This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #210 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was report.

Topics

Species at Risk ActOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Alan Tonks Liberal York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, as members know, earlier this month the House approved Bill C-5, an act to protect species at risk. It would appear that the bill cannot receive royal assent this summer.

I would ask the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment if she would please outline for the House what the government intends to do in the interim to protect species at risk.

Species at Risk ActOral Questions

3 p.m.

Kitchener Centre Ontario

Liberal

Karen Redman LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, earlier this month the Minister of the Environment, the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans announced a $10 million funding plan to fund over 160 stewardship projects across Canada.

These recovery projects will engage more than 400 individuals and organizations to help more than 200 federally listed species, as well as 80 provincially listed species. This is the third year funds have been provided to community based projects through the habitat stewardship program.

I would also point out that for every federal dollar, $1.70 of individual money is invested in this worthwhile project.

Species at Risk ActOral Questions

3 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members that today is the last day Deputy Principal Clerk Gérard Laliberté of the committees directorate will be in the House of Commons as clerk at the table.

He will be leaving the House this summer to take up new challenges in the fall in Quebec City. Gérard has been at the House of Commons since September, 1999 where his commitment and his comprehensive knowledge of the history of parliamentary practice and tradition has served us all very well.

I know that you will want to join with me in paying tribute to the contributions of Gérard, who is seated at the table at this time.

Gérard, our best wishes for success, health and happiness in this next stage of your illustrious parliamentary career.

Species at Risk ActOral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Points of OrderOral Questions

3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Duncan Canadian Alliance Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, during question period the hon. member for Calgary West was asking a question and very close to his microphone were members of the Liberal Party.

The hon. member for Portneuf was very noisy into the microphone of the hon. member for Calgary West. We are under an obligation when sitting in proximity not to speak into the same individual's microphone. I would like some sensitivity expressed by the Speaker toward the issue.

Points of OrderOral Questions

3 p.m.

The Speaker

The Speaker has a lot of trouble during question period maintaining order among members. There is a lot of noise sometimes in question period.

I could not hear what the hon. member was saying. I could hear the member for Calgary West who had the floor and therefore I concluded the noise was not that great. I must say that I am sure it was distracting for the hon. member for Calgary West, but he was soldiering on as he does. Although I tried my best to quell the disturbance, as I do frequently during question period as hon. members know, on this occasion I admit I was unsuccessful. However it was not the first time.

I do appreciate the co-operation of hon. members at all times when I ask for assistance in reducing the level of noise during question period. The hon. member for Calgary West is a person who I know tries to assist the Chair because I do have to intervene occasionally with him.

We will continue to deal with the problem raised by the hon. member for Vancouver Island North in the best way we can.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

3 p.m.

West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast B.C.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds Canadian AllianceHouse Leader of the Official Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the government House leader what the business is for the rest of today and Friday.

I would also let him know that if he would like to sit next week the official opposition is prepared to keep working for the good of all Canadians and, we hope, to get some answers out of the minister of public works.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

3 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalMinister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to answer the question of the hon. member about the business of the House for the foreseeable future. Like most people I would not want the attendance of the opposition to dwindle any further next week than it has this week, so I do not think we should venture on that ground too much.

First, I express my thanks and that of my predecessor to members on all sides of the House for their co-operation in making progress on the government's legislative program since January. I say so on behalf of myself, perhaps myself once reincarnated, and of course my immediate predecessor as well.

This afternoon we will consider government Motion No. 30 concerning the Special Joint Committee on a Code of Conduct, and we will do it tomorrow if necessary if the item has not been disposed of by then. We will then return to Bill C-58, the Canada pension plan legislation. If there is any time left, and subject to further negotiation with hon. members and officers of all parties in the House, we will then return to Bill C-55, the public safety bill which some but not all members have expressed enthusiasm in passing. Should there be time we will then return to Bill C-57, the nuclear safety bill.

It is my intention to inform colleagues about our agenda upon our return in early September. I have done that in previous years, contacting members a few days ahead of time so party critics could be available when debate resumed. I intend to do the same when the House resumes in September.

