House of Commons Hansard #106 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was industries.

Topics

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Statements By Members

June 1st, 2005 / 2:20 p.m.

Conservative

David Tilson Dufferin—Caledon, ON

Mr. Speaker, recently I introduced a private member's bill that would designate the month of June as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis month. This is also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease. The bill would ensure that throughout Canada, in each and every year, the month of June shall be officially be known as ALS month.

Approximately 2,000 Canadians currently live with ALS. Two or three Canadians lose their battle to this devastating disease every day. With improved knowledge about ALS, health care providers and families can help those living with this disease live life more fully.

The ALS Society of Canada recognizes the involvement of volunteers at all levels of the organization as a vital component to achieving its mission of helping people living with ALS and raising funds for ALS research.

Throughout the month of June, ALS societies across Canada will be raising money for research through a variety of ways, one of which is through the sale of cornflowers. Members should show their support for ALS research and buy a cornflower.

Member for Newton—North Delta
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister told the House, “At no time...did I ever say that I would meet with the hon. member”, meaning the member for Newton—North Delta, and yet the tapes show the Prime Minister's chief of staff saying quite clearly that the Prime Minister was “prepared to talk to you directly, both by phone and in person”.

Why did the Prime Minister tell the House that he was unwilling to meet the member for Newton--North Delta when clearly he was?

Member for Newton—North Delta
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the member for Newton--North Delta called to say that he was interested in crossing the floor. I essentially said to members of the government and my staff that they could pursue discussions but that under no circumstances could any offer be made, and no offer was made.

Clearly, if the hon. member had indicated that he was prepared to cross the floor under those conditions, obviously anybody would meet with somebody who was interested in crossing the floor.

The fundamental fact is that no offer was made, no request was accepted and under those circumstances--

Member for Newton—North Delta
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

Member for Newton—North Delta
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is shifting his story. Now he admits that he did authorize his senior people to engage in discussions.

Yesterday in the House, I repeat, the Prime Minister said, “At no time, however, did I ever say that I would meet with the hon. member”, and yet his health minister is on tape saying, “I talked to the Prime Minister moments ago. He will be happy to talk to you over the phone or in person”.

Why did the Prime Minister not tell the truth in the House of Commons?

Member for Newton—North Delta
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we are dealing with serious matters here. The fact is for the Leader of the Opposition to deliberately misconstrue what was said, for the Leader of the Opposition to cast that kind of aspersion, is certainly not the level of stability and the kind of debate that Canadians are looking for.

I made it very clear that I would not meet with the hon. member unless it was under conditions that said he would cross the floor with no request being accepted and no offers being made.

Under those circumstances and unless those were there I was not prepared to meet with him.

Member for Newton—North Delta
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this is another story. The Prime Minister said that he would never meet with him. Now he says that he would meet with him under certain conditions.

When the government was courting the member for Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette, the President of the Treasury Board said, “Only the Prime Minister has the authority to make an offer”.

Is not the reason the Prime Minister wanted to meet the member for Newton—North Delta so that he could make him an offer, just as he did in several other cases that we are aware of?

Member for Newton—North Delta
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek
Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister gave his chief of staff one instruction, not to make any offers, and that was the case.

The Prime Minister has been very clear about this. He was aware that his office had been approached and that the member wanted to cross the floor. The member of Parliament did not cross the floor and there was no meeting set up with the Prime Minister.

Member for Newton—North Delta
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, the President of the Treasury Board has said that only the Prime Minister has the authority to buy off opposition members.

The Minister of Health says that talking to the chief of staff is like talking to the Prime Minister.

Published tapes now reveal that the Prime Minister's chief of staff, Tim Murphy, made offers to the Conservative member for Newton—North Delta.

Does the Prime Minister now admit that he made an offer and that his chief of staff was doing the big boss's bidding and acting on his instruction?

Member for Newton—North Delta
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek
Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister gave his chief of staff an instruction and that was not to make any offers. That instruction was followed.

Mr. Kalia, a friend of the member for Newton—North Delta, confirmed that in his statement yesterday, “they said they cannot offer anything.

Frankly, there are serious questions being raised about the accuracy of the tapes and the transcripts. Let us be clear that if there is any credibility on this particular issue it lies solely with the member for Newton—North Delta.

Member for Newton—North Delta
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's chief of staff is caught on tape saying that he was prepared, “to get the Ethics Commissioner to give an interim report or something to take the cloud off that would be helpful”. Clearly, the government was and is prepared to do anything to cling to power and go to any length, including offers of cabinet posts, for votes or interference with an ethics investigation.

Is the Prime Minister and his staff suggesting he can influence an independent officer of Parliament? Why will the Prime Minister not admit that he is engaged in a sordid, deal making practice? Get up and answer the question.

Member for Newton—North Delta
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Vancouver South
B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, it appears the hon. member rented a dog. If he owned one, he would not be so upset.

However, the member for Newton—North Delta made demands. No offers were made and no demands were accepted. The tapes are faulty. There is no authenticity of the tapes. The translation is faulty. The transcription from English to English is faulty. My mother tongue is Punjabi, fortunately. I can say that Conservative staffers were involved in doing the transcription--

Member for Newton—North Delta
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie.

Member for Newton—North Delta
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the tape affair, instead of assuming his responsibilities, the Prime Minister is short circuiting reality. It was all very well to state in this House that no offer had been made to the member for Newton—North Delta, but nothing justifies his being so categorical.

Contrary to what he is claiming, will the Prime Minister admit, in the light of the released transcripts, that his chief of staff and his Minister of Health were dangling future considerations, which is just as bad?

Member for Newton—North Delta
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I repeat that no offer was made and no offer was accepted. This is obvious from the tapes.