House of Commons Hansard #96 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was liberal.

Topics

The Prime Minister
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Allison Niagara West—Glanbrook, ON

Mr. Speaker, day after day the Prime Minister continues to stand before this House demeaning the democratic rights of Canadians. Last night was the final straw. He has ignored the founding principle of our country, democracy.

In ignoring the non-confidence in the House, as expressed in the House by last night's vote, the Prime Minister has confirmed two things. He has most definitely lost the moral authority to govern and it is his intention to continue to run the country as a Liberal dictatorship no matter what the voices of Canadian people state they want. It would appear that the Prime Minister has forgotten that it is this House that represents Canadians, not he or his party or his inner circle.

It is time the Prime Minister realized that Canadians will not stand for being stolen from, lied to and having their democratic rights trampled on. It is time for the Prime Minister to stop dithering and stop desperately clinging to power. Government is not about legacy. It is about democracy. The voices of Canadians must not be ignored. It is time for the Prime Minister to acknowledge that the House has no confidence in the government. It is time he realized that Canadians have no confidence in him.

Parliamentary Privileges
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, by far the most important right accorded to members of Parliament is the exercise of freedom of speech with complete immunity. That being said, with rights come responsibilities.

The consequences of abuse of privilege can be terrible. Innocent people can be slandered with no redress available to them and reputations can be destroyed. Regretfully we have had recent instances with the member for York West and the hon. senator with his conflict of interest. Both of these have been found to be totally unfounded.

We also now have allegations coming out of the Gomery inquiry which have imputed criminality before all the facts are known. All of these cases are motivated by political opportunism and not as a matter of urgent or pressing necessity.

My view is that allegations without all the facts for political opportunism are an abuse of privilege which brings disrepute not only to this institution but to all parliamentarians.

Standing Committee on Public Accounts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, in recent weeks we have learned that suitcases stuffed with illegal cash were used to fund Liberal candidates, present Liberal staffers were paid under the table with laundered money and laundered money was funnelled to Liberal campaigns.

Because the government is under a cloud of corruption and now under a constitutional cloud as well, could the chair of the public accounts committee tell us why none of this was revealed to the House and to Canadians last year?

Standing Committee on Public Accounts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

John Williams Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, the answer is that the Prime Minister never wanted the facts on the table. He shut down the committee and called an election last year, even though he said that he wanted the facts on the table. He set up the Gomery inquiry with no authority to assess blame or say who did wrong.

The Prime Minister made sure that this was a whitewash and the public accounts committee could never get to the bottom of the sponsorship scandal.

Standing Committee on Public Accounts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we have just learned from the Gomery commission that phony employees and secretariats were invented on paper in order to launder money and fund the Liberal Party, and that judgeships were awarded to so-called Liberal Party volunteers.

Can the chair of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts tell us why this information was not made public last year?

Standing Committee on Public Accounts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

John Williams Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, as I said, the public accounts committee was doing everything it could to get to the bottom of the sponsorship scandal and find out who was carrying these bagfuls of money around and who was getting the bagfuls of money.

However, the Liberal majority on the committee at that time were dictating from whom we could hear. They only wanted to bring forward Liberal friendly witnesses. That is why the public accounts committee did not do the job last year. That is why the Prime Minister shut it down and called an election. The Liberals want to do the same again, and that is wrong.

Government of Canada
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, commenting on the historic passage of last night's motion of non-confidence in the government, Professor Andrew Heard, one of the leading authorities on the conventions of the Canadian Constitution, stated, “If a government loses a confidence vote it has only two choices: to resign or to call an election”.

Will the Prime Minister heed this determination by Professor Heard and either immediately table his own motion of confidence today or will he resign?

Government of Canada
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this morning I gave the reasons as to why a confidence vote on the budget should be held next Thursday. I had set those reasons out very clearly. In fact, Patrick Monahan of Osgoode Hall has confirmed that the actions the government has taken are the right ones.

In his remarks following my statement, the Leader of the Opposition gave other reasons as to why I was adopting this attitude. I have to say that the Leader of the Opposition goes too far. I would simply ask him to demonstrate better judgment. If we are to have civility, he should set the example.

Government of Canada
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, the person who is going too far is the Prime Minister who will not uphold democracy in the House.

Professor Heard also went on to say in his writing, “The wording of the motion certainly conveys enough of the essence of confidence that the government should, at a minimum, respond to its passage with its own clearly worded motion of confidence”.

Will the Prime Minister listen to this finding and that of others and either table his own motion of confidence today, now, immediately, or will he resign?

Government of Canada
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, since we are quoting experts here, perhaps I also could quote the chairman of the public accounts committee on these issues. What he said is that there is no use going to the polls with rumours and innuendoes. There are all kinds of rumours and innuendoes flying around about what is being said at Gomery. Why do we not wait until we get all the facts about what has been said at the Gomery commission before we think about an election? Now there is an expert.

Government of Canada
Oral Question Period

May 11th, 2005 / 2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Darrel Stinson North Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, in 1993, I was elected to come here fully believing that this was a democratic House. After the vote last night, for which some of us made extra effort to be here, I would like to know why the Prime Minister does not honour that. Why is he holding off on a vote? Is he hoping that some of us may not be able to make it?

Government of Canada
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek
Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I would like to make a couple of points.

First, I will reiterate that the motion last night was not a matter of confidence. In your ruling, Mr. Speaker, as a result of the vote, you indicated that the motion would now proceed to committee. It is a procedural motion, not a confidence motion.

What I would really like to say is that the Leader of the Opposition has shown how low he is prepared to go by suggesting that anyone would take advantage of someone's illness. I would not wish illness on any anyone. I think there has to be a level of respect in the House. If Canadians did not know the kind of person the Leader of the Opposition was before today, they sure know now.

Government of Canada
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the majority of members voted in favour of a motion calling for this government to resign, but the Liberals are desperately clinging to power. The pressure is so strong that the Prime Minister, who wanted to wait until the end of the Gomery inquiry, is now proposing May 19 for a confidence vote.

In order to end the political crisis afflicting his government, can the Prime Minister commit to holding a vote of confidence today, rather than waiting?

Government of Canada
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, what we are proposing is a vote on the budget, an important matter. If the opposition wants to defeat the government over the budget, it will have to admit to being opposed to Kyoto, to child care, to the cities and communities, and to a balanced budget. So let it do so, instead of using other excuses.

The Budget
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am prepared to confront the government on this budget, and to do so today. What I am offering the Prime Minister is to agree to speed up the procedures and to vote today on bills C-48 and C-43. Let us do that today, as we did yesterday for the veterans.

Is he prepared to take that challenge today and vote on that budget today, after the debate? If he has the slightest confidence in this House, let him take action instead of hiding and trying to buy some time, as he has done for too long already. Let him do something.