House of Commons Hansard #98 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was vote.

Topics

Government of Canada
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. government House leader.

Government of Canada
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek
Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, it is very clear that because of the level of frustration that the hon. member is feeling and his inability to bring something forward on a procedural basis to have a legitimate confidence vote in the House, he continues to be mistaken about how things are interpreted.

There will be a clear question and a clear vote of confidence on Thursday in the House. I certainly hope the opposition party will be here to show whether it has confidence in the government and to ensure that the budget, which reflects the interests of Canadians, has an opportunity to pass.

Government of Canada
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government has not only lost the confidence of the House; it gets worse than that. It has lost the confidence of the Canadian people. Because of Liberal corruption and criminality, the government has lost the confidence of all Canadians.

If the government has any honour, it will have a vote only when elected members can attend and represent their constituents and vote. That is on Monday, not on Thursday. Will the government allow the vote to be on Monday?

Government of Canada
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek
Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, one can never prejudge or predetermine whether members are able to come to the House or not when there is a vote. We have set a reasonable time for a confidence vote. Procedural and constitutional experts have indicated that.

There is an opportunity to continue debate. Bill C-48 is in the House right now. I hope hon. members are not going to attempt to pass some motion to adjourn the House; it would be another afternoon off at taxpayers' expense that the Conservatives and the Bloc want.

The Thursday vote is a confidence vote. It will be on Thursday.

Government of Canada
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, judging by how few Liberals there are in this House today, one would think there had already been an election.

With all the dirty money that ended up in the Liberal Party coffers, the government has not only lost all moral authority, but it is so incapable of governing—as is very obvious—that the Liberals are obstructing and paralyzing themselves to avoid a confidence vote on their own budget. That is the height of desperation.

Instead of holding on, will the Prime Minister accept the inevitable and hold a confidence vote on the budget on Monday?

Government of Canada
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek
Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, as I have said over and over again, there is a reasonable date set for a confidence vote. I have asked for unanimous consent to put a motion to the House that would allow for the vote on Thursday. That vote on Thursday respects the investments made by the governments and the people of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

The Prime Minister will respect the outcome of that vote. If the budget is in fact defeated, there will be an election. The question is whether the leader of the official opposition and his close friend the separatist will respect the outcome of that vote.

Government of Canada
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, we would be only too pleased to respect the outcome of that vote once we win. Nonetheless, the Liberals want to wait until Thursday in order to prevent some people from voting. They are completely unscrupulous on the other side of the House.

The House has demanded that this government step down, but having lost all legitimacy, it is using procedure and public funds to artificially stay in power. We see this at the Gomery inquiry, too.

The political crisis, for which the Liberals must take responsibility, has gone on long enough. All the members will be here on Monday. Does the Prime Minister have the courage to hold the vote on Monday, when everyone is here?

Government of Canada
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek
Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I really cannot understand why the leader of the Bloc and certainly the Leader of the Opposition cannot take yes for an answer.

There will be a confidence vote in the House. It will test the confidence of the government. The vote on Thursday does respect a number of investments made by Saskatchewan and Alberta and the people of those provinces. The vote is on Thursday. It is a reasonable date. I think Canadians believe it is a reasonable date. I hope that hon. members are here to vote on the budget on Thursday.

Government of Canada
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has lost control of the situation. Before putting his government to a confidence vote, he is trying to organize a pre-election tour. Yesterday, the premier of New Brunswick told him he wanted nothing to do with the Prime Minister's partisan game.

The message is coming from all over in no uncertain terms. Is the Prime Minister not getting it? He has lost the confidence of this House, the media and the public.

Government of Canada
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek
Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the real difficulty here is that both the Conservatives and the Bloc continue to interpret the rules and procedures of the House for their own political purposes.

What is a requirement is that this House have a confidence vote. A legitimate confidence vote is in fact on a budget. I do not know why hon. members cannot accept yes for an answer. On Tuesday when there was a procedural motion in place, they continued to misrepresent it as a confidence motion. Now they have a real confidence motion and it will be on Thursday.

Government of Canada
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, let us be more specific. Canada's image abroad has been coloured—even the dollar has lost a cent in the past three days—because the Prime Minister is undemocratic. He is clinging to power and refusing to look at the facts. They alone fail to see the reality.

My question is for the government. Will the Prime Minister finally come to his senses, affirm his respect for democracy and confirm the vote of confidence in his government on Monday, when all members—

Government of Canada
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Leader of the Government in the House of Commons.

Government of Canada
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek
Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, constitutional experts, procedural experts, including Patrick Monahan, indicated that Thursday was a reasonable date.

It was also very clear that the situation would only be a crisis or difficult in fact if the government refused to have a confidence vote.

I really do not know why yes is not an acceptable answer. The opposition party in particular was looking to have an opportunity to put a confidence motion in front of this House. It now has a legitimate one. It is called the budget.

Commercial Bankruptcies
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, some of the people who watch these proceedings are pensioners. I am sure that they are feeling quite discouraged right now with what they hear of the practices of the Liberal Party, and what they see with the political games being played here. They also watch in the news as their pensions are attacked as big companies go bankrupt and their pensions are confiscated right out from under them.

The NDP has a bill in front of this House at the moment that would protect workers' pensions. That is a practical step we could take now. Will the government indicate that it would not deny unanimous consent to put this bill through this House?

Commercial Bankruptcies
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Vancouver Kingsway
B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the bill the hon. member refers to is a bill that would actually kill more jobs and kill more defined benefit pension plans than anything I can think of.

This government has a bill coming forward to deal with bankruptcy and insolvency and to deal with a wage earner protection package that will be practical and will not injure business, will not kill jobs, will not kill pension plans, and will protect workers.