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House of Commons Hansard #107 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was workers.

Topics

Member for Newton--North DeltaOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, as I have said before in the House, it was quite clear that the member for Newton--North Delta was the one who was interested in leaving the official opposition and was apparently looking around for a new home.

What I find interesting are some of the quotes from some of the members of the official opposition. The member for Edmonton--St. Albert said:

I don't think that one-sided taping of conversations is something that we should brag about or be doing on an ongoing--

Member for Newton--North DeltaOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Regina--Lumsden--Lake Centre.

Member for Newton--North DeltaOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Conservative Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, the minister knows, every member of the House knows, and every Canadian who has been paying attention to the story knows that the intent of the meeting between the Prime Minister's chief of staff, the Minister of Health and the member for Newton--North Delta was to try to buy votes.

The refusal by the Prime Minister to ask for their resignations is at best unconscionable and at worst condoning potential criminal activity. Will the Prime Minister simply do what is right and call for the resignations of his chief of staff and the Minister of health?

Member for Newton--North DeltaOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, we are seeing an unfortunate example of the kind of tactic undertaken by official opposition members. They assert legal conclusions. They destroy people's reputations.

The hon. member has just made some assertion around vote buying as factual. The hon. member and everybody on that side of the House should be very careful that they do not damage innocent people's reputations.

However, let me quote the member for Port Moody--Westwood--Port Coquitlam--

Member for Newton--North DeltaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member's time has expired.

The hon. member for Laurier--Sainte-Marie.

Member for Newton--North DeltaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has said again today that whoever learns of a potential criminal offence must immediately notify the RCMP. The Minister of Health and the Prime Minister's chief of staff tell us that, for two days, a Conservative member tried to obtain compensation in exchange for his vote, which is a criminal offence. They did not inform the RCMP.

My question, and it is very clear, is this: Did they advise the Prime Minister that the MP was trying to get compensation? That is the question. I do not want to know whether or not there was an offer. Did they tell the Prime Minister? Perhaps she would answer my question.

Member for Newton--North DeltaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, let me be clear again. The Prime Minister was absolutely clear that no offers were to be made to anyone, and as I have said before, if the hon. member has any information that leads him to believe that a criminal offence has been committed, he should turn that information over to the RCMP.

Member for Newton--North DeltaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear, as the minister says. Was it not more like this: the Prime Minister was advised that the MP had sought compensation and, rather than inform the RCMP, he did as his chief of staff and health minister had done, he said to continue negotiating and if things were resolved and he agreed to wait, they would have done nothing. That is what the Prime Minister wanted to do. It is the usual nobody knew story. This is why the minister is not answering my question. Exactly why. She is trying to clear the Prime Minister—

Member for Newton--North DeltaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

Member for Newton--North DeltaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, it is quite clear that the only thing the Prime Minister knew was that in fact the member for Newton—North Delta had approached our side of the House, interested in leaving the official opposition. That is what the Prime Minister knew. The Prime Minister went further and said, “I don't want any offers made”. Full stop. It could not be clearer.

Member for Newton--North DeltaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister is saying that the Prime Minister had not been told that the Conservative member was looking for a reward. In the meantime, his chief of staff and the Minister of Health are defending themselves by saying that they did not make an offer, even though the hon. member spent two days looking for a reward.

I have the following question for the Deputy Prime Minister. How can the Prime Minister still have any faith in his Minister of Health and his chief of staff, when they hid the fact that a Conservative member was trying to get something in return for his vote? How can he accept that today, since both men are saying—

Member for Newton--North DeltaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

Member for Newton--North DeltaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister was clear. There were to be no offers made and no offer was made.

Member for Newton--North DeltaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, speaking of tapes, this one is starting to sound the same. Maybe we need to ask the question three times to get an answer. We are starting to get to the bottom of what happened.

According to them, the Prime Minister did not want to know that someone was looking for a reward. That is their line of defence. That is the version given by the Minister of Health and the chief of staff.

How can a prime minister tolerate as a senior adviser a chief of staff who kept him in the dark about what went on, a criminal offence, and a member of his cabinet who is fine with the fact that a criminal offence may have been committed? How can he tolerate that?

