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House of Commons Hansard #90 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was rcmp.

Topics

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, with answers like that it is no wonder Bono has quit the Liberal Party.

According to Mr. Kinsella, this Prime Minister granted contracts to his friends, his friends at Earnscliffe, in particular, in the 1990s, people like Scott Reid, who today is his director of communications, and David Herle, who ran his leadership campaign.

How can the Prime Minister continue to manipulate the truth on the granting of contracts?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to assessing the veracity of the Prime Minister compared to the other witness to whom the hon. gentleman refers, I will put my money on the Prime Minister every day of the week.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Conservative York—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, serious allegations have been made with respect to the appointment of judges. The former director general of the Liberal Party has said he regularly received calls from a member of the judicial selection committee to find out whether candidates had done enough work for the party. When the answer was yes, the candidates were appointed judges.

Can the Minister of Justice tell Canadians whether he has called for an inquiry into these serious allegations?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, if there are allegations of corruption, the police can be contacted. The Gomery commission is proceeding. Another process can be launched. However, I do not want to start interrogating people solely on the basis of allegations.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Conservative York—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would hope the Minister of Justice would take more seriously his obligation to defend the independence of the judiciary.

We now know that a step in the process of appointing judges is for a member of the supposedly non-partisan appointments committee to confirm with Liberal headquarters how much work nominees have done for the Liberal Party. This is a very serious matter, calling into question the independence of the judiciary. At a time when Canadians are looking to the courts to deliver justice to sponsorship players facing criminal charges, this news corrodes public confidence in the courts.

In light of these additional revelations, does the Prime Minister still deny that there was partisan involvement in the judicial appointment--

JusticeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Justice.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, what erodes public confidence in the administration of justice in the judiciary is any kind of guilt by unfounded association, any kind of trafficking in innuendo, and drive-by smears. We will not indulge in those things before the House.

HousingOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Liberal Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Labour and Housing.

There is a significant need for affordable housing in the province of Ontario, particularly for people with mental illness, victims of domestic violence, and lower income families.

Can the minister tell the House what he has done to help the people in Ontario who have faced such a critical housing need for so long?

HousingOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

London North Centre Ontario

Liberal

Joe Fontana LiberalMinister of Labour and Housing

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for her tremendous support. This caucus and cabinet have made it possible to sign a historic $602 million agreement with the province of Ontario, a Liberal government that believes in people and housing unlike a previous Conservative government that did not care diddly-squat about people and housing in Ontario.

Our partnerships with municipalities, not for profit housing, cooperative housing and the private sector will deliver 20,000 units to the people of Ontario. This party stands for housing. That party stands for nothing.

HousingOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

HousingOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. Some new words are coming into the vocabulary. I would urge the Minister of Labour and Housing to have a discussion with the Deputy Prime Minister about the propriety of the language used. Perhaps we can tone it down a little.

Maher Arar InquiryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the public inquiry into Canada's role in the deportation of Maher Arar has finally resumed public hearings and it is about time. Canadians can now learn who played what role in Arar's deportation and his horrific ordeal in Syria. Canada's previous foreign affairs minister tried to cook up a deal with the Bush administration to avoid this public inquiry.

Will this government finally end the stonewalling, table all documents, and allow an open and transparent inquiry to get to the bottom of this horrendous injustice?

Maher Arar InquiryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Halifax West Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the government is committed to a full and complete inquiry. In camera hearings balance the need to make the inquiry as transparent as possible while at the same time legitimately protecting massive security concerns, as we must.

Maher Arar InquiryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the journalist whose home was raided by the RCMP because she was reporting on the government's role in the Arar deportation has received the World Press Freedom Award, a telling commentary on how journalistic freedom is not always guaranteed in today's Canada. Yet, we still do not get clear assurances that this government is prepared to end the obstruction and let the public inquiry do its work in public.

Will the government assure Canadians it will begin to cooperate with the Maher Arar inquiry, or is that just too much to ask?

Maher Arar InquiryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Halifax West Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the government is cooperating with the Maher Arar inquiry. The government agreed recently with the judge on the case on what should be permitted to be disclosed. My hon. colleague should know that.

