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House of Commons Hansard #68 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was claims.

Topics

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, in some cases dithering causes death.

Yesterday the Minister of Transport did not want to explain why a computer system could not be set up in airports to monitor terrorists.

Would the Minister of Transport explain why police agencies have to rely on luck, when a computerized system could ensure the safety of Canadians?

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I had a hard time understanding the question in French. I can tell you that airport security is assured with as many means as possible. However, we are also developing a special list to keep certain people off flights. If that is what the hon. member wanted to know, this is absolutely the case. We are currently working on a no fly list.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

March 9th, 2005 / 2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, from the generous sponsorship contracts awarded to Jean Lafleur to the forced political contributions by his staff, we now have a picture of the entire Liberal Party food chain. Given the Liberals' claims of promises kept, will the Minister of Transport, who made promise, be reimbursing the tainted sponsorship money?

When will he be able to rise in this House and say “promise made, promise kept”?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, we have seen, even this week, one day's testimony contradicted by another day's testimony.

The hon. member is commenting on daily testimony and he should avoid commenting on the shifting sands of daily testimony because he runs the risk of making errors.

The fact is the Prime Minister promised to get to the bottom of this issue and he appointed Justice Gomery. We are supporting Justice Gomery. Promise made, promise kept.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, a few years ago, we were getting that same answer from Alfonso Gagliano.

The Liberal crony food chain is very clear. In 1996, Jean Lapierre, Jean Lafleur, rather, was awarded his first contracts—maybe the other one did too! Alfonso Gagliano and the Liberal Party immediately invited him to donate to the Liberal Party, to donate to himself, and to have—

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie made a mistake and named a person he did not mean to name, then compounded the error by adding a gratuitous comment.

I am sure he would like to withdraw any suggestion that the hon. minister might have done anything inappropriate in this connection. In fact, the question does not concern the Minister of Transport, whom he named by mistake I am sure, in the lead up to his question.

He might therefore wish to withdraw his remarks and continue with his question.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, I withdraw the unfortunate attempt at humour, though it does prove that, when Jean Lafleur is mentioned, things seem to get serious because they claim not to be like him.

So, will the Minister of Transport admit that the Liberal Party was being funded by the public purse, which is what the sponsorship scandal is all about, and that it is high time the tainted money was paid back so that they will at least be able to say “promise made, promise kept”?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has been clear, the minister has been clear and the party has been clear that if there were political contributions that resulted from illicitly gained funds, those funds will be returned to the Canadian taxpayer through the Receiver General. That is a promise made and that will be a promise kept. However we cannot keep that promise unless we let Justice Gomery do his work.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Charlevoix—Montmorency, QC

Mr. Speaker, now we know how the organizers of the Quebec section of the Liberal Party of Canada finance their election campaign. Jacques Corriveau had only to complain at a supper with Jean Pelletier and Alfonso Gagliano in December 1997 to end up with millions of dollars in government subcontracts, which enabled him to get paid for the Liberal campaign signs he had made for the 1997 campaign.

Can the Minister of Transport deny that the sponsorship money went to cancel out the Liberal Party debt with Jacques Corriveau for those campaign signs?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I have already discussed that issue. I have already discussed the idea that we are not going to, and that it is inappropriate to comment on daily testimony.

Let us talk for a moment about the leadership role that Public Works and Government Services Canada is playing in creating better value for taxpayers and better services for Canadians. In the recent budget, Public Works and Government Services will deliver $3.5 billion in savings to the Canadian people over the next five years, savings that will be invested in health care, in child care, in the Canadian military, in the environment and in building a better Canada.

I am proud of the role that Public Works and Government Services Canada has been playing in--

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Charlevoix—Montmorency, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have seen the definition of better value during Jean Lafleur's testimony before the Gomery commission. He kept on saying for four days that the Government of Canada had got value for money.

For two weeks now, we have watched the process emerging. We have government contracts being awarded to cronies, direct solicitation of funds, and requests to organize fundraising. In short, we see the process.

I am putting this question to the Minister of Transport, because he is the one who spoke about tainted money. Does he include the tainted money that went to finance the Liberal Party in this?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, we must avoid prejudging Justice Gomery's work. I am anxious to see his report but we must wait for it.

We know the Conservative Party does not understand the importance of judicial independence but I would hope the Bloc understands the importance of the independence of a judicial inquiry and would allow Justice Gomery to do his work.