Meanwhile, Mr. Speaker, I take this opportunity to wish you, our staff and all hon. members my very best wishes for an interesting, fruitful and, to a point I hope, restful summer.

The House resumed consideration of the motion, and of the amendment.

Code of ConductGovernment Orders

June 20th, 2002 / 3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

When the House broke for question period the leader of the government in the House of Commons had completed his speech, so there remain 10 minutes for questions and comments.

Code of ConductGovernment Orders

3:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds Canadian Alliance West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, I listened with great attention to the House leader's speech. Some of it was quite interesting. He said our amendment would slow things down for the fall. It would speed things up a little because the committee would not sit all summer and would not sit when we came back. We want to speed things up a little.

My real concern is that the government had five years to bring in the program. The report was finished five years ago. It was written by two well respected Canadians. The government waited until today to bring in a motion, the day before we leave for the summer.

The minister must agree that members of parliament per se are not the problem. The problem in the last few months has been ministers of the government, yet we do not have an independent ethics commissioner who reports to parliament.

The House has been looking at the issue of private members' business for a long time. We finally got the agreement of a subcommittee and a committee. The issue was referred to the House. I thought we had a deal yesterday but it obviously fell apart. I am not blaming the minister. It may have been other people. Nevertheless he could have brought it in and passed it so private members' business could be votable in the House.

The minister has told me he does not like what is in it. He says the committee did not do it the right way. If a committee of the Senate and the House of Commons issues a report that calls for an independent ethics commissioner who would report to parliament and cover everyone in parliament including cabinet ministers, what assurances can the minister give us that not only that issue but every issue in the report will be accepted by his government as soon as the report comes back to parliament?

Code of ConductGovernment Orders

3:05 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalMinister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is asking an important question but I think he should review what he just said. He has essentially asked whether the government would agree with a report that it has not yet seen.

The hon. member for Macleod has just brought to our attention that we do have a report now, and an excellent report it is. Mr. Speaker, you, more than anyone else, would know just how wonderful the report is.

I like the recommendations in the report that was produced by the member for Kingston and the Islands, who so ably chaired that committee together with the hon. member from the other place, Senator Oliver, but some of the recommendations are five years old. Some questions need to be reviewed and I draw them to the attention of the member across.

I am willing to have a meeting with the committee on a number of issues. I believe the jurisconsult should be an officer of parliament. I believe there should only be one for both Houses. I believe the officer should be located in one of the parliament buildings, not like some other officers of parliament who are somewhat more remote. I think the person should be available and easily accessible for consultation.

Members of either House who have had an adjudication by the jurisconsult and feel that the adjudication was not right should be able to appear before a committee of their peers. We could call it the ethics committee or whatever. They could tell their colleagues on the committee what they had done and then ask permission to do what they were told they could not do. The committee would then render its verdict. Why can we not have a structure like that?

I am just giving examples here. Those are the kinds of things that should be reviewed in that.

Code of ConductGovernment Orders

3:05 p.m.

An hon. member

Another five years.

Code of ConductGovernment Orders

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Liberal Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

The hon. member says another five years. He obviously is unaware of the motion. It says October 31. What we have here is an amendment that says 30 days from September 18. If the hon. member refers to sitting days, it in fact brings us into November which is slower. Not only that, but by putting the amendment today we are not passing this today and therefore we cannot start on the first day when we come back.

I am willing to co-operate fully with members on all sides of the House and I am sure the right hon. Prime Minister wants the same thing, but let us start this thing immediately when we come back. Let us pass this thing now. Never mind amendments that are designed to delay. Let us just revoke them.

Other hon. members have asked for amendments, one being that the quorum of the committee should include opposition members of both houses to ensure greater transparency. I think that is a good idea and a positive statement that we should all agree with, but let us stop this stuff and get the committee started.

I have been consulting for three weeks and the modernization committee was consulted two years ago. All members of the House who worked on modernization know that. We worked on consensus. I think we could have consensus today to get this thing started. Let us do it.

Code of ConductGovernment Orders

3:10 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Bloc Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, the government House leader is passing himself off as the champion of transparency because his government has its back to the wall with this sponsorship scandal.

