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House of Commons Hansard #149 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was liberal.

Topics

Sponsorship ProgramOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the question is frivolous and unfounded. I can say, as I have said previously, that in my opinion, there were deficiencies at Treasury Board at the time. These are precisely the deficiencies that the President of the Treasury Board addressed through reforms.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, first, he admits that there were deficiencies. As vice-chair, he could have acted earlier.

Second, my question is simple. Jean Chrétien said that he instructed the minister responsible for the Treasury Board to audit the sponsorship program. On several occasions, he was assured that there were no problems. This is a very simple question. That statement was made after the Gomery report was published.

Is it true that the Prime Minister, who was vice-chair of the Treasury Board at the time, was so instructed? Is it true that his answer was that there were no problems? The question is simple. He should answer it.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, for the benefit of the leader of the Bloc Québécois, what Justice Gomery said above all is this. “[The current Prime Minister]... is entitled, like other ministers in the Quebec caucus, to be exonerated from any blame for carelessness or misconduct”. Such is Justice Gomery's finding.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, Jean Chrétien was quite clear. He said, “I had given the order to Treasury Board to carry out the necessary audits. They confirmed to me on several occasions that I had nothing to worry about”. For the edification of our viewers, the Prime Minister was vice-chair of Treasury Board. So, he took orders from Jean Chrétien.

What we want to know today is whether he did well and truly receive such orders and whether he replied that there was nothing to worry about.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the members of the Bloc Québécois want to conduct the inquiry for Justice Gomery, because they are not happy with his findings. Each of their questions aims to continue the smear campaign to their discredit. That is why they should be happy with the findings of Justice Gomery himself and stop trying to go beyond his report because they are not happy with its findings. They should blame Justice Gomery, if they dare.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, I do not see how quoting former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien constitutes a smear campaign against the government. Perhaps the Minister of Transport is in disgrace and will be even more so.

My question to the Prime Minister is as follows. Jean Chrétien, his predecessor, said that he had asked for an update and was told that everything was fine. He was a member of Treasury Board. Is it true that Jean Chrétien asked him this? If so, what answer did he give? It is not complicated.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the Gomery inquiry into the facts has concluded. Justice Gomery heard all the witnesses, including Mr. Chrétien, who told what he knew about this matter. So, the Bloc Québécois does not need to try to do the judge's job. He has done it and he has drawn his own conclusions. They may not like them but they should be ashamed of trying to prolong the matter. I understand they are not happy that the Prime Minister was exonerated from any blame for carelessness or misconduct. They do not like this conclusion, but that is what Justice Gomery found.

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, over this past weekend the Quebec wing of the Liberal Party of Canada passed a motion and adopted the position that there should be a parallel system of private health insurance. We are not talking about Ralph Klein or Gordon Campbell. We are talking about the Liberal Party of Canada, which has been in power for 12 years in Canada and has no rules in place to protect health care.

We know where the Prime Minister stands and now I think we know why. Can he explain why his party is supporting a parallel private system of health care?

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, first of all, that is not what the party resolution said, but in any event, we are a democratic party. Those who are part of our party have the opportunity to debate issues. We make it very clear, on the other hand, that government follows its policies and is not bound by those that are debated at the party conventions. This is a democratic party. People have opinions and they express them.

Parliament of CanadaOral Questions

November 14th, 2005 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, first of all, it is not surprising to see the Prime Minister wanting to disassociate himself from the Quebec wing of the Liberal Party, although my guess is he will be happy to have it work to re-elect him the next time around.

When it comes to democracy, the question is whether the Prime Minister will abide by the position of a majority of the House of Commons concerning how the business of the House of Commons should be conducted over the next number of weeks and months. That is a question about real democracy.

Parliament of CanadaOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I am not quite sure what the hon. member was referring to, but in fact this House operates based on Standing Orders and those Standing Orders are there for all members to abide by.

On this side of the House, the Standing Orders that we abide by are certainly those that members have worked on and have brought forward in order for the House to operate in a very effective manner. If the hon. member is asking whether we will be abiding by the Standing Orders and the rules of the House, that is absolutely correct.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Prentice Conservative Calgary North Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, Keeseekoose is a small first nation in Saskatchewan. In the time between 1995 and 2001, over $600,000 was systematically looted from its education fund. The Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development has known about this since 2002 and this minister has known since he was appointed, but the minister refuses to help the new chief and council get to the bottom of this.

