House of Commons Hansard #72 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was saskatchewan.

Topics

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Nonsense, Mr. Speaker. These shameless Liberals even used the Business Development Bank in what a close Chrétien aide admitted was a money laundering operation.

Liberal ministers talk openly of possible tainted money, dirty money and ill-gotten gains. One top Liberal organizer alone gained $5 million from the sponsorship program. With all the evidence of cronyism and corruption, why would Canadians not believe the whole sponsorship program was mainly a scheme designed to filter tax money into Liberal Party coffers?

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, once again the Liberal Party has been absolutely clear that any funds that were inappropriately received will be returned to Canadian taxpayers once Justice Gomery has completed his report.

What is really shameless, and it is reported today in the Edmonton Journal , is that the member for Calgary—Nose Hill was not so blunt outside of the Commons following question period. She declined under persistent questioning from journalists to repeat the allegations outside of the cloak of immunity provided by the Commons. That is directly from the Edmonton Journal today.

The hon. member should read the Edmonton Journal . She should be ashamed that she used her parliamentary privilege and said things in the House, made allegations she will not make--

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, with regard to the Liberal Party's dirty money, even the Minister of Transport's latest defence no longer holds. When Jean Lafleur got his first contracts in 1996, Alfonso Gagliano's office and Quebec Liberal Party organizer Benoît Corbeil immediately invited him to “help with the funding”, which he did and forced his employees to do, so there is clearly a causal link.

Given the evidence, what are the Prime Minister and the government waiting for before demanding that the Liberal Party pay back this dirty money?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government has been extremely clear since the start. If some money came from inappropriate sources or if some tainted money was received, it will be repaid.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, this Prime Minister has just asked companies to repay $40 million for work that was never done. What else does he need, when we know that these same companies gave money to the Liberal Party? He has to act like a prime minister not a leader of the Liberal Party.

It has been established that donations to Lafleur Communications, cheques to Liberal organizers and payments against Jacques Corriveau's debt came from the public purse.

Given this, I am asking him again—and this is extremely clear—how can he, today, not demand that the Liberal Party pay back this dirty money?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, civil suits have already been filed to recover these funds, but we are still awaiting the decision of the courts and the report by Justice Gomery. So, it is reasonable to expect that the Liberal Party will take action, but only once we have all the facts.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Charlevoix—Montmorency, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is a minority government, and a general election could be called at any time.

Will the government admit that it must take immediate action to recover sponsorship funds from the Liberal Party? Otherwise there might be a fourth election campaign during which the Liberal Party would campaign on dirty money, after 1997, 2000, 2004 and perhaps 2005.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the party has been clear.

If there were funds received inappropriately, those funds will be returned to the Canadian taxpayers. That is a promise made that will be a promise kept. However, we need to have all the facts to behave appropriately and we need to have all the facts to act. That is why we are waiting for Justice Gomery to complete his work.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Charlevoix—Montmorency, QC

Mr. Speaker, on March 3, 2004, the Minister of Transport stated, just before the last election campaign, and I quote, “We have no intention of campaigning with tainted money”.

Will the government admit that if it does not immediately seek to recover the sponsorship funds paid to the Liberal Party, the latter will run a fourth election campaign with dirty money? This is totally unacceptable.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, again, yes, the transport minister has been clear, yes, the Prime Minister has been clear and the party has been clear that if there were funds that were inappropriately received, those funds will be returned to the Canadian taxpayers. However, the party cannot act in that regard until we have all the facts. That is why it is so important that we have those facts and we wait for Justice Gomery to submit his report.

Meeting of North American Leaders
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

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

In the last election the Liberals did not tell Canadians they would be seeking more integration with the United States. That was kept from them. Now what we see is the economic agenda of the Liberal Party beginning to emerge, its fortress George Bush bolstered by cheap Mexican labour and lots and lots of Canadian oil turned on and off whenever George Bush wants to turn on or off the tap.

Can the Prime Minister tell us why he will be pursuing an agenda of deeper integration with the U.S. sacrificing Canadian sovereignty? Why is he pursuing this hidden agenda without telling Canadians about it?

Meeting of North American Leaders
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am not quite sure what Alice in Wonderland book the leader of the NDP has been reading, but I will tell members what we will be pursuing. We will be pursuing an agenda that would provide greater security for Canadians and for Americans and indeed for Mexicans. We will be proceeding on an agenda for greater economic prosperity for our three countries. We will be proceeding on an agenda for greater quality of life, for better environmental control.

If the leader of the NDP finds that security, prosperity and a higher quality of life is an agenda that he cannot accept, we have known that for a long time.

Meeting of North American Leaders
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, I can tell the Prime Minister what we have been reading. We have been reading headlines about Canadian jobs leaving this country and going to other countries with the full support of the government. That is no big surprise. When the Prime Minister owned CSL he was shipping Canadian jobs abroad when ships could have been built here in Canada.

I come right back to the question, why is the Prime Minister pursuing the Wal-Mart plan: ship any job anywhere to the lowest economic denominator and tear up any environmental standard?

Why are these items going to be discussed with the President of the United States and the President of Mexico?

Meeting of North American Leaders
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, if we take a look at the record that Canada has had, we are the only G-7 country that is currently in a surplus. We have had an incredible increase in the standard of living of Canadians.

The hon. member talks about jobs. The fact is that we have had some of the highest job creation Canada has ever had in any decade, and certainly greater than most other G-7 countries, all as a result of the policies of this government.

What I would suggest the hon. member ought to do is to stop reading just the headlines and he might start reading the articles.