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House of Commons Hansard #95 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we have indicated that we are anxious to move forward with the tax arrangements that are contained in Bill C-43. It is clear that if those measures were put to the House now the bill would not succeed. Therefore, there are two of those measures which we propose in the appropriate way to put in a separate piece of legislation.

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

In other words, Mr. Speaker, the government's present budget legislation before the House does not actually describe its budgetary policy.

Let me ask another question. In its deal, the government claimed it would immediately spend more money on NDP priorities. The new budget bill is unclear if or when that money will be spent, whether it will be done this year or next year or in any year at all. Can the Prime Minister tell us exactly when the government plans to spend that money?

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, when one takes a look at what those items are in terms of post-secondary education, the environment and foreign aid, those happen to be Liberal priorities, they happen to be NDP priorities and they happen to be Canadian priorities.

It would be very good if the opposition were to join with us on--

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, if they are such important priorities one would think the government would be able to tell us when it is actually going to implement them.

The Prime Minister refuses to acknowledge the existence of the fiscal imbalance, but he has now met with the premiers of Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and soon Saskatchewan as well, to settle it.

When will the Prime Minister admit to all the premiers, including the premier of Quebec, that fiscal imbalance does exist?

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the agreement reached this past weekend with the Government of Ontario meets the priorities of the government, of the people of Ontario, and of all Canadians, priorities such as post-secondary education and the environment.

There were also some issues specific to Ontario, among them immigration. Ontario was, for example, the only province not to have concluded an agreement on training. That was a shortcoming that had to be remedied, and we did so.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, sworn evidence showing illegal election payments implicates people right up into the office of the Prime Minister. Liberal officials are confessing to money laundering and campaign law breaking.

The Liberal response is to attack these whistleblowers. Sworn testimony was given that witnesses were threatened with ruined reputations. Liberal lawyers are now busy backing that up with lawsuits.

Why are Liberals outraged only when one of their own spills the beans?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Winnipeg South Manitoba

Liberal

Reg Alcock LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, I asked this question yesterday: what has the member forgotten about fundamental justice? It is an abuse of the privileges of this House to use it to slander people who cannot respond in this House.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, the government knows that Gomery will never be able to name names. They have tied his hands with clause k. But senior Liberal party organizers and key ad scam figures are naming names. They disclose that thousands in laundered cash were handed to Liberal staffers now running ministers' offices, including the PMO.

This scheme is corroborated by top Liberals such as Corbeil, Béliveau, Brault and Thiboutot. Why does the government simply ignore this testimony?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, again the hon. member questions the mandate of Justice Gomery because she wants to cast a pall over the work of Justice Gomery. She wants to try to attack his credibility because she is afraid that his report will actually show Canadians that this Prime Minister has acted honourably.

The fact is that clause k has been in several inquiries, including the Arar inquiry, the Walkerton inquiry held by a Conservative government in the province of Ontario, the Stonechild inquiry called by an NDP government in Saskatchewan, and the Grange inquiry held by, again, a Conservative government in Ontario. Clause k is a standard part of basically the mandate of any government inquiry.

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, today is the moment of truth for the Liberals, who no longer have the moral authority to govern. The motion that will be brought before the House recommends that the government resign. This is clearly a non-confidence motion, and the three opposition parties recognize it as such.

Will the Prime Minister respect the will of the elected representatives of the people, recognize that he no longer has the confidence of the House and call an election?

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the Bloc Québécois is well aware of the fact that, according to the experts, this is a procedural matter and not a confidence motion. The committees are their own masters. They are entitled to make their own decisions, and we will await the committee's decision.

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, in 1926, following the tabling of a similar vote of non-confidence, Mackenzie King, a Liberal Prime Minister, realized that he no longer had the support of the House and resigned. He did not hang on. He respected the convention on confidence. In short, he acted as a responsible head of government, and history testifies to that fact.

Like Mackenzie King before him, will the Prime Minister act like a worthy and dignified head of government and respect the will of this House?

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, the leader of the Bloc Québécois must know that there will be many occasions, in connection with the budget and the opposition days, before the month is over to move non-confidence motions here in the House.

The government is quite prepared to be judged, but only judged following a motion of non-confidence, according to tradition.

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the substance of the motion this evening is very clear. The intentions are obvious. Parliament will have an opportunity to withdraw its confidence in this government.

Will the Prime Minister acknowledge that the rules of Parliament, while providing some guidance on the matter of confidence, leave the Prime Minister with some responsibility to demonstrate his judgment and his sense of democracy, and that in this regard he must consider tonight's vote a vote of confidence?

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, as I have said previously, this motion is not a matter of confidence. The vote this evening is not a matter of confidence. It is a procedural motion to refer a report back to the committee. We certainly will not prejudge what the committee might do. The committee could choose to defeat that amendment. It could choose to change that amendment.

With respect to the example provided from 1926, I would suggest that my hon. colleague reread it, because it in fact proves the point that we are making. In 1926 it was a report coming out of committee, not a report going into committee--

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

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

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, this evening the Prime Minister will find himself having to rise above partisan considerations and recognize that he no longer enjoys the confidence of Parliament.

Does the Prime Minister intend to honour this democratic vote or to plunge Canada into an unprecedented political and constitutional crisis by clinging to his job?

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I can only hope that you will ignore some of the hysteria coming from the hon. member across the way.

The obligation we as a government have is to provide opposition days and in fact those are provided. There are a couple of bills in the House that are in fact confidence issues. They are budget bills. When they collapse, there will be a confidence vote. Those are legitimate measures of confidence. I would encourage the House to get on with debating the budget bill.

I indicated earlier on that there will be opposition days by the end of May, when the opposition members can in fact hold the government to account with a confidence motion if they so choose.

House of CommonsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, I think Canadians are rightly disgusted by the spectacle of this Parliament. They are tuning us out and turning us off. They see us being far more interested in ourselves and our own political interests than in the interests and needs that they and their families have. This is the crisis we are at.

Will the Prime Minister accept some responsibility for this mess because in the end we can only learn from the mistakes that we admit?

House of CommonsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I believe the point raised by the leader of the NDP is very well taken. I think all party leaders, and indeed all members of Parliament, should accept the responsibility. In terms of the civility of the debate in the House, there is no doubt that there has been a substantial deterioration in words used and accusations made. Allegations which people would not make outside of the House are made here without any inhibitions. I think we all suffer and the House suffers when Canadians watch question period and the nature and the way it has evolved. I would hope we can improve that.

Standing Committee on Public AccountsOral Question Period

May 10th, 2005 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the self-centred politics we have seen is what makes it so difficult to get things done around here. For example, getting a better budget adopted is blocked by self-centred politics. It meant that extraordinary steps in extraordinary situations had to be taken to see the charter on veterans adopted, and we are pleased that has happened. We worked very hard to try to get a better budget put together and to have it adopted.

My question is for the chairman of the public accounts committee. Is he willing to commit today that the vote today will not be put before the committee until we have had--

Standing Committee on Public AccountsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. chair of the public accounts committee and member for Edmonton--St. Albert.

Standing Committee on Public AccountsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

John Williams Conservative Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, it seems to me that the leader of the New Democratic Party is jumping the gun. We have not had the vote yet. Therefore, there has been nothing referred to the public accounts committee on this issue yet.