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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

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Fleetwood—Port Kells.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Conservative Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, first the immigration minister intimidates the Sikh community telling a Toronto temple to keep quiet on immigration corruption. He then makes wild accusations against a member, twisting the facts before finally withdrawing.

Now the immigration minister breaks the law, violates his oath of office, and contravenes the privacy--

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

Order. I just indicated a problem with suggesting that a member had broken the law in posing questions and I thought that that might have corrected it.

If the hon. member is going to keep doing it, I will start ruling questions out of order. The hon. member will go directly to her question.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Conservative Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, it contravenes the Privacy Act by commenting on RCMP and Ethics Commissioner investigations--

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

We will go on. The hon. member for Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government has initiated proceedings against the advertising agencies involved in the sponsorship scandal. The Prime Minister therefore considers them guilty and is suing them. When we mention the contributions these agencies made to the Liberal Party, we are told to wait until the end of the Gomery commission's proceedings.

I would like to understand. How does the Prime Minister explain the fact that these agencies are guilty enough to be taken to court, but that their money is clean enough to remain in Liberal Party coffers?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, from the very beginning as part of the Prime Minister's response to the Auditor General's report, he established Justice Gomery's inquiry to get to the bottom of the issue. He also established a fund recovery mechanism. In fact that has resulted in lawsuits against 19 firms and individuals to recover $41 million.

The fact is that is a positive story. That is the right thing to do. Not only are we doing the right thing for Canadians to get to the truth in this issue, we are doing the right thing for the Canadian taxpayer to get to the bottom of this issue.

Once again, let us be clear that the Liberal Party will repay to the Canadian taxpayer any funds that were received inappropriately.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, on the subject of Canadian taxpayers, the Prime Minister has for the past 20 days been trying to buy his next election with their money.

I would like to ask the Prime Minister if he does not agree he has got off to a very bad start for the next election? Not only is he trying to buy it with the dirty sponsorship money but he is refusing to put into a trust, but he is trying to buy it with taxpayers' money.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has referred to the budget. That budget has a lot of very important and positive items in it for Canadians, and in fact a lot of very positive items for Quebeckers. In fact, Quebeckers support day care. Quebeckers support investments in communities and in cities. Quebeckers support investments in health care and investments in foreign aid.

Quebeckers support what this budget represents. It is about time that those members stood up and did the right thing for Quebeckers and not the right thing simply for separatists. They should actually defend a budget that is good for Quebec and good for all of Canada.

JusticeOral Question Period

May 16th, 2005 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Bloc Charlesbourg, QC

Mr. Speaker, the corruption in the system is so broad that it now extends even to the judiciary. The links between the Liberal Party and candidates to the bench are obvious. Cross-referencing the data shows that 60% of appointees since 2000 contributed to the Liberal Party of Canada.

Does this new example not show that it is high time to get rid of this tainted government?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, judicial appointments are based on recommendations by an independent committee of the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs. It is simply a question of merit. In my opinion, political affiliation is not taken into account.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Bloc Charlesbourg, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Quebec bar denounced the words of Justice Robert, saying that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, regardless of their position. The president of the bar added that being a judge intrinsically includes the ability to distinguish between personal opinion and law.

Since Justice Robert obviously does not have the ability to make this distinction, what is the Minister of Justice waiting for to call for his dismissal?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I was saying, political affiliation is not taken into account when judges are appointed.

I understand a complaint has been lodged with the Canadian Judicial Council. We will monitor its progress.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Rahim Jaffer Conservative Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration is up to his nasty tricks. Once again he is going after ethnic minorities in the Conservative Party caucus. In a clear abuse of his ministerial authority, he is using the RCMP to do his dirty work by investigating the member for Calgary East. He then broke his oath as a privy councillor and the Privacy Act by leaking this to the media.

When will the Prime Minister fire the minister?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, if the member opposite has a specific claim to make, he knows what the usual procedures are to follow that through. He can do it.

I have already given an explanation to the House about what transpired and I will let it rest at that.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Rahim Jaffer Conservative Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, someone needs to explain the concept of ministerial responsibility to the minister. He is responsible for the files in his department. He has taken an oath of confidentiality. If any of these files are placed in judgment because of confidentiality, he needs to take responsibility.

If the Prime Minister is serious about civility in the House, then why will he not enforce it in his own cabinet and fire the minister?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the responsibility of confidentiality also goes to the understanding of the procedures and process of what has transpired.

I categorically deny having done anything that would break the law one way or the other. Again, if the member opposite has a specific claim he wants to make, he can follow the procedures that are open to him.

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Monte Solberg Conservative Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, here is a specific claim. That is the face of Liberal incivility right there.

Liberals threw money at gun violence and we got the firearms debacle. They threw money at the national unity problem and we got the sponsorship scandal. Now they are throwing $4.6 billion at their NDP deal to try to cover up the sponsorship scandal.

Why should Canadians and the NDP pay to help cover up Liberal corruption?

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Scarborough—Guildwood Ontario

Liberal

John McKay LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

As you know, Mr. Speaker, balanced budgets have been the hallmark of this government for the last eight years. The budget projects a further five years of balanced budgets. We are the envy of the G-7 and all industrial nations in terms of the fiscal management of this country. We intend to keep our obligations and agreements out of the fiscal framework.

If the hon. member would care to read the budget over the next five years, he would realize that in those five years there are $28 billion of projected surplus.

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Monte Solberg Conservative Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, that member and the NDP need to understand that buying votes with the sponsorship program has reinvigorated separatism in Quebec. Now the Liberals think they can paper over this corruption by buying the votes of Canadians.

When will the government see that a vote-buying budget designed to cover corruption will only strengthen Quebec separatism?

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Scarborough—Guildwood Ontario

Liberal

John McKay LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it is pretty obvious what that member's party is against. Members opposite appear to be against additional moneys for foreign aid and the cities initiative. They appear to be against further moneys for child care initiatives and affordable housing. All of those initiatives are contained in budget Bill C-48. They are natural extensions of the government's priorities within our fiscal framework.

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Alan Tonks Liberal York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, since the introduction of Bill C-48 the House has heard repeated concerns challenging the fiscal sustainability of the bill, particularly in what is claimed to be new spending for post-secondary education, additional support for cities, affordable housing and immigrant settlement services.

Would the Minister of Finance please clarify for the House whether the majority of this money was contained in the budget and whether this, together with the recent agreement with the province of Ontario, was fiscally prudent and economically consistent with the last seven consecutively balanced budgets?

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Scarborough—Guildwood Ontario

Liberal

John McKay LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I replied to a previous question, this is consistent with the fiscal framework of the Government of Canada. The initiatives, as launched by the premier of Ontario, are specific initiatives that we have responded to, that were legitimate complaints that he had with respect to immigration issues and tax collection measures, and all of which were negotiated between the Premier and the Prime Minister. Happily, an agreement was arrived at which projects over five years and that is within the fiscal framework of the Government of Canada.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, for the second time in a week, Canadian farmers have come to Parliament Hill demanding action from the government. Farm debt across Canada is rising. We have a crisis in grain and beef. We have a crisis in dairy from the flood of modified milk imports into Canada and yet the government treats agricultural policy as if it were a game of dodge ball. Stand still, Mr. Minister, and answer the question.

Will he or will he not invoke article XXVIII and protect supply management in Canada?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, to deal with the first part of the hon. member's question, the government has made record investments into the agriculture industry in this country to support producers. Specifically, in terms of dairy, we are negotiating through the WTO to ensure that we have an outcome that will protect supply management in Canada and that Canadian producers can choose the type of method they want for domestic marketing.