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House of Commons Hansard #21 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was police.

Topics

International Women's WeekStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Christian Jobin Liberal Lévis-Et-Chutes-De-La-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, to quote Alfred de Musset: Take time as it comes, the wind as it blows, woman as she is.

I am taking this opportunity today to pay tribute to our mothers, our sisters and our daughters. This year, the theme for International Women's Week in Canada is “She's on a role”.

Today is the ideal occasion to reflect on the progress that has been made and thus to advance equality for women. Still more important, it is a day to celebrate women from all over who have left their mark on the world.

Over the ages, regardless of place of origin, age, culture and status, women have always worked. In Canada and everywhere else, when they were not busy raising very large families, they were involved in such activities as running schools and hospitals. They worked in the fields, took over in the factories during wartime and excelled in a number of areas.

We thank these women and celebrate their invaluable presence within our communities.

National DefenceStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, in his report made public today, the Canadian Forces ombudsman chastises the Department of National Defence for breaking promises to Canadian soldiers.

Ten corporals who volunteered to be away from their families for four months in order to learn how to operate a new Canadian Forces air traffic control system were ordered to repay 65% of their per diem. Not only has this forced some of these soldiers to take out loans to repay this money, it has negatively affected the morale of the Canadian Forces and has discouraged other soldiers from volunteering to take this course.

The NDP finds it very ironic that the government has been so slow to reclaim the millions of dollars it disbursed to Liberal-friendly ad agencies while being so quick and so harsh in its attempts to reclaim meal allowances from 10 Canadian Forces corporals.

I call on the Minister of National Defence to reverse the clawback rather than visit any more hardship on the families of these NCOs who are willing to acquire a needed skill in the Canadian armed forces.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, on this day, March 8, International Women's Day, a day to commemorate the many battles for equal rights of men and women, I would like to raise the issue of salary inequity at the CBC, a crown corporation that should set an example when it comes to equal employment rights.

The CBC has chosen an underhanded way of favouring its male employees, by paying them, in the form of a bonus, the sum of $3.9 million, divided among 31 people, 22 of them men and only 9 women.

In order to correct this flagrant injustice, both vice-presidents of the French network have promised to put an end to this inequality by February 28, 2007. This is only a moral commitment.

The union believes that the initiative would have been more credible if CBC management had allowed something to be written into the collective agreement. I invite the new Minister of Canadian Heritage to put pressure on the CBC to ensure that the union's demands become reality.

Denys ArcandStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have one more reason to be proud of their country and of their fellow citizens.

After winning acclaim at Cannes and other top honours from the film industry, The Barbarian Invasions by Denys Arcand won the Oscar for best foreign language film last week in Hollywood.

This Oscar is the crowning touch to the worldwide triumph of Mr. Arcand's film. Mr. Arcand has already indicated that he is not about to rest on his laurels and that he will be getting back to work very soon.

I think Denys Arcand's outstanding success deserves our recognition. I am certain that Mr. Arcand will be a source of inspiration and an example for all Canadians and I ask my colleagues to join me in offering him our warmest congratulations.

Foreign AffairsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian Alliance Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, unsettling as the government's performance has been on the sponsorship scandal, Canadians have growing concerns also about the Liberals' disturbing handling of files which affect our international image.

The recent documentary of the Khadr family exposed a chilling disconnect between our government's elected officials and our nation's diplomatic and intelligence services. Questions continue to go unanswered.

Why would the former prime minister successfully lobby for the release of one of Osama bin Laden's top lieutenants? Why will our present Prime Minister not simply say no to those members of the Khadr clan who are vocal advocates of terror and suicide bombing and who want to waltz back in to Canada after being guests at bin Laden's training camp?

What does the Prime Minister plan to do to deal with the alarming questions that have been raised in a written documentary released today, which pictures Canada as a soft spot for those who are enemies of democracy? What message in terms of decisive steps of action, not words, will the Prime Minister convey to Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who is here today, to let him know that Canada is concerned about its international image and wants to be a strong link, not a weak link, in the--

Foreign AffairsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Ottawa West—Nepean.

International Women's DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Catterall Liberal Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, today on International Women's Day we celebrate the progress made in opportunities and choices for women, but we also have to face the fact that violence against women remains a pervasive poison in societies around the world.

