House of Commons Hansard #143 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was conservative.

Topics

Opposition motion—Conduct of the Government
Business of Supply
Government Orders

4:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Andrew Scheer

I am going to look at the transcript. If unparliamentary language was used, I will come back to the House on this issue.

I did not hear anything. The member for Terrebonne—Blainville is indicating that she did not use unparliamentary language. I will check the record and come back to the House if necessary.

On that note, hon. members are not doing themselves or the chamber any favours by heckling and yelling back and forth on both sides of the House while members are trying to answer a question, pose a question, or give a speech.

We have enough time for one more question or comment. The hon. member for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca.

Opposition motion—Conduct of the Government
Business of Supply
Government Orders

4:25 p.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, we are talking about the in and out issue here. A larger issue that voters may want to know about is that of third party advertising, where groups were encouraged to give large sums of money to support Conservative candidates across the country, which created a massive uneven playing field. If that does not violate the law, it certainly violates it in spirit.

Given the member's current position, does she not think that one of the government's top priorities has to be a plan to get back to balanced budgets? The Liberal Party did that when we were in power. Would the member not agree that her government should lay out to the Canadian public a deficit reduction plan to get the country's finances back into a surplus as soon as possible?

Opposition motion—Conduct of the Government
Business of Supply
Government Orders

4:25 p.m.

Conservative

Shelly Glover Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, we have laid out a plan to bring back balanced budgets. We are moving forward with the next phase of our economic action plan. The budget that is coming on March 22 is designed to do exactly that. It will focus on bringing us back into balance. It will focus on restraint. We will continue to create jobs and maintain those jobs that are so very important to our families.

I know what will not help. Raising taxes will not help. We cannot raise the GST by 2%, impose an iPod tax, or raise the corporate tax rate from 16.5% to 18% as the Liberals propose. We cannot afford a carbon tax, as proposed by the Liberal Party. This would damage our families and our economy.

I will stand up for families with this next phase of the economic action plan.

Opposition motion—Conduct of the Government
Business of Supply
Government Orders

4:25 p.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. We have vigorous debates in the House and from time to time things get out of hand. I would ask the hon. member to please retract the statement she just made, because she just gave a long diatribe of complete untruths to the House and to the Canadian public. I will give her a chance to retract her statement.

Opposition motion—Conduct of the Government
Business of Supply
Government Orders

4:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order. The Chair is not going to make a ruling on the interpretation of facts. Members have disagreements on the facts all the time. We will move on.

Resuming debate. The hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader.

Opposition motion—Conduct of the Government
Business of Supply
Government Orders

4:25 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I must say I am overjoyed to be able to join in on the spirited debate we are having today.

I will take a different approach to what some of my other colleagues in the House have been doing with their remarks, in that I will try to explain more clearly to the Canadian public who may be watching this debate what is happening here and the motivation behind the motion that we have before us today.

Primarily, another element that has not really been discussed is we will be voting on this motion tonight. That is relevant and I will get to that in a moment.

Of course the motion itself, as anyone who has taken time to participate in or to listen to the debate today undoubtedly knows, is so over the top, so inflammatory, it was done for a purpose. It was done to try and score some cheap political points. That is okay. All political parties do that from time to time.

What we see as well is that we are actually having a vote on the motion tonight. Why that is relevant is that normally, the Bloc Québécois does not want to have votes on Thursday evenings. If it has an opposition day motion on a Thursday, It normally defers the vote to the following week. The reason it is having the vote tonight is that next week is a constituency week and perhaps, if one believes the rumours, the last week before an impending election. The Bloc is using the vote tonight, where the coalition parties I am sure will vote in favour of the motion, so that the Bloc members can go back to their ridings in Quebec and say that Parliament condemned the government for the Bloc's conduct. The Bloc members can use this for politically partisan reasons. However, all they will be doing is using this motion to try and enhance their own political well-being, and that is okay. Other parties do that. I am not begrudging them the fact that they want to do this.

However, I have a few suggestions for my colleagues from the Bloc. If in fact next week they will be out campaigning and getting ready for what they believe might be an election to be called perhaps as early as the following week, I have a few suggestions of some of the things they may want to discuss with their constituents.

Their constituents may want to hear what plans the Bloc has to form a coalition government if the opportunity were to arise. We know that at its recent convention in Quebec there was a resolution passed where Bloc members said that they would entertain and actually involve themselves in a coalition government if the opportunity were to arise. It would be incumbent upon themselves to spell out the details of what that exactly means.

We do have a bit of history on this. As we all know, shortly after the results were known of the 2008 election, the Liberals, the NDP and the Bloc Québécois entered into a formal coalition agreement. We all saw the pictures on television where the three party leaders at that time got together, signed a little document, shook hands, stood before Canadians and said, “We are prepared to form a coalition government”. The former leader of the Liberal Party said, “I am prepared to lead this new coalition government”.

We all know what happened shortly thereafter. Canadians were so outraged at the very thought that a coalition government could try and rush the power away from a duly elected government that the coalition quickly fell apart.

However, since the Bloc Québécois is now talking about entering into a new coalition government should the opportunity arise, I would like those members to explain to the House, as well as their own constituents, what the relationships would be.

