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House of Commons Hansard #14 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was missiles.

Topics

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Odina Desrochers Bloc Lotbinière—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government says it wants to clean things up. But at the same time we learn that it has continued to award contracts to Media IDA Vision to the tune of $1.5 million since the Prime Minister took office.

How can the government explain maintaining contractual ties with Media IDA Vision when the Auditor General criticized this firm for its contract delivery in the past?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, Media IDA Vision is the agency of record for the government in placing advertising contracts. It has been for some time. Its contract was extended for a few months in January of this year while a competitive competition takes place, and concludes in a fair and open way to choose a successor.

That is going on and there is nothing in the Auditor General's report that specifically names this company as contravening any laws.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Odina Desrochers Bloc Lotbinière—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, just three days ago, Media IDA Vision was awarded a contract worth in excess of $780,000 for the Department of National Defence. The government's logic escapes us.

How can the Minister of Public Works and Government Services justify continuing to give Media IDA Vision contracts when the Auditor General criticized this firm for not fulfilling its obligations in making sure that the government is getting its money's worth?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is interpreting the Auditor General's report incorrectly.

This is an agency of record, which does not receive large contracts. It places contracts for advertising of government programs such as Health Canada tobacco contracts, for example. It takes a 3% commission for placing that work and getting the best media placements possible across the country.

This is not an issue with which the Auditor General had a difficulty.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, in the spring of 2001, Createc Plus conducted a survey of voting intentions and the image of the party leaders. As a defence, the Minister of Public Works and Government Services tells us that, now that it has been caught, the Liberal Party of Canada will pay back.

Can the Minister of Public Works and Government Services tell us if the findings of the survey conducted during a Quebec byelection in 2001 were provided to the Quebec Liberal Party?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I am not aware of the answer to that particular question.

However, the criticism that the Auditor General had of public opinion research was that--although she was satisfied overall that the standard was very good--in a few isolated cases within syndicated surveys, there were some questions included in those surveys that showed voter preference.

That was against the guidelines. We accept that and we will take great care in these large syndicated surveys to ensure that no questions are asked about voter preference.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, during the 2003 general election in Quebec, the federal Liberals repeated the same scenario. They used taxpayer's money to pay for a survey by Createc Plus and provided the survey to the Quebec Liberal Party.

How can one explain that the federal government not only used taxpayers' money for partisan purposes but also violated once again Quebec's election legislation?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member will be more specific with his question, I will attempt to provide him with a direct answer.

We have appointed a special counsel to pursue funds that were misappropriated, improperly billed for, or billed for when work was not done.

We said that as a matter of public record, donations to political parties are a matter of record. If the hon. member, or anyone else in the House, has information that would connect any misappropriated money to political donations, then put it before the public inquiry, give it to the special counsel, and bring it up in--

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Calgary Southeast.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Canadian Alliance Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, two years ago the former head of Liberal caucus research spilled the beans about the Liberal sponsorship cover-up.

In a Globe and Mail article, Jonathan Murphy revealed that top Liberal functionaries from ministers' personal staff” were meeting with Mario Laguë, then a senior official working with Alfonso Gagliano, to discuss ways to “thwart access-to-information requests, and strategies to divert attention from negative aspects of the Auditor-General's reports”.

How can the Prime Minister claim that he knew nothing about the Liberal ad scam when his own senior staff were attending meetings to plot the cover-up?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Brossard—La Prairie Québec

Liberal

Jacques Saada LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, I shall not let anyone in the House accuse Mario Laguë of any wrongdoing. This is an undeserved accusation.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Canadian Alliance Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the accusation does not come from anyone in the House. It comes from the former head of Liberal caucus research, and a former Liberal candidate who said that Mario Laguë, then a senior official working with Alfonso Gagliano, worked with senior bureaucrats and political staff, including presumably staff from the former finance minister's office, to “thwart access-to-information requests, and strategies to divert attention from negative aspects of the Auditor-General's reports”.

