House of Commons Hansard #100 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Government Advertising
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Rahim Jaffer Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, they will probably invest it in the Liberal Party of Canada.

It is incredible that the minister is attacking witnesses like the Auditor General. Every time she opens the Liberal Party closet, she finds skeletons. When he was the Minister of Finance, the Prime Minister signed cheques for over $200 million to Liberal friends. He signed cheques worth over $800 million, without appropriate documentation.

How can we once more put our confidence in the Prime Minister, when he did nothing to put an end to this scandal while he was Minister of Finance?

Government Advertising
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, is it necessary to remind the House and the official opposition what this Prime Minister did. Upon receipt of the Auditor General's report he called for a public inquiry. He is the one who is asking that Mr. Justice Gomery be allowed to finish his work so that all Canadians have a complete picture of what happened. He is the one who put in place new financial controls within our departments of government. He is the one who called for whistleblower legislation. He is the one who removed certain heads of crown corporations and put in place a new transparent process of appointments.

This Prime Minister has been pretty clear in terms of where he--

Government Advertising
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Edmonton—Strathcona.

Government Advertising
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Rahim Jaffer Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, that does not excuse his actions before he was Prime Minister, that is for sure.

Once again the Auditor General has exposed the incompetence of the Prime Minister. When he was finance minister he spent $800 million on advertising without the proper documentation and receipts. She testified at Gomery that “there were major problems in advertising activities”.

In fact, during his televised address last month, the Prime Minister admitted to being asleep at the switch. Why should we trust him to clean this up now when he chose to do nothing about it as finance minister?

Government Advertising
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member was actually doing his job regarding what the government has been doing on an ongoing basis in terms of advertising, he would know that since 2003 we have overhauled our advertising practices to ensure greater competition, greater value for the Canadian taxpayer and greater fairness and transparency. We believe in openness and accountability. We believe in ensuring greater value for the Canadian taxpayer. We have made the fundamental changes to our advertising practices that are delivering on those principles.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, Liberal mismanagement has sprawled far beyond the sponsorship program. The recipe is the same, whether Shawinigate, the gun registry or Option Canada and its advertising: contracts to friends of the regime, with the Liberal Party getting a return on its investment.

It is all very well to do as the president of the Liberals' Quebec wing says, and hold one's nose, but that does not alter reality. Will the Prime Minister confirm that this is a tried and true old family recipe the Liberals use in a great variety of ways?

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, our Prime Minister has taken action on the sponsorship problems. The separatists ought to look closer to home, to such problems as Gaspésia and Oxygène 9, where millions of taxpayer dollars seem to have been mismanaged.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, since the start, this government has claimed that the sponsorship scandal is based on allegations. Yet the recent testimony by the Auditor General has shown a model of repeated Liberal mismanagement, the objective of which is to generously compensate friendly firms.

Will the minister at last admit that his government brings out that same old tried and true Liberal family recipe at every opportunity?

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 have made significant and positive changes to our advertising practices since 2003 to ensure greater competitiveness, greater value for the Canadian taxpayer and greater openness and transparency. We are not just talking the talk like those members over there. We are walking the walk and making the changes that are important to Canadians to ensure better value for taxpayers and better services for Canadians.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Charlevoix—Montmorency, QC

Mr. Speaker, in connection with government advertising, the Auditor General has noted laxity and a flagrant lack of control. This led to the abuses of which we are well aware, untendered contracts awarded to Liberal friendly companies with kickbacks to the Liberal Party coffers. In short, that same old Liberal family recipe.

Since it is the task of the Treasury Board to keep an eye on the proper use of public funds, how can the Prime Minister, who was the vice president of the Treasury Board, justify his failure to react to all this when it was going on?

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 have made important and substantive changes to strengthen our advertising program as a government.

While he refers to allegations, he should also recognize that there are allegations against his separatist cousins, the Parti Québécois in Quebec, allegations that it received funds inappropriately which impacted the Parti Québécois government in terms of contracts given.

Perhaps those members should have the courage that this Prime Minister has had and perhaps they should have their own inquiry into separatist activities in the province of Quebec.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Charlevoix—Montmorency, QC

Just a minute, Mr. Speaker. The minister keeps on talking of allegations, but it is written in the Auditor General's report that there was political interference that favoured Groupaction and BCP, two nice little Liberal friendly firms, in getting Liberal contracts. We know how that happened.

Why did the Prime Minister, who was vice president of the Treasury Board, allow use of the Liberal family recipe without reacting?

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, our Prime Minister was the finance minister who actually helped turn the finances of the country around and who helped deliver what was to become a record in the G-8 of eight consecutive balanced surplus budgets. We are proud of that record. Canadians are proud of the fiscal fortitude that this Prime Minister instilled in this government and in this country as finance minister.

Democratic Reform
Oral Question Period

May 17th, 2005 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

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

Under the former minister for democratic reform there was nothing short of foot dragging and we have to really observe, as the member for Ottawa Centre has done, that it has to be considered deliberate.

However now we have a new Minister responsible for Democratic Reform and I would like to ask the government a question. What specific plans to fix our broken voting system does the government have in mind to bring forward with this new minister?

Democratic Reform
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa—Vanier
Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, today we are having an example of the benefits of living in a federation with two orders of government where we can learn from each other and each other's experiments.

Today there is a vote in British Columbia on whether the population wishes to change the method by which it chooses its representatives. I believe the members in this House would be well advised to learn from that experiment as we find out tonight what the results are.

In the meantime, the federal government has been preparing and waiting for a report from a committee, a report that is due soon, and is as a result of a unanimous request from the House.