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House of Commons Hansard #72 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was revenues.

Topics

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, once again the hon. member is referring to specific testimony. This is curious behaviour because the fact is that on a daily basis we see contradictory testimony. Even his own leader is saying that some of the testimony before Justice Gomery has been false and that some of the witnesses are lying to Justice Gomery. If his leader believes that witnesses are lying to Justice Gomery, why is he in his line of questioning using individual sporadic testimony instead of waiting for Justice Gomery to do his report?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Rahim Jaffer Conservative Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, let us see if the minister can handle the facts.

The ad scam money trail leads directly to the Liberal Party of Canada. Gosselin gave $15,000, strong armed by Liberal bullies and donated to the Liberals. Groupaction gave $2,000 to the member for Bourassa, $50,000 to five Liberal organizers and $20,000 directly to the Liberals. With Lafleur Communications, over $50,000 was laundered through employees and a secret bank account to the Liberals.

If the minister is so gung-ho about suing these firms, why is he not just as anxious to sue the Liberal Party of Canada?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, there is no need to sue the party because the party has voluntarily committed to return any funds gained inappropriately to the Canadian taxpayer--

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

Order. The Minister of Public Works and Government Services has the floor. The hon. member for Edmonton—Strathcona must be having real trouble hearing the answer because I am. We will want to hear the Minister of Public Works and Government Services now without the usual interruptions.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, once again the Liberal Party has voluntarily committed to return any funds gained inappropriately to the Canadian taxpayer once we have all the facts. The fact is we will have a greater clarity on this issue once we have Justice Gomery's report.

Yes, we have pursued legal action to retrieve funds as that is the right thing to do for the Canadian taxpayer, but we do not have a verdict.

Textile IndustryOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Rivière-Du-Loup—Montmagny, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian textile industry is in peril and factories are disappearing one by one, victims of the federal government's inaction in the face of globalization of trade.

The Canadian Textile Institute has asked the Prime Minister to intervene when he meets with Presidents Bush and Fox, in order to re-establish the market access obtained when the NAFTA was signed.

Does the Prime Minister intend to discuss the textile issue with President Bush this week, in order to restore access to the American market to the level it was at when NAFTA was established?

Textile IndustryOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalMinister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, it is quite obvious that, within the NAFTA framework, the textile and garment industries have already been discussed. This month a working group presented a report containing six suggestions. Because of the problems in this industry, the government has spent nearly $600 million helping this sector become more competitive.

Textile IndustryOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Rivière-Du-Loup—Montmagny, QC

Mr. Speaker, what we want is for the Prime Minister to speak to Mr. Bush on this issue to help the textile industry.

Textile IndustryOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

An hon. member

Tomorrow.

Textile IndustryOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Rivière-Du-Loup—Montmagny, QC

It has to happen tomorrow.

The Americans have established a program under which garments manufactured abroad with American material can enter duty free.

Does the Canadian government also intend to set up such a program in order to support our textile industry, which is crying out for it?

Textile IndustryOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalMinister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, as I just said, the NAFTA working group has begun to look at these issues. We are examining the report.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, Bombardier is questioning the approach taken by DND and Public Works, with their last minute changes to the requirements set out in the call for tenders for the contract to train Canadian Forces pilots.

Because of this rather questionable move, Bombardier faces losing a contract it has held for 12 years. Could the government explain what motivated this eleventh hour change, unbeknownst to Bombardier, to the requirements set out in the call for tenders?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, it would not be appropriate for me to comment today on a contract that has not yet been awarded and about which an announcement will be made in the future.

However, I can assure the hon. member and the House as a whole that, in this matter as in all contract awards by our department and the government, the process has been just, fair and open.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government having claimed, through its spokespersons, that the contract award process is a fair, transparent and open one, the minister should therefore be able to comment.

How can such a claim be made when, according to a vice-president of Bombardier, these changes to the call for tenders were made without Bombardier being notified, at the last minute and in favour of a competitor, namely Allied Wings?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of National Defence

At any rate, Mr. Speaker, as I said, an announcement will be made in the future about who received this contract. But in the meantime, I can assure the House that, for this contract as for all our contracts, the overall process has been fair, open, just and totally proper.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

March 22nd, 2005 / 2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Helena Guergis Conservative Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week one of the Prime Minister's chief organizers admitted to funnelling money from sponsorship through Groupaction to the member for Bourassa. Elections Canada has said that this was illegal but cannot prosecute because the offence is more than 18 months old.

Taxpayers' money was given illegally to the Liberal Party. Will the Liberal Party do the right thing and return the dirty money?

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 party has been absolutely clear. If any funds were received inappropriately, those funds would be returned to Canadian taxpayers.

I would counsel the hon. member, and all members of the House, to wait until we have the report from Justice Gomery. The fact is that we will benefit as Canadians from the work that Justice Gomery is doing only if we have the patience to wait for that report and to act on his recommendations.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Helena Guergis Conservative Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, Lapierre said they would not wait for Gomery. Canadians do not have to wait for an inquiry to know that they want their money back. They should not have to wait for a lawsuit. They want their money back. The Liberals know they want it back. Return the money now.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Simcoe--Grey used a name of someone who may be a member of the House. If she did, I know that she would not want to make that mistake again. She must refer to persons who are members of the House by their title and not the other.

The hon. member for Nepean--Carleton.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, since he became the Prime Minister, the leader of the Liberal Party has consistently denied having known anything about the sponsorship racket. But his friend and long-time organizer was caught red-handed. It is now well known that Jacques Roy illegally received thousands of dollars for his work during election campaigns.

Will the Prime Minister order that legal action be taken against the Liberal Party just as it has been against all the other cheats?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, as I answered the identical question a few minutes ago, there is no need to pursue legal proceedings against the Liberal Party because the Liberal Party has volunteered that any funds received inappropriately will be returned to the Canadian taxpayer.

Beyond that, I would like to bring the hon. member's attention to the National Post of a few weeks ago that said after the Prime Minister's testimony: “The Prime Minister's relationship to the sponsorship program appears tangential at best. Canadians, except for perhaps the Leader of the Opposition, will probably believe that the Prime Minister was not intimately involved in the planning and execution of the sponsorship program”.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, even the transport minister said that those dollars should be paid back to taxpayers before the sponsorship commission is finished its study. Why is it that the government is now contradicting the original position of the transport minister?

Finally, the Prime Minister says he knew nothing, but now two of his senior Quebec organizers are directly implicated. His patriotism is now in question. He has to decide whether it will be Canadian taxpayers or the Liberal war chest. Why will he not pay Canadian taxpayers back and pay them back now?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, raising the volume does not make the argument any more reasonable. The fact is the hon. member can huff and puff, yell and scream, but his basic premise is false.

The fact is that the party has been clear and the government has been clear. We are taking action. We are getting to the bottom of this and we are defending the interests of the Canadian taxpayer because that is the right thing to do.

When we go after the funds from some of these individuals, what happens? That party attacks the government for going after the funds. We are going after those funds. We are defending the taxpayer. We are standing up for justice and those members are attacking us.

So let us be clear. We are walking the walk, they are talking the talk.

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The Boundary Waters Treaty is one of the oldest and most valuable Canada-U.S. agreements. In less than three months, in direct contravention of the treaty's principles, a newly constructed outlet from Devils Lake, North Dakota, will begin sending foreign biota and poor water quality northward. This poses unknown and potentially catastrophic risks to Manitoba waters.

What is the government doing to protect the treaty and to stop this outlet from becoming operational at least until its--