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 liberal.

Topics

Sponsorship Program
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, today is a very sad day for Parliament. We now know from Justice Gomery that the Liberal government is guilty of funneling millions of public dollars into the Liberal Party.

Gomery has said that the Liberal Party, as an institution, cannot evade responsibility for the sponsorship scandal and what he calls a “depressing story of greed, venality and misconduct”.

Justice Gomery confirmed the existence of a culture of entitlement in the Liberal Party. The Liberal cabinet with the current Prime Minister, as finance minister, conceived and designed the sponsorship program. The Liberals ran the program. The Liberal Party benefited from the program and Liberals used the stolen public funds for partisan activities.

We know that $45 million is still unaccounted for. We know that at least $5.4 million has ended up in the hands of Liberals. This allowed the Liberal Party to buy elections, buy people and buy power.

The government and those responsible must be held to account. Why has no one gone to jail? It is indeed sad that the Liberal Party is still in government and it is even sadder that the NDP continues propping up that corrupt government.

Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada
Statements By Members

November 2nd, 2005 / 2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Zed Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada and its vital role that this national organization plays in the lives of our children throughout Canada.

I am proud to say that the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada has its roots in my riding of Saint John, New Brunswick, in 1900. Today, 101 Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada are located across the country.

The clubs are leading providers of programs that support the healthy physical, educational and social development for 154,000 young people and their families each year. Boys and girls clubs have over 100 years of experience in providing affordable places where children and youth can build confidence and skills for life.

Please join me in acknowledging the contributions of thousands of volunteers and staff from Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada across our country.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, now that the Gomery report has confirmed the corruption in the Liberal Party, Canadians wonder why responsibility has not been assigned. Justice Gomery wrote in black and white that the Liberal Party as an institution cannot escape responsibility for the misconduct of its officers and representatives.

The Prime Minister says that he accepts without hesitation all the commission's findings. Why, then, does the government not launch legal proceedings against the Liberal Party of Canada? Why the hesitation?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the opposition is quite mistaken. Those who acted improperly are accountable. For example, criminal charges have been laid, civil proceedings have been launched, and dismissals have taken place. As I said yesterday, the report was given to the RCMP, which will decide what additional measures need to be taken.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister did not answer the question. As Gomery noted, not only were public funds wasted and misappropriated, but no one has been held responsible or punished.

The Liberal Party of Canada executed this scandal. It was executed by some of its highest officials for the benefit of the party. Why is the government not suing the Liberal Party to recover the millions that are lost and stolen?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, anyone who has read the report would reject the premise of the hon. member's question. If he wants to deal with the issues as they are properly put, then the fact is people have been charged in criminal proceedings on the one hand. People have been sued in civil actions. People have been fired. Yesterday I referred the report to the RCMP for its consideration.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, if the Prime Minister rejects the premise of the question, then he rejects the conclusions of Judge Gomery. Gomery has said that the Liberal Party can be held responsible as an institution.

The Prime Minister likes to make a big deal out of suing this individual and that individual, but the lynchpin of this scandal is the Liberal Party of Canada, and $45 million is still lost or stolen.

Why will the Prime Minister not stand and commit that his government will sue the party that is responsible?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we fully accept the conclusions that were drawn by Mr. Justice Gomery. We fully accept his findings. What he has said is the institution is responsible for certain individuals. Those individuals, a number of them have been banned from party membership, and charges are pending in a number of cases.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Public Works said that no dirty money from the sponsorship scandal went into the bank accounts of the federal Liberal Party, not true, of course. Justice Gomery's report found the opposite. Some calculations show that the Liberal Party stole $5.4 million from Canadians, and $45 million is still unaccounted for.

Gomery said that Canadians were rightly outraged. We have known about the sponsorship scandal now for over three years. The Liberal Party set up, operated and benefited from the ad scam, yet not a single Liberal has gone to jail.

When will the Liberal ad scam criminals be held accountable and go to jail?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Party has paid to the Crown $1.14 million. This reflects the analysis of the facts in Justice Gomery's report. The figure that the hon. member reflects is the Bloc's vacuous partisanship. We are basing our analysis on the facts of Justice Gomery's report because we support Justice Gomery and we support his report.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, Justice Gomery finds the Liberal Party of Canada guilty. Here are some facts: clear evidence of political involvement; kickbacks and illegal contributions to the Liberal Party of Canada; agencies paying Liberal campaign workers; and a culture of entitlement among Liberal party officials. His report is clear. It is an indictment of criminal activity and wrongdoing.

The Liberal Party, which included the Prime Minister who was supposed to be guarding the public purse, was fully engaged in the Liberal ad scam. Why should Canadians believe that the Liberal Party's culture of corruption has ended if the Prime Minister will not even sue his own party for the money?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, that is a gross misrepresentation of the facts in Justice Gomery's report.

What Justice Gomery said about political parties and governance in Canada is:

There is no reason for the public’s confidence in the integrity of our democratic institutions to be shaken. (...) Canadians should not forget that the vast majority of our public officials and politicians do their work honestly, diligently and effectively, and emerge from this Inquiry free of any blame.

The Liberal Party of Canada is a great national institution that works hard to defend Canadian interests. The fact is that a small group of individuals did something wrong and they will be punished.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the first articles on the sponsorship scandal appeared in the press as far back as December 1999. In 2000, the Bloc Québécois spoke out in its campaign platform against the somewhat dubious administration of the sponsorship program, even identifying some advertising firms involved in the scandal.

If the Prime Minister did not read the Bloc Québécois platform, he surely read the papers. How can the Prime Minister, who used to be vice-chair of the Treasury Board, explain that it never occurred to him that a thorough audit was required as far back as 2000?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, all pertinent questions have been examined, asked, and asked again at the Gomery hearings. I myself testified before that commission. The one who knows most about the whole matter is Justice Gomery. He has made his report and we accept his findings.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, that ought not to prevent the Prime Minister from answering this question in the House.

Jean Chrétien said the following concerning the sponsorship program: “I had given the order to Treasury Board to carry out the necessary audits. They confirmed to me on several occasions that I had nothing to worry about.”

Does the Prime Minister confirm receiving such an order from Jean Chrétien and did he, as vice-chair of the Treasury Board, confirm to Mr. Chrétien that there was no problem, that everything was being done properly? Will he answer the question?