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 country.

Topics

Nappan Experimental Farm
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Bill Casey North Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, on May 29 the Cumberland County Federation of Agriculture will hold a rally at the Nappan Experimental Farm. The farm has been serving the farming community since before Confederation but now the Department of Agriculture has announced it will close.

The Nappan Experimental Farm enjoys soils and terrains that are unique to the maritime provinces and are not available at any other experimental facility in Canada. The farm also has a close association with the maritime beef testing station that does necessary research on cattle. The beef testing station needs the farm to survive.

At a time when farmers are hurting, mostly for reasons beyond their control, research should be expanding, not contracting.

I have asked the minister to come to this event, have a tour of the Nappan Experimental Farm and the beef testing station, and meet with farmers who are affected.

Under no circumstances should the farm close if the minister has not even visited the facility.

The Budget
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bill Matthews Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, a few weeks ago, when members of the Liberal Party stood up and voted for the budget, members of the Conservative Party sat in their seats and abstained.

Now, in a sudden turnaround, the Conservative Party wants to vote for one part of the budget implementation bill and vote against another part.

Surely the Conservative members from Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia know that voting for one part of the budget and defeating the other will result in defeat of the government and the entire budget.

The Atlantic accords will be lost with it. If this happens, I hope the Conservative members across the way do not have the gall to go back to their ridings and say that they voted for the Atlantic accord.

Premier Williams said earlier this week, “A vote for the budget is a vote for Newfoundland and Labrador”. That is the entire budget and not selective parts of it.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, there have been reports that the Liberal government is now considering a plan whereby donations that it receives from ad agencies up to their neck in the sponsorship scandal will now be put into a separate trust fund.

Maybe miracles never cease. The Liberals have been resisting this idea for several weeks but a deathbed conversion is better than nothing.

Could the government today commit to putting all the money it has received from ad companies into a separate trust fund?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, once again the party has been clear from the beginning that if in fact funds were received inappropriately those funds will be returned to the Canadian taxpayer. In fact, it is impossible to complete that transaction to the Canadian taxpayer until we have all the facts, until all the analysis has been conducted and until we have Justice Gomery's report.

If the party establishes an interim action in terms of a goodwill approach, that will establish goodwill, but that will not return the money to the Canadian taxpayer any sooner than the report from Justice Gomery.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is a bunch of nonsense. All they have to do is just check their records.

Last month the Liberals lost a motion that mandated them to put that money into a separate trust account.

Three elections have been fought on that dirty money. Surely Canadians have a right to know that this next election will not be fought with this dirty money.

Will they do the right thing now and put that money into a trust account?

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, once again, the party leader this afternoon will be making an announcement and that announcement will establish and affirm a goodwill through that.

Beyond that, the actual transaction, in terms of the transfer to the taxpayer, cannot occur until we have all the facts and we have Justice Gomery's report.

In Stevie Cameron's book, On the Take , there are allegations that the Conservative Party operated a tollgating operation in the province of Quebec. Perhaps it ought to establish some sort of trust fund as well or perhaps those members over there ought to take some responsibility for their actions.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is one bit of good news. Apparently Elections Canada is in the process of sending out party subsidies to all the parties and the Liberal Party is supposed to get a little over $2 million.

I can appreciate, if all the stories about the Liberals' financial troubles are true, that they did not have the money before, but now that they have the cheque, why not do the right thing and let Canadians put their trust back into the electoral system, and put that money into a trust account?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

I think perhaps if the member had phrased his question as to whether the money was being returned to the government, it might be in order, but it seems to me that asking a party to do something with money it is receiving for election returns is another matter and we will leave it at that.

The hon. member for Edmonton--Strathcona.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Rahim Jaffer Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, this Liberal government lost a vote which obliged it to create a trust fund for the dirty sponsorship money. So far, it has not done so. Elections Canada is now preparing to pay $2 million back to the government.

Can the Prime Minister tell us whether he is going to put that dirty money into a trust account, or fund a fourth election campaign with it?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

I have the same reservations on this question as on the previous one. The question must be asked in other terms. Calls have often been made in this House for the Liberal Party to reimburse the government. I trust that the hon. member will be able to use acceptable language for his second question.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Rahim Jaffer Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, while I did ask if they would return it as a government, the Liberals have rigged every rule in the book to benefit themselves. They have laundered thousands if not millions for ad scam. They rewrote election financing laws to get millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies.

The only way Canadians can be sure the Liberals are not campaigning with dirty money is to put the Elections Canada subsidy in trust. Maybe it is their intention to buy another election campaign using that dirty money.

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, once again, the Prime Minister has always been clear on this and the party has been clear on this, that if funds were received inappropriately they will be returned to the Canadian taxpayer and we will do that when Canadians have all of the facts.

Any interim step to establish goodwill is a step in that direction but it does not achieve that transaction until we actually have all of the facts from Justice Gomery's own audit process. He is working with party auditors to achieve that.

We are cooperating fully because we want to ensure that justice is done on behalf of the taxpayer and on behalf of all Canadians.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

May 18th, 2005 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the new Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development says she is a woman of principle. On April 13, she voted in favour of the establishment of an independent EI fund, a measure proposed by the Bloc Québécois to prevent the government from continuing to divert money from the fund at the expense of the unemployed.

Will the government honour the principles of its new minister by creating an independent EI fund right now, so that money for the unemployed can be set aside?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Peterborough
Ontario

Liberal

Peter Adams Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the government has made considerable changes in EI, including changes in the independence of the commission. I believe a report was tabled yesterday in the House dealing with these matters.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is the very question. Yesterday the government rejected all the recommendations of the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills Development, Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities, recommendations Liberal MPs had voted for.

I put my question again. The new minister, this woman of principle, voted in this House in support of the establishment of an independent employment insurance fund to ensure that the government would not divert funds, as it had in the past to the tune of $47 billion. I am now asking whether the government will honour the principles of the new minister by creating an independent fund, yes or no. The question is simple, as is the answer.