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House of Commons Hansard #109 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was fishery.

Topics

Audiotaped ConversationsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, they are pretending to not understand. What I am saying is very clear. The Deputy Prime Minister says no offers were made. That is not the question.

Mr. Murphy said that there were requests to sell the MP's vote, which is a criminal offence. That is the version of Mr. Murphy, who is the Prime Minister's chief of staff. His principal adviser.

The Prime Minister has a duty to inform this House whether his chief of staff in fact informed him that a criminal offence was being committed. The question is clear. Let him answer it.

Audiotaped ConversationsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has been very clear. He was aware that the member had said that he wanted to cross the floor. The member did not cross the floor, as we can see. The Prime Minister gave his chief of staff one instruction and that was to not make any offers. Frankly, if the hon. member has any information that he would like to provide to the RCMP then he should do exactly that.

Audiotaped ConversationsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, we certainly have every intention of respecting your ruling, but I wonder why it is possible to do indirectly what is forbidden to do directly.

We have all been back in our ridings and we have all learned the extent to which these conversations have brought the whole place into disrepute. I want to ask the Prime Minister, who has said he also intends to respect your ruling, whether or not he thinks it would not be good for everyone, for the whole place, and everyone associated with this to step aside until the Ethics Commissioner has done his work?

Audiotaped ConversationsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we are talking about tapes that have been edited. We are talking about tapes that have been altered. The answer to the hon. member's question is no.

Audiotaped ConversationsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, it does not really matter who initiated the conversation and whether the tapes have been altered. It is a question of due process now that we have a problem.

It seems to me that we all have a problem here. The Minister of Health and the Prime Minister could do democracy a favour in this country and its image by simply doing what many cabinet ministers have done in the past, not doing anything incriminating just stepping aside until the process has completed itself. Why can that not happen?

Audiotaped ConversationsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

I repeat the answer, Mr. Speaker. The tapes have been altered. The answer to the hon. member's question is no.

The EconomyOral Question Period

June 6th, 2005 / 2:30 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Conservative Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, business groups from across Canada have criticized the government's direction on fiscal policy.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Council Chief Executives, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business have all criticized the Liberal Party's spending extravaganza. All of these well-respected business groups warn that the government's actions are threatening our future economic growth and our standard of living.

Why have the concerns of these groups been ignored? Why have tax cuts for Canadians been thrown out the window in favour of the Liberal government's spending spree?

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the tax reductions for individual Canadians continue to be a part of Bill C-43. In terms of two particular tax reductions with respect to corporations, they will be proceeded with by means of separate legislation.

I point out to the hon. gentleman that Canada has now the best fiscal record of any country in the G-7. We have accumulated over the last eight years the best fiscal performance of any Canadian government since 1867. That will continue to be the government's approach.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Conservative Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, I remind the finance minister that those tax cuts amount to about $16 per Canadian.

The Prime Minister is growing more and more reckless with taxpayers' money. The voice of small businesses across Canada, the CFIB, has called the Prime Minister's spending nightmarish and irresponsible. The Canadian Council of Chief Executives stated last week, “Gimme, gimme, gimme does not qualify as a national economic strategy”.

Why is the Prime Minister ignoring the concerns of large and small businesses across the country? Why will he not admit that he has overspent this country for the next five years and overpledged and overpromised?

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, those very same groups have from time to time made a number of other representations. They have called for no deficit. That is the policy of the government. They have called for a continued paying down of debt. That is the policy of the government. They have called for support for things that will improve the competitiveness and the productivity of the country such as more investment in post-secondary education, and that too is the policy of the government.

Child CareOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Conservative Edmonton—Spruce Grove, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister and his friends have developed the annoying habit of meddling to the tune of billions of dollars in areas under provincial jurisdiction.

Now that the Prime Minister has taken over child care in Canada, could he tell us what he intends to do to resolve the labour disputes Quebec families are facing?

Child CareOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we are working with the provinces to address the social problems we face at the moment across the country. The proof of this is that my colleague, the Minister of Social Development, has signed agreements with a number of provinces and is in discussion with others, including the Province of Quebec.

Child CareOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Conservative Edmonton—Spruce Grove, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Social Development has embarked upon a path contrary to the request from the provinces, contrary to the desire of parents, and contrary to the established governing procedure. In fact, this past weekend the minister went so far as to say that institutionalized day care “is the way in which our kids live”.

I would urge the minister to expand this narrow vision and realize that not one of our nation's children should be left behind. Will the minister finally stand and admit that parents want choice in child care, and convert this two tier program into a universal program for every family, every parent and every child?

