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House of Commons Hansard #85 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was health.

Topics

JusticeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, in a recent survey, criminal justice issues ranked as the most important concern of my constituents and with this Liberal government, it is little wonder.

Liberals have done nothing to fight marijuana grow ops. Conservatives will shut them down.

Liberals have done nothing to fight street racing. Conservatives will make it a crime.

Liberals have done nothing to fight the rise in home invasions and auto theft. Conservatives will get tough on property crime.

Liberals have done nothing to fight date rape drugs. Conservatives will protect women from those who abuse them.

Liberals have done nothing to fight child pornography. Conservatives will raise the age of consent, have an effective sex offender registry and ban all forms of child pornography.

Liberals have done nothing to fight violent criminals. Conservatives will impose consecutive, not concurrent, sentencing for violent thugs to hold them accountable.

The Liberals have had 12 years to make Canada safer. They have failed. However, hope is around the corner when Canadians throw out these corrupt Liberals and elect a new Conservative government.

ImmigrationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Ruby Dhalla Liberal Brampton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday was a great day for Canada. Brampton—Springdale was pleased to host the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and other fellow GTA colleagues for an announcement that strengthens the social fabric of our country.

Yesterday, the Liberal government once again delivered on a promise to ensure our nation's economic growth and competitiveness, allocating $191 million dollars for three new initiatives that will enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of our immigration system and also address the concerns of many constituents across the country.

Reuniting sponsored parents and grandparents with their families, allowing international students the opportunity to work both during and after their educational programs and reducing application processing times for citizenship will ensure our country's long term economic viability.

We are a country of immigrants. Our nation's legacy will be stronger, thanks to our willingness to embrace newcomers.

ChinaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, this week marks the first anniversary of the visit of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, to Parliament Hill.

As someone who met His Holiness at that time, I certainly remember being impressed with his wisdom, his humility and his sense of humour, but most of all, his commitment to non-violence as a way of solving Tibet's longstanding grievance against China.

As a member of the Parliamentary Friends of Tibet, I want to urge the Chinese government to rethink its policy toward Tibet. I also want to encourage the Canadian government to work to ensure that Beijing takes concrete measures to further the current dialogue between representatives of the Dalai Lama and China with a view to a negotiated solution.

The Dalai Lama embodies the hope that peaceful struggle is a superior alternative to terrorism and violence. We all have a responsibility to make sure that such an approach succeeds and that some day soon the Tibetan people will have meaningful autonomy.

In the meantime, China's demographic strategy in Tibet should cease, and those who may be aiding it, like Bombardier by building a railway to help such a policy, should rethink their policy as well.

Conservative PartyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Conservative Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative Party is set to make major gains in Quebec in the next election.

Josée Verner is already recognized as a member of this House by the Bloc Québécois itself, which is a signal that she will be a formidable opponent in the next election.

For the past year, Ms. Verner has been the voice of the Conservative Party in Quebec. She is so effective that, in a recent interview on Radio-Canada, the member for Québec commented on Ms. Verner's work as if she were already an MP. Through her comments, the member for Québec has publicly recognized the formidable presence of Ms. Verner in Quebec.

The Conservative Party, therefore, wants to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the dynamic and excellent work of the chair of its Quebec caucus. We are confident that the hard work done by Ms. Verner will lead to her resounding victory in the riding of Louis-Saint-Laurent, and that of the entire Conservative team throughout Quebec.

Prime MinisterStatements By Members

April 19th, 2005 / 2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister, who presents himself as the voice of democracy, has just shown his true face, that of a Prime Minister who has lost all moral authority to govern.

Stopping at nothing in order to avoid being judged publicly, the Prime Minister has decided to postpone the sitting days reserved for the opposition parties. His goal is clear: to prevent the introduction of a motion of non-confidence in his government, which would result in an immediate election.

Yesterday, he was accused by Warren Kinsella, a dyed-in-the-wool Liberal, for not complying with the rules governing the awarding of public opinion research contracts when he was finance minister in the 1990s. So it is no surprise that he is panicking.

This says a lot about the Prime Minister. It says a lot about the Liberals.

Pope Benedict XVIStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Conservative Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, we have just received word from Rome that a new Pope for the Roman Catholic Church has been named. He is Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger from Germany.

Canadians of all faiths wish him well and pray for God's blessings on his pontificate. The papacy has played a far-reaching and positive role in world affairs during our lifetime. We have every expectation that this will continue.

The new pontiff will face great challenges, but he has the example and record of his predecessor, the beloved John Paul II. He showed the world what an individual of immense faith could accomplish.

Stepping into the shoes of that future saint is a daunting task, but the new Pope will have the comfort of knowing that he will take with him the prayers of the world, the protection of the great Mother of God and the blessing of the God who has guided all his predecessors back to St. Peter.

God Bless Pope Benedict XVI.

Canada's International Policy StatementStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Simard Liberal Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, today the Minister of Foreign Affairs presented the government's International Policy Statement. It is intended to strengthen Canada's role in the world and includes strategies in four key areas: development, defence, international trade and foreign affairs.

