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House of Commons Hansard #82 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was liberal.

Topics

Ascot en SantéStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Bloc Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, for the past 14 years, the Ascot en santé group has been playing a major social role in the former municipality of Ascot.

This is one of poorest areas in the new municipality of Sherbrooke. Many single-parent families and immigrants from over fifty different countries live there. Ascot en santé has a mission to reinforce the social fabric, break through isolation and strengthen solidarity.

Ascot en santé recently unveiled a calendar chock full of activities for the coming months: a bazaar, seedling distribution, a community newspaper, creation of a youth cooperative and establishment of purchasing group so people can save money and eat better.

Congratulations to the organization's president and principal of the École du Phare, Mr. André Lamarche, and to Ms. Marie-Thérèse Lushima, Ms. Marie-Chantal Goulet and the other volunteers. They are making Ascot a great place to live.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this morning the Prime Minister told the media, “I can't recall having had lunch with him”--Claude Boulay--“since we formed the government”. However, according to sworn testimony at Gomery, over lunch the Prime Minister discussed Attractions Canada with Claude Boulay. Attractions Canada only came into existence in 1997 after the Liberals formed government.

Could the Prime Minister explain this contradiction?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I said the first time this question came up, that is nonsense. I have never discussed any contract of any kind with Mr. Boulay. I do not play that kind of politics, and I have not played that kind of politics from the beginning.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, that was not the question I asked. I would ask the Prime Minister to bear with me.

It has been testified before the Gomery commission, under sworn testimony, that the Prime Minister had lunch and discussed Attractions Canada with Claude Boulay. Did that lunch, did that discussion of Attractions Canada ever take place?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

No, Mr. Speaker.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

April 14th, 2005 / 2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, that turns out not to have been so difficult. I want to ask the Prime Minister another question.

In the same scrum and today the Prime Minister said he has never interfered with the government contracting process. I want to ask the Prime Minister a more precise question. As Prime Minister and as the minister of finance, did he ever receive advice on the contracting process that he did not follow?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I most certainly did receive advice from the Department of Finance. The Department of Finance's position on contracting was exactly the same as mine, which is that all contracts should be open to open bidding and that there should be competitions in every case.

In fact, what makes the hon. member's question all the more ludicrous is that one of the first contracts that we sought to open up to open bidding was one from Groupe Everest and Mr. Boulay.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I want to clarify this.

The Prime Minister said that he took the advice of his own ministry. The question is this. Did the Prime Minister ever receive any advice on government contracting from any agency of the government, from the Prime Minister's Office or the Privy Council Office, any advice that he did not follow?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, what is truly shocking here is that the Conservative leader--

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

Order. I am sure the Minister of Public Works and Government Services appreciates the assistance he is getting with his answer, but I do not think we need it because I cannot hear the minister. If hon. members could contain themselves for a few minutes until he has answered, he only has 35 seconds, and they will be able to make their comments after that.

The hon. Minister of Public Works and Government Services has the floor.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, what is really clear is that they are playing politics with a very important issue to Canadians.

The fact is that the Conservative leader and some of his members accept as carte blanche, as absolute and sacrosanct, the testimony of someone like Jean Brault. They stand up day after day and talk about the testimony of Jean Brault, somebody who is facing criminal fraud charges, somebody who is being sued by the government for $34 million. Yet they doubt the honesty and integrity of the right hon. Prime Minister of Canada and his testimony.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the House will recall that I asked nothing about Jean Brault or Gomery or anything else in the last question.

I want the Prime Minister to answer this question. As a minister, has he ever received advice on the government contracting process from a senior government agency, Privy Council Office or the Prime Minister's Office, that he has not followed, or has he always followed the advice he has received on how to abide by the rules of the contracting process?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, every minister will know that the advice that he or she is given comes from the minister's own department. A minister follows the advice of the deputy minister. In my case, I had three deputy ministers of finance. I followed their advice as to the way in which one should proceed.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is taking action as a result of the sponsorship scandal. Each time, he has had to be pressured by the Bloc, the opposition, the media or public indignation. Today, it is happening again. The Bloc Québécois, seconded by the Conservatives and the NDP, are asking for the creation of a trust fund in which to deposit the dirty money, and the Prime Minister is opposed to it.

Why is the Prime Minister, who has the power to do so, refusing to create a trust fund for the Liberal Party's dirty money, totalling at least $2.2 million?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc did not share my opinion when I said, right from the start, that the Liberal Party was prepared to pay back 100% of funds received inappropriately.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am asking him to take immediate action, as he has done and brags about by dismissing Alfonso Gagliano, André Ouellet, Mr. LeFrançois and Mr. Pelletier. He did not wait for the inquiry to conclude its work.

I am asking him not to take any chances. We would not want him to run a fourth election campaign on dirty money. He should immediately put this money into the trust fund. That way, we will be sure that he will not use it during the next election.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I am glad that the leader of the Bloc finally recognizes that indeed the Prime Minister has taken action to address these issues.

The Prime Minister deserves our respect for his courageous actions.

The party has been clear: if it has received inappropriate funds, it will reimburse the taxpayers.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the courageous action we really expect of the Prime Minister and the government is handing back the dirty money. It is not complicated. The Minister of Transport has said he would pay it back.

If the Prime Minister is courageous, let him stop hiding behind the Gomery inquiry and put the dirty money into a trust until the Gomery inquiry has finished. That is what the public wants.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about courage for a moment. What is not very courageous or very honest is to quote the testimony of Jean Brault as fact here in the House of Commons and at the same time to attack his testimony when he says that funding went to the Parti Québécois.

Members opposite cannot have it both ways. It is about time they learned the difference between allegations and facts. They should respect what Justice Gomery is doing and wait for the report so that Canadians can have the truth.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Parti Québécois has never demanded any kickbacks. On the contrary it has been the victim—

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

The Liberal Party is the one that set up—

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

Order. Once again, I am certain that the hon. member for Roberval—Lac Saint-Jean appreciates the assistance of his colleagues in the House, but he does not need it. He may have a strong voice, but not strong enough to make himself heard over all the noise.

The hon. member for Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear. The Liberal Party set up a kickback system on the contracts it awarded, in order to fill its coffers with public funds, with the taxpayers' money. That is what it did, and ought to be ashamed of doing.