House of Commons Hansard #82 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was liberal.

Topics

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

Order. I am sure the Minister of Public Works and Government Services appreciates the assistance he is getting with his answer, but I do not think we need it because I cannot hear the minister. If hon. members could contain themselves for a few minutes until he has answered, he only has 35 seconds, and they will be able to make their comments after that.

The hon. Minister of Public Works and Government Services has the floor.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, what is really clear is that they are playing politics with a very important issue to Canadians.

The fact is that the Conservative leader and some of his members accept as carte blanche, as absolute and sacrosanct, the testimony of someone like Jean Brault. They stand up day after day and talk about the testimony of Jean Brault, somebody who is facing criminal fraud charges, somebody who is being sued by the government for $34 million. Yet they doubt the honesty and integrity of the right hon. Prime Minister of Canada and his testimony.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the House will recall that I asked nothing about Jean Brault or Gomery or anything else in the last question.

I want the Prime Minister to answer this question. As a minister, has he ever received advice on the government contracting process from a senior government agency, Privy Council Office or the Prime Minister's Office, that he has not followed, or has he always followed the advice he has received on how to abide by the rules of the contracting process?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, every minister will know that the advice that he or she is given comes from the minister's own department. A minister follows the advice of the deputy minister. In my case, I had three deputy ministers of finance. I followed their advice as to the way in which one should proceed.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

April 14th, 2005 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is taking action as a result of the sponsorship scandal. Each time, he has had to be pressured by the Bloc, the opposition, the media or public indignation. Today, it is happening again. The Bloc Québécois, seconded by the Conservatives and the NDP, are asking for the creation of a trust fund in which to deposit the dirty money, and the Prime Minister is opposed to it.

Why is the Prime Minister, who has the power to do so, refusing to create a trust fund for the Liberal Party's dirty money, totalling at least $2.2 million?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc did not share my opinion when I said, right from the start, that the Liberal Party was prepared to pay back 100% of funds received inappropriately.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am asking him to take immediate action, as he has done and brags about by dismissing Alfonso Gagliano, André Ouellet, Mr. LeFrançois and Mr. Pelletier. He did not wait for the inquiry to conclude its work.

I am asking him not to take any chances. We would not want him to run a fourth election campaign on dirty money. He should immediately put this money into the trust fund. That way, we will be sure that he will not use it during the next election.

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, I am glad that the leader of the Bloc finally recognizes that indeed the Prime Minister has taken action to address these issues.

The Prime Minister deserves our respect for his courageous actions.

The party has been clear: if it has received inappropriate funds, it will reimburse the taxpayers.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the courageous action we really expect of the Prime Minister and the government is handing back the dirty money. It is not complicated. The Minister of Transport has said he would pay it back.

If the Prime Minister is courageous, let him stop hiding behind the Gomery inquiry and put the dirty money into a trust until the Gomery inquiry has finished. That is what the public wants.

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, let us talk about courage for a moment. What is not very courageous or very honest is to quote the testimony of Jean Brault as fact here in the House of Commons and at the same time to attack his testimony when he says that funding went to the Parti Québécois.

Members opposite cannot have it both ways. It is about time they learned the difference between allegations and facts. They should respect what Justice Gomery is doing and wait for the report so that Canadians can have the truth.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Parti Québécois has never demanded any kickbacks. On the contrary it has been the victim—

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

The Liberal Party is the one that set up—

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

Order. Once again, I am certain that the hon. member for Roberval—Lac Saint-Jean appreciates the assistance of his colleagues in the House, but he does not need it. He may have a strong voice, but not strong enough to make himself heard over all the noise.

The hon. member for Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear. The Liberal Party set up a kickback system on the contracts it awarded, in order to fill its coffers with public funds, with the taxpayers' money. That is what it did, and ought to be ashamed of doing.