This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #99 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, Gomery will not get to the bottom of this. Clearly what is happening here is this: which Liberals do we believe?

The forensic accounting firm of Kroll Lindquist Avey investigated the corrupt administrations of Duvalier and Marcos, the corporate rip-off artists at Enron, and the Liberal Party of Canada. They all violated the public trust, they all benefited financially from the public purse, and they denied it and tried to cover it up.

During his time in office, the Liberal Prime Minister's Canada includes kickbacks, money laundering and intimidation. When will it begin to include integrity and respect for democracy? When will that happen?

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, need I remind the hon. member that it was this Prime Minister, upon receipt of the Auditor General's report, who in fact asked for Mr. Justice Gomery to begin the work that we now see being carried forward?

It was this Prime Minister who said that we have nothing to hide and we want to get to the bottom of this on behalf of all Canadians. It was this Prime Minister who asked the President of the Treasury Board to introduce whistleblower legislation. It was this Prime Minister who put in place a comptroller general.

It is very clear that this Prime Minister is a Prime Minister of integrity--

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Port Moody--Westwood--Port Coquitlam.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, need we remind the Deputy Prime Minister that it was the Prime Minister who called an election before the truth came out? Now that the truth has come out, he is running away from the Canadian people.

Much evidence has come out about the depth of corruption associated with the sponsorship scandal. Lifelong Liberals have confessed to or have been shown to be involved in money laundering, fraud, forgery, breaking election financing laws and a host of other crimes.

Surprisingly though, when the Prime Minister addressed the nation in his televised address, he did not deny any of this criminal activity. If the Prime Minister is so sure that the Liberal Party is innocent of these crimes, why will he not deny any of them?

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, as the Globe and Mail editorial said, there is “no persuasive testimony” that the Prime Minister was involved in any way in any “alleged chicanery”. Beyond that, the fact is that this Prime Minister, by establishing Gomery and by supporting Justice Gomery in his work, is absolutely committed to getting to the truth for Canadians.

There are allegations about other political parties, about the separatists and about the Conservatives, but the fact is there is only one leader, this Liberal leader, this Liberal Prime Minister, who is doing the right thing and cleaning up this mess, and that is why Canadians will trust him to finish the job.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the minister enjoys quoting editorials. Here is what is said in today's Globe and Mail editorial:

The confirmation of the kickbacks, including the names of those allegedly involved, has not come from people with an axe to grind or those eager to put the best face on their own disgraceful actions in the sponsorship scandal. It has come from credible party insiders....

If the minister likes quoting editorials, why is he so opposed to the truth coming out? Why will he and his own Prime Minister not stand up and deny that the Liberal Party was involved in criminal behaviour?

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, if he reads further in that same Globe and Mail editorial of today, he will read that these allegations can only be substantiated by Justice Gomery completing his work.

Beyond that, it is important to recognize that these allegations are in fact unproven. In that regard they are a lot like the Conservative platform.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the executive directors of the Liberal Party appearing before the Gomery commission agree on one thing: thanks to the sponsorship scandal, a great deal of dirty money went to the Liberal Party.

Since the testimony by Béliveau, Corbeil and Dezainde on the dirty money all points to the Liberal Party coffers, will the Prime Minister create the Liberal dirty money trust fund before the next election campaign? Time is of the essence.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has been absolutely clear about this. If in fact the party has received any inappropriate funds, those funds will be reimbursed in full.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the testimony of the three Liberal Party executives is quite clear. Benoît Corbeil acknowledged that Jean Brault of Groupaction gave him dirty money for the Liberal Party. Michel Béliveau admitted taking dirty money from Jacques Corriveau, and this friend of Jean Chrétien acknowledged creating a kickback system benefiting the Liberal Party, according to Daniel Dezainde. The testimony provided by all three points to the Liberal Party coffers.

To prevent the Liberal Party from running another election on dirty money, which could happen as early as this week, will the Prime Minister demand that all this money be put into trust?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, once again, these are allegations, not facts. If the party has received any inappropriate funds, it will reimburse the taxpayers. This, however, cannot be done until we have all the facts. That is why we need to wait for the Gomery report.

It is also important to recognize what Justice Gomery said last week on May 11. He said that the Liberal Party acts in a lawful manner, that it is not a criminal organization or one that knowingly breaks the law.

Anyone who committed wrong, anyone who used the brand of the Liberal Party to commit malfeasance, ought to face the full extent of the law, and we are committed to doing that.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Charlevoix—Montmorency, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government did not wait for the outcome of the Gomery inquiry to sue the firms involved in the sponsorship scandal. It has already done so, with these suits totalling over $40 million for work paid for but not performed.