What is the minister hiding? Why will he not produce a forensic audit that shows who stole the Keeseekoose children's trust fund?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, audits are conducted routinely. If those audits find things that should go to the RCMP or other agencies, that is exactly what happens.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Prentice Conservative Calgary North Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, all we hear from the minister is excuses and obfuscation. The current chief and council want to find out who stole their education money. The minister will not help them.

Will the minister admit today that he is trying to protect the former chief because he was the chief when the money was stolen and because he was the Prime Minister's Liberal candidate in the last federal election? Is this why the minister will not produce a forensic audit?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, that allegation is absolutely ridiculous.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Garry Breitkreuz Conservative Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Quewezance, the former chief, was president of the St. Phillip's Rangers hockey team when it received repeated direct transfers from the school account. He knew what was going on and the Liberals recruited him to run as their candidate in 2004 while failing to investigate complaints made to Indian affairs about this matter in 2002.

The Liberals have hit a new low in stealing money from schoolchildren while protecting one of their own from investigation. Is this the new standard of ethics the Prime Minister promised us in 2004: nominating candidates who steal money from schoolchildren and then covering it up?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, the new low is across on the other side. That is a ridiculous and scandalous thing to say.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Jeremy Harrison Conservative Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we learned that over $600,000 was looted from the St. Phillip's school account of the Keeseekoose First Nation while a former Liberal candidate was in charge. We have the records for the school's bank account, which document a long list of charges made directly from this account to places like Zellers, Bata Shoes, Athletes World, Mark's Work Wearhouse and the Regina casino.

Why is it that Liberal candidates can get away with taking money from schoolchildren to spend it at the casino?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I have serious reservations about the questions. This started with questions about funds that the government had some responsibility for getting back. These questions now appear to have gone beyond the recovery of moneys that would be either government money or money for which the government is responsible. In the absence of such a statement in the question or a question on that subject, I am going to rule it out of order.

The hon. member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord.

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government has to understand that we have lost faith in its forecasts and that the minister's announcements year in and year out prove that he has enough money to resolve the fiscal imbalance.

Will the government acknowledge that it is time to sit down and finally resolve the fiscal imbalance, which benefits Ottawa and threatens the balancing of the budgets of Quebec and the provinces?

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Scarborough—Guildwood Ontario

Liberal

John McKay LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the premise of the hon. member's question is incorrect. There is no fiscal imbalance and never can be any fiscal imbalance. Such moneys as are received by the provinces, and they have been on an escalating basis over the past number of years as the government's revenues have turned around, have in fact been transferred. In the last fiscal year there were very significant transfers from the federal government to the provincial governments for their needs.

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, since the cuts in 1994, the federal government has held Quebec and the provinces hostage. An agreement is needed to resolve the fiscal imbalance permanently, as occurred under Jean Lesage in the 1960s and was recommended by Yves Séguin.

When will the government settle the fiscal imbalance once and for all instead of helping itself to surpluses for its own electoral purposes?

TaxationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Scarborough—Guildwood Ontario

Liberal

John McKay LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it is well known that the government has struck a committee with respect to equalization, to review the indices of equalization, to review the measurement figures and to report to the government. At this time, that report has not been received by the government. As a consequence, the premise of the hon. member's question is incorrect. At this point, there are significant transfers to all provinces, including the province of Quebec, in excess of a half a billion dollar increase.

EducationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Guy Côté Bloc Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, student associations from Quebec and Canada met today in Ottawa and called on the federal government to transfer an additional $4 billion plus annually for education in order to raise funding to its 1994 level, prior to the cuts by the current Prime Minister, who was trying to balance his budget at the expense of Quebec and the provinces.

Does the government intend to fund 25% of post-secondary education as it did before the 1994 cuts?

EducationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Scarborough—Guildwood Ontario

Liberal

John McKay LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated in a previous answer, the transfers to the provinces, which include a component for education, have increased quite dramatically over the last year or 18 months since the delivery of the last budget.

The hon. member asked for this. I suggest to him that in fact in large measure the Government of Canada has delivered on it.