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

Almonte, Ontario
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Carleton—Lanark, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise today in the House of Commons to congratulate the town of Almonte, Ontario in my riding of Carleton—Mississippi Mills upon celebrating its 125th anniversary this year.

The town was named after Mexican diplomat and military leader, General Juan Almonte, whom the Scot and Irish settlers admired for his fierce loyalty in the defence of his homeland.

On September 25, 1880, Almonte was incorporated as a town. Almonte is the birthplace of famous sons Dr. James Naismith, the inventor of basketball; and Robert Tait Mackenzie, the sculptor and surgeon.

Almonte is an outstanding community that is recognized for its natural and architectural beauty, lively cultural scene, high quality of life and respect for its heritage and environment. It is a friendly town and its people embrace the true sense of community spirit. I feel very privileged to represent such a welcoming place.

I congratulate the citizens of Almonte on their 125th anniversary.

Veterans Affairs
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Anthony Rota Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, shortly the Minister of Veterans Affairs will be introducing a new veterans charter in the House. I rise today to pay tribute to the veterans organizations that have brought some of their members from across the country to take part in this memorable day.

They are: Mary Ann Burdett, Dominion President, the Royal Canadian Legion; Pierre Allard, Director, Service Bureau, the Royal Canadian Legion; Ken Henderson, Dominion President, the Army, Navy and Air Force Veterans in Canada; Lorne McCartney, Secretary-Treasurer, the Army, Navy and Air Force Veterans in Canada; Brian Forbes, Honorary Secretary-General, the National Council of Veterans Associations; Cliff Chadderton, Chairman of the National Council of Veterans Associations and also the Dean of the heads of veterans organizations; Bob McKinnon, past National President of Gulf War Veterans Association; Dave Munro, National President, Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans Association; Harold Leduc, past National President, Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans Association; Gaètan Martel, National President, Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping; and Don Ethell, past National President, Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

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

Conservative

Stephen Harper Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the Minister of Transport an extremely serious question.

A former minister revealed that the Minister of Transport had done some lobbying without telling him that Mr. Cossette was one of his clients and without even being registered as a lobbyist. Is this true? If so, has the Minister of Transport submitted his resignation to the Prime Minister?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the allegations made by Mr. Gagliano are pathetic. These are comments made by a man who, I would say, is in a sorry state at this time.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, there are many people in the country who have an unfavourable opinion of Alfonso Gagliano. That said, he has made some specific allegations and I want to know whether the minister is actually refuting them.

We already know the minister lobbied the Bloc Québécois MPs on behalf of Cossette. Did he have a meeting as described by Mr. Gagliano? Did he meet on behalf of Cossette with the minister and was Cossette one of his clients?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, over the past few months, no one on that side of the House gave much credibility to the words of Mr. Gagliano. I do not see why his word has now become golden.

However, I can tell the Leader of the Opposition that I have never been paid for any lobbying whatsoever.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I am going to turn this over to the Prime Minister because this is the kind of answer the minister was giving yesterday, that he might not have paid for that.

The question is this. Was Cossette Communications one of his clients and did he lobby a minister on behalf of that client, yes or no? Did the Prime Minister know this when he was appointed to cabinet?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

First, Mr. Speaker, the minister answered the Leader of the Opposition's question quite directly. He said, “no”, and that no means no.

Second, as with all ministers, an examination of their background, skills and experience was undertaken both by the government and by the RCMP. I have to say that no one has ever questioned the integrity of the Minister of Transport.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

James Moore Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, these are very serious allegations. Did the Minister of Transport meet with Cossette Communication and Alfonso Gagliano to discuss the $100 million contract with Cossette Communication, yes or no?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the minister answered that question. However, we know that the Conservatives like to selectively choose commentary on individual testimony to suit their own purposes.

Since the leader of the Conservatives follows testimony so closely, he ought to be aware that his star candidate in Quebec was named during testimony at the Gomery commission when Jean Brault was on the stand.

Further, Mr. Cannon and his company, AmeriContact, received $25,000 in sponsorship money in 2001 after contact with Alfonso Gagliano's office. Perhaps in fairness to Mr. Cannon's reputation we should all wait for Justice Gomery's report.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

James Moore Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, we are not asking about the Gomery inquiry. We are asking about another Liberal scandal, a new Liberal scandal. I know the minister is up to his neck in defending Liberals from scandal, but this is a new scandal that only the transport minister can answer.

The transport minister lobbied the federal government for a $100 million contract without registering as a lobbyist as is required by law. The transport minister must stand in his place and do the right thing and resign. Will he do it?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I swear—

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The Minister of Transport is rising to answer the question. The hon. member for Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam will want to contain himself so we can hear the answer. He did ask the question. Now we will have a response from the hon. Minister of Transport.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Lapierre Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, I swear I never did any lobbying for a $100 million contract for anyone.