House of Commons Hansard #87 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was cfia.

Topics

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, Mr. Corbeil has obviously made serious and disturbing allegations. If in fact Mr. Corbeil or others are guilty of any of those activities, they should be punished to the full extent of the law. We have been absolutely clear about that.

I again say it is so important that Mr. Justice Gomery be allowed to continue his investigation. Mr. Corbeil will be appearing before the Gomery investigation.

If Mr. Justice Gomery is allowed to report, all Canadians will know what happened, who was involved and the appropriate action will be taken.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, another Liberal insider has come forward with new information about the shadowy world of Liberal power brokering.

Benoit Corbeil reveals that top godfathers of the Liberal Party, whom he calls the Liberal network, control everything. They decide who gets government contracts and who does the money laundering that helps Liberals get elected with illegal cash. He says the Liberal network goes right up into the Prime Minister's office and states that everyone knew what was happening.

In the face of mounting evidence, does the Prime Minister still plead ignorance?

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, these are very serious allegations and we will not defend the kinds of activities that Mr. Corbeil is alleging. They are indefensible.

What we will defend and what the Prime Minister will defend is the right for Canadians to have the truth. That is why we will continue to defend the work of Justice Gomery.

It is important to recognize that these allegations in fact contradict some other allegations by Mr. Brault. That is why it is important that we trust Justice Gomery to consider all the allegations and to give Canadians the truth they deserve.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, Benoit Corbeil was the executive director of the Liberal Party's Quebec wing during the height of ad scam. He tells of tens of thousands in laundered cash, fake election volunteers from ministers' offices, regular flouting of election law, judgeships for helping elect Liberals, false invoices. He says that all this was orchestrated by the Prime Minister's office and top Liberals in Quebec.

The Prime Minister was the most senior Quebec minister at the time. How can anyone believe he was clueless about all this?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Mount Royal
Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, listening to the opposition members, in my view they are becoming experts in trafficking in innuendo and in drive-by smears and show no respect for the House or the rule of law in this country.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the former director general of the Liberal Party's Quebec wing, Benoît Corbeil, said that, on the initiative of Jean Chrétien's office, the dirty sponsorship money was used to finance the Liberal Party during the 2000 campaign with the approval of the party's electoral commission that Alfonso Gagliano sat on.

With Jean Chrétien's office, the director general of the Quebec wing, Alfonso Gagliano and the electoral commission involved, will the Prime Minister acknowledge that what we are talking about here is the heart of the Liberal Party and not some parallel group?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, as we have said in the House, the allegations, the assertions of Mr. Corbeil are clearly unacceptable.

If in fact anyone, including Mr. Corbeil, was involved in that kind of conduct, it is unacceptable. It cannot be condoned and it should be punished to the full extent of the law.

I do not think we can be any clearer about our condemnation of that kind of conduct, if it indeed took place.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, Jean Chrétien's office was the trigger and the electoral commission gave its approval. Benoît Corbeil has confirmed this: Jean Brault, of Groupaction, handed over almost $100,000 of dirty money in cheques and cash to the Liberal Party as payment—although none of it was reported—to “fake volunteers” who worked on the 2000 election campaign, some of them in senior positions with the current government.

Since Benoît Corbeil has made it clear that the dirty sponsorship money was used to finance the Liberal Party, will the Prime Minister now demand that all the money be put into a dirty money trust account, as this House is asking him to do?

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, we will not defend the activities described by Mr. Corbeil. They are indefensible.

However, together with the Prime Minister we will defend the work of Justice Gomery. We will defend Canadians' right to the truth. We will also ensure that justice is served and that the guilty parties are punished once we get to the truth.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Charlevoix—Montmorency, QC

Mr. Speaker, Benoît Corbeil, the former director general of the Liberal Party of Canada Quebec wing, directly implicated the office of Jean Chrétien. He said, “One fine morning, I received a call from the Prime Minister's office and was told there was someone coming to see me and I had to find a way to pay him. I replied that there was no money and was told to find some”.

Is that not proof that not only was the office of the former Prime Minister aware that dirty money was circulating within the Liberal Party, but that they themselves encouraged the director general to find other sources of dirty money?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, if any of these allegations and assertions are found to be true, they must be condemned. This kind of conduct is completely unacceptable.

I think the hon. member makes the case for why Mr. Justice Gomery should be allowed to continue his investigation and why all Canadians, not all of us but all Canadians, need to hear from Mr. Justice Gomery in relation to what happened, why it happened and who was involved.

Let me be clear. If these allegations are true, this conduct must be condemned and--

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Charlevoix—Montmorency, QC

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Corbeil also confirmed that he was told by a minister's office that he would be getting $100,000 in dirty money from Jean Brault.

With revelations like these, can the Prime Minister still claim that no minister was involved in the sponsorship scandal?

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, it is important to note that Mr. Corbeil corroborates certain things said by Mr. Brault, but not others.

The only person who has the authority or mandate to analyze all the contradictory allegations is Justice Gomery. Canadians want the truth, which is why they deserve to see his report before there is an election.

The Budget
Oral Question Period

April 21st, 2005 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

First, let me add my voice to those who are concerned about the televised address this evening. This is a Liberal crisis. It is not definitively a national crisis.

In our continued effort to try to make Parliament work, I have a simple question for the Prime Minister. Is the Prime Minister open to changes in his budget, yes or no?