House of Commons Hansard #2 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was opposition.

Topics

Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot Riding
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Ève-Mary Thaï Thi Lac Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, on September 17, the voters in Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot placed their trust in me as the Bloc member to represent them in the House of Commons. I would like to thank them and say how proud I am to have been chosen to assert their aspirations and to defend their interests, and those of all Quebeckers.

My countrymen are entitled to have elected representatives who demonstrate, at all times, that they are worthy of being entrusted with such responsibility and who are effective in their actions. In this regard, I am pleased to be a member of the excellent team of Bloc MPs led by Gilles Duceppe.

I also wish to express my gratitude to the volunteers who worked tirelessly on those beautiful summer days to get me elected. I would also like to recognize my predecessor in Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot who left me a riding where the citizens are proud of the work accomplished by the Bloc.

Government Accountability
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, while many Canadians enjoyed their summer on vacation or with their families, the Prime Minister and his party were busy being investigated by Elections Canada.

Apparently, Elections Canada has revealed that at least 66 Conservative candidates participated in a scheme that allowed the Conservative Party to overspend on the last election by more than $1 million and candidates then billed the party for almost another $1 million in padded rebates.

It seems the party that touted accountability as its theme has been unmasked. Conservative members of the procedure and House affairs committee used every trick in their dirty handbook to block the committee from actually investigating these improprieties.

It is no wonder the Prime Minister was in no hurry to get back to the House. Around here, he might actually have to answer for his deceitful actions.

Speech from the Throne
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore—St. Margaret's, NS

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Governor General presented a Speech from the Throne which outlined our government's five clear priorities for this new session. One of those priorities provided effective economic leadership for a prosperous future. Our government believes that hard-working Canadians pay too much tax and our tax system must reward this hard work, encourage investment and job creation and promote Canadian business on a world stage.

The government wants to ensure economic security for all Canadians and will bring forward a long term plan of broad based tax relief, further reduce the GST, strengthen the economy through our long term economic plan, “Advantage Canada”.

Since taking office we have announced more than $40 billion in tax cuts for families, individuals and businesses. This is good for the economy and it is good for Canadians.

Under the strong leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and our Conservative government, we are building a better Canada.

Speech from the Throne
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I should remind hon. members that naming other hon. members is not in order, and I am surprised the member for South Shore—St. Margaret's would make that mistake given his extensive experience in the House.

The hon. member for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot made the same mistake, perhaps because this was her first speech in this House.

Therefore, the next time members will recall that we do not name members. We use titles and such like.

New Member
Statements By Members

October 17th, 2007 / 2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I have the honour to announce that the Clerk of the House has received from the Chief Electoral Officer a certificate of the election of Mr. Denis Lebel, member for the electoral district of Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean.

Mr. Denis Lebel, member for the electoral district of Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean, is introduced by the Right Honourable Stephen Harper and the hon. Jean-Pierre Blackburn.

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, for a government that cynically wrapped itself in the Federal Accountability Act, its own unethical behaviour is coming home to roost.

We now have three independent investigations being conducted into the unethical practices of the Conservatives: investigations by Elections Canada, the Privacy Commissioner and the Ontario Provincial Police.

What has the Prime Minister done to get to the bottom of this? Absolutely nothing.

When will the Prime Minister come clean on the role his staff has played in this sordid affair? When will he start demonstrating some of the accountability that used to mean something to him?

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, I guess after an entire summer the best the member could come up with is a story where we refused to give an appointment to someone. When it was the Liberals in power, the issue was to whom they gave appointments. With us, the problem is an appointment that should not have been made and was never made. That is why we never made it.

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, there are currently three investigations underway into questionable practices by this government. For a party that claims to be as pure as the driven snow, this is a harsh dose of reality. Elections Canada is looking into allegations that the Conservatives may have cheated during the last federal election by hiding the fact that they exceeded their election expense limits. And the Prime Minister is doing nothing about it.

What is the Prime Minister waiting for?

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows very well from his own party's practices that what he says is entirely untrue. Our election financing activities are entirely legal. We know they are legal because they are what the law permits and because that is what other parties have done: grouped advertising buys, grouped collections of materials, the transfers from ridings to the central party.

Guess what I have just defined? The way the Liberal Party has won elections for years. However, there is one difference. We did not dip into public funds the way the Liberals did for years and years to do it.

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately Elections Canada takes a different view.

Today we have had more dodges and rhetoric and no answers.

Will the Prime Minister finally do the right thing and ask his staff, who are currently under independent investigation, to cooperate fully with the investigators and to step aside until this matter is cleared up?

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, our party always cooperates fully. The question is, why does the Liberal Party not want to open its books?

When this issue arose at the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, there was a question about opening books for investigations on how spending was done for the past four years. As I recall, one party voted against that, and that was the Liberal Party. Why? I guess it was because of the $40 million that is still stashed somewhere, or maybe it was spent on previous election campaigns.

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, the architects of this in and out money scam are people like Michael Donison, former executive director of the Conservative Party. Where is Mr. Donison now? He is a senior policy adviser for the Minister for Democratic Reform.

He is not the only one. Andrea Paine is also implicated in this scandal and she is the senior policy adviser for who? The same minister.

How can Canadians have any faith in the legislation the government brings forth when it is getting advice from people Elections Canada says broke the law?

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, Elections Canada has said no such thing. No laws were broken. We complied fully with the law.

I can tell the House who did break the law. The party over there actually admitted it broke the law, returned moneys to the public coffer, but only a small fraction of the moneys that the Auditor General told us were actually stolen from Canadian taxpayers.

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, at least eight candidates or official agents of the Conservative Party who were involved in this scheme are now on the payroll at taxpayers' expense. For instance, there is the chief of staff to the Minister of Public Safety, the special assistant to the Minister of the Environment, as well as his former press secretary.

What is the Prime Minister waiting for to drop his ridiculous case against Elections Canada?