House of Commons Hansard #86 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was estimates.

Topics

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, there is not a lot of love in the Liberal ranks, and the Prime Minister can hide but he is eventually going to have to run.

This question is for him. These are serious allegations in reference to questionable government contracts being used to subsidize the Prime Minister's leadership campaign. Warren Kinsella also said, “I and perhaps others would consider it inappropriate that you cross-subsidize that political activity using the public treasury. That's inappropriate”.

Will the Prime Minister now admit his knowledge and his involvement in the contracting practices of his department that funnelled taxpayers' money through Earnscliffe to finance his leadership activity?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member made a reference to leadership money. The hon. member knows that at that period of time there was no leadership race. In fact, the leadership race did not occur for another six or seven years.

What the hon. member omitted to say is that every single penny I raised in the leadership race has been fully disclosed. It is all in the public record. The question is, since I have fully disclosed, why have the Leader of the Opposition and the member for Central Nova not made full disclosure of their leadership funds?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, that is pretty selective memory.

The Prime Minister gave sworn testimony that Boulay was the merest acquaintance, only for a very short time around 1990, but in 1994 he wrote one of several distinctively personal letters to Boulay. This one promised to give Boulay's business a boost. A very busy new finance minister took the time to personally send Boulay's resumé directly to the federal office for regional development in Quebec for action. Why the unusual privileged treatment?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I would like to quote from Paul Wells' blog. In fact, Paul Wells says:

Claude Boulay's testimony has been substantially exculpatory of [the Prime Minister]...we've spent the week hearing speculation and hearsay about Boulay's relationship with [the Prime Minister], and both [the Prime Minister] and Boulay have now testified that there wasn't much of a relationship. There are places in the world where a politician who'd leaned on hearsay as hard as [the Leader of the Opposition] has this week would be a little sheepish after a day like today....

Members opposite should all be hanging their heads in shame after the character assassinations and drive-by smears.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

If only those Liberals knew the meaning of shame, Mr. Speaker.

Here are some facts. Not only did Claude Boulay work on the Prime Minister's 1990 leadership campaign, he also worked on the Prime Minister's local campaign in 1993. We also know as a fact that, weeks later, the new finance minister, now the Prime Minister, gave his good buddy Boulay a tangible reward with a personal referral for government contracts, so the Prime Minister has to explain--

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Public Works and Government Services.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, this is what Mr. Boulay said, “We never had one-on-one meetings. We run into each other at different activities”. He said he doubted that the Prime Minister even wrote the birthday letter. He noted that the letter miscalculated Mr. Boulay's year of birth by 11 years, a mistake he did not think the finance minister of the day, somebody who is very good with numbers, would have made.

The fact is that the hon. member and her party, by commenting selectively on testimony that favours their narrow partisan interests, are smearing Justice Gomery's work and smearing the reputation of this House.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

April 20th, 2005 / 2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance has been rising and defending the Prime Minister so vigorously in the Earnscliffe matter over the past two days, because he himself was doing the very same thing at the same time. In a letter of March 24, 1995, the Minister of Finance, who was the minister of agriculture and agri-food then, wrote his colleague at PWGSC to ask him to award an untendered contract of less than $50,000 to Earnscliffe.

What kind of credibility does the minister think he has in defending the Prime Minister?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, this matter was fully discussed in the House over a year ago. I indicated at that time the reasons for the urgency in the matter referred to. Indeed, it has been in written form for more than a decade. The project was successfully completed and it received. at the end of it, a favourable review from the Auditor General.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, many things discussed in the House then, now prove not to have been correct.

His colleague at PWGSC wrote, “The Department of Agriculture is trying systematically to avoid complying with the Treasury Board guidelines for the awarding of contracts”.

I ask the Minister of Finance whether he is not defending his Prime Minister so vigorously because he too was a member of the parallel group, and the two of them were running their own sponsorship scandal on the side?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, a couple of years ago I had the privilege to work with the hon. gentleman as fellow House leaders and I thought he would be above some slimy attempt at character assassination.

I would point out that the correspondence back and forth between the Department of Public Works and the Department of Agriculture some 10 years ago had to do with disputes between the departments about the appropriate procedures to be followed. When questions were indeed raised at the official level, they were referred to the deputy minister of agriculture, who corrected the procedures.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Charlevoix—Montmorency, QC

Mr. Speaker, Alfonso Gagliano said that the current Minister of Transport had approached him to put in a good word for his friend François Duffar, of Cossette, a company trying to land federal contracts.

The Minister of Transport admits receiving fees from Cossette. He also admits seeing Alfonso Gagliano at his office with his client from Cossette, François Duffar. He also admits going out for supper with his client from Cossette and Gagliano. If these are not lobbying activities, then what are they?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we could call that a social gathering. There were many such gatherings that many people attended. The leader of the Bloc has sat at the same table as Mr. Gagliano. There was no lobbying involved. It was a social gathering, period.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Charlevoix—Montmorency, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Transport would have us believe that he invoiced only for policy analysis or brainstorming, but not for time spent arranging so-called social gatherings with ministers for his friends, and their subsequent meals.

I hope he does not expect us to believe that, because we do not. If he was not lobbying, then what was he doing?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, you know full well that during all those years I attended a lot of social gatherings and did a lot of policy analysis for most of the networks and many private sector clients. This was always covered by the press, radio and television. I always spoke my mind. I am being called a lobbyist. In 12 years, I believe I came here to Ottawa three or four times to give a speech on behalf of the private sector. After all, that was not my job. Let it go.