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 rcmp.

Topics

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, these are allegations, not facts. To know the facts, we need to wait for Justice Gomery's report.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Charlevoix—Montmorency, QC

Mr. Speaker, as it happens, Canadians now know enough about the sponsorship scandal. I am merely repeating what the Prime Minister himself said when he decided last year to call an election.

Now, to get back to BCP, which was not eligible for the clarity bill contract, but managed to get it by going through Communication Coffin, a company which, according to Paul Coffin himself, had been used as a front—

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The Minister of Public Works and Government Services.

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, Canadians want to see Parliament work. It is obvious why the separatists do not want it to work: they do not want Canada to work. It is dangerous for the Conservatives to support the separatists. What is good for the separatists is not good for Canada.

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Charlesbourg, QC

Mr. Speaker, the more we look, the more we see a hint of Liberal red peaking out from the robes of the chief justice of the Quebec Court of Appeal, Michel Robert.

On November 19, 2004, when asked whether he would have been appointed to the Court of Appeal if he had been a sovereignist, he told journalists, “No, I would not be on the Court of Appeal because I believe the Government of Canada appoints people with federalist sentiments when there are openings in the hierarchy.”

How can the Minister of Justice claim that such comments are not prejudicial to the independence of the judiciary in Canada?

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Mount Royal
Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I understand that the hon. member has filed a complaint with the Canadian Judicial Council. We should let the council do its work.

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Charlesbourg, QC

Mr. Speaker, what a sorry spectacle. The hon. member for Mount Royal, that known champion, here and abroad, of human rights, is now condoning the words of Chief Justice Robert, which are an assault on judicial independence and freedom of conscience.

When will he stop this Liberal partisan behaviour and start acting like a Minister of Justice by denouncing, in no uncertain terms, these unacceptable comments by Michel Robert?

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Mount Royal
Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, what is unacceptable is to tarnish the reputation of excellence of the judiciary. I will have no part of it.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

May 3rd, 2005 / 2:40 p.m.

Conservative

James Moore Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, long-time Liberal Warren Kinsella sent a memo in 1995 to the public works minister stating that $615,000 in government contracts were given to the Prime Minister's friends at Earnscliffe in violation of cabinet guidelines.

David Herle, who was the Prime Minister's campaign manager, worked at Earnscliffe and received this money after the Prime Minister as finance minister insisted that David Herle and Earnscliffe receive the contracts.

The Prime Minister has two choices: rise in his place and admit that he directed cash to his friends, or rise and call Warren Kinsella a liar. Which is it?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, there is nothing new in the allegations that the hon. gentleman has made. Just repeating them does not make them true. The fact is that all of the evidence on the public record indicates that the appropriate procedures at the time were indeed followed and that any intervention by the office of the former minister of finance was intended to increase competition and not decrease it.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

James Moore Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, with answers like that it is no wonder Bono has quit the Liberal Party.

According to Mr. Kinsella, this Prime Minister granted contracts to his friends, his friends at Earnscliffe, in particular, in the 1990s, people like Scott Reid, who today is his director of communications, and David Herle, who ran his leadership campaign.

How can the Prime Minister continue to manipulate the truth on the granting of contracts?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to assessing the veracity of the Prime Minister compared to the other witness to whom the hon. gentleman refers, I will put my money on the Prime Minister every day of the week.

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Van Loan York—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, serious allegations have been made with respect to the appointment of judges. The former director general of the Liberal Party has said he regularly received calls from a member of the judicial selection committee to find out whether candidates had done enough work for the party. When the answer was yes, the candidates were appointed judges.

Can the Minister of Justice tell Canadians whether he has called for an inquiry into these serious allegations?

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Mount Royal
Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, if there are allegations of corruption, the police can be contacted. The Gomery commission is proceeding. Another process can be launched. However, I do not want to start interrogating people solely on the basis of allegations.

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Van Loan York—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would hope the Minister of Justice would take more seriously his obligation to defend the independence of the judiciary.

We now know that a step in the process of appointing judges is for a member of the supposedly non-partisan appointments committee to confirm with Liberal headquarters how much work nominees have done for the Liberal Party. This is a very serious matter, calling into question the independence of the judiciary. At a time when Canadians are looking to the courts to deliver justice to sponsorship players facing criminal charges, this news corrodes public confidence in the courts.

In light of these additional revelations, does the Prime Minister still deny that there was partisan involvement in the judicial appointment--