Can he tell House what made him change his tune all of a sudden? When the chief electoral officer published his report saying that the names of those who contribute to leadership campaigns had to be released, the government House leader came out of here saying that it was none of his business, that it was an internal issue. We see today that he has suddenly changed his tune.

If the government wants more transparency, can the member explain to us why, when the Canada Elections Act was amended in February 2000, the government voted against the Bloc Quebecois amendments that would have put a cap on contributions? The name of contributors to the trusts would have been released. These are two recommendations that we formally proposed to the House and they were both rejected by the government.

What brought about this new spirit of openness we are seeing today? Of course, we are not talking here about a legislative amendment but about the intention to bring about changes. What prompted this sudden change of position by the government House leader?

Code of ConductGovernment Orders

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Liberal Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, to begin with, I do not claim to be any sort of champion. That is not the purpose. The purpose is to amend the legislation.

Members will recall that, two years ago, I proposed a new legislative framework for increasing transparency in the elections act. They will recall that the bill was challenged by a certain party, rather by certain friends of a certain political party, not the party to which the member opposite belongs, but another one, because they felt that even revealing the intention of third parties was going too far.

In fact, this case is still before the courts. That shows the extent to which it was seen as going too far. The media protested because I went too far in wanting to prohibit polls. But I did anyway. But it was just for a short period at the end of an election campaign. We have gone a long way in this area and we want to go even further.

Today, the Prime Minister is seeking our input on the rules for parliamentarians and on the elections act, for which I am also responsible. In my speech this morning, I announced that I am in the process of consulting with people throughout Canada, for the very purpose of moving forward, in the same direction as the member is suggesting today.

With respect to the rules which already existed, all political parties but one, if I am not mistaken, did not want the sort of information which the member is talking about today made available. We are now in a position to move even further ahead with transparency. If the member is still prepared to support us—he seems to be saying that he is—, I thank him and I hope that the other parties will support us in the elections act initiatives.

In the meantime, with respect to the initiative before us today, which is the code of ethics for parliamentarians, I hope that the official opposition will withdraw its amendment, which obviously has no other purpose than to cause delays in launching today's initiative, which would allow researchers to prepare material over the summer in order to get the committee started on its return, on September 18.

Code of ConductGovernment Orders

3:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds Canadian Alliance West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, I want to begin by congratulating our leader for his fine speech earlier today on this subject.

I also want to say to my colleague across the way that I listened intently to his answers in the last few minutes and I certainly agree with him that the authors of the previous report did excellent work. However he never did answer the question of why the government has totally ignored that excellent work for five years. The report has been collecting dust somewhere in the House of Commons.

He also did not answer my question about forming another committee so the government can show it is concerned about corruption and ethics. Will the government adopt the report? I doubt it. It will sit for another five years on a shelf. Hopefully by then there will be a new government in this House and we will enact some laws with some real strong ethics in them .

I want to extend my sympathies to all members opposite who are cringing because their leader suddenly had to order up a committee to tell him what constitutes ethical behaviour.

Canadians will remember that the Liberals were so vague on what constituted ethical or unethical behaviour for holders of public office that they suddenly had to do what we have been demanding for years.

Most people learn from an early age the definition of ethics or ethical and an act by instinct as if what they learned is carved in stone. What we have here is perhaps a late childhood.

And late indeed it is. Why has this report languished on a shelf gathering annual layers of dust for years? Why was it not brought forward when it came out five years ago? Is it because there was no panic back then because the horror stories about scandals and corruption had not started yet? Is it really because of all the scandal in the last few weeks that the government has finally dusted off that wonderful report and decided to look at it again in the hope the public will think it really cares about ethics in the House of Commons?

We recall back in 1993 how this Prime Minister promised to restore integrity and ethical behaviour to Canada's parliament. He tossed out those promises like wedding guests throw confetti. As it turned out, the promises were just like confetti. They littered the ground for a while and then slowly dissolved or were flushed into storm sewers.

Now, in panic and desperation, searchers from the Prime Minister's Office are being sent out to fetch this dimly remembered document that was buried somewhere on a shelf. The Liberals said that they must convince Canadians that they are ethical. How can they do that when Canadians know full well they are not? They will dust off that report from way back when their reputations were still intact and hope they will be able to con Canadians one more time.

