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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

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, some of these pensioners noticed that the party that just tried to represent itself on this issue actually voted in favour of the NDP bill. The Liberals are speaking out of both sides of their mouths to the working people of this country. That is exactly the kind of thing that has people so upset at the Liberal Party right now.

Let us turn to the issue of smog. There are people out there who are very concerned about air quality right now. They cannot breathe, for heaven's sake. They are finding themselves with their children in emergency wards. Yet the government claims to be taking action, even though after 12 years in office, pollution has gone dramatically up.

When will the government take action to prevent smog?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Richmond Hill Ontario

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, we now have the most aggressive plan of the G-7 to deal with climate change.

As the member should know, this government established a partnership fund to work with provinces. This government established the fund to deal with technology.

Unfortunately, that party over there still thinks the ice age has not occurred. That party over there only wants things for Quebec. And the party over there which should be supporting it in fact is not supporting the budget.

If they want to deal with climate change, members should support the budget and we will move forward on this important policy.

The BudgetOral Question Period

May 13th, 2005 / 11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Conservative Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, earlier the House leader said that he was worried about the investment of both Saskatchewan and Alberta in a visit next week.

I can assure the House leader that both those provinces would be delighted to see a confidence vote defeating the government on Monday evening.

If he is worried about those provinces, indeed if he is worried about Canadians, why not do the right thing and put the vote on Monday?

The BudgetOral 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, does the member now speak for Saskatchewan and Alberta?

Once again I find it somewhat ironic that yes is not an acceptable answer. There are many groups with many activities that are going on in both Saskatchewan and Alberta. What is most important is that Thursday is a very reasonable date for a vote.

It is a clear question. It is a confidence vote. I am not sure why hon. members will not accept the fact that Thursday is the date for a budget vote.

The BudgetOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Conservative Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, the only reason the Liberals believe it is reasonable is that is the date the Prime Minister has decided he wants to be in town.

We are here to work every day. If the member wants to be reasonable with the people of this country, why does he not do the right thing and do it on Monday when everybody can be here?

The BudgetOral 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, I have to take some exception to the hon. member's saying that members of his party are always here. They took a taxpayer paid afternoon off yesterday. I expect they will do the same today. If in fact they have a date--

The BudgetOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

The BudgetOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

The Speaker

Order. The government House leader has the floor. We have to be able to hear the answer.

The BudgetOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Tony Valeri Liberal Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is quite obvious I have struck a chord of truth.

Again, I say that Thursday is a very reasonable date for a vote, and constitutional experts agree.

The BudgetOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Bill Casey Conservative North Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about yesterday, because all of us came to the House to talk about what was on the projected order of business. The projected order of business said that we would talk about the budget, both budgets, the Liberal budget and the NDP budget. We came here with members prepared to debate the budget and what did the Liberals do? They pulled the budget and put on a concurrence motion.

Why will the Liberals not stop playing games and have a vote on Monday?

The BudgetOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I actually had the opportunity, and I know many members in this place oftentimes do have an opportunity, to watch CPAC. I think it was very clear on that particular program that if the hon. members wanted to debate the budget, they would have adjourned the debate, not adjourned the House to have the afternoon off at taxpayers' expense.

The BudgetOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Bill Casey Conservative North Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, if the Liberals really wanted to debate the budget, there would be more than only less than half of them here today.

If Canadians want to see how interested the Liberals are in debating the budget, all they have to do is look at the legislative calendar for last month and this month to see the priority the budget debate has had. It is behind the border services debate, the debate on statistics, the debate on patents and the debate on the quarantine bill.

The Liberals do not want to talk about the budget. They do not want to vote on the budget. Let us have a confidence vote on Monday.

The BudgetOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, let us point to some of the accomplishments in the House just in recent days. The DNA bill has passed. The veterans bill has passed. The WTO ruling with respect to agriculture has come through. There is the aid to Africa which has also been passed.

What I might want to say to the hon. member is that Bill C-48 is before the House today. It is a budget debate. I would like to know how many members across the way will get up on this debate.

By the way, Mr. Speaker, I would like to welcome all of the members across the way here on a Friday. I have never seen so many of them here. It has to be the first time that they have actually shown up on a Friday.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Charlevoix—Montmorency, QC

Mr. Speaker, people no longer have any confidence in this tainted government that no longer has a shred of credibility. Every day, the Gomery inquiry reveals more about the involvement of the entire Liberal Party in the schemes of the sponsorship scandal.

