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 social.

Topics

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, by definition the plan cannot have started to work since the plan has not started at all because we do not have a budget yet. If we do not have a budget yet it is because the successors of Brian Mulroney are not ready to put in a penny or a dime for the environment or anything for climate change. They do not even believe in climate change. They want to fight against it. It is a shame.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Lunn Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, according to Jean Chrétien's lawyer, a deal has been struck with the Government of Canada to temporarily withdraw the application to have Justice Gomery removed from the inquiry. Mr. Chrétien's lawyer said, “Arrangements have been made with the government”.

Given that Mr. Chrétien's lawyer has admitted to the deal, will the Prime Minister admit that a deal has been struck and tell this House just exactly what is in this deal? What have they traded off to get Mr. Chrétien to withdraw this application?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I can tell him that Mr. Chrétien as an individual has the right, and the tendency, to make his own decisions. In fact, I believe that he has done exactly that. He has made a decision as to his own representation before a judicial inquiry. He has the right to do that. He exercised that right as an individual.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Lunn Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, someone is not telling the truth. Mr. Chrétien's lawyer has said that there have been arrangements with the government and the Minister of Public Works is categorically denying it.

Why did he say there was no deal yesterday? There seems to be a problem on that side of the House with remembering conversations. Which Liberal is not telling the truth in this matter?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, if we forget things on this side of the House it is because we typically do not tape conversations, but beyond that I would urge the hon. member, when he is speaking about conversations, to remember what he said yesterday in the House. In fact, he said:

Mr. Speaker, the commission has heard months and months of testimony from numerous witnesses. Admittedly, there is conflicting testimony--

He was right yesterday, for a change, when he admitted that there is conflicting testimony, which is why he ought to change his position and actually urge Justice Gomery to continue his work and ensure that Canadians have the fulsome report from Justice Gomery.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Pallister Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, the underground economy deprives provincial and federal coffers of an estimated $12 billion annually. That is a big problem. This year Revenue Canada has been going after waitresses in Atlantic Canada. That is not a big problem.

The big problem is the tax evasion involved in the sponsorship scandal itself and the large amounts of cash that Liberal fat cats have siphoned out of taxpayers' pockets. Will the minister get his priorities straight and apply the same rigorous rules to his Liberal cronies that he applies to struggling Atlantic Canadian waitresses?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Markham—Unionville
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I would like to inform the member that the underground economy is indeed a very big problem. It is one of my department's priorities. I am sure the member will be happy to learn that we are working very hard on this issue.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Pallister Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, he should be the minister of ostriches.

While Liberals leave bags of cash on restaurant tables, the minister chooses to go after the people who wait on those tables. Hiring and favouring his friends is one thing; going Liberal light on tax enforcement is quite another.

The Gomery commission has exposed a litany of Liberal money laundering and tax evasion. Will the minister finally get his act together and commit to a full tax audit of all those individuals involved, whether they are Liberals or not?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Markham—Unionville
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his second very good question. I can tell him in all sincerity that the department is very serious about its work. In fact, in his most recent budget, the Minister of Finance added $30 million a year to strengthen the tax system in this country.

Member for Newton—North Delta
Oral Question Period

June 1st, 2005 / 3 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the tape affair, the government is using the following line of defence: the Conservative member approached them, he wanted to sell his vote and the government refused to make an offer. That is their version, and they are nodding in agreement. This is an offence under the Criminal Code.

I want to know why, when the Prime Minister realized this was a criminal offence, he did not call the RCMP and file a complaint?

Member for Newton—North Delta
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, if members believe a criminal offence is being committed and if they have information in relation to an alleged criminal offence, I would encourage everyone in the House to provide information to the relevant police authority and jurisdiction.

As we have said over and over again in the House, it would be completely inappropriate for us or for anyone in the House to ask the RCMP to initiate an investigation. It is up to the RCMP and the RCMP alone to decide whether it will initiate any investigation.

Member for Newton—North Delta
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, as a matter of fact, as soon as we learned of a possible criminal offence, we informed the RCMP. I wonder why the Prime Minister, who had known about this potential criminal offence for 48 hours already, chose not to inform the RCMP and instead continued to play the game.

Is it not because he expected to resolve the matter under the table, in keeping with Liberal tradition, instead of advising the RCMP? Is this not the real reason?

Member for Newton—North Delta
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member has himself indicated from his comments, he and perhaps others in the House contacted the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. If they have information or if they believe an alleged offence has been committed, it is quite appropriate for them to contact the Royal Canadian Mounted Police with that information. It is then up to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and it alone to decide whether it will initiate an investigation.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Conservative

Daryl Kramp Prince Edward—Hastings, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government shut down the public accounts committee last spring in order to hold an election because it really feared the truth about the sponsorship scandal. Now it has tied Justice Gomery's hands by including clause (k) in the terms of reference which stipulate that he cannot assign blame in his conclusions. Canadians deserve the whole truth.

When will the government give Justice Gomery the proper tools to finally get to the bottom of this Liberal corruption?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the government gave Justice Gomery the right to name names and assign responsibilities when the Gomery commission was established. Section 13 of the Inquiries Act says the commissioner is entitled to draw conclusions as to whether there has been misconduct and who may be responsible for it. In his own words, Justice Gomery said:

--I am entitled to draw conclusions as to whether there has been misconduct and who may be responsible for it.

The fact is Justice Gomery has the right to name names and assign responsibilities. We are looking forward to him doing exactly that.