It will not work. The jury went out and it is back. The verdict is that the Liberals lack ethics and integrity. They should not be surprised that the verdict was guilty. Year after year of scandals and stories, hundreds of millions of precious dollars spent or wasted on cronies and Liberal friendly companies would bring even the most patient or gullible Canadian to only one conclusion. It turns out that 70% or more of Canadians are of a similar mind. They believe the government is corrupt.

Canadians are asking some tough questions. They want to know how any member on the front benches or even way in the back can claim to be ethical if they did not object to all this unethical behaviour. The same can be said of those who sit silently while corrupt things are being done. If members do not object to corruption, then are they not just as corrupt as the individuals they are observing?

Another point has to be made. The Prime Minister tried to justify corruption and missing millions by saying that even if it did happen, his heart was in the right place. He said that mistakes might have been made but that his motivations were pure.

Let us examine that logic. Let us consider the case of a bank robber apprehended just as the teller begins handing over the cash. The robber explains to the arresting officer that he intended to give a portion of the stolen money to one of the Prime Minister's invisible homeless friends, and further, that he planned to give another small portion to building imaginary shelters for the Prime Minister's imaginary homeless friends. The police officer, struck by the simple logic and generosity of this defence, orders the teller to hand over the money to the robber and escorts him to the door.

There are those who would not accept the robber's defence or condone the police officer's choosing to wink at the apprehended crime. Those people are in a majority. The rest are part of that lavishly rich minority who cough up thousands of dollars when the Prime Minister calls and sells them a ticket to get through the door of the Prime Minister's residence.

Then again the members of that minority are the same ones who think that delivering millions to companies for work that was never done is perfectly acceptable behaviour for a government.

This is probably a good time to give those opposite a refresher. On page 355 of the Concise Oxford Dictionary they can find the word “ethic”. The words after it say it means “relating to morals, treating of moral questions, morally correct and honourable”. None of those are really big words even for a Liberal. I am certain if the Liberal members try very hard they can come to some understanding of what it means. “A set of principles”, is another phrase.

No, we do not mean the people who supervise schools. The principle referred to has another meaning. On page 880 under the word “principle” we find the phrase “personal code of right conduct”. After that comes the word “principled” which is defined as “based on or having praiseworthy principles of behaviour”.

I hope those opposite are not finding it a struggle to keep up with me. To simplify it, if people have ethics, integrity and principles, they know right from wrong. If they have ethics, integrity and principles, they know what behaviour is acceptable and what behaviour is unacceptable. They are not people who would rob a bank or the taxpayers and say that they are doing it out of the goodness of their hearts. They would not do that because they would know that it is unacceptable behaviour.

If one is a person of principle and ethics one would not follow a Prime Minister who attempts to justify the theft of millions, as the Prime Minister did not so long ago. Nor would one sit quietly and condone certain practices such as paying inflated advertising contracts with public money on the understanding that the overpayment would be returned somehow in the next election or prior to that in donations to the Liberal Party. Sadly and tragically there are those who do or did sit quietly and watch this sort of thing happen.

As the smell spreads outward from the source, much like swamp gas, everyone in the vicinity takes on a certain unfriendly odour. As has been said before, there should be an amendment to the endangered species legislation which would specifically offer protection to one of the nation's most endangered species; the honest Liberal. Liberal numbers dwindle by the day as they refuse to stand and be counted and to say that this has to stop.

Perhaps the temptations are too great for the species. Perhaps some still imagine the day when they will be transported from sullen and glum wilderness of the backbench to the glorious front. We know how the species communicates. The cry is “keep your head down and your mouth shut and your integrity, ethics and principles under wraps and you too might find the road out of the wilderness”.

Who will be next? The member for Richmond would be a good candidate, no doubt highly recommended by all of the people in all the parties he has portrayed. However Canadians are wondering about those who litter the front benches as well. Over all these years why did they, whether leadership aspirants or not, sit quietly while the treasury was plundered or were they waiting for the imaginary ethical guidelines to magically appear so they could have some idea of what was right and what was wrong?

