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House of Commons Hansard #98 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Prime MinisterStatements By Members

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the events of recent days have brought to mind something written by Victor Hugo on the coup d'état by Louis Bonaparte, whom he called Napoléon-le-petit, or Little Napoleon. I will read an excerpt from it:

There are a number of descendants of Machiavelli, and Louis Bonaparte is one of them. He announces an outrageous action, then indignantly disavows it, swears on everything that is sacred, declares himself an upright man, and then, just as people start to be reassured and to find the announcement nothing but a comical memory, he carries it out. He used that approach for the coup d'état, and for the decrees...That is his approach; he uses it and finds it good. It suits him, but he will have to face the judgment of history.

Those in his inner circle hear from his lips a plan that seems, not immoral, as we do not scrutinize it to that extent, but thoughtless and dangerous, even to him. We raise objections; he listens without comment; sometimes he backs down for two or three days, but then he resumes his plan and does as he pleases.

Imagine what Victor Hugo would have written about the unspeakable actions of the Prime Minister.

Government of CanadaStatements By Members

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

John Reynolds Conservative West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is apparent to all but a few Liberals that the government has lost the confidence of the House and it is not just the confidence of the House that has been lost by the government. Letters to the editor and callers to talk shows indicate that even Liberal supporters have lost confidence and are tearing up their membership cards. When that happens, it means the governing party has lost the confidence of the country. It is time the government bowed to the will of the House and the will of the people, and scheduled a vote of confidence.

It should be scheduled for Monday, so this silly charade can end. It should be scheduled for Monday, before the Prime Minister spends the country into bankruptcy. It should be scheduled for Monday, so he is forced to return from his “If you will be my friend, I will give you money” tour. It should be scheduled for Monday, so that all hon. members could be here to inform him one way or the other of their confidence in his right and ability to continue governing.

It should be scheduled for Monday, so the Canadian people can decide whether any Liberals should be allowed the privilege of sitting in this noble institution. It should be scheduled for Monday, for the sake of democracy and for the sake of decency.

JusticeStatements By Members

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Russ Powers Liberal Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, after studying the DNA identification act for more than six months, the House Standing Committee on Justice, Human Rights, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness gave clause by clause approval on Tuesday of this week.

On that same day the Conservative Party and its ally, the Bloc, argued that the House should be dissolved, which would have killed Bill C-13 before the committee even had a chance to issue its report.

The justice committee heard from 48 witnesses on Bill C-13. The input of these groups and of the individual Canadians who appeared before the committee assisted all parties on the committee to bring forward the best possible DNA identification laws in order to protect Canadians from criminals.

Yet, the leader of the official opposition and his partner, the Bloc leader, were willing to kill the DNA bill because they were more interested in their own political fortunes than the safety of Canadians. I simply say, shame.

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

May 13th, 2005 / 11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, I have a news flash for the member from Ancaster. That item just passed through the House.

The Liberal government has now lost six clearly defined votes which demonstrates that it has lost the confidence and control of the House. The late Liberal senator and constitutional expert Eugene Forsey said that a government consistently subject to defeat on its legislation or control in the House will be unable to carry through the Queen's business or will be compromised in its honour and should either resign or ask for dissolution, and that the matter should be promptly tested by a vote of confidence.

The Prime Minister refuses to do the honourable thing. Will he at least agree to put a clear vote of confidence before the House on Monday?

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the official opposition is frankly misunderstanding a procedural motion for a confidence motion.

Constitutional experts have said in fact that there is no constitutional crisis. Patrick Monahan today said that the situation would be a crisis only if the government refused to have a confidence vote.

I tried to schedule that confidence vote for next Thursday. The official opposition and the separatist party that want to have a confidence vote in the House have refused to allow the House to have that vote on Thursday.

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, I say to the hon. government House leader that the crisis, like the corruption, is deeply rooted in the Liberal Party of Canada.

Canadians across the country are disgusted by the corruption in the government. The Prime Minister has a death grip on the doors of 24 Sussex.

Will the Prime Minister agree to hold a vote in this House on Monday on the future of his government?

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, we will not get into signatures on paper, by the way, for the purposes of the hon. member.

We have set forward a reasonable date for a confidence vote. There is an opportunity to continue that debate. Bill C-48 is in the House today and it is an important piece of legislation.

Having the vote on Thursday also respects the investments made by both the people and governments of Alberta and Saskatchewan with respect to the Queen's visit. May I also suggest that the hon. member has no concern for the people of Alberta and Saskatchewan, who made that investment.

The BudgetOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, today the Liberal Party once again rejected the request from the Conservative Party, supported by all opposition parties, to split the budget bill and remove the Atlantic accord. To do so would allow the money to flow to those provinces immediately, as promised.

The Liberal-NDP budget has been chopped up. Items have been dropped and added. There have been numerous examples of items passed through the House at all stages, like the DNA bill and support for veterans. The 2004 budget just passed today.

Will the government agree to remove the Atlantic accord from the budget, present it to the House at all stages, and pass it through the House immediately?

The BudgetOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I find it hard to take coming from a party that once denounced Atlantic Canada for possessing a culture of defeat.

The Leader of the Opposition and his party fully understand that their friends, the separatist Bloc members, do not support these accords. If in fact the Conservatives wanted to assist Atlantic Canadians they would support the budget. The premier of Newfoundland said:

I'd like to see the budget passed. I can't take partisan positions on these issues. I've got to do what's in the best interests of the people of the province.

Vote for the budget and pass the Atlantic accord.

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

Jay Hill Conservative Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is now abundantly clear that the culture of defeat is coming from the Liberal Party of Canada. It is also abundantly clear that the Liberal government has lost the confidence of the House of Commons.

