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House of Commons Hansard #12 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was langley.

Topics

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Charlevoix—Montmorency, QC

Mr. Speaker, the investigation carried out in 2000 revealed, after the fact, that certain ministers intervened in the sponsorship program.

I ask the Prime Minister, which ministers?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, when one really considers what the Prime Minister has done to ensure that we get to the bottom of this issue, I think the hon. member is being petty and partisan.

Canadians want this Parliament to work and, whether a minority Parliament or not, they are depending on us to make this Parliament work. I would expect all members of Parliament to be constructive and focused on seeking the right solutions for Canadians. That is what Justice Gomery is doing, so why do we not support him?

Canada Elections ActOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to some unofficial information, the government might amend the Canada Elections Act and take a step backward by once again allowing companies to provide funding to political parties beyond the annual limit of $1,000, despite the undesirable effects of such a measure.

Will the Prime Minister pledge to leave the Canada Elections Act in its present form and confirm that it is out of the question to go back to a system allowing contributions from friends, who then become entitled to certain favours, as we saw with the brokers retained for the sale of Petro-Canada shares?

Canada Elections ActOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa—Vanier Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger LiberalDeputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, when Parliament passed Bill C-24 on election financing, it provided for a statutory review following the tabling, in the House, of the recommendations of the chief electoral officer, which are expected early in the new year.

At that time, the act that was passed will be reviewed, as provided in the legislation.

Canada Elections ActOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, if the government wants to improve the Canada Elections Act, would it not be preferable, instead of changing the rules on political party financing, to review the appointment process for the positions of returning officers, which currently benefits Liberal friends?

Canada Elections ActOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa—Vanier Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger LiberalDeputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I should mention that the statutory review was suggested by the committee itself and approved by Parliament.

As regards returning officers, the government asked the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs to examine the issue and make recommendations to the government. We are waiting for these recommendations.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister will not answer straight questions because he cannot defend the fact that his word has been broken time and time again. He pledged to cooperate fully with Parliament's investigation into the sponsorship scandal. He said:

--the government will ensure that every single piece of information and every fact on this matter are made public as quickly as possible.

Shame on him. His government failed to comply with about half of the committee motions requesting pertinent documents.

Why did the Prime Minister withhold vital information until the election was safely behind him?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the government has responded to all requests for information from both the public accounts committee and from the Gomery commission commensurate with the authorities of each and consistent with the laws of the land. We are aiming to and continuing to cooperate fully with both bodies.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, withholding relevant documents from Parliament has nothing to do with the Gomery inquiry. It is a question of the Prime Minister's contempt for our committee and for members of this House.

The Prime Minister made a clear pledge to make all documents public. He did not. He promised to cooperate fully with the investigation of the parliamentary committee. He failed to keep that promise.

Is it not just a little too convenient that the most damaging evidence of Liberal skulduggery in the sponsorship mess was not released until after the election?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, in fact, my department has responded to over 20 requests from the public accounts committee and will continue to respond to further requests as they come in from the public accounts committee as it continues its work.

The Prime Minister has made a decision that cabinet documents back to 1994 will be made available. This is why the information commissioner is lauding the Prime Minister and the government, and recognizing that openness and transparency is a priority for this government.

Canada PostOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Pallister Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Deloitte Touche audit revealed that former president André Ouellet spent over $2 million on lavish hospitality and travel. The Prime Minister's inaction since that time speaks volumes about his real commitment to accountability.

The report was delayed until after the election. He did not fire André Ouellet, he actually had to resign. The only action the Prime Minister has taken is to hire his own crony to assume the new chairmanship. If it were any other Canadian but André Ouellet, it would have been different rules.

Why does the government have two sets of rules, one for Liberals and one for everyone else?

Canada PostOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Markham—Unionville Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, that is absolute nonsense. Mr. Ouellet resigned with no severance pay whatsoever on September 23--

Canada PostOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Canada PostOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. minister was asked a question and I know the hon. member for Portage--Lisgar, who does have a supplementary, will want to hear the answer. We need a little order.

Canada PostOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, action is certainly being taken. Following Mr. Ouellet's resignation on September 21, the chair of the board of Canada Post wrote again to Mr. Ouellet to request the receipts.

As I have already informed the House, the Canada Revenue Agency is in the process of conducting an audit of the expenditures surrounding the office of the president. Action is indeed being taken.

Canada PostOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Pallister Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am sure we will all shed a tear for that lack of severance pay.

The minister said there is a single purpose audit being done, but it is obvious that the single purpose of the audit is to ensure Canadians do not get to the truth on this issue.

The fact of the matter is that André Ouellet would not have spent $2 million on lavish hospitality and travel if it had been his own money. It was not his money. It was the Canadian public's money. The Canadian public deserves some clear answers to some straightforward questions.

Where is their money? When do they get it back?

Canada PostOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Markham—Unionville Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I can only repeat the very firm actions that are in the process of being taken. The chair of Canada Post has again written to Mr. Ouellet requesting the receipts on September 21. The Canada Revenue Agency is in the process of conducting an audit surrounding the expenses of the president's office going back to the year 2000. Those are clear actions.

FederalismOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, on the opposite side of the House we have a separatist party that wants to rip Canada apart and we have an official opposition that wants to turn it into Belgium. The leader of the official opposition wants to convert Ottawa to Brussels, and give all federal powers to unaccountable and unelected institutions that will segregate linguistic communities.

My question is for the hon. Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. Can the minister comment on the opposition leader's scheme to undermine our great federation?

FederalismOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the proposal of the leader of the official opposition is not clear to his own caucus and all Canadians. He seems to want all francophones in this country to speak with one voice and the same for anglophones without dissension. This is not the reality of Canada.

This scheme is a very complicated one and one with a lot of unanswered questions. This government, this Prime Minister, and this party believes in a strong Canada that respects linguistic duality and diversity, and--

FederalismOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Skeena--Bulkley Valley.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, in 1993 the Prime Minister promised to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2005. The reality is that we are dead last in the industrialized world even behind the likes of George W. Bush. So much for Liberal promises.

Now the Liberals are promising more far away action instead of action today. They are getting $2.6 billion from the sale of Petro-Canada. The clean technology that will cut pollution is already available in this country.

Will the environment minister stand up today and commit to investing 100% of these proceeds into Canada's green economy?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member very much for his question and I will discuss this with the Minister of Finance. The Government of Canada is committed to Kyoto and for climate change. We want to go ahead with action and that is what we are doing.

VIA RailOral Question Period

October 20th, 2004 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Bev Desjarlais NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the transport minister.

When the government admitted that it was $7 billion off on its budget line, one has to wonder why the promised funding for VIA Rail was cancelled.

Why is the transport minister silent on support for VIA Rail? Where is the government's commitment to passenger rail which is so crucial in meeting commitments to transport, rebuilding cities and communities, and to the Kyoto accord?

VIA RailOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, I will be meeting with members of VIA Rail's board of directors. Together, we will discuss future projects. They will submit an action plan, which I will be pleased to present to the government.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Lunn Conservative Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canada's new Cormorants are once again grounded. Why? Cracks in the tail rotor.

This government's policy over the last decade has been to cut military funding at every opportunity. This is the second time this year that cracks in the tail rotor have grounded this aircraft.

We would like to know how serious is this problem and specifically, what resources has the government allocated to fix this problem?