Now that they have a code of conduct, will they ask if it has retroactive application? If so, do they intended to blow the whistle or will they continue to follow already established practices?

We suspect they have been told to wave the code of ethics around like they were fanning embers at a barbecue for the next three months. Do not use it to start the barbecue, just wave it and know in their hearts that the authors wrote the simple text as a public relations tool. Know also that the authors would tell them that the first rule for any Liberal is do not get caught. If they do get caught, fall back on the Prime Minister's strategy. Explain that their ethically challenged behaviour, their toleration of scandalous practices, their participation in those practices all have a simple explanation. They did it, or let it happen or did not object to its happening because their hearts were in the right place even if their souls were not.

I will close by repeating what I said earlier, that this is a phoney motion today put forward by a government that is ethically challenged. It needed something for the summer barbecue. Even when I gave the minister an opportunity to say to the House that, yes, if this report were passed by the House and the Senate, the government would accept it, he would not say that because the Prime Minister would not let him. This will just be another committee that meets, sits and comes up with a report just like that last glorious report written by those two intellectuals, one in each House. However it sat there for five years collecting dust. This report will probably sit there for another five years collecting dust.

That is not good enough for Canadians. They want some real action. I have not seen any clamour from my constituents about a code of conduct for MPs, but they certainly would like to see one for the cabinet. They would certainly like to see an independent ethics commissioner who reports to the House and who could answers some of these questions we have asked a lot sooner and a lot quicker.

I thought it very interesting today when the Deputy Prime Minister attacked my leader because he raised his funds during the election, well within the Canada Elections Act and within the law of Canada. He violated no rules whatsoever. Yet the Deputy Prime Minister was trying to make a phoney issue by saying, “Give us a list on all their leadership races in the past”. No list is there. It is not the law. We have said quite openly if the government brings in a law, we will comply with it. We will vote for that. We have been asking a long time for that law. At the same time the government has the nerve to say that, we know that certain cabinet ministers have been collecting money over the last few years. Nobody knows who gave that money.

Even the Deputy Prime Minister had a fundraiser sending a letter to people asking for $25,000 and indicating that they might be able to get a tax receipt for it. It is certainly not deductible under the Canada Elections Act unless they call it a business expense. They might get away with it with this government because it seems if someone donates money it is part of doing business.

We have cabinet ministers who have been receiving money over the last few years from Canadians. We do not know who made the donations and the Deputy Prime Minister and the Prime Minister forget. I might remind all those backbenchers that neither they nor we sign legislation or give out grants. It is done by the cabinet. That is why there are special rules for people in a cabinet. We should know immediately, and we will hopefully in a few days, where all the money has been coming from for these individuals.

I can remember Brian Tobin out in British Columbia having a dinner at $1,000 a plate and 100 people attended. He said that the money was going to Newfoundland to help the Liberal Party in Newfoundland. He was a minister of the government at the time. Where is all his money? He is no longer in the cabinet. He will not fall under the same rules. Will we get him to indicate how much money he still has sitting in the bank for his leadership race? Will we get the list of the former minister of finance showing where the money came which he raised?

The public will understand this. Remember that the cabinet ministers who have been doing this are the ones that make the rules, make the laws and sign the cheques. The rest of us speak on legislation and vote on it. We do not have control of the purse. That is why there has to be special rules when we are in a cabinet.

Other members in the House have been in a cabinet. I have. I know what the blind trusts are like. I know what we can or cannot do. I believe in openness and always have. That is the way it should be. We do not have that from the government.

The motion today is a scam to try to cover up what has been happening in the cabinet of this government over the last few months. Now we are finding that it goes back to 1996. Next we will find that it started in 1993. It has been reported and documented that this has been going on since 1996. There have been problems with grants, loans and scandals. It is time we have an independent ethics commissioner. It is time we have an independent judicial inquiry to get to the bottom of this mess so that it never happens again.

We believe our amendment is a very good and legitimate one. We believe it is one that all Canadians want. They want an independent ethics commissioner who reports to parliament. That is what our motion says. When the government can guarantee me that it will accept the report that comes from committee, for which it will have the majority, and implement it immediately, we will be quite happy to vote for it and do whatever we can to speed it along.