This is another case where the Prime Minister has made a promise. We are keeping that promise and we are getting to the bottom of this issue.

HealthOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

During the last election, he asked the citizens of Canada to vote for the Liberal Party in order to put an end to credit-card medicine. Can he explain clearly and simply why, today, there are more doctors in Quebec who prefer VISA and MasterCard to the health insurance card than when he became Prime Minister?

HealthOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this is why I am so proud the Liberal government signed an agreement with the provinces to invest more than $41 billion over a 10-year period. It was done in order to reduce waiting lists and find a way to have more nurses and physicians.

I am very pleased to say that this government, the product of the party that created health insurance in Canada has invested the largest amount of money in Canadians' health in the country's history.

HealthOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is the very party that is destroying public health care in this country because it has overseen the largest expansion of private medicine ever seen before in Canada since the Canada Health Act was brought into place, and yet it constantly promises the contrary.

In 2000 the Liberals promised that they would shut down Ralph Klein's private hospitals. Those hospitals are still on the go today. In 2004 they baited the Conservatives by saying that credit card medicine was something they would stop and yet we see it expanding in Quebec today.

Why is the Prime Minister breaking this fundamental promise?

HealthOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, when the hon. member for Elmwood—Transcona was the critic for health he indicated that the kind of clinics that the hon. member is talking about were outside the ambit of the Canada Health Act and have been outside the practice around health care in Canada since the days of Tommy Douglas. I want the hon. member to remember the words of the member for Elmwood—Transcona.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Rahim Jaffer Conservative Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, as everyone on earth knows, the Prime Minister does not make quick decisions. He was made aware of all the details surrounding the sponsorship scandal in November 2003, and it was not until three months later that he had his famous fit of anger. The Minister of Transport himself promised that the Liberals would not campaign using dirty money. We now know that is not true.

When will he pay back the tens of thousands of dollars in dirty money Jean Lafleur gave the Liberal Party?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has already made that commitment. We do not need to take lessons on transparency and openness from the alliance Conservative Party, a party that muzzles its members of Parliament by not allowing them to speak their mind on the floor of the House of Commons and a party that is censuring debate at its own policy conference.

Liberals are not afraid of debate and we are not afraid of the truth, which is why we are allowing Justice Gomery to do his work.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Rahim Jaffer Conservative Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if those talking points apply to the ballistic missile debate that was supposed to take place here.

In referring to ad scam, the transport minister made a promise when he said, “We have no intention of campaigning with tainted money”.

We know now that they did. In fact, employees of Jean Lafleur were clearly intimidated by their boss into laundering dirty money back into the Liberal Party. This clearly contradicts a Liberal Party audit that claimed there was no dirty money and the transport minister's promise to pay back this money.

Why has the government not paid back the money the Liberal Party siphoned from Canadian taxpayers?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, once again the commitment is very clear and it will be kept. The fact is that we believe very strongly in the work that Justice Gomery is doing, which is why the Prime Minister appointed Justice Gomery and why, on an ongoing basis, we are supporting Justice Gomery. We believe in the work he is doing.

Even Preston Manning wrote last week in the Globe and Mail that he supports and believes in the work of Justice Gomery. I would urge the hon. members opposite to listen to Preston Manning if they will not listen to us and let Justice Gomery do his work.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

James Moore Conservative Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, in 2003, when the finance minister was the minister of public works, he was aware of an internal audit showing that taxpayers were being ripped off by $146 million. The four year $146 million rip-off was due to a poorly managed contract between Compaq and the Department of National Defence managed by the Department of Public Works. Government auditors had repeatedly raised red flags on this file as far back as 1999 but the Liberals, no surprise, did nothing.

Could the Minister of Finance tell us why the government was so irresponsible with this contract and why for four years the government failed to protect the interests of taxpayers?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that as soon as officials of the Department of Public Works became aware of this issue they acted and all $146 million were recovered for the Canadian taxpayer. Promise made, promise kept.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Belinda Stronach Conservative Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, the following are the recent ramblings of the parliamentary secretary for Canada-U.S. relations, “let's embarrass the hell out of the Americans. They want to expand their markets and other countries are going to be leery”.

Could the Prime Minister explain how this will foster stronger Canada-U.S. relations to get the border open?