House of Commons Hansard #107 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was conservatives.

Topics

Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

June 6th, 2008 / 11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Dick Harris Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, day three and still no answers from the Liberal leader. The deadline for him to pay off all of his leadership race loans was three days ago and he still has not tabled the agreement with Elections Canada, nor how he is going to pay off the loans.

When will he reveal the truth to Canadians? When will he reveal to Canadians just how much he owes and how he is going to pay it off?

The Liberal leader has racked up massive leadership race debts and now he has failed to find the supporters to help him pay it off. The Liberal leader has clearly shown that he cannot be trusted to handle the nation's debts.

When will the Liberal leader table his agreement with Elections Canada and clearly show his debt repayment plan? Canadians are waiting for this. They are waiting for the truth.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is, in the absence of others, to the government House leader. I would like to ask the minister this question.

It is now clear that Madam Couillard has been a person of interest to the police, not only in Quebec but the RCMP, for over 10 years. Is it still the position of the government and is it still asking us to believe that in fact no one from the police contacted the Prime Minister and provided him with any information with regard to--

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. government House leader.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

11:15 a.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 think what we made quite clear here is that the resignation of the former minister of foreign affairs was as a consequence not of any relationships he had but, rather, as a consequence of a breach that took place with regard to the rules related to classified documents. When that breach became apparent, the minister offered his resignation and it was accepted immediately by the Prime Minister.

That is the nature of the incident. The government is not in the business of inquiring into the exciting details of people's private lives the way the Liberals are.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the fact that Ms. Couillard was under police surveillance is not a private matter but a public one. That is now clear. It is ironic that the security system of the Hells Angels and Mom Boucher is better and more professional than that of the Government of Canada. This is ridiculous.

Is the government serious when it says that the police did not speak to the government about Ms. Couillard?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as I said, we have a different view on what the government should do about people's private lives and the extent to which we should meddle in them. I know that when he was the New Democratic premier of Ontario, he demanded the resignation of one of his ministers when he appeared in a newspaper in a good looking photo.

We do not think that people's appearance, whether their pictures are in the newspaper or that kind of stuff, should be an occasion to demand their resignation. We are not into those kinds of probes into people's personal lives, like he was when he was NDP premier.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is true there is no danger of a Conservative minister appearing in a good looking photograph. I agree with that statement. There is no danger of that happening.

But let us get back to the question at hand.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order. The hon. member for Toronto Centre has the floor.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, when will the government recognize that this is not a matter of privacy, this is not about someone's private life, this is about the public responsibilities of the Government of Canada?

Surely to goodness, the Prime Minister of Canada must have been informed by the police about Madam Couillard.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

11:15 a.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 the error that Mr. Kormos committed back when he was the NDP premier of Ontario was that he actually appeared in the newspaper fully clothed, unlike that gentleman when he appeared on Rick Mercer Report without any clothes. I think the questions that he is asking in the House indicate the same lack of clothes on that would-be emperor.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, it would take a lot of effort to get him on television in the nude.

The Prime Minister, the Minister of Public Safety and the member for Beauce are thumbing their noses at accountability by not testifying in committee. They refuse to address all the unanswered questions concerning this sad affair.

How can this be when a belief in “the supremacy of democratic parliamentary institutions and the rule of law” is part of the founding principles of the Conservative Party? Does that not make their refusal the height of arrogance and hypocrisy?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, with regard to the invitation to appear on television in a particular fashion, I can assure her nobody has been trying to get me to do that.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, perhaps it shows good judgment on the part of the television companies.

Their refusal to testify before a parliamentary committee means that the Prime Minister, the Minister of Public Safety and the member for Beauce are hiding something. Why else would they steadfastly refuse to answer questions in this House and in committees when one of the fundamental principles of the Conservative party is, and I quote, “the supremacy of democratic parliamentary institutions and the rule of law”?

Is this not another example of the Conservatives' hypocrisy and arrogance?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

11:20 a.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 prefer a serious approach to dealing with these matters. That is why the Department of Foreign Affairs is conducting a review to assess the matter and to determine if there are any outstanding concerns.

I know that there has been a practice that has evolved in this minority Parliament of the opposition parties using committees to advance their partisan interests. They now want to have public hearings into people's daily lives. I think that Canadians have a different view about what their parliamentarians should be doing as the summer approaches, but I will leave that to the opposition members if they want to do that.