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House of Commons Hansard #106 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was industries.

Topics

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, by definition the plan cannot have started to work since the plan has not started at all because we do not have a budget yet. If we do not have a budget yet it is because the successors of Brian Mulroney are not ready to put in a penny or a dime for the environment or anything for climate change. They do not even believe in climate change. They want to fight against it. It is a shame.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Lunn Conservative Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, according to Jean Chrétien's lawyer, a deal has been struck with the Government of Canada to temporarily withdraw the application to have Justice Gomery removed from the inquiry. Mr. Chrétien's lawyer said, “Arrangements have been made with the government”.

Given that Mr. Chrétien's lawyer has admitted to the deal, will the Prime Minister admit that a deal has been struck and tell this House just exactly what is in this deal? What have they traded off to get Mr. Chrétien to withdraw this application?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I can tell him that Mr. Chrétien as an individual has the right, and the tendency, to make his own decisions. In fact, I believe that he has done exactly that. He has made a decision as to his own representation before a judicial inquiry. He has the right to do that. He exercised that right as an individual.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Lunn Conservative Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, someone is not telling the truth. Mr. Chrétien's lawyer has said that there have been arrangements with the government and the Minister of Public Works is categorically denying it.

Why did he say there was no deal yesterday? There seems to be a problem on that side of the House with remembering conversations. Which Liberal is not telling the truth in this matter?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, if we forget things on this side of the House it is because we typically do not tape conversations, but beyond that I would urge the hon. member, when he is speaking about conversations, to remember what he said yesterday in the House. In fact, he said:

Mr. Speaker, the commission has heard months and months of testimony from numerous witnesses. Admittedly, there is conflicting testimony--

He was right yesterday, for a change, when he admitted that there is conflicting testimony, which is why he ought to change his position and actually urge Justice Gomery to continue his work and ensure that Canadians have the fulsome report from Justice Gomery.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Pallister Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, the underground economy deprives provincial and federal coffers of an estimated $12 billion annually. That is a big problem. This year Revenue Canada has been going after waitresses in Atlantic Canada. That is not a big problem.

The big problem is the tax evasion involved in the sponsorship scandal itself and the large amounts of cash that Liberal fat cats have siphoned out of taxpayers' pockets. Will the minister get his priorities straight and apply the same rigorous rules to his Liberal cronies that he applies to struggling Atlantic Canadian waitresses?

TaxationOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Markham—Unionville Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I would like to inform the member that the underground economy is indeed a very big problem. It is one of my department's priorities. I am sure the member will be happy to learn that we are working very hard on this issue.

TaxationOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Pallister Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, he should be the minister of ostriches.

While Liberals leave bags of cash on restaurant tables, the minister chooses to go after the people who wait on those tables. Hiring and favouring his friends is one thing; going Liberal light on tax enforcement is quite another.

The Gomery commission has exposed a litany of Liberal money laundering and tax evasion. Will the minister finally get his act together and commit to a full tax audit of all those individuals involved, whether they are Liberals or not?

TaxationOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Markham—Unionville Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his second very good question. I can tell him in all sincerity that the department is very serious about its work. In fact, in his most recent budget, the Minister of Finance added $30 million a year to strengthen the tax system in this country.

Member for Newton—North DeltaOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the tape affair, the government is using the following line of defence: the Conservative member approached them, he wanted to sell his vote and the government refused to make an offer. That is their version, and they are nodding in agreement. This is an offence under the Criminal Code.

I want to know why, when the Prime Minister realized this was a criminal offence, he did not call the RCMP and file a complaint?

Member for Newton—North DeltaOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, if members believe a criminal offence is being committed and if they have information in relation to an alleged criminal offence, I would encourage everyone in the House to provide information to the relevant police authority and jurisdiction.

As we have said over and over again in the House, it would be completely inappropriate for us or for anyone in the House to ask the RCMP to initiate an investigation. It is up to the RCMP and the RCMP alone to decide whether it will initiate any investigation.

Member for Newton—North DeltaOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, as a matter of fact, as soon as we learned of a possible criminal offence, we informed the RCMP. I wonder why the Prime Minister, who had known about this potential criminal offence for 48 hours already, chose not to inform the RCMP and instead continued to play the game.

