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House of Commons Hansard #77 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was students.

Topics

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Parti Québécois has answered that question.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

An hon. member

Contrary to what went on in Ottawa, the answer is yes.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

The Bloc, in fact, refused money from Groupaction. We were not interested in getting our hands on dirty money, like they did.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

An hon. member

We did not award contracts either. We never awarded any contracts to our friends.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

The Liberals are the ones who awarded contracts, here in Ottawa. They are the ones yelling so nobody can be heard and who are anxious to ask questions because they are going to end up in the opposition. It is time they told us who was behind all this. Which friends of Ali Baba are part of this “parallel group”?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, is the leader of the Bloc, potential leader of the Parti Québécois, able to tell us whether the money the Parti Québécois transferred to the Bloc was not money—

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. member for Toronto—Danforth.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

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

Yesterday, a Liberal minister said that good federalists should ignore corruption. It seems to me that, a few moments ago, the Prime Minister made a very similar statement.

Is this “we are the state” attitude at the root of this corruption scandal? I think so.

This is unbelievable, and all the more so when we hear allegations implicating the Parti Québécois.

So, does the Prime Minister think that opposing corruption jeopardizes federalism?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am not quite sure I understand the question of the NDP leader. However, I can say that my party and I set up the Gomery commission to investigate the issue. We did so because Canadians deserve to get answers and because we want Canada's politics to be as honest as possible. That is why we took this initiative and it is us who will shed light on the whole situation. We want the Gomery commission to have time to provide answers.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am going to repeat my question because it is about time the Liberals realized that people care more about Canada than they do about Liberals.

Yesterday a Liberal minister said that federalists should not attack Liberal corruption, as if this is some kind of a Canadian scandal instead of a Liberal scandal. This is incredible, and even more incredible when we hear the latest allegations regarding the Parti Québécois.

I ask again, does the Prime Minister agree with the position of one of his ministers that to oppose Liberal corruption is to undermine federalism, yes or no?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, what the hon. member said is that we should wait for the Gomery report.

The Gomery commission was put in place to determine what the facts are. Mr. Justice Gomery will bring down his decision and at that point we will have them and at that point the government can act.

To act on the basis of allegations, on the basis of statements made in the middle of the commission makes absolutely no sense. I would simply say to the opposition, I would say to the NDP and I would say to the Bloc, for heaven's sake let Mr. Justice Gomery get on with the job and let him complete his report.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, that is interesting advice, except if my ears heard correctly, I heard the Prime Minister bragging to the leader of the Bloc Québécois that they may have received sponsorship money. Is this the best defence the Liberal Party has to offer, that the separatists are just as big crooks as the Liberals?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear. Anybody who used the unity crisis to achieve personal financial gain will be punished, because we are getting to the bottom of this issue.

It is very interesting hearing the leader of the Conservative Party talk about national unity because in 1994 on the eve of the 1995 referendum in the province of Quebec, when federalists of various stripes and when federalists of the Liberal Party were working hard to keep the country together, he was giving speeches saying he did not care whether Canada ended up with one national capital or four national capitals. He did not care then and he does not care now.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I just witnessed the entire Liberal Party standing and applauding the fact that sponsorship money may have gone to the Parti Québécois.

I am going to ask the Prime Minister again, can the Prime Minister assure Canadians, all federalists, that his government did not give sponsorship money to the separatists?

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 Bloc Québécois very much would like to have an election based on allegations. It is in their interest to do that because they do not want Justice Gomery to submit his report. They do not want Canadians to have the truth. They do not want the government or the Liberal Party to be able to respond in a substantive way to that substantive report.

I understand the Bloc members because they are separatists. They want to destroy the country, but I cannot understand for the life of me why the Conservatives support the Bloc in commenting on testimony and wanting to have an election based on testimony, not on the facts, not on Gomery's report.

We want to get to the bottom of this. That is why we support the work of Justice Gomery.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, what we want is a simple answer to a very straightforward question.

The Liberals still brag about the sponsorship program as though it was some master stroke of national unity, but Alain Renaud has admitted that Groupaction donated to the Liberal Party and to the separatists after having received money from the sponsorship program.

Taxpayers want to know why taxpayer dollars that were supposed to be for this program, that the Liberals say was for national unity, end up in the pockets of the separatists?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, again, any guilty party, whatever their stripe, will face the full extent of the law. The reason is that this Prime Minister took action. He eliminated the sponsorship program. He established the Gomery commission. He supports the Gomery commission because we are not afraid of the truth.

The fact is that he is commenting on an allegation from one individual. It is not a fact; it is not a truth. We will have the facts. We will have the truth when Justice Gomery provides us with his report.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, it is not an allegation. It is an admission.

Groupaction got money from taxpayers, gave money to separatists, gave money to the Liberal Party, and this Liberal Party now will not answer a simple question. Why did taxpayer dollars go from a program that was supposed to be for national unity to people who are hellbent on destroying Canada?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, once again, if the hon. member really wants to act based on fact, he ought to wait for Justice Gomery's report.

If he finally realizes that the Bloc and the separatists are hellbent on destroying Canada, perhaps he should reconsider his party's support of the Bloc's daily commentary on allegations before Gomery.

In fact, perhaps if he really realizes that the Bloc is hellbent on destroying the country, he ought to support federalists in the province of Quebec and support this government as we get to the bottom of this issue, so that we can defend the reputations of all Quebec federalists.

International TradeOral Question Period

April 6th, 2005 / 2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of International Trade is negotiating a free trade agreement with South Korea and is contemplating similar agreements with India and various Central American countries.

Does the minister not think it is time to ensure that, when such treaties are signed, contracting states pledge to comply with certain obligations, so that the products that we import are not the product of child labour, forced labour, or plants that do not respect human rights?

International TradeOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Sydney—Victoria Nova Scotia

Liberal

Mark Eyking LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade (Emerging Markets)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to inform the House that the minister is in India on a very important trade delegation leading over 65 companies. These are emerging markets. We will be making deals with other countries, so that we increase our trade because we are a trading nation.

International TradeOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, on the same issue, a number of groups, including Amnesty International, are asking that the name of the manufacturing plant, and not just that of the country of origin, be indicated on the label, so that consumers can make an educated choice by knowing what is going on in terms of human rights.

Does the government intend to follow up on this request, which would help improve working conditions here and abroad?

International TradeOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Sydney—Victoria Nova Scotia

Liberal

Mark Eyking LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade (Emerging Markets)

Mr. Speaker, Canada has a tremendous record on human rights. Whenever we travel outside the country making deals, like the Prime Minister did when he was in China, we bring up the way we deal with human rights and we expect these other countries to follow suit.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government just entered into a timid voluntary agreement with the automotive industry, whereby this industry is making a moral commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles by 5.3 megatons by the year 2010. What was agreed to with the manufacturers was not to reduce pollution, but only to curb its growth.

Will the minister admit that it is not with an agreement like this one, which does not place any obligations on the manufacturers, that Canada will succeed in meeting its Kyoto commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?