House of Commons Hansard #79 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was report.

Topics

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Martin LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Justice Gomery is in the process of carrying through the most extensive examination that has ever been held on an issue such as this.

The issue really is why will members of the opposition not let Mr. Justice Gomery continue with his work? Why consistently do they stand in the House and misrepresent testimony? Why do they consistently stand in the House and repeat testimony that has been contradicted? Why do they try to shut down--

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I asked the Prime Minister a question about his own actions prior to the Gomery inquiry. He did not have the honesty and the guts to stand up and give us a straight answer to it.

I will repeat my question: Why did the Prime Minister and his government block Jean Brault's testimony before the Standing Committee on Public Accounts before the election?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it was not the government that did that; it was the opposition.

What happened is a matter of record, but what the opposition--

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. Once again, it is obvious that there is disagreement regarding the answer. However, that does not mean the hon. members can interrupt an answer to a question asked in the House. The Prime Minister has the floor and we must listen to him.

The Prime Minister has the floor for the response to the question.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Martin LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, the public accounts committee is a committee in which the opposition has the majority of the members. They control that committee. What they did, and they are afraid of the truth--

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

We will move on to the next question because the time has virtually expired.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I will give the Prime Minister another chance to answer this question. The Prime Minister tried to say that the opposition majority on the committee voted against hearing Jean Brault. There was no opposition majority. The Liberals controlled the majority at that point.

The question is, and let us not hide behind other people, why did the Prime Minister order the Liberal members to vote against hearing Jean Brault's testimony in public?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the public accounts committee is chaired by a member of the opposition. What he did was to allow the opposition members to filibuster to the point that the committee could no longer do its work. That is what happened. The chair of the committee through his ability to exercise that kind of control and the activity of the opposition in filibustering and refusing to deal with matters seriously made it impossible for the committee to work. That is why the majority voted to call it quits.

Canada Border Services Agency
Oral Question Period

April 11th, 2005 / 2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, that is the Prime Minister's problem. He keeps changing his story, depending on the day.

According to border officials, our current watch lists are so poor that updated information about terrorists and violent criminals at large does not show up on our system. It is not sophisticated enough to display relevant information simultaneously. It gets worse. Eight individuals identified by the FBI as terrorists are not listed as armed and dangerous on our lookout database.

While we cannot always access relevant data, U.S. border officials have complete--

Canada Border Services Agency
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Deputy Prime Minister.

Canada Border Services Agency
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, let me speak generally to the concerns that the hon. member is raising. However, I have no intention of speaking or responding to assertions that have been made in the context of ongoing labour discussions between the CBSA management of our border agency and the employees of that agency.

Let me just reassure the hon. member that we have invested billions of dollars in protecting the collective security of Canadians. We have created the Canada Border Services Agency. This agency, now across many border points all along the border, at our seaports and at our airports, is in the business of doing the most sophisticated risk assessments with the most--

Canada Border Services Agency
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Trois-Rivières.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Public Works and Government Services has defended the creation of the sponsorship program as Canada's war effort against the so-called “evil Quebec separatists” and described those who took advantage of that battle to benefit personally or financially as wartime profiteers.

Does the Minister of Public Works and Government Services realize he is using the same line of defence Jean Chrétien used to justify the sponsorship scandal?