House of Commons Hansard #78 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was judges.

Topics

The Senate
Oral Questions

2:40 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 government agrees entirely with the comments of the member for Timmins—James Bay.

We are very concerned about the waste of taxpayer dollars and the lack of respect over there by some of them, but that is why we are proposing changes to make the Senate more accountable, by giving Canadians a say in who they would have representing them in the Senate and reducing senators' terms from the current 45 years to 8 years. Both of those would be strong improvements to help democratize our Parliament.

The Senate
Oral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, the unfortunate thing, when it comes to the democratic reform of the Senate, is that the Conservative Party has left out the democratic and is sticking the taxpayer with a lot of cost for the reform rhetoric.

What we are seeing is that Elections Canada has been scathing in its denunciation of the selection Senate bill. One hundred and fifty million dollars will be spent on this farce, which, at the end of the day, the Prime Minister would not even obligated to accept the democratic will of the Canadian people.

When will the government get really serious about the democratic reform of the Senate and put the question to the Canadian people about abolishing this high priced, political fossil?

The Senate
Oral Questions

2:45 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, we are not yet convinced that abolition is the appropriate solution. We would prefer to see if it is possible to reform the Senate. However, we will acknowledge that if the Liberal dominated Senate and the Liberals in the House prove so resistant to not allow any reasonable propositions for reform to come forward, that day may one day come.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Martha Hall Findlay Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, we Liberals tried to persuade the finance minister to allocate $7 billion to much needed infrastructure but he did not. Instead, the finance minister is trying to buy himself a multi-million dollar train through his riding without any costing or due diligence. He just recently announced a $45 million disability fund, the criteria for which only an entity in his riding can meet.

When will the finance minister stop dishing from the pork barrel and start spending Canadians' money where it is really needed?

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we Conservatives have put $33 billion on the table. We are getting the job done.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

An hon. member

In your dreams.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

An hon. member

It's a bare-faced falsehood.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

More.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order, please. There seem to be a lot of calls for more. There will be more but we need to have silence so we can hear it.

The hon. member for Willowdale has the floor.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Martha Hall Findlay Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, that was a brave attempt to avoid the question.

The only centre capable of meeting this funds criteria has on its board of directors the finance minister's wife, his executive assistant and, formerly, the finance minister himself.

The only consultation that HRSDC did for this fund occurred in Whitby and the national Office for Disability Issues was not even aware of it. Is that a coincidence? The wording of the criteria is directly drawn from the material of the Whitby group. Is that a coincidence?

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Medicine Hat
Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, the member is completely wrong in her assertions. The fact is that all proposals for the enabling accessibility fund will have the exact same terms and conditions.

However, it is very low when members on the other side stoop and start to attack a world-class facility that supports people with disabilities simply because it is in a member's riding.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Diane Marleau Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, tapes seem to be the Conservatives' nemesis. The Secretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity) was taped speaking about the Sikh community. Senator Angus was taped speaking about Bill C-10. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons was taped speaking about homosexuals. The Prime Minister was taped speaking about the Cadman affair.

Why do they say one thing in private and another in public?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:45 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, that is not the case at all. What is being referred to, by and large, are imaginary scandals that the Liberals conjure up for one very simple reason: they do not have any policy to talk about. When they do have a policy to talk about, they change their position on it the next week. Then, when they change their position on it, they do not even bother to show up to vote on it the next week. Sometimes they even walk out of this House.

All of those things are shown on videotapes that Canadians see, which is why Canadians have no confidence in a Liberal Party with no leadership, no vision, no policies and taking Canada nowhere.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Diane Marleau Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Cadman affair has caused problems for the Prime Minister but the problems are of his own making. If the Prime Minister had simply put a stop to Conservative attempts to offer Mr. Cadman a bribe, he would not be facing these repeated questions.

What were those financial considerations for Mr. Cadman, which the Prime Minister referred to explicitly on the tape?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, as we have said a number of times, the only offer we made to Chuck Cadman on May 19, 2005, was to rejoin the Conservative caucus, run for us as a candidate and get re-elected as a Conservative.

However, as the House leader has said, we know why the Liberals are repeatedly asking these questions. It is, frankly, because they have run out of steam. They have run out of steam on their own policy and on their own leader. It is evidenced every day here in the House of Commons.

We have spoken the truth on this issue. The Liberals continue asking these questions and we know why. It is because, frankly, they have nothing else to do.