Is she really saying that the government should disclose how CSIS and the RCMP operate? Should the government really disclose information it has that may endanger the lives of informants?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, Liberal Senator Massicotte would have us believe that he broke no rule in signing a $100 million contract with the federal government. But subsection 14(1) of the Parliament of Canada Act states, “ No person who is a member of the Senate shall...be a party to...any contract under which the public money of Canada is to be paid.”

What is the Prime Minister waiting for to punish this Liberal senator who has broken the law?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the contract was signed well before the individual was a senator.

Further to that, yesterday, prior to question period, a letter was delivered to the hon. member fully explaining the situation. The fact is that the lease was awarded through a fair and open tendering process that was overseen by KPMG, and the winner of the competitive contract, on the basis of least cost, was Alexis Nihon, a large, publicly traded company.

The occupation of the building took time because of the amalgamation of two units into one entity within government and the set up requirements. The hon. member knows the truth because he received the truth. He is just plain--

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Nepean—Carleton.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the fact remains that section 14 of the Parliament of Canada Act bans senators from participating in government business, whether they were appointed before or after that government business started. That means the Liberals broke the law and paid millions to a Liberal senator's company for an empty building.

What will it take for this Prime Minister to stand in the House and announce what he will do to punish this Liberal senator who has broken the law?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I would urge the hon. member to go outside and make that exact allegation. I think he would require some legal representation from members of his own caucus, perhaps, and God forbid for his sake, because I do not think he would get very far in that sense.

This contract was tendered fairly and openly. It was overseen by KPMG and the company that won the contract is a large, publicly traded, commercial real estate company that owns over 50 commercial properties in Canada.

Members opposite are engaged in another drive-by smear campaign because they are not interested in the truth. They are only interested in attacking reputations under parliamentary privilege.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Question Period

May 3rd, 2005 / 2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Bev Oda Conservative Clarington—Scugog—Uxbridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, Liberal patronage and cronyism has hit a new low. The Prime Minister has named Mr. Sahi to the CBC board.

Who is that? A close personal friend of the Prime Minister, a former business associate of Canada Steamship Lines, and a donor to the Liberal Party who owns the building the CBC leases as its head office in Ottawa. One would think it was enough that he gets the rent cheque from the CBC every month.

Can the Prime Minister justify to Canadians his decision to put his pal and supporter on the CBC board?

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Jeanne-Le Ber Québec

Liberal

Liza Frulla LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, we are proud of the appointments we have made to the CBC and Radio-Canada. I am referring to Peter Herrndorf, Trina McQueen, Guy Fournier, Johanne Brunet, Yasmin Jivraj and Mr. Sahi. Why? Because Mr. Sahi was named entrepreneur of the year. We need a businessman who is also able to grasp the administrative complexity of the CBC and Radio-Canada. He has been chosen for his competence.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Bev Oda Conservative Clarington—Scugog—Uxbridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister just does not get it. Mr. Sahi was appointed to the CBC board. A close personal friend of the Prime Minister, he owns the building the CBC leases. A landlord cannot be trusted to make the best decisions for the CBC on matters of leases and capital assets.

The Prime Minister claimed he would condemn to history the practice of cronyism. How can he justify to Canadians this appointment, a blatant conflict of interest?

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Jeanne-Le Ber Québec

Liberal

Liza Frulla LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, it is appalling to put on trial a man who, in 1994, was named turnaround entrepreneur of the year, who joined the Bank of Montreal in 1977 and, in 1982, while working for the bank, purchased businesses which he developed.

He was appointed simply because he is an entrepreneur and because the CBC needs people like him. He is a member of an exceptional community, yet people are trying to put him on trial here, in this place. That is beyond me.

Social DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Social Development has signed agreements on child care with two provinces already, but is delaying doing so with Quebec, the source of Canada's low cost child care model.

Can the minister guarantee he is prepared to negotiate an agreement with Quebec that will not impose a Canada-wide standard or conditions? Can he confirm that in this House today?