House of Commons Hansard #101 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was chair.

Topics

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Mount Royal
Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the body is not controlled by the Liberals. It is an independent body. It was the same body that the hon. member presided over. It was good enough for him when he was the attorney general of Manitoba and it is good enough for us when we are the Government of Canada.

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Vic Toews Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, the justice minister understands perfectly well the distinction between an independent body and the body that controls federal judicial appointments. The denials of the minister are simply not enough. An independent investigation is needed to clear the air. It is more than a coincidence that predominantly Liberal Party loyalists get appointed to the bench, including the minister's former chief of staff.

Why does the minister refuse to put into place a transparent public process that actually limits political patronage?

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the member earlier referenced Gomery and the work of Justice Gomery. It is important to realize that recently constituents of the hon. member started receiving householders that he sent out. In that householder he said:

--we in the Conservative Party, believe that more testimony must be heard. And we believe that the Canadian public deserves a chance to hear, understand, and evaluate this evidence. This will obviously take some time. Our party is not interested in the electoral calculations of the Bloc Québecois, nor do we wish to have any part of pre-empting further evidence...We will not allow the separatists’ dangerous, narrow electoral agenda to dictate that of the entire country.

That is what he said--

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Saint-Hyacinthe-Bagot.

Transfer Payments
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, the budget implementation bill is unacceptable to Quebec. It does not include any measures to eliminate the fiscal imbalance. Yet, Jean Charest and Benoît Pelletier expect the federal government to provide better funding for post-secondary education, something which, in their opinion, would be a first step in solving the fiscal imbalance issue.

How can the government explain that its budget does not include any solution to the fiscal imbalance, even though it recognized its existence in the throne speech?

Transfer Payments
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Scarborough—Guildwood
Ontario

Liberal

John McKay Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, there is no such thing as a fiscal imbalance. I would remind the hon. member that 25 years ago the argument was that all the money was in the provinces and all the needs were in the federal government. Now they argue that all the needs are in the provinces and all the money is in the federal government. Twenty-five years ago they found that there was no structural imbalance. Provinces have the same access to resources and to revenue sources as does the federal government.

Transfer Payments
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal contribution accounts for 11.5% of the funding for post-secondary education, while at one time it accounted for 50%.

Does the government realize that, if it really wants to follow up on its commitments set out in the throne speech and provide a real solution to the fiscal imbalance, it must increase transfers for post-secondary education?

Transfer Payments
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Scarborough—Guildwood
Ontario

Liberal

John McKay Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, there is a very simple solution to the hon. member's inquiry, and that is on Thursday night support Bill C-43 and Bill C-48.

Social Development
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, during the last election campaign, the Prime Minister was as proud as could be to announce that Quebec would receive money for child care with no strings attached.

How does the Prime Minister explain that a year after making that promise there is still no agreement with Quebec?

Social Development
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Ken Dryden Minister of Social Development

Mr. Speaker, as I have said many times in the House, we have ongoing negotiations and discussions with the province of Quebec. We are very hopeful that those negotiations will end up in an agreement.

Social Development
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister should know that an unconditional transfer would be very easy to negotiate.

In that context, how can the Prime Minister sign agreements with five provinces and tell us that negotiations with Quebec are ongoing when it should be a mere formality? Let him explain.

Social Development
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Ken Dryden Minister of Social Development

Mr. Speaker, the first step that needs to be taken in all of this, in order for money to be transferred to the provinces under any agreement, is to pass the budget on Thursday night.

Canada Post
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Pallister Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, it does not appear that the government has any interest in solving the case of André Ouellet's missing receipts. As recently as March of this year, the Canada Post minister told this House that he still did not have the receipts. Yet yesterday, before the government operations committee, Mr. Ouellet testified under oath that he sent the minister the receipts in December of last year.

Will the minister now admit that his department has had the receipts since December of 2004?

Canada Post
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Markham—Unionville
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in a parliamentary committee, the hon. member challenged the right of a witness to respond to him in French. I hope today he will be so kind as to allow me to respond to him in French.

My response is that what he just said is not true. There was no political interference in the past and there will be none in the future.

Canada Post
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Pallister Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, the minister is as evasive today as Mr. Ouellet was yesterday.

The Liberals are not interested in getting to the bottom of this issue. For every other Canadian, tax rules are straightforward: no receipts and we pay a taxable benefit. Mr. Ouellet claims he lost almost $200,000 worth of receipts and “the dog ate my homework”.

The same rules that apply to everyone else must apply to Liberal fat cats in this country. Or is “I lost the receipts” now an acceptable excuse for Revenue Canada tax officials?