House of Commons Hansard #156 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was history.

Topics

Sponsorship Program
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, actions speak louder than words and Allan Cutler's actions to defend taxpayers from Liberal corruption and Liberal theft speak louder than the Prime Minister's loudest rhetoric.

Cutler has always been on the side of the folks who work hard, play by the rules and pay their taxes, and he has proven it. He refused to sign the dirty Liberal contracts and blew the whistle on the Liberal ad scam. Since then the former public servant has become Canada's renowned authority on accountability and ethics. He has never been political, never run for office, never even planned on it, but the Conservative Party's accountability act changed all that.

In it, Mr. Cutler saw hope for a clean, merit-driven public service and an accountable government. Today he announced plans to be part of that accountable Conservative government as the next member of Parliament for Ottawa South.

On behalf of the thousands of public servants in my riding, I thank Mr. Cutler for standing up for Canada once again.

Charles V. Keating
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael John Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, early Tuesday morning Charles V. Keating passed away in Dartmouth. Mr. Keating was a Nova Scotia legend and exceptional businessman, a philanthropist, a community builder and a humanitarian.

He was a man unabashedly proud of his family, his community and his country. The many awards he has received, including the Order of Canada and the Order of Nova Scotia are well deserved in recognition of his exemplary community service.

Few Nova Scotians have a longer list of accomplishments, but to many people the legacy of Charles Keating will be his simply values of faith, family and community. Where I live so many people have a story of his generosity and that generosity was always directed to those most in need and usually done quietly so as to avoid any embarrassment to those being helped.

Few people were prouder Canadians and most of us have heard his rousing rendition of O Canada. He also was proud of his Irish heritage. Another famous North American of Irish heritage once said, “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country”. What Charles Keating did for his country and his community is incredible.

Like so many thousands of Nova Scotians, I will miss Charles Keating but I know his work will continue through Marilyn, through Anne Marie, through Greg, Kathy and Mike, Susan and John and his treasured grandchildren.

Air-India
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, today the government announced it will not go with the full public inquiry on the Air-India bombing. This is seven months after Parliament approved an opposition motion calling for a public inquiry to take place.

If the government had followed the wishes of Parliament and the wishes of the families rather than wasting time and money on this report, it would have had the facts out in the public by now.

When the government waits until the eve of an election to make such a wishy-washy announcement, why should anyone take it seriously?

Air-India
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, I find particularly offensive the implicit character assassination of the Hon. Bob Rae, former premier of the province of Ontario.

Let me be absolutely clear. We asked the Hon. Bob Rae, an independent fact-finder, to determine whether there were questions that remained to be answered. He took up that challenge. He worked with the families. He has established relationships with the families. He did his work in good faith. He has identified those questions, and I have indicated that I will accept his recommendations.

Government Contracts
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, a new government will get on with the real inquiry.

Today we learned that Liberal pollster Michael Marzolini did not have to wait for an election. His firm, Pollara, received a $90,000 verbal contract from the Department of National Defence. This was after the Auditor General denounced the government for awarding verbal contracts.

In light of this and the revelations on David Herle, will the Prime Minister come clean and care to tell us about any other Liberals who received inappropriate contracts?

Government Contracts
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, this is what the Auditor General said about public opinion research for the government:

Overall, public opinion research was managed transparently, with roles and responsibilities clearly defined.

We have taken steps to strengthen public opinion research. We continue to do so, as does the private sector. We will continue to engage Canadians, seek their input and build public policies that reflect their values.

Government Policies
Oral Questions

November 23rd, 2005 / 2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, fortunately we soon will not have to listen to answers like that for a long, long time.

It appears that Liberal penance is expensive. Since the Gomery report, the Prime Minister has been making spending promises at the rate of $1 billion a day, and that does not even include the recent mini-budget.

Since most of these announcements are not funded in any of the three budgets the Liberals tabled this year, why should anyone believe these promises?

Government Policies
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, we are in the business of governing. We are in the business of fulfilling commitments that were made in either the Speech from the Throne or our budgets.

I would love to know from the opposition members which of these things they would not do: compensation for residential school victims, forestry sector aid, support for affordable housing or better services for immigrants. Let us hear from those people which of those would they not fund. Which of those do they not support to improve the quality of life in the country for all Canadians?

Government Policies
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, the real question is, which of these things will the Liberals actually do? They have had 12 years to do it.

Billions of dollars were announced today in spending with no accountability mechanisms built in. Justice Gomery said that the poorly planned sponsorship program was:

-- a depressing story of multiple failures to plan a government program appropriately and to control waste—a story of greed, venality and misconduct...

This vote-buying spree with no clear plans will only perpetuate that type of waste. Has the Prime Minister learned nothing from ad scam? Why would any Canadian believe he actually intends to do these things?

Government Policies
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 persons responsible for these irregularities have been identified and reproached for their errors and misconduct. The procedure for uncovering wrongdoing is ponderous and expensive, but in the long run it works fairly well.

Canadians should not forget that the vast majority of our public officials and politicians do their work honestly, diligently and effectively, and emerged from this inquiry free of blame. Justice Gomery did not tarnish the reputations of everybody who works hard on behalf of Canadians, like that hon. member is doing.

Air-India
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, we can kiss off that promise.

Today the government announced a costly and unsuccessful step in the tragic 20 year journey of pain for the families of Air-India, more unanswered questions.

The hesitant half measures announced today by the rushed report from Liberal recruit Bob Rae do not respond to the numerous concerns raised by the victims' families. They include issues of terrorist funding, immigration, judicial accountability and witness intimidation.

Will the Deputy Prime Minister commit today to follow the wishes of the families, respect the will of Parliament and have a broad, inclusive, headed by a judge, public inquiry and finally let justice be done into the worst mass murders and terrorist attacks in Canadian history?

Air-India
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, as I have just indicated, I will accept the recommendations of the Hon. Bob Rae in relation to the second stage of this investigation or inquiry. He has identified for us the questions that we can answer and that will ensure, we hope, that this kind of tragedy does not happen again and does not befall the families of other victims.

I also want to inform the House that I had the opportunity to meet with the families just a little while ago. I have indicated that I will look at their additional questions and some of them will be added--

Air-India
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie.

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have questioned the Minister of Public Safety about U.S. prison planes stopping over in Canadian airports. The minister responded that she had no information about such allegations. So the hon. member for Marc-Aurèle-Fortin sent her a letter informing her of the flight numbers and asked her to conduct a follow-up.

Has the minister followed up? If so, can she tell us if these U.S. planes carrying prisoners who might be tortured did indeed come through Canada?

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, I did receive such a letter yesterday afternoon after question period. I have referred the letter to my department officials and have asked them to follow up on the issues raised by the hon. member.

I go back to what I said before. I have received no information or evidence whatsoever that those planes were involved in any act that one would describe as extraordinary rendition.

I want it to be absolutely clear that we have not in this country returned anyone to a country where they would face a substantial risk of torture.