The Liberal government continues to show the way as far as world issues are concerned. In this statement, it defines a multilateral foreign affairs strategy which favours enhancing the effectiveness of the UN Security Council and creating a peacebuilding commission.

Our government also understands that we need armed forces with the ability to adapt to new global security requirements. To that end, we will be allocating additional sums to improve training, upgrade infrastructures and resolve the equipment shortage problem.

Canada's contributions to development, diplomacy and peacekeeping have earned it a reputation as a committed and contributing member of the international community.

Presence in GalleryStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of the Hon. Margaret Wilson, Speaker of the House of Representatives of New Zealand.

Presence in GalleryStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday's sworn testimony at the public accounts committee makes it clear that the Prime Minister funnelled tax dollars to Earnscliffe and his campaign manager David Herle. A top secret document dated 1995 says that at least $615,000 in improper contracts had already flowed. A memo outlines that the competition was flawed, the payment excessive, the work probably not needed.

As David Herle prepares yet another campaign of dirt and slander, should the taxpayers of Canada not know that it is money going from finance to Earnscliffe that gave birth to it all?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker--

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Order. I am sure the hon. Deputy Prime Minister appreciates the enthusiastic support, but we have to be able to hear the answer.

The Deputy Prime Minister has the floor.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Anne McLellan Liberal Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, first, I hear all those hon. gentlemen and women across the way calling out, “Where is the Prime Minister?” Let me tell everyone where the Prime Minister is.

This morning we had a most successful launch of this government's international policy statement which in fact speaks to the direction in which this government wants to take our country as it relates to our role in the rest of the world. The Prime Minister is now meeting with some of the globe's most important and influential ambassadors to ensure that they understand the role we want--

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, there is not a person in Canada who does not understand that these announcements are about a government that has done nothing for 12 years and is now trying to run away from a rocky record of corruption.

Why does the government not just admit, as public servant Allan Cutler testified, that the Prime Minister abused the process to get contracts to his friends at Earnscliffe, to his campaign manager David Herle? Why does he not just admit that he got public money to his political associates?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we have the views on this subject of the Auditor General of Canada. I would quote from her report in 2003:

Our review of a sample of standing offers found that the competitive process had been followed in pre-qualifying suppliers. Requests for proposals were issued, and the selection process resulted in standing offer agreements with the successful bidders.

We note that the vast majority of these suppliers were not the same as those providing sponsorship or advertising services.

The opposition should pay attention to the relevant parts of the testimony.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I fail to see how breaking the rules on ordinary contracting makes any difference that it was not sponsorship.

The Prime Minister said last week in the House, “I have never interfered in any contract”, yet Warren Kinsella testified under oath that the Prime Minister phoned him at home to push for a contract to Earnscliffe.

With the Prime Minister caught in the biggest scandal in history, in the web of his own deception, should he not be here to answer questions on the floor of the House?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, in reference to that testimony yesterday, I would note that in today's Toronto Star the former policy adviser to the Prime Minister, Eddie Goldenberg, completely denied a number of the allegations that were made by Mr. Kinsella.

I would also note that in reference to the credibility of Mr. Kinsella, this House has already been warned to be careful in that matter. There is a reference to the “poisoned partisans like Warren Kinsella”, and that advice comes from the deputy leader of the Conservative Party.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I have a very simple question. When each group of Liberals calls the other group of Liberals a bunch of crooks and liars, does it really matter which one we believe?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, in matters like this, yes indeed, the truth does matter a lot. I would refer the hon. gentleman to the Auditor General's report from the year 2003, or the external audit that was conducted by Ernst & Young in 1996. Let me quote that one. Ernst & Young said:

Our audit of the research contracting process determined that APORS was in compliance with prescribed policies and procedures.... We found no instances where non-compliance might have led to situations of personal gain or benefit.

The truth does matter.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is hard to audit envelopes of cash.

Yesterday at the public accounts committee it was revealed by a longtime Liberal strategist that there was concern within the Liberal government as far back as 1995 that government contracts were being used to cross-subsidize the Prime Minister's leadership campaign activity.

Under sworn testimony Warren Kinsella said, “I and perhaps others would consider it inappropriate that you cross-subsidize that political activity using the public treasury. That's inappropriate”.

Will the Prime Minister now admit that he was both informed and involved in an ad scam-like kickback scheme to use taxpayers' money to fund his leadership campaign?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

Order. I have some reservations about questions concerning the financing of party leadership campaigns. I see the minister is rising. I urge all hon. members to be cautious with their questions. The hon. Minister of Finance.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister will make no such concession as the deputy leader of the Conservative Party has asked for. Today the member is relying heavily upon the views and the comments of Mr. Kinsella. I would simply ask him why then, not very long ago, did he call that individual “a poisoned partisan”?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, in November 1994, Warren Kinsella wrote Terrie O'Leary about a contract awarded Earnscliffe, and I quote:

Terrie, all of this spells trouble and you know it. The competition was flawed, the payment is excessive, the work is probably not needed, and the research community can be fully expected to blow the whistle on the political connections here.

Given this statement, will the Prime Minister finally recognize that his entourage intervened to get the contract awarded to Earnscliffe, the firm employing key players in his leadership campaign?