House of Commons Hansard #113 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was firefighters.

Topics

Audiotaped Conversations
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's chief of staff and closest adviser, Tim Murphy, has gone into hiding as tapes of his illicit conversation with an opposition member have been fully released and fully authenticated.

Tim Murphy has offered no explanation, no documentation, nothing to dispute apparent Liberal offers to poach an opposition member's vote.

My question is for the Prime Minister. Why Murphy's silent treatment? Is it a guilty conscience?

Audiotaped Conversations
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Ottawa—Vanier
Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Minister for Internal Trade

Mr. Speaker, if there is someone who has gone into hiding, it is certainly not the Prime Minister's chief of staff. It may be someone else on that side of the House.

However, there is mention of tapes. I still wonder how these members subscribe to the theory of pristine tapes when five independent experts, not partisan experts, have testified that these tapes have been altered, doctored, spliced, sliced and reduced from four hours to two hours.

To ask for anybody to step aside on the basis of such tapes is ludicrous.

Audiotaped Conversations
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is time they updated their talking points. A leading audio expert has confirmed that the full recordings are “clean and unedited”. What is not clean is the Prime Minister's right-hand man, Tim Murphy, who apparently offered plum government positions to poach an opposition member for a crucial vote. The government will stop at nothing to stay in power.

Will the Prime Minister finally admit his right-hand man was caught red-handed in these recordings?

Audiotaped Conversations
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Ottawa—Vanier
Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Minister for Internal Trade

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister will admit to no such thing because it is not the truth.

The truth is the member for Newton—North Delta sought to cross the floor. The Prime Minister was aware of that. He advised his chief of staff and the Minister of Health not to make any offers. None were made.

Now those people would want the Prime Minister's chief of staff and the Minister of Health to step aside on the basis of tapes that have been doctored, spliced, sliced and shrunk from four hours to two hours. Even their partisan experts recognize that they have been tampered with.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Guy Côté Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, the current government has a propensity to distort equalization by increasing the number of ad hoc agreements with the governments of some provinces in order to ensure its own survival.

Does the Prime Minister not realize that the only way there can be fair and stable funding of the public expenditures of the governments of Quebec and the provinces is to consider an overhaul of the equalization system instead of reacting to events as they arise, as he is currently doing?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I thought the hon. member, as an MP from Quebec, would have been happy with a health agreement that ensured the transfer of $41 billion to the provinces. This means $9 billion more for the Government of Quebec.

I hope he will also be happy with the upcoming agreement with the municipalities on providing help for infrastructure. This will transfer $5 billion to municipalities throughout Canada, including some $500 million to $600 million to municipalities in Quebec.

As for equalization, adjustments to the tune of $30 billion were made. This relieves some of the financial pressure—

Taxation
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Guy Côté Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is sad. The government now has the report of the Subcommittee on Fiscal Imbalance in Canada. Does it not realize that its recent decisions, far from correcting the fiscal imbalance, in fact exacerbate it and will create unfair situations in the future? All of this is going to distort rather than improve the Canadian equalization system.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Scarborough—Guildwood
Ontario

Liberal

John McKay Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the report referenced by the hon. member was originally referred by the House to the committee. It assumed a fiscal imbalance. Then a study was purportedly carried on by the subcommittee which assumed a fiscal imbalance. Then the witnesses appeared to be loaded somewhat heavily toward treasurers of provinces and premier of provinces, all of whom seemed to have some interest in it. To no one's great surprise the report says that there is a fiscal imbalance.

Member for Newton—North Delta
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister could save everyone a lot of trouble and make the RCMP's job easier by simply answering our questions about the timing of when he became aware of a member of Parliament trying to sell his support.

Could the Prime Minister tell us why he is stubbornly refusing to answer this very simple question? When exactly did he learn that a member wanted to get something in return for supporting the government?

Member for Newton—North Delta
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Ottawa—Vanier
Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Minister for Internal Trade

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister was informed of the intention of the member for Newton—North Delta to cross the floor of the House and join the Liberal caucus. He told his senior adviser and the Minister of Health that no offer was to be made, and none was made. If members opposite have any other information at this time, it should be provided to the RCMP, which will decide whether or not an investigation is required and will act accordingly.

Member for Newton—North Delta
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, the member confirms that the Prime Minister was informed, but what we want to know is when.

Does the Prime Minister realize that, by refusing to answer this very simple question, he is himself raising questions about what really happened in this matter?

Member for Newton—North Delta
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Ottawa—Vanier
Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Minister for Internal Trade

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister was informed that the member for Newton—North Delta wanted to cross the floor of the House and join our caucus. He gave instructions that no offer was to be made to this member. No offer was made.

If the members opposite, who, incidentally, have already referred the matter to the RCMP, have anything else, they should contact the RCMP. In the meantime, they should let the RCMP do its job.

Civil Marriage Act
Oral Question Period

June 10th, 2005 / 11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Rob Moore Fundy, NB

Mr. Speaker, the committee studying Bill C-38 continues to hear from witness after witness that the Liberals' plan to change the definition of marriage will have an impact on basic freedoms in our country.

The minister has finally admitted what the Supreme Court told us months ago, which is that the federal government has no power to fully protect individuals from being attacked because of their beliefs.

Bill C-38 does not protect freedom of religion or freedom of conscience in any way, and the minister knows that.

Why is the minister rushing this bill through the House in spite of clear evidence and his own admission that it will have a negative impact on Canadian rights?

Civil Marriage Act
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Mount Royal
Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I agree that it will have an impact on rights and freedoms. It will protect rights and freedoms. It will protect both equality and religious freedom.

I have continued to say that the legislation is anchored in the rule of law, in the charter and in the jurisprudence of this country which protect both equality and religious freedom.

We remain open. If there are any amendments that can give further certainty to the protections already there, we are prepared, within the democratic process, to consider such amendments.