How can the Prime Minister sue these firms and refuse to admit that the money they donated to the Liberal Party is dirty money that has to be put into a trust account?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, once again the hon. member, in identifying some of the positive action the government has taken, is finally giving the government the credit it deserves for actually establishing legal action against 19 firms and individuals to retrieve $41 million for the Canadian taxpayer. That is the right thing to do. Those suits are before the courts and we are looking forward to a resolution that will be in the interests of the Canadian taxpayer and that will get to the truth.

Frankly, there are also allegations about the separatists in the province of Quebec. I would urge the hon. member, in fairness to the Parti Québécois, his provincial cousins, and to all people involved in politics to wait for the Gomery report to get the truth.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Charlevoix—Montmorency, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will remind the minister that the Parti Québécois created a trust account, even though the allegations have not been proven. It knew that it had been given the money. So, it created a trust account in Quebec.

Sponsorship money was donated to the Liberal Party by firms that have made very generous contributions to the Liberals during the years they abused the sponsorship program.

How can the Prime Minister feel comfortable with the money from these firms in the coffers of the Liberal Party instead of in a trust account, as requested?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, once again, there are allegations about the Parti Québécois having received funds inappropriately, that in fact receipt of those inappropriate funds led to specific contractual actions that were inappropriate with external contractors.

I think the hon. member ought to clean up his own separatist house and actually give some respect to Justice Gomery's work. The fact is until we have Gomery's report, we will not have the full truth, and until the Parti Québécois actually has the courage to do its own inquiry, Quebeckers will not have the truth about separatist activities there.

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, now that the concept of pairing has been introduced and accepted and votes can proceed on the basis of fairness, and we are very pleased about that, we can turn our minds to see whether or not it is possible to have the budget adopted in three readings before Thursday. It would be possible with the cooperation of the House.

Would the government members be willing to cooperate in order to accomplish the passage of this budget at all stages prior to Thursday?

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, while I appreciate the hon. member's question, we have a vote on Thursday for second reading of this budget. There are a number of members who are speaking to the budget itself. I know that the members opposite are preparing to vote against the budget. I know that the Bloc is also preparing to vote against the budget.

We are certainly looking to see this thing pass because it does speak to the priorities and interests of Canadians, whether it is the Atlantic accord, or the new deal for cities, or the increase in old age security. We certainly want to move this through the House. I look forward to the passage of it on Thursday. Then the committee to begin to do its work.

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, our objective is to pass this better balanced budget. After all, we had some input into it at the end of the day and we would like to see it adopted.

Should the House be willing, and this would have to be tested, to give unanimous consent to move the bill forward rapidly through three readings, would the government stand in the way of such a unanimous consent should we be able to secure it and have that budget actually adopted in advance of the Thursday vote?

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, again I appreciate the comments made by my hon. colleague.

We certainly want to see this budget move forward. I do not think the member would get opposition from the government; I think the opposition to passing it with unanimous consent would come from the members opposite, whether they be Bloc members or perhaps the Conservatives.

We want to see this budget approved. We want to see it become law because this budget is in the interests of Canadians.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

May 16th, 2005 / 2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, CTV reports that the immigration minister has taken partisanship to a “darker dimension”. The report notes that the minister is “exploiting a family tragedy for political gain”. An abusive husband made an accusation to try and punish those who stood by his wife, including her brother-in-law, a Conservative MP.

Even Liberals had the civility not to raise it in the 2004 election, but the minister has now stripped away her privacy and publicly smeared her family.

Why would the Prime Minister allow a member of--

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I see that the usual source of information for the member opposite is the public press.

I will not be speaking about a specific issue. However, I did receive information and I called the particular member over, gave the member an indication that I had information that I had to pass on. I did so and I left it at that.

That such information went out into the public has nothing to do with me or my office and I have stayed quiet on that.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, in fact, the minister himself has publicly commented on the matter. Not only has he abused his power and harmed an innocent woman, he violated his oath as a minister. Worse, he broke the law. He gave out information about an immigration case, contrary to Canada's privacy laws. In February on TV he also revealed details of the case of Saadia Hetaj, including some that proved to be wrong.

How far over the line will the Prime Minister allow before this law-breaking minister is removed?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

I must caution the hon. member for Calgary—Nose Hill on her use of words. If she is going to suggest that members of the House have broken the law, she is going to have to lay a charge and have the matter dealt with. She cannot use that kind of language in questions.

If the Deputy Prime Minister wishes to respond, we will hear her.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I want to respond in this way. Last week we saw the hon. member for York West be fully cleared by the Ethics Commissioner. We also saw that Harjit Singh retracted his outrageous claims in relation to the member for York West.

I think it is important for all of us to learn a lesson from that experience, that this is not a place where people should come and destroy reputations, smear individuals on the basis of allegations and bits and fragments of testimony, or whatever the case may be. I think it is incumbent upon all of us--