Let us go back to 2008. We know what the Bloc said at the time. It said it did not want to have any members in cabinet, but it would have the right to veto.

Let us talk about this for a minute. What exactly does that mean? What does a right to veto mean? Does that mean if the Bloc Québécois did not see anything in the new coalition government legislation that benefited it personally, the Bloc could veto that and the legislation would be no more? How can a government be run like that?

Here is what I find confusing. The raison d'être of the Bloc Québécois apparently is to separate from Canada. On one hand it came into this Parliament over 20 years ago saying that its raison d'être was to separate, to promote the cause of separation in Quebec. On the other hand, it is now saying that it is willing to enter into a coalition government to govern Canada.

Perhaps someone from the Bloc Québécois side can explain to me how it could be promoting separation, yet, at the same time, promoting coalition governments to govern the country it wishes to separate from. It makes absolutely no sense to me. I would very much like to hear—

Opposition motion—Conduct of the Government
Business of Supply
Government Orders

4:30 p.m.

NDP

Jim Maloway Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I fail to see what anything the member has said has to do with the Bloc motion before us. I would ask you to call the member to order and direct the member to direct his comments toward the motion on the floor today.

Opposition motion—Conduct of the Government
Business of Supply
Government Orders

4:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Andrew Scheer

The Chair has reminded members in the past and earlier today that, while their remarks may stray somewhat from to time, the bulk of their remarks should address the motion that is before the House.

Opposition motion—Conduct of the Government
Business of Supply
Government Orders

4:35 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, again, as I pointed out earlier, the reason I am speaking about this is this is exactly the motivation behind the motion. This is not anything more than a very superficial attempt to try to embarrass the government for its own political purposes. That is why the motion was brought forward.

If that is not germane to the motion, I do not know what is. How can we not argue that the motivation is critical when debating the motion before us?

Opposition motion—Conduct of the Government
Business of Supply
Government Orders

4:35 p.m.

An hon. member

Because it is fictional.

Opposition motion—Conduct of the Government
Business of Supply
Government Orders

4:35 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

It certainly is, Mr. Speaker, and I will continue my remarks in that vein.

I know the member from the NDP does not want me to remind Canadians about the ill-thought out, ill-conceived coalition agreement that took place after the 2008 election. I know the member does not want me to remind Canadians that the NDP will probably be a willing partner in a new coalition agreement should the opportunity arise. However, the reality is that is what the Bloc has stated it would be prepared to do.

We have not quite heard the views from the other opposition parties on the matter, but I have not heard anyone say that they are against it either.

However, on the point where the Bloc Québécois is coming from, while, on one hand, it condemns the government, on the other hand, it says that it wants to enter into an agreement with other coalition partners to perhaps govern the country in which it loses an election.

Opposition motion—Conduct of the Government
Business of Supply
Government Orders

4:35 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. You just pointed out that the motion being debated today must be the core of members' statements in the House. The parliamentary secretary has just said that he wanted to talk about the motivation of the Bloc bringing it forward. That is a side issue and his entire speech has been on that and not on the actual substance of the motion.

I would ask you to remind the member again that the majority of his comments are to be the substance of the motion, not his psychobabble about what may or may not be the motivation in bringing forward the motion.

Opposition motion—Conduct of the Government
Business of Supply
Government Orders

4:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine is making a good point. The member has been speaking for almost nine minutes. It is time for his remarks to come more to the substance of the motion and not to stray into hypothetical situations. I find it is irrelevant to the motion before the House. If he could address the remainder of his remarks to the substance of the motion, I think the House would appreciate it.

Opposition motion—Conduct of the Government
Business of Supply
Government Orders

4:35 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, I will use the remaining time, short as it may be, to address one of the elements of the motion before us, and that is, the so-called in and out scheme.

As we all know, anyone who has studied this process of transferring money between national and local campaigns recognizes very quickly that the first party in Parliament to use the technique was the Bloc Québécois. Its members are the fathers and the mothers of the in and out. I find it passing strange to say the least that the Bloc would now complain that our government should be condemned or should be somehow censored for doing the very techniques it used in the 2004 and 2006 elections.

Everyone knows we have a dispute with Elections Canada. However, we have heard time and time again, over the past few days in question period, examples of how all political parties, including the Bloc Québécois, have used the same in and out money transfer between national and local campaigns.

It is more than passing strange. It almost hypocritical that the Bloc would condemn the government for using a technique which it invented.

Opposition motion—Conduct of the Government
Business of Supply
Government Orders

4:35 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague summed up his speech quite well, with the mantra of Elections Canada regarding the in and out. He used the term “passing strange”. Elections Canada saw something passing by that was quite strange and therefore investigated it and made charges.

The hon. member talked about the coalition and he is right. There is a history of this. In 2005, a press conference was called with the Prime Minister, the then leader of the opposition, and the other parties. The history is his. Therefore, the Conservatives can write the book, and that too is passing strange.

I will get back to the issue of the in and out scandal. The hon. member insists that money passed in and passed out in each particular case. However, what is most germane to this conversation is the visitations of local authorities. They showed up at the Conservative Party headquarters, not at our or other opposition party headquarters.

Could the member comment on the fact that other members of the Conservative Party have publicly said that they refuse to get involved in this issue?