Renowned constitutional expert Professor Andrew Heard said:

It should not matter what procedural context a vote of confidence occurs in. The fundamental basis of a confidence vote is that the elected members of the legislature express their collective view of the government.

That view was expressed several times this past week. The government has lost the confidence of the House. If the government has any respect for the Constitution, will it do the right thing and call--

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. government House leader.

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, it is very clear that because of the level of frustration that the hon. member is feeling and his inability to bring something forward on a procedural basis to have a legitimate confidence vote in the House, he continues to be mistaken about how things are interpreted.

There will be a clear question and a clear vote of confidence on Thursday in the House. I certainly hope the opposition party will be here to show whether it has confidence in the government and to ensure that the budget, which reflects the interests of Canadians, has an opportunity to pass.

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

Jay Hill Conservative Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government has not only lost the confidence of the House; it gets worse than that. It has lost the confidence of the Canadian people. Because of Liberal corruption and criminality, the government has lost the confidence of all Canadians.

If the government has any honour, it will have a vote only when elected members can attend and represent their constituents and vote. That is on Monday, not on Thursday. Will the government allow the vote to be on Monday?

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, one can never prejudge or predetermine whether members are able to come to the House or not when there is a vote. We have set a reasonable time for a confidence vote. Procedural and constitutional experts have indicated that.

There is an opportunity to continue debate. Bill C-48 is in the House right now. I hope hon. members are not going to attempt to pass some motion to adjourn the House; it would be another afternoon off at taxpayers' expense that the Conservatives and the Bloc want.

The Thursday vote is a confidence vote. It will be on Thursday.

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, judging by how few Liberals there are in this House today, one would think there had already been an election.

With all the dirty money that ended up in the Liberal Party coffers, the government has not only lost all moral authority, but it is so incapable of governing—as is very obvious—that the Liberals are obstructing and paralyzing themselves to avoid a confidence vote on their own budget. That is the height of desperation.

Instead of holding on, will the Prime Minister accept the inevitable and hold a confidence vote on the budget on Monday?

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, as I have said over and over again, there is a reasonable date set for a confidence vote. I have asked for unanimous consent to put a motion to the House that would allow for the vote on Thursday. That vote on Thursday respects the investments made by the governments and the people of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

The Prime Minister will respect the outcome of that vote. If the budget is in fact defeated, there will be an election. The question is whether the leader of the official opposition and his close friend the separatist will respect the outcome of that vote.

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, we would be only too pleased to respect the outcome of that vote once we win. Nonetheless, the Liberals want to wait until Thursday in order to prevent some people from voting. They are completely unscrupulous on the other side of the House.

The House has demanded that this government step down, but having lost all legitimacy, it is using procedure and public funds to artificially stay in power. We see this at the Gomery inquiry, too.

The political crisis, for which the Liberals must take responsibility, has gone on long enough. All the members will be here on Monday. Does the Prime Minister have the courage to hold the vote on Monday, when everyone is here?

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I really cannot understand why the leader of the Bloc and certainly the Leader of the Opposition cannot take yes for an answer.

There will be a confidence vote in the House. It will test the confidence of the government. The vote on Thursday does respect a number of investments made by Saskatchewan and Alberta and the people of those provinces. The vote is on Thursday. It is a reasonable date. I think Canadians believe it is a reasonable date. I hope that hon. members are here to vote on the budget on Thursday.

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has lost control of the situation. Before putting his government to a confidence vote, he is trying to organize a pre-election tour. Yesterday, the premier of New Brunswick told him he wanted nothing to do with the Prime Minister's partisan game.

The message is coming from all over in no uncertain terms. Is the Prime Minister not getting it? He has lost the confidence of this House, the media and the public.

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the real difficulty here is that both the Conservatives and the Bloc continue to interpret the rules and procedures of the House for their own political purposes.

What is a requirement is that this House have a confidence vote. A legitimate confidence vote is in fact on a budget. I do not know why hon. members cannot accept yes for an answer. On Tuesday when there was a procedural motion in place, they continued to misrepresent it as a confidence motion. Now they have a real confidence motion and it will be on Thursday.

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, let us be more specific. Canada's image abroad has been coloured—even the dollar has lost a cent in the past three days—because the Prime Minister is undemocratic. He is clinging to power and refusing to look at the facts. They alone fail to see the reality.

My question is for the government. Will the Prime Minister finally come to his senses, affirm his respect for democracy and confirm the vote of confidence in his government on Monday, when all members—

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Leader of the Government in the House of Commons.

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, constitutional experts, procedural experts, including Patrick Monahan, indicated that Thursday was a reasonable date.

It was also very clear that the situation would only be a crisis or difficult in fact if the government refused to have a confidence vote.

I really do not know why yes is not an acceptable answer. The opposition party in particular was looking to have an opportunity to put a confidence motion in front of this House. It now has a legitimate one. It is called the budget.

Commercial BankruptciesOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, some of the people who watch these proceedings are pensioners. I am sure that they are feeling quite discouraged right now with what they hear of the practices of the Liberal Party, and what they see with the political games being played here. They also watch in the news as their pensions are attacked as big companies go bankrupt and their pensions are confiscated right out from under them.

The NDP has a bill in front of this House at the moment that would protect workers' pensions. That is a practical step we could take now. Will the government indicate that it would not deny unanimous consent to put this bill through this House?

Commercial BankruptciesOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the bill the hon. member refers to is a bill that would actually kill more jobs and kill more defined benefit pension plans than anything I can think of.

This government has a bill coming forward to deal with bankruptcy and insolvency and to deal with a wage earner protection package that will be practical and will not injure business, will not kill jobs, will not kill pension plans, and will protect workers.