House of Commons Hansard #91 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was question.

Topics

The Budget
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, he will run; he will run and fetch that stick.

The finance minister said his budget could not be touched. Then he let the NDP ravage it. Now his own colleagues are going to the NDP to get more budget changes. If his own colleagues do not think the finance minister has any credibility, then why should Canadians? When will he resign?

The Budget
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker,--

The Budget
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

The Budget
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I would remind hon. members that in question period it is one question and one response, not 100 questions at once. We are now going to hear a response to the last question before the other 99.

The Prime Minister has the floor to answer the member for Medicine Hat.

The Budget
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Martin LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, there have been seven, eight, nine, and another projected one, ten surpluses in a row. There has been unprecedented job creation, low inflation, and money set aside for Kyoto and climate change. Money has been set aside for housing, a dynamic economy, foreign aid, research and development, and education.

I will tell you, Mr. Speaker, the finance minister can run on this budget and this government will run on this budget. I am proud to say as a Liberal that this is one of the--

The Budget
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Laurier--Sainte Marie.

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, Justice Michel Robert clearly crossed the line separating the judicial from the political by saying in no uncertain terms that sovereignists had no place on the bench.

In response to such partisan remarks, should a self-respecting justice minister and a government that claims to be responsible not bring a complaint before the Judicial Council to have Justice Robert removed? If the minister does so, an investigation follows automatically. Will he?

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Mount Royal
Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I have already said it several times and I will say it again today. No appointments are made on the basis of political associations.

I repeat as well that complaints should be brought before the Canadian Judicial Council, which can look into it. That is all.

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister is also entitled to make a complaint, and the investigation follows automatically. On April 26, Justice Robert said in no uncertain terms that sovereignists should not serve as judges. The Minister of Justice could only remark that we should avoid making waves so as not to splatter the judiciary.

By refusing to reprimand a judge who contends that sovereignists do not have the same rights as everyone else, does the justice minister realize he is the one sullying the judiciary?

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Mount Royal
Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, I will have no part of a process aimed at casting aspersions on the independence or the excellence of the judiciary. Appointments are based on merit. I have no interest in knowing candidates' political affiliations or views.

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Charlesbourg, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the recent past, the justice minister's predecessors, who were from the same party, did not hesitate to lodge complaints before the judicial council. That happened in 1996, when Justice Bienvenue made discriminatory comments against women and Jews, and again in 1999, when the current Deputy Prime Minister ordered an investigation into Justice Flahiff's behaviour.

How can the Minister of Justice conclude that Justice Robert should not be reprimanded for his comments, considering that his predecessors at the Department of Justice showed much more courage than him by taking steps to punish the behaviour of Justice Flahiff and the statements of Justice Bienvenue?

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Mount Royal
Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, this is a matter of principle that has to do with protecting the independence of the judiciary. If the member asks this kind of question again, I will repeat the same answer.

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Charlesbourg, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Justice has a duty to protect, first, the independence of the judiciary and, second, the values of the charter, which include not discriminating against a person on the basis of his or her political beliefs.

How can the minister refuse to lodge a complaint against Justice Robert, if it is not because he is acting like a Liberal protecting a fellow Liberal?

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 am not only the Minister of Justice, I am also the Attorney General of Canada. As such, I respect the rule of law and the Constitution of Canada.

Air-India
Oral Question Period

May 4th, 2005 / 2:35 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister. He needs to know that we are going to continue to ask questions about the issues that people care about, whether he chooses to answer or not.

There were 30 days in which to file an appeal on the Air-India tragedy. Indeed, the 30 days have passed. This House instructed the government to call a public inquiry.

Will the Prime Minister respect this House and call the public inquiry now?