For the past ten years, The Body Shop Canada has actively campaigned across the country to stop violence against women. It has raised funds to support violence prevention programs and shelters, contributing more than $1 million to the Canadian Women's Foundation and local non-profit organizations. The United Nations has recognized this campaign for bringing awareness to a crucial social issue.

To celebrate this 10th anniversary, many Canadian celebrities have signed on, including David Suzuki, Avril Lavigne and Natalie MacMaster. To commemorate National Women's Day, a candle was lit at noon today in every Body Shop across the country, including Ottawa West--Nepean.

I congratulate The Body Shop Canada for leading the way for other corporations to fight violence against women.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

March 8th, 2004 / 2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Bob Mills Canadian Alliance Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, while the Liberal government lurches from scandal to scandal, some very important and terrifying announcements have come from the mouth of the environment minister.

His zeal to implement the flawed Kyoto accord has no bounds; $5 billion will not be enough to pay for his boondoggle. Now the environment minister wants to raise gas taxes or income taxes to feed his Kyoto monster.

When this government made a commitment to Kyoto, we said that the only way it could reach the goals was to shut down entire industries or implement a carbon tax. Well, we know which way the environment minister is going.

One would think, after a week away from this place, that even the Liberals would have be able to hear what Canadians are saying. Canadians cannot stomach another tax and they cannot stomach a government that takes their taxes and gives it to Liberal friends. It is time to shelve both Kyoto and this Liberal government.

Sister Peggy ButtsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Bras D'Or—Cape Breton, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is with great sadness that I inform the House today of the death of Sister Peggy Butts. Born in Bridgeport, Cape Breton, Sister Peggy earned her Ph.D in political philosophy from the University of Toronto.

Through her career as a high school principal and later as a professor at St. Francis Xavier University and the University College of Cape Breton, she earned a reputation as a brilliant educator who dedicated her life to issues of social justice.

She committed her life to a wide variety of health care and social projects and assisted numerous social groups from across the country. She served as the director of the social justice office for the Diocese of Antigonish.

In 1997 our former prime minister, Jean Chrétien, called Sister Peggy to the Senate, leaving in 1999 after she reached the mandatory retirement age of 75. During the two years she served in the red chamber, she donated her entire salary to charity.

All of us who knew Sister Peggy appreciated her kindness, wit and of course great passion for the game of hockey and, more particular, the love she had for her Montreal Canadiens.

Indeed, Sister Peggy Butts was blessed with a brilliant mind and a dogged determination to work every day to improve the state of those less fortunate. She led a wonderful life and has left an indelible mark on the lives of many.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has now admitted publicly that the Liberal Party of Canada received hundreds of thousands of taxpayers' dollars, dirty money I might add, through ad scam. For the past seven years the Liberals have campaigned with this dirty money.

Why did the Prime Minister permit Public Works to be used as a vehicle to launder money for the 1997 and 2000 elections?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure exactly what the member is referring to, but there are four processes underway. There is a judicial independent inquiry; the public accounts committee, which they are well aware of; RCMP investigations; and a special council for recovery.

Rather than make accusations, the hon. member should put evidence before these processes to make sure that, as we have insisted, the truth comes out.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister says he will not spend all this dirty money, in fact he will give it back. That is a little bit like a bank robber, when he is caught, saying, “If I give the money back, will you let me go?”

Would the Prime Minister explain why the sponsorship program was used to funnel money into Liberal coffers for the 1997 and 2000 elections? Why was that?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:15 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 would suggest to my colleague that before he makes allegations he should check the facts.

The Liberal Party of Canada has decided to conduct an internal audit into the sources of financing for our party, which by the way no other party has tried to do so far, even though we have invited them to do so.

The facts are going to speak. There is a legal council in charge of getting to the money wherever it has gone, and there is a commission of investigation in place which is charged with finding out what the facts are. I would suggest my colleague should wait and see what the facts are before talking.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, no other party has to do it because no other party took the money.

Not only did the Liberal Party receive this dirty money, but cabinet ministers also received donations: the current Minister of Industry, the Minister of Social Development and the President of the Privy Council, to name but a few.

Will the Prime Minister ask them to pay back this money; yes or no?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:15 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 am having a hard time understanding why my colleague keeps on talking about dirty money when there is not an ounce of evidence. This is a purely gratuitous allegation. I do not see any basis for his claim.

