House of Commons Hansard #105 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was gomery.

Topics

Member for Newton—North Delta
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, over the past six weeks, two Liberal ministers, one parliamentary secretary, the lawyer representing the Liberal Party at the Gomery commission and the Prime Minister himself have all boasted about calling on the RCMP. However, when the issue involves the Prime Minister's chief of staff and a Conservative member, their enthusiasm for the RCMP seems to wane. Could the Prime Minister tell us why?

Member for Newton—North Delta
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am a little surprised that the NDP leader would not know about the ethics involved in all this. The government does not have the right to give instructions to the RCMP. It can provide information, as any individual can, but the decision to act on this information rests with the RCMP.

Member for Newton—North Delta
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, I believe we can all recall previous instances where the RCMP was called in by the government.

It is funny because on sponsorship the Prime Minister did nothing because he claimed that he did not know anything. In this case, he is doing nothing because he does not want to know anything. It is not a funny matter. The RCMP needs to investigate this. It is going to need all the relevant phone logs, e-mails, letters and meeting notes.

My question for the Prime Minister is, will they be provided to the RCMP?

Member for Newton—North Delta
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, obviously the government will provide the RCMP any information it requires. I would hope that if the leader of the NDP has any such information, he would provide it.

What I find most surprising is that the Leader of the Opposition seems to imply that Canada is a police state, that in fact we will dictate to the RCMP what it should do. That is not the way it works. It would be most improper if the government were to tell the RCMP to initiate an investigation. It should be provided with the information and then an independent decision of the RCMP is taken on whether or not to act.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, today we learned the government has made a deal with former Prime Minister Chrétien, the kind of deal the public works minister yesterday suggested in the House might be characterized as witness tampering and trying to interfere. The minister said that kind of deal would be shameful. The government's deal is that Chrétien will not try to remove Gomery for now but may do so later.

Why today a deal the minister scorned just yesterday?

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's assertion is ridiculous. The fact is that Mr. Chrétien, as an individual, has a right to defend himself and to take action as he sees fit.

The government has been clear. It did not agree or support Mr. Chrétien's previous action. He has decided to take another action. That is his right. We believe in the charter of rights and we believe in the freedom of individual Canadians to defend themselves under our system.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, this deal and reprieve from the Chrétien application to remove Gomery is only temporary. It can be brought back any time and hangs over the head of the inquiry. Did the government's deal include waiting to see what Gomery says before deciding whether the Chrétien attack will proceed?

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, once again the hon. member's question and assertion are totally false. There was no deal. Mr. Chrétien, as an individual, has determined a course of action and he has the right to pursue that. The government has also chosen a course of action.

The Prime Minister has chosen a course of action and that is to support the work of Justice Gomery. The only people in the House who are acting in a way that could potentially disable and disrupt the work of Justice Gomery are the Conservatives. Their opposition day motion today is at best disruptive or redundant and at worst mischievous and aimed at disrupting the work of Justice Gomery.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Rahim Jaffer Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, the lawyers representing Jean Chrétien have suspended their application to have Mr. Justice Gomery dismissed, because they have an agreement with the Liberals. They reserve the right to submit their application again and delay the release of the judge's report. The lawyers representing the government have agreed to this.

Will the Prime Minister commit to tabling in the House the details of this agreement with his predecessor?

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 should speak to his colleague from Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam who said, “We think Jean Chrétien did the right thing”.

Members opposite cannot on one hand stand up in the House and say that Mr. Chrétien is somehow doing something wrong when on the other hand, one of their learned members is supportive and congratulates Mr. Chrétien for doing the right thing.

Beyond that, Mr. Chrétien, as an individual, does have a right to determine a course of action. He has done exactly that. It has nothing to do with the government.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Rahim Jaffer Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, first the Liberal government tried every trick in the book possible to block judge Gomery from doing his work. The government had the former prime minister sue Justice Gomery in order to shut him down. Now it has struck a secret deal with Mr. Chrétien regarding that lawsuit, the details of which it is refusing to elaborate upon.

Will the government amend the terms of reference in order to have Judge Gomery's report tabled in this House at the same time that it is presented to cabinet?

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, if it were not such a serious matter, it would become amusing to see them bounce from pillar to post and from question period to question period desperately grasping at anything to shed some pall or to create some question about the work of Justice Gomery.

Justice Gomery said in his own words that according to section 13 of the Inquiries Act he is entitled to draw conclusions as to whether or not there has been misconduct and who may be responsible. Yet, the Conservatives have an opposition day motion that actually questions the logic of Justice Gomery. Their opposition day motion at best would be redundant, but if implemented would actually threaten the work of Justice Gomery.

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

May 31st, 2005 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, in this affair concerning his chief of staff, the Prime Minister's behaviour is a carbon copy of that of Jean Chrétien and Alfonso Gagliano in the sponsorship scandal. He thinks that denying something will make it disappear.

Will the Prime Minister finally understand that denying the responsibility of his chief of staff is not enough, that he has to take action, assume responsibility and suspend him, nothing less?

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek
Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, again, we are hearing allegations from the opposite side. The Prime Minister has said that he was informed that the member for Newton—North Delta approached his office about crossing the floor. He made it very clear that there would be no deals offered. There was no deal offered.

I do not understand why there is a continued line of questioning. This has been answered and if the hon. member does have information that is pertinent to this, I would suggest that he turn that over to the RCMP if he believes that there has been any wrongdoing.

Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's only defence in this affair concerning his chief of staff is to say that the member himself approached the government, which supposedly relieves his chief of staff of all responsibility.

Will the Prime Minister admit that buying someone is not made acceptable merely by the fact that someone offers himself for sale? That seems clear to me.