Child CareOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Ken Dryden LiberalMinister of Social Development

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member likes to talk about reflecting her peer group, urban professional women. It would be useful to go beyond one's perspective, walk a mile in somebody else's shoes, and realize that the great majority of people do not have university degrees. The great majority of people do not have professional degrees.

The great majority of people do not have a choice in terms of working or not working, and in that regard, they do not have a choice in terms of child care. The only choice that we can give them is something that is affordable and--

Child CareOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Roberval--Lac-Saint-Jean.

Audiotaped ConversationsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's chief of staff uses the tape to support his comment that a reward was requested by an MP to cross the floor of the House. This sort of thing constitutes a criminal act.

My question is for the Prime Minister. Normally, when an officer as important as the Prime Minister's chief of staff is aware that a criminal act is being committed, he informs the Prime Minister.

Was the Prime Minister informed by his chief of staff that a criminal act—

Audiotaped ConversationsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Leader of the Government in the House of Commons.

Audiotaped ConversationsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is basing his question on tapes that have been proven by many audio experts to have been manipulated. I can quote from many. John Dooher, a forensic audio engineer hired by the CBC, said:

This sounds to me, not only that this is an edit, but an edit done with something very crude.

The hon. member is asking that people step aside based on a tape that has been altered, which is very clear from the information that has been provided. I would ask the hon. member that if he does have information that he wishes to provide, that he provide that information to the RCMP if he believes an investigation is required and the RCMP will decide.

Audiotaped ConversationsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is getting ridiculous. The Prime Minister's chief of staff based his remarks on the same tape when he said that a request was made by the member of Parliament and that no offer was made by the government.

If we believe the Prime Minister's chief of staff, who is basing his claim on the tape, should we not, based on that same tape, admit that this was a criminal act? The chief of staff himself said a criminal act was being committed. Did the Prime Minister's chief of staff inform the Prime Minister that a criminal act was being committed?

Audiotaped ConversationsOral 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, again, if the hon. member believes that he has information that should be relayed to the RCMP, the RCMP will decide whether an investigation is required. Other than that, I can only point to the fact that there are numerous audio experts, such as Randy Dash, an Algonquin College professor and sound engineer, who said:

It appears that, on one of the recordings, an edit could have been done. It sounds like an audio edit. I'm saying that based on the millions of audio edits I've done.

Mike Murphy said:

--definitely an obvious edit here. It cuts off in mid-sentence.

Audiotaped ConversationsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, as a matter of fact, as soon as we learned there was a potential criminal offence, as soon as we heard the remarks on television, we communicated with the RCMP.

My question for the Prime Minister is quite simple. I give Tim Murphy the benefit of the doubt. I am saying that Mr. Murphy must have told the truth and that no offer was made. However, he claims to have received a request from an MP wanting to sell his vote. That is the version given by his chief of staff. I am not making it up; this is his defence.

I am simply asking the Prime Minister the following question, and it is his duty to respond. Did Mr. Murphy inform him that an MP wanted to sell his vote, warning him that this was a criminal offence? Did he tell him—

Audiotaped ConversationsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Leader of the Government in the House of Commons.

Audiotaped ConversationsOral 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, I believe that in the question the hon. member actually said he had called the RCMP and asked it to conduct an investigation. I would also suggest that if he has already done so, he should wait and see whether the RCMP does in fact launch an investigation.

If he has any further information to provide the RCMP, he should do exactly that. He felt confident enough to ask the RCMP to investigate, so now if he has any further information I would certainly invite him to provide it to the RCMP so that the RCMP can decide whether there is a basis on which to conduct an investigation or not.

Audiotaped ConversationsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am simply asking the Prime Minister to confirm what the Deputy Prime Minister has said, in other words that the Prime Minister knew simply that no offer had been made and that an MP wanted to cross the floor. When I asked her if Mr. Murphy had informed the Prime Minister that requests had been made, which constitutes an offence, she said no.

Can the Prime Minister confirm this? Otherwise, we are led to believe that he may have acted with his chief of staff and that he allowed the commission of a criminal offence. That is what we are led to believe.

Audiotaped ConversationsOral 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, what the Prime Minister was aware of was that the member had said he had wanted to cross the floor. The member did not cross the floor. The Prime Minister gave his chief of staff one instruction: to not make any offers.

There are serious questions being raised about the authenticity of the tapes and whether they were manipulated. I do not know why the hon. member cannot take yes for an answer. He can provide the information to the RCMP. He can pursue any further information with the RCMP. The RCMP will ultimately decide whether an investigation is actually warranted.