House of Commons Hansard #40 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was ethanol.

Topics

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

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

Quite simply, Mr. Speaker, no favourable treatment was accorded and no special favours were handed out to the interested parties. Mr. Soudas indicated yesterday that he only looked into this issue to follow up on a question from a Montreal municipal councillor.

Only the Liberals could find it outrageous for a staff member looking into an issue not to give special treatment.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is my understanding that there is a settling of scores of sorts going on between Léo Housakos and Michael Fortier, who ran against each other in the riding of Laval West in the 2000 election. This explains why Mr. Housakos needed his trusted friend Dimitri to relay to him messages from non-elected member Michael Fortier.

As we know, the Prime Minister's Office is running the show. The problem is that Mr. Housakos was rewarded for his services to the Conservative Party, which, incidentally, raised funds for Mario Dumont, when the Prime Minister recently appointed him to VIA Rail.

When was the Prime Minister apprised of this issue, and what kind of ties does he intend to maintain where Dimitri Soudas and Léo Housakos are concerned?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:35 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 had much to say, but the facts remain the same: no special favours were handed out to any of the interested parties.

I understand how the Liberal Party can think that this is outrageous, a feeling shared by the member for Bourassa I believe. There is no scandal, however, but rather behaviour we can be proud of.

Ethics
Oral Questions

January 30th, 2008 / 2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, for once the ethics committee has investigated an unregistered arms lobbyist who got privileged access to the Mulroney Conservative government. It looks like nothing has changed.

Today we learned a Conservative Party bagman and unregistered lobbyist was secretly meeting with PMO staff unbelievably to lobby for the same company Karlheinz Schreiber had shilled for, breaking all the rules for the enrichment of the Conservative Party all over again.

The Prime Minister had to be forced to act in the Mulroney-Schreiber affair. Is this why? Is this just business as usual for a Conservative PMO?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:35 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, every time I hear a question from that member, I think I am reading the fiction section of the library. Once again he is engaging in fantasies.

No such lobbying took place in the Prime Minister's Office. That fact is clear and simple, and I do not know why he thinks otherwise.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, if those members want fiction, listen to what they have to say on detainees.

The facts are that Dimitri Soudas, a spokesman for the Prime Minister, intervened on a government file. He ordered senior ministerial staffers, including a chief of staff, to attend meetings designed to influence a $50 million deal. He did this to help a land developer that a party fundraiser described as “someone who is powerful, who is important” for Conservative votes and money.

The Prime Minister called the Mulroney-Schreiber inquiry because it touched the office of the Prime Minister. What will the Prime Minister do now that this has touched his office?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:35 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, let us summarize this latest scandal the Liberals have dug up. No favours were handed out, very different from the Liberal days.

Let us remember the Liberal days. That is when we would have seen the member for West Nova giving a grant as ACOA minister to a wharf and boat yard where his brother in law has a monopoly. Perhaps we can remember the member for LaSalle—Émard suggesting changes to legislation and introducing a bill that benefited Canada Steamship Lines, his company. That is when favours were handed out.

On this side, we do not hand out favours for political reasons. We do what is right for the people of Canada.

Manufacturing and Forestry Industries
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, in response to a question that I put to him, the Prime Minister said: “—the hon. member asked a question about a community development trust. The government has no reason to delay granting this money.” Yet, when this fund was announced, the Prime Minister said that he had to wait for the budget to grant the money.

My question is simple. Will the Prime Minister act now, without waiting for the budget? Will he introduce a bill to implement an assistance plan, for which the manufacturing and forestry industries have an urgent need?

Manufacturing and Forestry Industries
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we are in the process of working out agreements with all the provinces and territories for the community development trust. I hope that we can finalize these agreements as soon as possible, and I also hope that all the parties in this House will support this major fund.

Manufacturing and Forestry Industries
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, there is nothing preventing the government from acting now. It does need any signature to do so, nor does it need to wait for the budget. After blackmailing parliamentarians with his announcement a month ago, when he made it conditional on the budget getting through, he is now going even further by saying that he needs the provinces' signatures to free up those funds.

Nobody is fooled. The only thing that is missing here is the political will to implement this initiative. What is he waiting for to provide the necessary funds to our manufacturing and forestry industries?

Manufacturing and Forestry Industries
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we cannot spend money without having concluded legal agreements with the provinces, or without the approval of this Parliament. I hope that these agreements will be signed and that we will get the support of Parliament as soon as possible.

Chalk River Nuclear Facilities
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, the events surrounding Chalk River highlighted the fact that the problem is not limited only to the safe use of nuclear energy. This matter exposed this government's penchant for interference. In unceremoniously dismissing the president of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, Linda Keen, it fired someone who did not share the Conservative philosophy.

Will the Prime Minister admit that Ms. Keen's dismissal was merely a means to cover up the incompetence of Atomic Energy of Canada and to send a message to the public service, specifically, that the Conservative way is “my way or the highway”?

Chalk River Nuclear Facilities
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands
B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, first let me state that our government took full responsibility. That is in fact why we acted.

We followed a number of logical steps in dealing with both of these agencies to resolve this matter, followed by a cabinet directive, and ultimately bringing a bill before this Parliament when it was clear that this reactor should be resumed to ensure that we do not put people's lives unnecessarily at risk.

We acted and every single member in this House supported that legislation, every single party. Now they want to change their minds. That is not responsible.

Chalk River Nuclear Facilities
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General pointed out that the minister's intervention could be construed as interference with the agency's independence. The first purpose of the minister's intervention was to protect the commercial interests of Atomic Energy of Canada and the Conservative plan to promote nuclear energy.

Will the minister admit that he chose to defend the commercial interests of Atomic Energy of Canada in this affair and that, to achieve his ends, he did not hesitate to get rid of someone who did not share his way of thinking?

Chalk River Nuclear Facilities
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands
B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, that is absolute, complete nonsense.

If the member wants to talk about the Auditor General, in fact she was asked about this licensing issue and she said, “With respect to licensing, yes, we would have been informed of that, but we asked those questions and there was no indication that there was a problem with licensing”.

It became very clear that this reactor could resume operations safely and I am very pleased to report to the House of Commons that AECL has in fact completed the upgrades and this reactor is safer than it ever was before.