House of Commons Hansard #146 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was infrastructure.

Topics

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, Judge Gomery confirmed that millions of taxpayer dollars were funnelled by the Liberal government to the Liberal Party. At least two federal elections, likely more, were paid for by the Liberal Party with these stolen sponsorship dollars.

The Liberal Party owes taxpayers millions, but the Prime Minister has promised to pay back a fraction. No shame, no honour.

Will the Prime Minister direct his government to sue for all the money that his Liberal Party stole from Canadians? Will he, yes or no?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, once again the Liberal Party has reimbursed the taxpayer for any funds obtained inappropriately, $1.14 million, that reflects a thorough analysis of the facts in Justice Gomery's report.

Furthermore, as Justice Gomery reported, according to evidence presented on behalf of the Liberal Party in Quebec, reforms to the party management and systems make it less likely that any irregularities will reoccur.

Not only has the money been paid back, but the Liberal Party has taken responsibility and strengthened governance to make sure this sort of thing does not happen again.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister admitted his party's guilt in an ongoing scheme of kickbacks, money laundering and illegal contributions. He said the Liberal Party would repay a token $1.14 million, even though the money his party walked away with is many times that amount.

Would the Prime Minister explain why Canadians are being hung out to dry, instead of getting every penny back that his party stole from them?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, last winter despite my warnings to the hon. member, she continued to comment on daily testimony before Gomery. As such, she actually said things in the House that are not consistent with the truth in Justice Gomery's report. In fact, she accused our Prime Minister of being involved in inappropriate malfeasance. In Justice Gomery's report, Justice Gomery clearly states that our Prime Minister is exonerated from blame for this.

The member should be apologizing both to Justice Gomery and to the Prime Minister for her completely irresponsible behaviour here in the House of Commons.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, the member should have some shame being part of a government that is tainted with Gomery's findings that our electoral system was undermined and Canadian standards of honesty were violated by his party.

The Prime Minister holds office won by a party even he admits is guilty of fraud, theft and corruption. Why has the Prime Minister stopped at a mere $1.14 million? Why is the government not demanding that the Liberal Party pay back all the millions it stole from Canadians?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Party has reimbursed the taxpayer any funds received inappropriately and that was the right thing to do. Furthermore, Justice Gomery also said that under the Conservative administration, the previous government, advertising and communications agencies having Liberal Party sympathies or connections had little or no chance of getting government business.

The kinds of activities Mr. Justice Gomery investigated were wrong, but they went on under different political parties and governments over the years. The Prime Minister has ended it, cleaned it up and will prevent it from ever happening again.

Agriculture
Oral Questions

November 2nd, 2005 / 2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Boshcoff Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, as chair of the rural caucus and understanding that there are many other issues that the House has to deal with, my question is for the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

For the record, will the government vigorously support our supply management systems at every available international forum, especially at the World Trade Organization talks this fall?

Agriculture
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister of State (Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario)

Mr. Speaker, yes, clearly we will. We firmly believe that Canadian producers should have the right to choose their domestic marketing regimes, including that of supply management. That is a point we have been making internationally all along.

In these negotiations we have been saying there needs to be a robust, sensitive products regime, one which allows us to deal with those issues in a way that provides flexibility and allows us to meet our national interests.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the right hon. Prime Minister.

I seem to remember a time when the Prime Minister and his colleagues were in opposition and they were quite willing to hold the Conservative Party of Canada responsible as an institution for the scandals that happened while the Conservatives were in government.

I want to ask the Prime Minister, if he is not willing to apply that same standard to his own party and own up to the responsibility of the Liberal Party as an institution for the whole mess, not just for individuals, how are we not to come to the conclusion that he is faking it when he says he accepts the Gomery report?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is right. I sat in opposition with him and watched the previous government and I certainly did not see the previous government call in to account a commission of inquiry. In fact, as Mr. Justice Gomery has said, rarely in the history of any democracy has a government opened itself up to the kind of openness, transparency and accountability that we have. Rarely has a government opened up confidential documents.

The fact is that what has happened here is virtually unique. It is because we believe in accountability; it is because we believe in integrity as the foundations of a democracy.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, there is no point in having an inquiry if one is not going to truly accept the recommendations and the conclusions of that inquiry.

The Prime Minister seems to be asking Canadians for forgiveness without the appropriate confession and repentance.

We want real repentance from the Liberal Party. We want the Liberals to show Canadians that the cronyism is going to end, the unregistered lobbyists are going to end, the patronage is going to end, and end to all the things that are part of the culture of entitlement that the judge referred to and which is larger than just the sponsorship scandal.

When are you going to do something about that?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

I am sure that the “you” meant the Prime Minister. The right hon. Prime Minister may want to respond.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, first, we have said we have fully accepted the conclusions of the report. The President of the Treasury Board has set out a complete set of responses in terms of structural changes to deal with this kind of issue.

While I am on my feet, I would like to clarify something I said earlier. I said, in short form, that further charges were pending, in response to an earlier question. I should have said that criminal charges that are proceeding in the courts and for which decisions are pending.

The fact is, of course, that obviously we have referred the report to the RCMP. They will take the decision in their own discretion.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

James Moore Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, Justice Gomery made it very clear that money was stolen from taxpayers. The beneficiary of that stolen money was the Liberal Party of Canada.

Canadians with common sense understand that thieves should not be trusted to decide how much money was stolen and then how much money should be given back.

What we are asking is a very common sense proposal, which is to have a civil action independent of the politicians to decide how much money was stolen and to give it back to Canadian taxpayers.

Will the Prime Minister initiate civil action to ensure that every dime of stolen money goes back to the Canadian taxpayers?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, once again, our analysis is based on the facts in Justice Gomery's report. This is what Justice Gomery said in his report:

--a system of government that would impose upon itself a searching inquiry by an independent commissioner armed with...a far-reaching mandate to investigate and report on matters that could prove to be embarrassing to the Government itself, is proof that our democratic institutions are functioning well and effectively.

We take our responsibility seriously. This Prime Minister has cleaned up the mess and we will change the governance to ensure it does not happen again.