Is it not because he expected to resolve the matter under the table, in keeping with Liberal tradition, instead of advising the RCMP? Is this not the real reason?

Member for Newton—North DeltaOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member has himself indicated from his comments, he and perhaps others in the House contacted the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. If they have information or if they believe an alleged offence has been committed, it is quite appropriate for them to contact the Royal Canadian Mounted Police with that information. It is then up to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and it alone to decide whether it will initiate an investigation.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Conservative

Daryl Kramp Conservative Prince Edward—Hastings, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government shut down the public accounts committee last spring in order to hold an election because it really feared the truth about the sponsorship scandal. Now it has tied Justice Gomery's hands by including clause (k) in the terms of reference which stipulate that he cannot assign blame in his conclusions. Canadians deserve the whole truth.

When will the government give Justice Gomery the proper tools to finally get to the bottom of this Liberal corruption?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the government gave Justice Gomery the right to name names and assign responsibilities when the Gomery commission was established. Section 13 of the Inquiries Act says the commissioner is entitled to draw conclusions as to whether there has been misconduct and who may be responsible for it. In his own words, Justice Gomery said:

--I am entitled to draw conclusions as to whether there has been misconduct and who may be responsible for it.

The fact is Justice Gomery has the right to name names and assign responsibilities. We are looking forward to him doing exactly that.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Daryl Kramp Conservative Prince Edward—Hastings, ON

Mr. Speaker, I noticed that the minister seems to use the convenience of the Gomery testimony in his own allegation to interpret as he wishes. On the one hand Gomery has the ability to name names, yet clause (k) says he does not. On the other hand the minister wishes to bring forward a motion that suggests that he should have the opportunity to name names.

He cannot have it both ways. Canadians want the answers. They want the truth. They want to get to the bottom of it. They do not want more Liberal corruption. They want answers and they want dollars.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I am not certain there was a question there, but clause (k) does urge the commission not to indicate criminal or civil liability. That is consistent with most royal commissions. There is a reason for that. It is because the Supreme Court ruling has said specifically that royal commissions or judicial inquiries ought not to assign criminal or civil liability.

Beyond that, there are criminal and civil processes before the courts now. They are proceeding well. We look forward to those being resolved as Justice Gomery completes his work, and as he names names and assigns responsibilities.

InfrastructureOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, public transit is key to meeting our Kyoto commitment. It eases congestion, gives young people and seniors more independence, and helps millions of employees get to work each day.

Could the Minister of State please tell the House how the new deal for cities and communities will strengthen public transit in our communities?

InfrastructureOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Don Valley West Ontario

Liberal

John Godfrey LiberalMinister of State (Infrastructure and Communities)

Mr. Speaker, I was delighted to announce the allocation of $800 million for public transit systems across Canada this morning. This is new funding, over and above the $5 billion we have already committed to municipalities through the gas tax.

Seventy per cent of Canadians have access to public transit services, so this announcement is good news for communities of all sizes.

Grain TransportationRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Scarborough—Agincourt Ontario

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, in accordance with Standing Order 32(2) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, a document entitled “Monitoring the Canadian Grain Handling and Transportation System Annual Report” for the 2003-04 crop year.

Order in Council AppointmentsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Beauséjour New Brunswick

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, order in council appointments recently made by the government.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

June 1st, 2005 / 3:10 p.m.

Beauséjour New Brunswick

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I also have the honour to table the government's response to two petitions.

First Nations Oil and Gas and Moneys Management ActRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Western Arctic Northwest Territories

Liberal

Ethel Blondin-Andrew Liberalfor the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-54, an act to provide first nations with the option of managing and regulating oil and gas exploration and exploitation and of receiving moneys otherwise held for them by Canada.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Interparliamentary DelegationsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Greg Thompson Conservative St. Croix—Belleisle, NB

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1) I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian delegation of the Canada-U.S. Interparliamentary Group respecting its participation at the Canadian-American Border Trade Alliance Conference entitled “Canadian/U.S. Border: A Unified Focus” held in Ottawa, April 24-26, 2005.

Interparliamentary DelegationsRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the report of the parliamentary delegation of the Canadian Branch of the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie, the APF, on its participation at the meeting of the Parliamentary Affairs Committee of the APF in Damascus, Syria, on April 25 and 26, 2005.