House of Commons Hansard #80 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Mount Royal
Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I am stunned that a former crown attorney does not understand what the rule of law is all about, does not understand what the integrity of the administration is all about, does not understand what a judicial process is all about and comes here, goes ahead and pronounces conclusions without any evidence and without any attribution to any judicial authority. It is a scandal.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, amid allegations of $50,000 cheques for bonds being taken through the offices of a Conservative member of Parliament, many members of the House are deeply concerned.

What is the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration doing to look into this matter and how is he going to ensure the integrity of our immigration services are not put up for sale?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is not talking about allegations, but about admissions by the member for Newton—North Delta. It is a very serious misrepresentation of the immigration system, where a member of Parliament asks a constituent to sign a bond of $50,000 to $100,000 made out to his name or to his party in return for writing me a letter.

I have asked the conflicts commissioner to take a look at this. I further will ask him to see who gets that money when the conditions go into default and whether the leader of the--

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Timmins—James Bay.

Human Resources and Skills Development
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, disturbing questions have arisen as to whether HRSD training dollars are being siphoned out of volunteer organizations and into the hands of Liberal friendly organizations. Each of these contracts are worth a half a million dollars. Further, we have had a steady stream of witnesses coming forward with tales of harassment and intimidation by HRSD bureaucrats if they speak out.

Will the minister explain why front-line volunteer organizations across Canada have learned that it is not the merit of the work they do, it is “who you know in the PMO”?

Human Resources and Skills Development
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Mr. Speaker, the allegation the hon. member is making in this House is a very serious one. What is going on at the present time needs to be closely scrutinized.

The request for proposals procedure is there to award contracts in a very transparent way to organizations, the majority of which are community organizations delivering services to our fellow citizens. A kind of invitation to tender is issued and the organization with the best proposal is selected.

This is the context we work in with the volunteer sector in order to improve the system as a whole.

Human Resources and Skills Development
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Transparency, Mr. Speaker? Tell this to the volunteer groups that are being shut out. We have documented a culture of fear, fear of losing contracts, fear of losing out to Liberal friendly organizations. These organizations are working with the poor, the immigrants and the homeless. My God, it is like a cross between Gomery and a Charles Dickens tale.

Will the minister explain why the Liberal government has taken to shaking down widows and orphans in order to do damage control for HRSD policy?

Human Resources and Skills Development
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Mr. Speaker, the request for proposal process is a very transparent process to ensure that we receive value for money each time we sign a contract with any organization, including a community organization in the volunteer sector.

We have heard about some difficulties they are having with the new process. We are working very closely with the volunteer sector to improve the system. I think no one is against the principle to be very transparent and to have good contracts with those organizations.

I can assure the members of the House that we will work very closely with the volunteer sector to have a better organization.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, Claude Boulay is one of the ad scam kingpins, the head of Groupe Everest. The Prime Minister claimed last year in the House and this year at the Gomery commission that he barely knew the man, sort of a passing acquaintance, might say hello every now and then.

Now we have learned that the Prime Minister actually lunched with Mr. Boulay while discussing contracts for Attractions Canada, a major recipient of dirty Liberal ad scam money.

The public works minister does not know. He cannot answer this question. Only the Prime Minister can.

Is this true? Did he indeed lunch with Claude Boulay to discuss contracts, yes or no?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the entire history of my relationship, which was very short, he is a political acquaintance, is well set out in the testimony that I provided to the Gomery commission. It is there for anybody who wants to read it. It was examined and cross-examined by counsel. I would simply ask the hon. member to read it.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, watch the prevaricating, listen to the wiggling, not an unequivocal answer. Here is an unequivocal question. Did the Prime Minister have a lunch meeting with Claude Boulay of Groupe Everest to discuss contracts? I do not want prevarication. He says that he has moral authority. Then exercise some moral responsibility to tell the truth. Did he have that meeting, yes or no?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this is nonsense, as is the allegation. All the hon. member has to do is go and see the Gomery testimony. It is very clear, and one thing comes out. Witnesses before the commission have testified unequivocally that I have never interfered in any contract, and I never did.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

There seems to be a slight breakdown in order in the chamber at the moment. I would remind hon. members that these conversations can be carried out elsewhere. We are in a question period and I believe the hon. member for Central Nova is now going to ask a question.

Border Security
Oral Question Period

April 12th, 2005 / 2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, the record will show the Prime Minister did not answer the question or who picked up the tab.

U.S. Congressman Mark Souder, a senior member of the homeland security committee, says that Canada risks becoming a junior rather than a joint partner in North American border security. One of his chief concerns is the same as voiced by Canadian border authorities: inadequate and incomplete watch lists and no computers available to provide accurate and updated information.

At least 62 border crossings do not have 24/7 real time live access to CBSA computers. Instead officials have to sift through reams of paper to determine if the person crossing the border is a terrorist. When are these glaring gaps at the border--

Border Security
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.