House of Commons Hansard #68 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was claims.

Topics

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie made a mistake and named a person he did not mean to name, then compounded the error by adding a gratuitous comment.

I am sure he would like to withdraw any suggestion that the hon. minister might have done anything inappropriate in this connection. In fact, the question does not concern the Minister of Transport, whom he named by mistake I am sure, in the lead up to his question.

He might therefore wish to withdraw his remarks and continue with his question.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, I withdraw the unfortunate attempt at humour, though it does prove that, when Jean Lafleur is mentioned, things seem to get serious because they claim not to be like him.

So, will the Minister of Transport admit that the Liberal Party was being funded by the public purse, which is what the sponsorship scandal is all about, and that it is high time the tainted money was paid back so that they will at least be able to say “promise made, promise kept”?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has been clear, the minister has been clear and the party has been clear that if there were political contributions that resulted from illicitly gained funds, those funds will be returned to the Canadian taxpayer through the Receiver General. That is a promise made and that will be a promise kept. However we cannot keep that promise unless we let Justice Gomery do his work.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Charlevoix—Montmorency, QC

Mr. Speaker, now we know how the organizers of the Quebec section of the Liberal Party of Canada finance their election campaign. Jacques Corriveau had only to complain at a supper with Jean Pelletier and Alfonso Gagliano in December 1997 to end up with millions of dollars in government subcontracts, which enabled him to get paid for the Liberal campaign signs he had made for the 1997 campaign.

Can the Minister of Transport deny that the sponsorship money went to cancel out the Liberal Party debt with Jacques Corriveau for those campaign signs?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I have already discussed that issue. I have already discussed the idea that we are not going to, and that it is inappropriate to comment on daily testimony.

Let us talk for a moment about the leadership role that Public Works and Government Services Canada is playing in creating better value for taxpayers and better services for Canadians. In the recent budget, Public Works and Government Services will deliver $3.5 billion in savings to the Canadian people over the next five years, savings that will be invested in health care, in child care, in the Canadian military, in the environment and in building a better Canada.

I am proud of the role that Public Works and Government Services Canada has been playing in--

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Charlevoix—Montmorency, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have seen the definition of better value during Jean Lafleur's testimony before the Gomery commission. He kept on saying for four days that the Government of Canada had got value for money.

For two weeks now, we have watched the process emerging. We have government contracts being awarded to cronies, direct solicitation of funds, and requests to organize fundraising. In short, we see the process.

I am putting this question to the Minister of Transport, because he is the one who spoke about tainted money. Does he include the tainted money that went to finance the Liberal Party in this?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, we must avoid prejudging Justice Gomery's work. I am anxious to see his report but we must wait for it.

We know the Conservative Party does not understand the importance of judicial independence but I would hope the Bloc understands the importance of the independence of a judicial inquiry and would allow Justice Gomery to do his work.

This is another case where the Prime Minister has made a promise. We are keeping that promise and we are getting to the bottom of this issue.

Health
Oral Question Period

March 9th, 2005 / 2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

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

During the last election, he asked the citizens of Canada to vote for the Liberal Party in order to put an end to credit-card medicine. Can he explain clearly and simply why, today, there are more doctors in Quebec who prefer VISA and MasterCard to the health insurance card than when he became Prime Minister?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this is why I am so proud the Liberal government signed an agreement with the provinces to invest more than $41 billion over a 10-year period. It was done in order to reduce waiting lists and find a way to have more nurses and physicians.

I am very pleased to say that this government, the product of the party that created health insurance in Canada has invested the largest amount of money in Canadians' health in the country's history.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is the very party that is destroying public health care in this country because it has overseen the largest expansion of private medicine ever seen before in Canada since the Canada Health Act was brought into place, and yet it constantly promises the contrary.

In 2000 the Liberals promised that they would shut down Ralph Klein's private hospitals. Those hospitals are still on the go today. In 2004 they baited the Conservatives by saying that credit card medicine was something they would stop and yet we see it expanding in Quebec today.

Why is the Prime Minister breaking this fundamental promise?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver South
B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, when the hon. member for Elmwood—Transcona was the critic for health he indicated that the kind of clinics that the hon. member is talking about were outside the ambit of the Canada Health Act and have been outside the practice around health care in Canada since the days of Tommy Douglas. I want the hon. member to remember the words of the member for Elmwood—Transcona.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Rahim Jaffer Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, as everyone on earth knows, the Prime Minister does not make quick decisions. He was made aware of all the details surrounding the sponsorship scandal in November 2003, and it was not until three months later that he had his famous fit of anger. The Minister of Transport himself promised that the Liberals would not campaign using dirty money. We now know that is not true.

When will he pay back the tens of thousands of dollars in dirty money Jean Lafleur gave the Liberal Party?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has already made that commitment. We do not need to take lessons on transparency and openness from the alliance Conservative Party, a party that muzzles its members of Parliament by not allowing them to speak their mind on the floor of the House of Commons and a party that is censuring debate at its own policy conference.

Liberals are not afraid of debate and we are not afraid of the truth, which is why we are allowing Justice Gomery to do his work.