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House of Commons Hansard #115 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was parents.

Topics

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. Minister of Public Works and Government Services has the floor. He is going to answer, apparently.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the government's view was expressed by counsel. That view was that we did not want to see any delay in Justice Gomery's report and that in fact, if there were going to be any action by Mr. Chrétien that would allege bias, it would be preferable to have that action after Justice Gomery provided his report to Canadians.

Justice Gomery wants to deal with this issue in the short term. We respect Justice Gomery's position and support him in that position because we continue to support the work of Justice Gomery. We believe he is doing important work and positive work on behalf of Canadians.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister said yesterday in the House that sending a letter to Jean Chrétien's lawyer was quite normal. In a letter dated June 6, which the Prime Minister had in hand yesterday, the lawyer for Justice Gomery said that the guarantee to Jean Chrétien that he could mount another challenge in order to get the judge's head puts the judge in an “extremely difficult position”. Those are his words.

Will the Prime Minister acknowledge that, despite his claim, the guarantee made to Jean Chrétien is no minor matter, as it could interfere with Justice Gomery's work?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, there was no guarantee, nor secret deal nor agreement, as I have said. Honni soit qui mal y pense evil to him who evil thinks. We have supported Justice Gomery and will continue to do so. We have blocked all attempts to delay the commission and we will oppose any similar ones that may arise.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have a proverb that would suit better: When you lie long enough, the lie becomes the truth. That is more like it.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

The civility of the other side is apparent.

If a letter was sent, it was not because the parties had nothing to say to one another. A letter was sent. So, I am asking the Prime Minister, who, since the time of the sponsorships, has done everything to see nothing, why he did not tell us yesterday that he had a letter dated June 6, which said exactly the opposite to what he claimed. Why did he hide things from the House, as is his wont—

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The Minister of Justice.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the leader of the Bloc does not like my saying: evil to him who evil thinks., but I will repeat it because there was no agreement, no secret, period.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, Justice Gomery feels it is essential that the doubt cast on his objectivity by Jean Chrétien be immediately dispelled. He has therefore instructed his counsel to file a motion with the Federal Court as soon as possible.

How could the government claim again yesterday that it supports Justice Gomery when a letter dated June 6 from Justice Gomery's own counsel, which the government had in its possession yesterday, says the opposite, namely that the position taken by the government regarding Justice Gomery is placing him in an extremely difficult situation?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we have shown and will continue to show support for Justice Gomery against any allegations of lack of objectivity on his part, because we have every confidence in the Gomery commission.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, all the government had to do yesterday was to reveal the substance of the letter it had in its possession. It also had Justice Gomery's opinion about being placed in an extremely difficult situation by the government's deal. Come on, enough is enough.

The Minister of Justice can say whatever he wants, but facts are facts. Justice Gomery himself said that his efforts were seriously hindered by the position taken by the government and he has taken steps to get out of that situation.

Why did the government try, yesterday, to hide the existence of that letter, the malaise that prevailed and the problems it has created for Justice Gomery?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we have not hidden anything. Everything is public. There has been an exchange of letters between lawyers. There is nothing to hide.

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the right hon. Prime Minister.

Canada Day is approaching and yet Canada Day is the day that North Dakota, in a perverse sense of what it means to be a neighbour, has decided to turn on the tap of the Devils Lake diversion.

The Prime Minister has talked to George Bush. When does he expect to hear back from the White House as to whether or not we are going to celebrate Canada Day from here on in as the day the United States chose to ignore the boundary waters treaty?

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt about the seriousness of this situation. There is also no doubt that the actions being taken by North Dakota are simply unacceptable.

I have raised this with the President and, as the hon. member ought to know, we are in constant negotiations now with the Americans. I am not in a position to say when those negotiations will conclude, but let me tell the House that we will leave no stone unturned in solving this problem.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, on another environmental issue, the Canadian Medical Association has released a study which says that there are 5,800 premature deaths a year in this country as a result of smog.

My question is for the Prime Minister or the Minister of the Environment. Does the government not think that it is time for some real action on this? We have had 12 years of talking about voluntary this and voluntary that. Does the government not think it is time for mandatory emissions standards, a strong Kyoto plan, and doing something about smog because people are dying? People are dying. Let us get some action from the government.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, this is a very serious issue and if the strong regulations had not been put in place for the clean air 10 year agenda, the situation would be much worse today.

We have been able to reduce mercury emissions by 90%. New sulphur and diesel regulations have been established that will reduce and eliminate emissions by 97% for 2006. We have also established very strong regulations that will reduce emissions from buses by 95%. We are acting very seriously in addressing a very serious problem.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

June 14th, 2005 / 2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Conservative Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, two weeks ago, the government misled the House by denying the existence of a secret arrangement with Jean Chrétien. Yesterday, the Prime Minister misled the House about the contents of this arrangement. He incorrectly said that the letter read, and I quote, “We fiercely oppose anything that could delay the report”.

Why did the Prime Minister mislead the House yet again?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, ultimately, the problem has to do with the question. There was no secret agreement and there was no secret deal, period.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Conservative Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister said that in the letter, which two weeks ago did not exist according to the government, it stated, “We opposed ferociously anything that could delay the Gomery report”. I have the letter here and I have read it several times. I cannot find a single word of opposition to Jean Chrétien's effort to put a cloud over the head of Judge Gomery.

Perhaps the Prime Minister could stand up with his copy of the letter and cite where it says that the government ferociously opposes the effort to put a cloud over Judge Gomery. Where is it? Will he cite from the letter?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, once again, conspiracy is in the mouth of the speaker. There is no sense here of any conspiracy. We can stretch it all we want. There is no pact. There is no secret accord. There is only support for the Gomery commission. If we have to, we will continue to repeat it. That is the situation.

Child CareOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Conservative Edmonton—Spruce Grove, AB

Mr. Speaker, Quebec's child care network is still on strike, which is making life very difficult for Quebec parents.

Why is the government insisting on implementing such a vulnerable model across Canada?

Child CareOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Ken Dryden LiberalMinister of Social Development

Mr. Speaker, what does one say to a question like that?

Child CareOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Child CareOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. Minister of Social Development has the floor and I cannot hear a word he is saying. There seems to be a lot of assistance coming from my left to help the minister but I cannot hear the minister. We want to hear the minister.