House of Commons Hansard #128 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was bankruptcy.

Topics

Newfoundland and Labrador
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday an all party event on the front lawn of Parliament was raising money to support the flood victims of New Orleans. Yet it seems no one is paying attention to what is happening here at home.

Stephenville, Newfoundland is under two feet of water due to heavy rains and flooding. A state of emergency has been declared and 181 people have been evacuated.

Given that Newfoundland and Labrador has no cabinet representation, what is the government doing to help the evacuees and to aid the situation?

Newfoundland and Labrador
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Toronto Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the hon. member that we have been in contact with the local authorities. Military assistance has been given to the region. We have emergency preparedness in our country that is unparalleled. We discussed that this morning in cabinet.

We are ready to help and we are willing to discuss with the province of Newfoundland and Labrador exactly what we can do, what assets of a federal nature we can put in, and they will be there when they are needed and as requested. The local authorities are in charge. They have it under charge, and we are there supporting them fully.

David Dingwall
Oral Questions

September 29th, 2005 / 2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I would urge the government to keep on top of the situation. We will, of course, aid it in anything we can do.

Yesterday while David Dingwall was resigning for his scandalous spending, the Prime Minister was defending him in the House. What a change for the man who said that he would clean it all up.

Will the Prime Minister now do the right thing and ask the Auditor General to do a thorough investigation of Mr. Dingwall's spending and contracting practices at the Canadian Mint and at Technology Partnerships Canada?

David Dingwall
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Markham—Unionville
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Revenue

First, Mr. Speaker, not only did David Dingwall turn the company around financially but he also produced a new positive spirit and higher morale as indicated by the fact that employees, as we speak, are writing a petition that he not resign.

That having been said, no performance in this regard is an excuse for breaking the rules. There is no evidence he did but, and this goes to the question, the board will be appointing external experts to conduct an independent review of the policies to ensure that he did not break any policies and to consider—

David Dingwall
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

David Dingwall
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, David Dingwall is accused of a wide range of misspending. There are suspicions about what exactly happened with moneys at Technology Partnerships Canada.

If the minister wants, he can negotiate with him some kind of golden parachute. The Treasury Board president can continue to urge him to stay and the Prime Minister can proclaim him to be the St. David of public service. If they are so certain, why do they not call in the Auditor General to investigate what actually happened?

David Dingwall
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Markham—Unionville
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Revenue

First, Mr. Speaker, I would have thought the Leader of the Opposition would know by now that the Auditor General is the auditor.

In addition to that, there is no evidence that Mr. Dingwall broke any rules. The expenses were signed off by the chief financial officer and approved by the board. However, for greater certainty the board is gong to two highly reputed external experts to ensure he broke no policy and to analyze whether the existing policies are the right policies for the future.

David Dingwall
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Pallister Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, a year ago the Prime Minister was saying that he wanted to get to the bottom of all the wrongdoing. Yesterday he was nominating David Dingwall for the Order of Canada. What the heck happened?

It seems he is only a proponent of cleaning things up when he can send the bill to Jean Chrétien, but this happened under his watch. This is his dirty laundry. These lavish expenses should have been stopped by him, and Canadians are mad as hell. When will the government understand that they are not willing to take it any more?

David Dingwall
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Markham—Unionville
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, given that the member has not apologized for questioning the right of a francophone to speak French before a parliamentary committee, I am happy to reply to him in French.

The answer is the same as the one I have just given: there is no proof Mr. Dingwall did not follow the rules. The evidence will be examined by outside experts.

David Dingwall
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Pallister Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, the minister is saying a lot, and nothing, at the same time.

Yesterday the Prime Minister tried to defend, as his colleagues are doing today, the indefensible. The Prime Minister had a choice yesterday: Liberal crony or Canadian taxpayer. He chose Liberal crony. He chose wrong.

The Prime Minister makes these bold pronouncements about improving governance, but they are nothing more than bogus. Now he is planning to add insult to injury by giving David Spendwell a severance package. Why is the Prime Minister giving more money to Dingwall when he should be getting it back?

David Dingwall
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Winnipeg South
Manitoba

Liberal

Reg Alcock President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, I do not think the member opposite should play fast and loose with the truth. Would he please identify a single law that has been broken, a single rule that has been broken?

How does he defend the fact that he seems to think it is inappropriate for the head of a $400 million corporation, which generates $182 million offshore, to travel to do that business? This whole thing is nothing more than a character assassination on somebody who has done an excellent piece of work.

David Dingwall
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the president of the Royal Canadian Mint resigned after embarrassing revelations on his spending while in that position. In 2004 alone, Mr. Dingwall and his entourage claimed miscellaneous expenses of $750,000 for such things as maintenance of the minister's BMW, a golf club membership and even chewing gum. Despite the extent of the scandal, the president of the Treasury Board asked Mr. Dingwall to stay on.

How, with such an attitude, does the Prime Minister have the nerve to say that his government has learned a lesson from the sponsorship scandal?

David Dingwall
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Markham—Unionville
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the Bloc should know that this $750,000 figure is not accurate because most of that money was for office expenses and not personal expenses.

That being said, there is no evidence that Mr. Dingwall broke any rules. To be still more certain of this, the board is appointing two outside experts to conduct an audit and make recommendations to determine whether policies should be changed.

David Dingwall
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, that sounded just like Alfonso Gagliano answering the initial questions on the sponsorships. It is the same tune.

The minister responsible for the Royal Mint even thanked the fallen president for “his service to Canadians”.

Should he not instead have condemned Mr. Dingwall for helping himself to public funds?

David Dingwall
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Markham—Unionville
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I think we should be honest and if someone did a good job, that should be recognized.

The government is extremely serious about the possibility of rules being broken. That is why the board is hiring two experts.

That being said, the fact that employees at the Royal Canadian Mint organized a petition for Mr. Dingwall to stay on suggests that he served the employees and the government well.