayers for moneys that might have been inappropriately received.

I would invite the member opposite to step outside and repeat the question he just put because he might find himself in some deep trouble.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, in a democracy there is no worse crime than an attempt to steal an election, and that is exactly what Mr. Justice Gomery has concluded. Dirty money was funnelled into ridings for the sole purpose of fixing the election.

The Prime Minister and the government know the 18 ridings where this happened. Will the government finally do the right thing and name these ridings so Canadians will know in advance of this election that the fix was in for the last election?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa—Vanier
Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Minister for Internal Trade

Mr. Speaker, here is what Justice Gomery concluded:

[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 the conclusion of Justice Gomery.

The Conservatives have been trying to character assassinate the Prime Minister for a year and a half. This is the conclusion of Justice Gomery and they just do not want to accept it. Canadians will accept it.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, just before the next election, the Prime Minister and the members of his cabinet are racing across the country in a desperate attempt to raise the money that was stolen through the ad scam mess.

Could the minister make sure that the money raised will only come from cronies, patronage appointments and Liberal hangers-on and that none of the money received will get a tax credit so Canadians will not be subsidizing the repayment of stolen money? Could he give us that assurance?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa—Vanier
Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Minister for Internal Trade

Mr. Speaker, I have said it already. On the day Justice Gomery presented his report, the Liberal Party of Canada cut a cheque for $1.14 million for moneys it has properly receipted.

However, if we are going to engage in this type of thing, how long will it be before the Leader of the Opposition reveals who contributed to his campaign?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the dismissal of Jean Pelletier as chairman of the board of VIA Rail has been overturned by a Federal Court judge on the grounds that the dismissal based solely on Myriam Bédard's testimony was unjustified. The judgment concluded that Jean Pelletier ought to be reinstated in his position at VIA Rail.

Does the government intend to comply with this judgment and reinstate Jean Pelletier, despite the fact that he was seriously fingered in the Gomery report?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Mount Royal
Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the court has ordered that Mr. Pelletier's case be reviewed by the governor in council under a different process. That is something cabinet plans to do.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, what the court said was that the grounds for the dismissal were wrong.

In light of the commission's findings demonstrating Jean Pelletier's unequivocal involvement in the sponsorship scandal, does the government not think that there is more than enough evidence to uphold his dismissal?