Member for Newton--North DeltaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

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

Again, Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister was clear that no offer was to be made. No offer was made. I will say again that if the hon. member has information that leads him to believe a criminal offence has been committed, he should turn that evidence over to the RCMP. The RCMP will review that information and decide whether an investigation should be initiated.

Member for Newton--North DeltaOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Helena Guergis Conservative Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have heard the Prime Minister's chief of staff suggest he could influence the actions of the Ethics Commissioner. This is outrageous. The Ethics Commissioner should be able to operate free of any political interference, but the words of the Prime Minister's chief of staff would suggest that the government believes otherwise.

How can the Prime Minister continue to condone this behaviour? Why will the Prime Minister not admit that he is responsible for his government's sordid vote-buying practices?

Member for Newton--North DeltaOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, serious questions have been raised with regard to the tapes and the transcripts. That has been echoed earlier on today. The Ethics Commissioner himself is an independent officer of Parliament. Frankly, I understand that this matter has already been referred to the Ethics Commissioner. If any members have any information to provide the Ethics Commissioner, I suggest that they do so.

Member for Newton--North DeltaOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Helena Guergis Conservative Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, however evasive their choice of words may be, once again the Liberals have been caught acting solely in their own best interests. The conflict of interest and post-employment code for public office holders imposes upon cabinet ministers and their ministerial staff an obligation. Let me quote it:

--to uphold the highest ethical standards so that public confidence and trust in the integrity, objectivity and impartiality of government are conserved and enhanced.

Canadians want to know. When is the government going to live up to this code?

Member for Newton--North DeltaOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, frankly, I think what Canadians want to know is if the hon. member has any additional information to assist the Ethics Commissioner in reviewing this issue why the hon. member would not be providing that information to the Ethics Commissioner rather than playing the smear game here in the House.

Member for Newton--North DeltaOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Conservative Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, speaking of the Ethics Commissioner, he is not very pleased with the government. One can understand why, because after all, the Prime Minister's chief of staff suggested to the member for Newton—North Delta that he would intervene with the Ethics Commissioner to have a report and a particular result produced by the Ethics Commissioner. That is why today the Ethics Commissioner says he does not appreciate having his office “bandied about in negotiations”.

Why is it that the Prime Minister's ethics are so low that he would drag the Ethics Commissioner himself into this sordid vote buying--

Member for Newton--North DeltaOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Calgary Southeast knows suggesting that the ethics of hon. members are low is improper, to say the least, and I would caution him about using that kind of language in the House.

The hon. member for Calgary Southeast on a supplementary.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Conservative Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, they still have an opportunity to answer that.

On another matter, last week at the Gomery inquiry, Giuseppe Morselli said that once when he was at Chez Frank, the famous restaurant, having a meal with Benoît Corbeil, he saw the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister was there and congratulated Mr. Morselli on his successful fundraising in Quebec for the Liberal Party.

I want to know exactly how many times the Prime Minister dined at Chez Frank with the people involved in the sponsorship scandal.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I guess those members have gone beyond birthday letters now and are going into restaurants.

Today's National Post editorial had this to say:

If the Conservatives had their way, [Justice Gomery would] effectively be asked to consciously prejudice the courts.

Mercifully, the Conservatives' motion was defeated, allowing Judge Gomery to fulfill his original mandate after testimony concludes...But the fact that [the Conservative Party] ever thought it was a good idea demonstrates no one in Ottawa has a monopoly on bad judgment.

Further, it said that:

--in advocating a fundamental change in the inquiry's mandate...the Conservatives displayed dubious judgment.

Broadcasting IndustryOral Question Period

June 2nd, 2005 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Liberal Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Canadian Heritage.

During the last election campaign, the Liberal government promised to resolve the situation with respect to making the RAI International television station available in Canada. Once again, the Liberal Party has kept its promise. On May 13, the CRTC gave permission for RAI International to be broadcast in Canada.

My question is very simple. When will Canadians be able to tune in to RAI International from home?

Broadcasting IndustryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Jeanne-Le Ber Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to announce that, as of today, RAI International is available from Rogers, and it will soon be available from Vidéotron as well.

As we all know, this decision made by the CRTC last month will increase the diversity of content in our broadcasting system, which is already regarded as one of the best in the world.

I might add for the hon. members' benefit that, on Sunday, RAI International will have a special broadcast, which will air simultaneously worldwide—