House of Commons Hansard #47 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Auschwitz
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the NDP I would like to acknowledge the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and join all those who ever since that time have proclaimed, never again.

I have not been to Auschwitz but I have been to Yad Vashem, the memorial in Israel to the victims of the Holocaust. I affirm the continuing, even growing importance of remembering this terrible reminder of what humans can coldly and calculatingly do to each other in the name of a demonic racial ideology.

May we always be chastized and challenged by the memory of all those who perished in such death camps and commit ourselves anew to fighting anti-Semitism and all other forms of hate, and to building a United Nations which can and will act in a timely and effective manner to prevent genocide wherever and to whomever it may be happening.

Auschwitz
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week the world paused to remember the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

About 1.5 million people were murdered at Auschwitz. Those deemed too weak to work were sent immediately to the gas chambers. Those whose energy could be profitably extracted were used as forced labour and died of disease, starvation or exhaustion, or were gassed in their turn once they had been used up.

In terms of raw numbers, Auschwitz was the largest cog in the Nazi machinery of industrialized death which consumed over six million Jews and several million others who were deemed by the Nazi pseudo-science to be inferior or by the Nazi bureaucracy to be undesirable or merely disposable.

Auschwitz serves therefore as proof that true evil is not mere wickedness and is not simply the opposite of good. True evil is found wherever human beings are regarded as mere objects to be used as needed for the attainment of some outside goal.

Let the memory of Auschwitz therefore stand forever as a permanent reminder--

Auschwitz
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Hochelaga.

Médecins du Monde Canada
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, the international network of Médecins du Monde has officially recognized Médecins du Monde Canada as an autonomous delegation. This organization and its founder and president Dr. Réjean Thomas have celebrated five years of existence. Dr. Thomas is a well-known specialist in the battle against HIV-AIDS and is renowned for his boundless energy and his exemplary determination and commitment in promoting the respect and compassion all victims of ostracism deserve.

The organization has already had successful missions to Haiti, Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran. It has just announced that it will be going to Southeast Asia because of the devastation caused by the tsunami. It recruits volunteers and raises funds for its own projects. Financing comes from public funding, individual and corporate donors and private foundations.

I encourage everyone to support the activities of this admirable organization and its extraordinary work through the essential role it plays in relieving human suffering.

Black History Month
Statements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure on behalf of the official opposition to rise in recognition that February is Black History Month in Canada.

For more than 300 years Canadians of African descent have been making outstanding contributions to our history, our communities and to building Canada as a whole. It is fitting that as a nation we recognize those contributions in this way.

Black History Month is a time for all Canadians to reflect on the rich heritage we enjoy as a result of the hard work and immense sacrifice of Canada's black communities. Canada has benefited immensely from the contributions made by black communities across our land. Our multicultural fabric is further strengthened by their efforts.

I note with great pride that Canada continues to be a welcoming home to new Canadians of African descent from all parts of the African continent.

Shawn Sawyer
Statements by Members

February 1st, 2005 / 2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, I would like my colleagues to know how pleased I am to be back in this House to resume parliamentary debate.

Today I would like to recognize the performance of an athlete from home who recently won a very special honour, a bronze medal, at the Canadian Senior Figure Skating Championships, held recently in London. Shawn Sawyer is the first New Brunswicker to win such an honour in this competition.

On behalf of all the people of Madawaska—Restigouche, I congratulate Shawn on this well-earned title and wish him every success in South Korea, where the ISU Four Continents Championship will be held shortly.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we were pleased to see today that Judge Gomery was not pressured into resigning from the sponsorship inquiry.

At the inquiry and in his role, Judge Gomery has been defended by many: the Auditor General, other parties in the House and by this party, and yet conspicuously absent from yesterday's hearing were lawyers for the Liberal Party.

Could the Prime Minister tell us why the Liberal Party's lawyers did not show up to support Judge Gomery?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, by what strange logic does the member make his statements?

The fact is, this is the party, this is the government that set up the commission. We did it because we want to get to the bottom of all of those questions. We want an open and transparent process.

All we have seen since this all began has been the Leader of the Opposition standing up time after time, throwing obstacles in the way and trying to subvert the process of the commission. That is what he has done. Now all of a sudden he is trying to say that he supports it. It just does not wash.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the only obstacle ever thrown in front of the commission was the government's refusal for months to provide the documents that have been requested.

We know that the former Liberal leader continues to try to put a chill on this inquiry.

I want to ask the Prime Minister, because he has not answered the question on two occasions, why the Liberal Party lawyers did not defend Judge Gomery. Was it on his instructions?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Mount Royal
Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I do not know where the hon. leader gets his information but the lawyers for the government were in fact present at the inquiry and did support Justice Gomery.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we all heard government lawyers give a very weak defence. The Liberal Party lawyers did not even show up at all.

Mr. Chrétien's attacks on Justice Gomery have disturbed the work of the commission.

Will the Prime Minister demonstrate leadership by picking up the telephone and telling Mr. Chrétien to stop threatening the commission?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that the Prime Minister is head of the government for all Canadians.

The Leader of the Opposition wants to make this a partisan exercise when Canadians want the government to act. The Prime Minister has acted. The government defended Gomery and that is what is really important to realize here.

Furthermore, the former prime minister does have a right to defend himself in front of Gomery as an individual.

We know what that party believes about individual rights. We know what that party believes about the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. All Canadians deserve the opportunity to defend themselves.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, Justice Gomery is leading an inquiry into the biggest scandal in Canadian history. We are talking about $100 million being funnelled from a program into Liberal-friendly ad firms.

The Prime minister somehow expects to be congratulated for an inquiry that is looking into how his government allegedly stole money.

The Prime Minister himself is following in the footsteps of Mr. Chrétien in a vain attempt to cover his legacy of corruption. Why does the Prime Minister not publicly denounce his predecessor?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, it is clear that the Government of Canada and the Prime Minister of Canada, as the leader of the government, has defended Justice Gomery at the commission.

What is also clear is that party, that deputy leader and that leader do not understand the independence of a judicial inquiry, do not understand the Constitution of Canada and do not understand the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

If one does not understand the laws of the land, one is permanently disqualified from leading the country.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, the commission of inquiry under Justice Gomery is well under way. Mr. Chrétien and his legal chain are now considering an inquiry into an inquiry.