Who from the Prime Minister's Office attended these meetings and if the Prime Minister is serious about cleaning this up then why is Mario Laguë his communications director today?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Brossard—La Prairie Québec

Liberal

Jacques Saada LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Murphy has never written the preamble nor the conclusion of the allegation that the member is alleging.

It is despicable that we should smear the reputation of people on no grounds whatsoever. It is not acceptable. Enough is enough with the smear campaigns.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Canadian Alliance Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, the problem with the Prime Minister's defence is that it leads right into his office.

We are quoting from an article written by Jonathan Murphy, a former Liberal candidate in Edmonton and a former Liberal research director. He said that top Liberal functionaries from ministers' personal staff were meeting with Mr. Laguë, then assistant secretary to cabinet, to discuss ways to “thwart access-to-information requests, and strategies to divert attention from negative aspects of the Auditor-General's reports”.

Will the Prime Minister stand up today and explain exactly what Mr. Laguë was doing and what has he done since? The road leads right into the Prime Minister's Office.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Winnipeg South Manitoba

Liberal

Reg Alcock LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, the opposition again comes forward with another slander and another attack on persons by calling people thieves over here and calling them sleazy over there.

Let us ask what the Globe and Mail feels about the Prime Minister today:

That the government is willing to have itself held accountable when things go wrong is surely a sign of positive change.

Most Canadians are already tired of the daily barrage of shrill charges and allegations, and are ready to let the official inquiries do the--

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Edmonton Southwest.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Canadian Alliance Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, we are not the ones making the allegations. It is a Liberal candidate in Edmonton. It is a former head of Liberal research that is making these allegations in a May 2002 article.

He said that Mario Laguë was discussing ways to “thwart access-to-information requests, and strategies to divert attention from negative aspects of the Auditor-General's reports”. The public does not believe that the Prime Minister does not know. He must stand up and restore his credibility.

The only way that he can do that is to come clean on this issue, explain exactly what he knew and when, and take action against cabinet--

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. President of the Treasury Board.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Winnipeg South Manitoba

Liberal

Reg Alcock LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, let us try La Presse today. La Presse asked what voters demand from the head of government.

The answer was that he not sidestep the issue but immediately recognize its seriousness, which is what the current Prime Minister did.

HaitiOral Question Period

February 19th, 2004 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Liberal Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, the situation in Haiti is very distressing. Many Haitians live in Canada—especially in my riding of Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel. They still have many family members in Haiti.

Since Canada, in its most recent throne speech, made a commitment to play an important role in resolving crises that emerge on the international scene, can the minister tell this House and all Canadians what kind of leadership role he intends to take in order to arrive at a swift and peaceful resolution of the national crisis affecting the people of Haiti?

HaitiOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel for his question. He shows great concern for his constituents and for this group.

I would like to assure the hon. member and the House that the government is following the situation in Haiti very closely. I am in communication and working in close collaboration with the foreign affairs ministers, and their administrators, in the Caribbean.

My colleague, the Minister responsible for the Francophonie, is in communication with the Francophonie. We are working together with the OAS, the United States, and the countries involved, to find a viable, long-lasting solution in Haiti.

We are continuing to work on this. I can assure—

HaitiOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Regina—Qu'Appelle.

Trust FundsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Lorne Nystrom NDP Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the right hon. Prime Minister. Yesterday the Chief Electoral Officer expressed grave concern that many MPs have trust funds which are in fact secret bank accounts, totalling perhaps millions of dollars. Canadians are concerned about a gap in ethics and accountability in this country.

Could the Prime Minister tell the House how many members of his caucus have trust funds? Will he disclose how much is in those funds and where the--

Trust FundsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

I have already explained that questions about political contributions, as the hon. member knows, are out of order, and if the hon. member has a supplementary question, we will hear it.

Trust FundsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Lorne Nystrom NDP Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, in light of the fact the House of Commons passed Bill C-24, which deals with contributions, I want to ask the Prime Minister how many members of his caucus have trust funds, where did that money come from and what is the source of donors. That is very relevant in light of Bill C-24.