Code of ConductGovernment Orders

3:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-De- Beaupré—Île-D'Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I ask for the unanimous consent of the House, and I inform you that there have been consultations among all parties, to move an amendment to government Motion No. 30, which we are currently debating.

I move:

That the main motion be amended, in the eighth paragraph, by adding between the words “taken, so long as both Houses” and “are represented” the following:

“, including at least one member of the opposition from each House,”.

Code of ConductGovernment Orders

3:30 p.m.

The Speaker

Is there unanimous consent of the House to move this amendment?

Code of ConductGovernment Orders

3:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Code of ConductGovernment Orders

3:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The House heard the terms of the amendment. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the amendment?

Code of ConductGovernment Orders

3:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Code of ConductGovernment Orders

3:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Code of ConductGovernment Orders

3:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, I listened to the House leader of the official opposition. He likewise would have heard the remarks from the government House leader and the feigned indignation and haste with which the government now seems to be in to bring this matter to a committee to have the issue generally of ethics studied, which rightly should happen. However I think he will agree with me that nine years is far too little, far too late in terms of this suddenly becoming a government priority.

I think the opposition House leader would also agree that the substance of the motion, in referring it to a committee, deals more with opposition, government backbenchers, Senators and those who are not at the cabinet table. They are not the ones in a position to make these important decisions in the first instance with respect to government spending and approval of contracts and with respect to these decisions that are very much the subject of these allegations of corruption and unethical decision making.

There is certainly a high degree of distraction and duplicity in the government's suggestion that we should move with haste in this direction. It should happen but the opposition House leader will be the first to admit that he is very much aware, as are most Canadians, that the government wanted to leave and shut this place down on Wednesday. Here we are at the eleventh hour and he is saying that we have to get this through even though the Senate is no longer sitting. Does the opposition House leader not find a great deal of credibility lacking in what was just put forward by the government House leader?

Code of ConductGovernment Orders

3:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds Canadian Alliance West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, I agree with my colleague the Conservative House leader on many things and this is one on which I certainly agree with him. This is a government that is in deep trouble. Members know it and they are looking to their spin doctors to see what they can do to convince the public they really have a concern about something.

I know my colleagues from all parties in the House, even some Liberals, were wishing the government had some answer for the softwood crisis. We are leaving here to go home for the summer at a time when over 50,000 people are unemployed and struck hard because of government inaction on softwood lumber. We are going home at a time when there are people in the agricultural industry suffering because the announcement today is mainly a rehash of many old things for agriculture. It will do nothing to help farmers.

All opposition parties, although we are going home, will be spending a lot of time this summer at barbecues telling Canadians exactly why we are there and what is happening in this House. From my trips just in the last few weeks, all Canadians have had an interest in what has happened with the government that prided itself on integrity and a Prime Minister who said he would do certain things. They still have not forgotten the promise to get rid of the GST or to do something about free trade. He has lived with these, he is happy and he has used all the tax dollars. However, they are starting to think that this is a Prime Minister who has talked about integrity and has always bragged about ministers not having to resign. In the Liberal Party no one has had to resign, they just have waited for a cabinet shuffle.

It is like the member for Vancouver Centre who should have been fired for what she said in the House. He just let her sit there for awhile, then shuffled her off to the backbenches so he could still brag that he had never lost a cabinet minister for any reason. The story is getting old. Canadians are getting tired of the fact that for about three Sundays in a row new scandals have broken on grants, or loans or contracts and documents that have gone missing. People do not expect that from their government. They expect much more openness. They expect that mistakes will be made, but in this case there are too many of them. There are too many of them going to the same basic firms. The government should call an independent judicial inquiry. That is what Canadians need.

I was smiling at the government House leader today when he was shaking his head at the questions. I read Hansard like others do. I remember those days, and he should, when he was in the opposition. He was up demanding, yelling and screaming for independent judicial inquiries on issues against the former Conservative government. He should not be surprised that we are doing that.

When we come back in September, I can guarantee that there will be questions again on these same issues. We will be demanding answers to these issues and we will keep that up until we get some.