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House of Commons Hansard #92 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quarantine.

Topics

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Mr. Speaker, first, the program my colleague has just announced was established in cooperation with the country's unions.

Second, the employment insurance program has been improved each year in order to meet workers' needs. Again this year, we made improvements through the budget currently before this House. We try to meet workers' needs regularly, and do so in cooperation with all partners in the community, including employers.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, I think enough is enough, and this is enough chit chat. Had this government not spent taxpayers' money on sponsorships in Quebec, workers would have had some changes to employment insurance.

My question is for the Prime Minister. Is he prepared to give Canadian workers the 12 best weeks? Yes or no? Or is he going to invest in sponsorships again?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Mr. Speaker, we have received the recommendations of the committee of this House and of the Liberal caucus group. We have made significant improvements—especially the 14 best weeks.

In New Brunswick, in fact, workers and employers celebrated this decision by the government.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

Order. Perhaps the members discussing at the other end of the House could continue their discussions in the lobby. They would be better doing it there, and it would be much easier for those of us here who want to take part in question period.

The hon. member for Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam has the floor, and everyone would like to hear him.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, Canadians know that the Prime Minister is not believable in cleaning up government. The Prime Minister knows that the transport minister arranged meetings among members of Parliament and his friend François Duffar of Cossette Communication in violation of Canada's lobbying laws because he did not register as a lobbyist.

How can Canadians believe that the Prime Minister is serious about cleaning up corruption when he does not even hold his own ministers accountable for violating our laws?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I can repeat, for the benefit of the hon. member, that I never billed anything for any meeting. Therefore, the answer is clear.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, Canadians know that the Prime Minister is not believable in cleaning up government. When Jean Chrétien's defence minister, Art Eggleton, was caught giving an untendered contract to his girlfriend/researcher, Jean Chrétien threw him out of cabinet. What did this Prime Minister do when he was sworn in as Prime Minister? He awarded him a Senate seat as a reward for being a good Liberal.

How are Canadians supposed to believe that this Prime Minister is serious about cleaning up corruption when he rewards Art Eggleton with a Senate seat rather than doing the appropriate thing, which is saying that behaviour is not tolerable in this country?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, this Prime Minister has done more to clean up Parliament and clean up government than any prime minister in the last 30 or 40 years.

I want to say that if the Conservatives have a complaint about the hon. Minister of Transport, we have, thanks to this Prime Minister, established an independent registrar of lobbyists who reports to Parliament. They should complain to the registrar of lobbyists and deal with this in the proper way.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

May 5th, 2005 / 2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Conservative Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, if that is a clean government, I would hate to see what a dirty one looks like.

The Prime Minister has a problem with the truth.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

Order. I am sure the member for Calgary Southeast appreciates the assistance with his question, but he will want to get on with it on his own.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Conservative Calgary Southeast, AB

The Prime Minister himself has a problem with the truth. When he appeared before the Gomery commission, he denied his relationship with Mr. and Mrs. Claude Boulay of Groupaction. The truth is that the Prime Minister has had a close and personal relationship with the Boulays for at least 15 years.

Why should Canadians believe the Prime Minister when he says he will clean up his party from any corruption, if he cannot even tell the truth about his relationship with—

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The Minister of Public Works and Government Services.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I would suggest that the member for Calgary Southeast has a problem with the truth because last night he said that somehow Chuck Guité represented the truth, that Chuck Guité represented some sort of smoking gun. In fact, he was blowing smoke because a few months ago he said this about Chuck Guité, “The only person who believes Chuck Guité is Chuck Guité. Chuck Guité's testimony is not credible”. What a difference a few months make.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Conservative Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, was that not special, a lecture on credibility from the minister who, every day, tells us not to comment on daily testimony and is now commenting on daily testimony.

