House of Commons Hansard #90 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was marriage.

Topics

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, again I would make the point to the hon. gentleman that simply passing along personal insults and repeating allegations does not in fact make those insults or allegations true. There is nothing on the public record referred to today or previously in the House that would indicate that any rules were violated.

House of Commons
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister and I would appreciate it if he would answer it.

If Parliament is supposed to work, it really requires the Prime Minister to respect Parliament. On four separate occasions the majority of members in the House have made themselves very clear and yet the government has ignored the decision of the majority in the House. This is not what was promised.

Would the Prime Minister stand in his place and explain why he has refused to make Parliament work by ignoring the majority of members of Parliament and ignoring the House?

House of Commons
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa—Vanier
Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, as per the Constitution, various branches of government have various responsibilities. The legislative branch has certain responsibilities, as does the executive branch. In the capacity of their relationship, one of them has an advisory role. In some cases the advice is followed and in others it is not. Nevertheless, both the executive and the legislative can carry on as we do in the House.

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure what the Prime Minister's point is in ignoring the one party in the House that is trying to get something done to make Parliament work. Let us try again.

It is important that veterans be honoured and that ceremonies be attended so that veterans can be honoured. It is also important that a veterans charter be adopted so that the quality of life of veterans can be enhanced.

Will the Prime Minister introduce the veterans charter legislation so we can then seek the unanimous consent of the House and get something done, instead of playing politics?

Veterans Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the question just posed by the leader of the NDP is a very important question.

I want to congratulate my colleague, the Minister of Veterans Affairs, for the initiative, commitment, respect and loyalty she has shown to our veterans.

It is the government's intention to proceed as quickly as possible with legislation here in the House.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Central Nova, NS

I sense a lover's spat, Mr. Speaker.

On April 11, the Prime Minister told a reporter that all those involved in such dealings would be punished. We do know, however, that under the Gomery inquiry's terms of reference, the judge cannot name the responsible parties.

How does the Prime Minister intend to punish the guilty parties when he has not given Justice Gomery the mandate to identify them?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, Judge Gomery's mandate is very clear: he is fact finding. His report will be a fact-finding one that will tell Canadians what in fact happened and give the truth about it. Second, he will report back to us with prescriptives to prevent it from happening again.

That has been his mandate from the beginning and his mandate is clear. Our mandate as members of Parliament in a minority Parliament is clear as well. Canadians want us to work to make this Parliament work, which is exactly what we ought to be doing. When we make Parliament work we should be letting Justice Gomery do his work.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, the terms of reference for the Gomery commission specifically prevent recommendations on criminal culpability or civil responsibility for the millions of taxpayer dollars lost or stolen in ad scam.

In fact, Justice Gomery has said himself on this limitation that “there will be no legal consequences arising from the commission's findings”. The Prime Minister himself said there was political direction in the scandal and yet he does not allow Justice Gomery to make that determination.

Why is he and his dupe now trying to dupe Canadians into thinking that this report will provide answers when he knows it will not? Will he just admit that it is Canadians who will judge who is morally and politically responsible--

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Public Works and Government Services.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is aware that there are in fact criminal investigations and there are charges against some of the individuals, like Jean Brault, who they present as being sacrosanct in terms of his testimony. In fact, Mr. Brault is facing fraud charges.

Further to that, the government has launched civil charges against 19 firms and individuals to recover $41 million worth of funds. So there are several processes. One is on the recovery side, one is on the criminal side where charges are being pursued vigorously by the RCMP through the courts, and Justice Gomery is doing his work, which is exactly what Canadians want him to do.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, there are misconceptions about the Gomery inquiry, so here are the facts. Gomery can hear evidence even during an election. Gomery can only make recommendations aimed at preventing mismanagement of future advertising activities. Gomery cannot say who is guilty.

Canadians already have more than enough evidence of Liberal corruption. The government no longer has moral authority. Is that not why the Liberals are afraid to face the voters?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, we are not afraid of the truth. We want to have Justice Gomery's report so that Canadians have the truth. The people who are really afraid of the truth are in that party over there and the separatists because they do not want Canadians to have the truth and to have Justice Gomery's report before an election. They would rather Canadians make a rash decision based on allegations.

What is good for the separatists is not good for Canada, and that party ought to remember it.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, the truth is that clause k of Gomery's mandate is Liberal no-fault insurance. Clause k prohibits Gomery naming anyone as the guilty party. Gomery can watch the surveillance camera and he can confirm the bank was robbed but he cannot disclose who grabbed the cash or who drove the getaway car.

Kickbacks, money laundering, bribes, extortion, all involving Liberals. The Prime Minister does not even try to deny Liberal corruption. Why are the Liberals still clinging to power?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the RCMP were called in to investigate and to pursue legal action.

It is important to recognize that the member for Newmarket—Aurora said in today's Globe and Mail that “Voting against the entire budget will impact negatively. We cannot jeopardize the funding for infrastructure programs which include transportation, roads and public transit”.

She is right. Let us invest in Canadian communities. Let us invest in child care. Let us invest in education. Let us invest in the Canadian Forces. Let us pass the budget, and let Justice Gomery do his work.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Charlevoix—Montmorency, QC

Mr. Speaker, when asked about the shenanigans that enabled BCP to obtain the promotional contract for the referendum clarity bill via Communication Coffin, the Prime Minister said that everything had been done properly.

How can he use his position as Prime Minister to claim everything was done properly when it has been clearly proven that Communication Coffin was used as a front for this contract? Is that what the PM means by properly?