What I propose is extremely simple: instead of throwing around accusations that only serve to smear reputations, if there are documents or facts to present, then he should put them on the table and we will consider them. Until then he should stop throwing mud just for the sake of it.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Canadian Alliance Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, evidence keeps leaking out about just how close the President of the Queen's Privy Council was to Claude Boulay, head of Groupe Everest, a notorious player in ad scam. Today revealed a birthday video for Boulay with the minister front and centre on camera. Then there is a revealing e-mail proving bureaucrats knew the minister wanted them to hire Everest because Boulay was his friend.

Heads of crown corporations are rolling on suspicion they knew about the ad scandal, yet the minister remains in cabinet in spite of his cozy relationship with a key player. Why the double standard?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has made it plain that any of his cabinet ministers, if called upon, will appear before both the public inquiry and the public accounts committee. The Prime Minister has also indicated that he has asked each one of us whether we had any knowledge in relation to wrongdoing in relation to that which was the subject of the Auditor General's report.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Canadian Alliance Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Deputy Prime Minister probably believes in the tooth fairy too.

When evidence of how close the minister was to Boulay first surfaced, the minister denied it as “damn nonsense” and said, “No, not at all”. Then his word that he had not lived at Boulay's home proved to be false. Boulay's take of government contracts shot up after the minister received a cabinet post. The Auditor General fingered Boulay's company in her report on ad scam.

Is it not true that the minister was deeply involved in making sure his crony got a generous share of ad scam pork?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member is making a specific allegation in relation to the President of the Privy Council, I suggest that if she has information, she should put that before the public inquiry or the public accounts committee. Let me reiterate that on this side of the House, the Prime Minister has asked every one of his cabinet ministers that if they had any knowledge of wrongdoing in relation to that which was the subject of the Auditor General's report, to come forward with that information.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, on February 18, the Prime Minister assured us that no minister was aware of the sponsorship scandal, and that he had personally verified that.

Now with the video, we see that the links are even closer than we thought between the President of the Privy Council and Claude Boulay of Everest—one of the people who profited most from the scandal.

Can the Prime Minister tell us whether he is still as sure of his minister, when there is a videotape showing him and his friends joking around about the entire Canadian visibility enhancing operation in Quebec, an operation funded by public funds that benefited friends of the government?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:20 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 understand that my colleague across the way is so obsessed by politics that he forgets that we are human beings first and foremost. I understand that he has forgotten that, if we have friends that go back more than 20 years, the fact that we are elected does not mean that we should completely eliminate everything we experienced before we entered politics.

Before he was even a candidate for the first time, there was a friendship between Mr. Boulay and the colleague in question dating back more than 20 years. So, let us stop throwing around accusations that are pointless and even scandalous.

The real scandal is this systematic smearing by the opposition.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, that performance deserves an Oscar.

In 1997, the President of the Privy Council stayed in the home of Claude Boulay, the President of Everest. That is a fact. In 2000, a departmental employee wrote that the company the Secretary of State wanted to hire was Everest, which did get the contract. In 2001, a videotape on the occasion of Claude Boulay's birthday shows the minister and his friends joking around about the government's visibility operation.

In this context, did the Prime Minister check whether the President of the Privy Council was the one who, at the June 10, 2002 cabinet committee meeting, continued to defend the companies after the Auditor General's report? That is a fact. Can we have an answer on this?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:20 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, there is something rather vicious about connecting facts that have absolutely nothing to do with each other.

A commission of inquiry has been established. The Standing Committee on Public Accounts is also dealing with this. If there are any allegations to be made, let them be made there and let any supporting documents or other proof be tabled there.

But enough of these unfounded accusations. They are both pointless and unhealthy and, in my opinion, reflect badly on everyone in political life.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minutes of a cabinet committee meeting, which were made public, showed that one minister had defended the communication firms.

Now, there is a videotape proving the great friendship between the President of the Privy Council and Mr. Boulay. The Prime Minister had assured us that, before appointing his ministers, he checked if any had any knowledge about the sponsorship scandal.

I light of this new information—and my question is directed to the President of the Privy Council—did the Prime Minister meet with him again to discuss his involvement in this matter and the videotape that was made public?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned earlier, the Prime Minister asked everyone in his cabinet whether they had any information in relation to wrongdoing in relation to that which was the subject of the Auditor General's report.

The Prime Minister has also made it plain that he and his entire cabinet, if called upon to do so, will appear before the public accounts committee, will appear before the public inquiry.