How is that last year, before the Gomery inquiry began, the Prime Minister was able to justify holding an election by saying Canadians knew enough about the sponsorship scandal, but now that we know the extent of the corruption in the Liberal Party, he is claiming Canadians do not yet know enough?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

London North Centre Ontario

Liberal

Joe Fontana LiberalMinister of Labour and Housing

Mr. Speaker, our Prime Minister had the courage and conviction to put the Gomery commission in place to get to the truth.

We have been witnessing today and in the past number of days that people have been coming forward. Judge Gomery is doing a very, very good job on behalf of Canadians to get to the truth.

We are not afraid of the truth. You might be afraid of the truth, but we definitely are not afraid of the truth.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

The Speaker

I remind hon. members to address their remarks to the Chair rather than to each other.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Charlevoix—Montmorency, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government has financed three elections with dirty money. This was confirmed by Marc-Yvan Côté, former chief organizer in eastern Quebec. In the meantime, the testimony by Daniel Dezainde, former director general of the Liberal Party has revealed that Jacques Corriveau had set up a kickback system on the contracts to benefit the Liberal Party and instead of taking action, Dezainde put a lid on the whole thing.

Will the Prime Minister confirm that he is desperately hanging on and refusing to hold a confidence vote on Monday because he now feels that the public knows enough?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

London North Centre Ontario

Liberal

Joe Fontana LiberalMinister of Labour and Housing

Mr. Speaker, the people do not know enough now. Judge Gomery has been given a broad mandate to hear all the evidence and to hear from all the parties to ensure the people have all the information they need. People have already said that they want to wait for Judge Gomery's report until such time as they have an election. Let Judge Gomery do his work.

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, Marc-Yvan Côté has confirmed it: there were well-stuffed envelopes of dirty money handed over to Liberal candidates. The sponsorship money went to every region of Quebec.

Will the Prime Minister, whose government is so greatly tainted by a scandal of such severity, give in to the evidence and propose a confidence vote as soon as possible, that is on Monday?

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, we set a reasonable date for a confidence vote. In the meantime, there is an opportunity to debate the budget. Bill C-48 is in the House.

The key point is and the real question is that on the vote on Thursday, which is a confidence vote, the Prime Minister has said that he will respect the results. What I would like to know is whether the leader of the official opposition and his separatist friends will respect the results.

If we fail on Thursday, the Prime Minister will visit the Governor General and there will be an election. If we succeed, will the hon. members across the way allow this Parliament to function and function in the interests of Canadians?

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is well aware that one of our Conservative members is scheduled for surgery on Wednesday.

How can the Prime Minister defer confirmation of the confidence vote to Thursday with a clear conscience, when the first vote was held three days ago, and he must now submit this matter to the House as soon as possible? Why Thursday?

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, now it is not only the official opposition who in the last 48 hours is using the health of members of Parliament, which is very unfortunate. Certainly the thoughts and prayers of all members of Parliament in this place are with those who are not well. I wish the hon. member very well.

Thursday is a reasonable date and it is unfortunate that once again this type of discussion and this type of approach is being used in the House. There has to be more respect for each other in the House.

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Conservative Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, what is unfortunate is that the government, in its desperation, has scheduled a vote when all members cannot be here. If it showed any respect for those members and this place and its traditions, it would hold a vote when every member can be here on Monday.

Why is the government so afraid of the Canadian people? Why is it so desperate to barricade itself into office that it will not permit a clear vote of confidence when every elected member can be here in their place and represent their constituents?

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, first, it is quite unfortunate that the Leader of the Opposition had misinformed these hon. members who were not well to get here on Tuesday for what was a procedural vote. That is point number one.

Since the hon. member across the way actually interpreted the vote on Thursday as a confidence motion, I wonder why, when he knew the Minister of Justice was away at a funeral for his family and the Minister of Natural Resources was away for personal reasons, he did not come forward and say, “Oh please, let's allow members to be in this House and let's postpone a vote on Tuesday”. The hypocrisy is killing me.

Government of CanadaOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Conservative Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, here is what the Winnipeg Free Press said, “The Prime Minister has done as Canadians increasingly expect of him to do; put power ahead of principle”.

The Ottawa Citizen said:

It is [the Prime Minister's] delaying tactics, not Opposition manoeuvring, that is sowing the seeds of a constitutional crisis. He should let MPs vote now. The Globe and Mail said:

But with each moment they linger, they will expose themselves as so desperate to hang onto power that they spit in the face of the Commons and call it respect.

Why are they putting power ahead of principle? Why are they violating the Constitution of Canada? Why will they not have a clear vote on Monday--