I have a very simple question for the Prime Minister. Why does the Prime Minister expect Canadians to believe him when he promises to clean up Liberal corruption when he himself denied his close, personal, 20 year relationship with Claude Boulay of Groupaction? How can we believe him on anything he says when he did not tell the truth about that relationship with one of the principal ad scammers?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Calgary Southeast is skating on very thin ice when he says that members are not telling the truth. I hope that he will be more careful in his choice of language. The hon. Minister of Public Works and Government Services has the floor.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, why should Canadians believe anything that hon. member says when last night he said Canadians should believe Chuck Guité, but a few months ago he said that the only person who believes Chuck Guité is Chuck Guité, and Chuck Guité's testimony is not credible.

Further to that, the member for Edmonton—St. Albert said that Chuck Guité's whole testimony has no credibility just a few months ago. In fact the Leader of the Opposition said about Chuck Guité's testimony, “Most of what I heard had no credibility”. In fact, the justice critic called Mr. Guité's testimony nonsense. The deputy leader, the member for Central Nova, said Chuck Guité is not forthright. That is what they said a few months ago.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the member for Honoré-Mercier worked as president of the Liberal Party and as a very active organizer during the 2000 election campaign, including when his salary was paid by the Gervais Gagnon agency. On the one hand, Gervais Gagnon was paying on behalf of the Liberal Party, while on the other hand, the agency was collecting contracts from the government and crown corporations through the current member for Honoré-Mercier.

Is this not dirty Liberal money?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

I did not hear a question relating to ministerial responsibility.

The questions must deal with the administration of the government.

Perhaps the hon. member for Rivière-du-Nord could ask a different question.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, I think this issue very much relates to the government.

Another case was mentioned at the Gomery commission. It appears that the deputy government whip and member for Beauséjour intervened regarding two or three sponsorship projects in the riding that he had his eyes on.

How can the Prime Minister justify appointing the member for Beauséjour, when we are hearing that he too was immersed in the sponsorship scandal and in dirty Liberal money?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the member for Beauséjour is an outstanding member of Parliament.

These are allegations; these are not facts. The fact is that the hon. member was working in the Prime Minister's office in the past, but was a private citizen for a whole year and a half before the sponsorship program actually began.

This is just more hearsay from the Gomery commission. It is another reason why we are better off to wait for Justice Gomery's report and analysis, rather than commenting on daily testimony and dragging the reputation of members of the House through the mud for no reason.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Rahim Jaffer Conservative Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister defended the disgraceful remarks of his immigration minister. The Catholic Civil Rights League issued a statement condemning the minister, saying:

These allegations are remarkable for their insensitivity....We think it's a new low in debate when senior ministers of the Crown can casually suggest that people who don't agree with them are Klansmen.

Why does the Prime Minister continue to defend the minister? Why will he not fire him?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, as someone who throughout all of his life has been dealing with ethnic stereotyping and slurring, I have become very familiar with this issue and I thank the hon. member for raising the issue in the House.

I want him to understand what we are doing in immigration. For example, when I moved quickly to reunite families with unstatus spouses, members opposite were silent. When I moved to reunite Vietnamese families with those displaced in the Philippines, they said “pooh-pooh”. When I moved to eliminate the backlog in citizenship, they said “We do not want any of that”. What do they want in immigration?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Conservative

Rahim Jaffer Conservative Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, maybe the minister needs to learn something about ministerial accountability because he has just let everyone down with his comments. The Prime Minister may be the only person left in Canada who thinks that these outrageous comments are acceptable by his cabinet ministers.

B'nai Brith has condemned the minister's comments as what they are, attempts to “inflame racial tensions in Canada”.

If the Prime Minister is serious about raising the level of civility in the House, will he put an immediate end to the career of this immigration minister and fire him for trivializing the language of racism?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, we have an exhibition of the typical Conservative tactic of slurring, slandering and smearing, but we are accustomed to that.

I gave an indication of our immigration program. I said that what I would do is I would increase the number of parents and grandparents who would be reunited with their family and they said, “no, we don't want old people, at least not yours”.

I said that I would increase the regionalization of immigration by using students to academic institutions and they said, “no, there's no room for them because there's no room for our kids”.

With them there is no room for--