House of Commons Hansard #83 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Employment Insurance
Statements By Members

April 15th, 2005 / 11:10 a.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois reached a major milestone in its fight to improve the employment insurance program, despite massive opposition by the Liberal members.

On Wednesday, the House passed Bill C-280 at second reading. This legislation, which was introduced by the Bloc Québécois, is another step toward our objective of preventing the federal government from dipping at will into the employment insurance account.

The bill proposes the establishment of an independent commission to manage all the assets of the employment insurance account, set the premium rate and recommend improvements to the program.

This victory is a significant step for all workers, but the battle is not over. We will continue the fight until employment insurance contributors obtain justice by taking control of their fund.

The Prime Minister
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Brian Pallister Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker,

Humming and hawing,Toing and froing,Bobbing and weaving,Coming and going.The seed of decision bears fruit but it withers,Who could it be? It's Prime Minister Dithers.His utmost priority's constantly changing,Polling and focus groups are a distraction.The Titanic deck chairs may need rearranging,He'd like to but can't find the courage for action.The Liberals say ice caps will flow into rivers,But there's only hot air from our Mr. Dithers.The Gomery commission, the Liberal connection,He promised to dig and he hoped for a plaudit,He's mad as hell and he will get to the bottom,As long as it doesn't involve a real audit.His claims of sincerity give us the shivers,No Clouseau, just clueless, our poor Mr. Dithers.

The Environment
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, let me quote what the leader of the official opposition said on CTV Canada AM, September 6, 2002: “What I am supportive of is, frankly, not ratifying the Kyoto agreement and not implementing it”. Or how about this one on CTV news, September 4, 2002: Kyoto is “the worst international agreement this country has ever signed”.

Is the position clear on Kyoto? The Conservatives oppose Kyoto, right? This week they tried to camouflage their opposition to Kyoto. They state that they support Kyoto, but want to achieve targets almost 10 years later than we have agreed to. That is like saying that I want to run the marathon, but I need 10 years more to make it to the finish line.

Canadians are not fooled by the Conservative Party's newly found love of the environment. The Liberal government has shown leadership all along on Kyoto. Shame on the Conservatives for trying to--

The Environment
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Winnipeg Centre.

Art Coulter
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the working people of Manitoba had no greater friend than Art Coulter who passed away on April 11.

Art dedicated his long and full life to elevating the standards of wages and working conditions for all Manitobans. After serving in the second world war, Art helped organize the union at Canada Malting, became secretary-treasurer of the Winnipeg Labour Council, executive secretary to the Manitoba Federation of Labour, and was elected to Winnipeg City Council.

A lifelong supporter of the New Democratic Party, Art served as the official agent for Stanley Knowles through seven federal elections and over 25 years. Art has been recognized with an honorary Doctorate of Laws, the Order of Manitoba, and many service awards. Perhaps his greatest legacy is the gratitude and appreciation of his brothers and sisters in the labour movement, and in the international struggle for social and economic justice.

Art Coulter, a social democrat, a life well lived, was a great Canadian.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we heard testimony from one of the star witnesses at the Gomery commission. I think I can summarize Mr. Corriveau's testimony in this way. The more money he received from the Liberals, the less he remembered. Is that not lovely?

We do not need a final report from the Gomery commission and we do not need a court order to get the government to start paying back money.

Why does the Prime Minister not do the right thing, get his friends in the Liberal Party together, tell them that the jig is up, that all the commissions, kickbacks, and dirty money they have received should be returned to the people?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the individual attacks a witness before the Gomery commission. His leader has in fact said that some of the witnesses are lying. The deputy leader over there has accused some of the testimony as being a sham.

It is very clear that opposition members do not trust a lot of the testimony before Gomery, which is even more reason why they ought to wait for Justice Gomery to sift through all the testimony and then to report to Canadians by using his extensive experience as a jurist to get to the bottom of it to present Canadians with the truth.

I agree with the hon. member, we should--

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Niagara Falls.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, next week, the House will adopt a motion proposing that the Liberal Party put in a trust account the dirty money from the sponsorships. The Prime Minister has already endorsed the idea. He said they had made it very clear that this money would be put in a trust account, and his Minister of Transport said the same thing. However, yesterday, in the House, the Minister of Public Works and Government Services contradicted his leader.

Do the Liberals intend to run a fourth election campaign with dirty money, yes or no?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, that is not true. The party made it clear that if it received inappropriate funds, it will refund taxpayers.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, for over a year now we have witnessed the worst fraud and corruption this country has seen since Confederation, and yet, throughout that period of time, the government has refused to answer questions on this.

I want to remind the government that the Canadian House of Commons is the highest democratic institution in this country, and we deserve answers on this and every question every day.

What does the minister have to hide? Why does he not come clean and start paying that money back to Canadians now?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the opposition called for and wanted to have an independent judicial inquiry. There is an independent judicial inquiry. That independent judicial inquiry is actually working quite well and progressing properly, and is getting to the truth. The way Canadians will get to that truth is to have the report from Justice Gomery.

There certainly is no need for a parallel inquiry, a partisan pithy inquiry on the floor of the House of Commons every day. I think when Canadians watch question period and they see this kind of partisan exchange, and they see a political party that puts party above country, they prefer to have Justice Gomery sift through the--

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Calgary--Nose Hill.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, the government tries to make Canadians believe that money skimmed off the sponsorship program by the Liberal Party will be recovered, but the government's promises evaporate when it comes time to act.

Yesterday a motion in the House simply asked that the Prime Minister keep his promise to set up a trust fund. People should have seen the Liberals run for cover. They even tried to completely gut the motion.

Why did the Prime Minister break his clear commitment?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister keeps his promises and he is keeping his promise to get to the bottom of this issue by supporting Justice Gomery.

It is interesting. Yesterday the hon. members opposite were attacking Deloitte and the credibility of PricewaterhouseCoopers. They should note that Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers have been financial contributors to the Conservative Party, and to the Alliance Party and Reform Party over the years. Carman Joynt, the auditor for the Conservative Party of Canada, is in fact a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers.