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House of Commons Hansard #66 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was troops.

Topics

EthicsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, for two weeks now the Prime Minister has refused to tell Canadians the truth about what he said on the tape. Instead he threatens lawsuits and his government has shut down the work of Parliament.

Why will the Prime Minister not come clean and tell Canadians what he was talking about on the tape, or will he admit that the only thing transparent about his government is that Canadians see right through it?

EthicsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, for the past couple of weeks, both inside and outside of Parliament, the Liberal Party and its agents have been making allegations against me of a criminal nature that are absolutely false, that are despicable. We have been absolutely clear, as was Chuck Cadman during his life, about what transpired.

Today my representatives have filed a statement of claim in a court of law. I look forward to seeing the Leader of the Opposition actually let this go to trial so he can hear the whole truth and admit his own role in it.

EthicsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister will not get off so easily. There was a tape and we were able to hear him. The question he was asked in the tape was about a $1 million insurance policy. He answered byspeaking about “financial considerations” for Mr. Cadman, “financial insecurity”, “financial losses” and “financial issues”.

Once again, the question is as follows: what “financial insecurity” was the Prime Minister talking about when he replied to a question about a $1 million insurance policy?

EthicsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I just said and have been saying for the past two weeks, these allegations of criminal wrongdoing are utterly false.

I am availing myself of what any Canadian would do when he has been treated in a completely unacceptable and illegal manner, which is what the Liberal Party has done here. I have every right, as does my family, to defend our reputation. The Liberal Party will, as I said, come to regret engaging in this illegal and untruthful behaviour.

EthicsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister clearly does not want to answer questions in the House about what he said on the tape. He even runs away from the media outside of the House.

Where will the Prime Minister hide for the next two weeks? Because Canadians will be asking him to explain the tape, and they have the right to know. Where will he hide?

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Once again, Mr. Speaker, my answers on this have been very clear. They are all, in fact, contained in the documents filed in court today. We have yet to hear the view of the leader of the Liberal Party on all of this.

We are all going to be very curious to find out how it was that the leader of the Liberal Party and his party came up with an incomplete and edited version of a conversation three years after an event. We are all looking forward to that explanation.

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, we are all heading back to our constituencies this weekend, with some relief, but the Prime Minister will not be able to evade Canadians the way he has evaded the House. He will not be able to threaten them with lawsuits.

They will be asking one question. The Cadman family maintains that a financial offer was made. The Prime Minister is on tape discussing such an offer. In light of these facts, how can he maintain that an inappropriate financial offer was not--

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works.

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, the only evading and hiding going on in Parliament are the Liberals on every confidence vote in the last two weeks.

We have been straightforward with the facts and, again, as I have said a number of times in the House of Commons, we could understand if the Liberals did not want to accept our word. They should just simply accept the word of Chuck Cadman who said no such offer was made.

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, we accept the word of Mrs. Cadman and her family. For two weeks, the Prime Minister has been avoiding our questions about the Cadman affair. He has launched lawsuits, gone on a trip and avoided the press.

For the next two weeks, he is going to have to face the Canadian people. Will he treat them with the same contempt?

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, if my colleague accepts Mrs. Cadman's word, then he should accept her statement that the Prime Minister has told the truth about this matter. Because the Prime Minister is telling the truth. Only one offer was made to Mr. Cadman: to rejoin our caucus, run as a Conservative candidate and be elected as a Conservative.

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I asked the Prime Minister whether he had mentioned to the reporter during the September 2005 interview that the offer made to Chuck Cadman was to have him rejoin the caucus. He said yes. I listened to the tape of that interview again and the Prime Minister never said that.

Will the Prime Minister finally tell the truth, that he never told the reporter during the September 2005 interview that the offer made to Chuck Cadman was to convince him to rejoin the Conservative caucus?

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have answered that question a number of times. The facts are simple and were repeated by Mr. Cadman himself at the time; we offered Mr. Cadman the opportunity to rejoin the Conservative caucus and take the Conservative nomination, with support for an election campaign. It is clear. Mr. Cadman even said so himself.

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister understood my question very well. I know why he does not want to answer it. I will try again. I am not asking him whether he told us in this House that the offer was to rejoin the party. That is what he told us in the House three years later. I am asking him what he said three months later. I submit to him that on the tape of that interview, he never told the reporter that Chuck Cadman was asked to rejoin the caucus. The only thing he said was that Mr. Cadman was offered financial considerations.

Will he admit that he never said, in that interview, that he asked Mr. Cadman to rejoin the caucus. That is the—

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The right hon. Prime Minister.

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the answer is no. Nonetheless, it is a bit odd for the leader of the Bloc to be talking to me about defeating the government two years ago. My agreement to defeat the government was with him, as leader of the Bloc Québécois.

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I do not understand what that has to with my question.

He just told us that in the taped interview in 2005, three months after the fact, he neglected to say that the offer was to rejoin the caucus. Yet it would have been easy for him to say that. It was the simplest explanation, and that is what he is saying today.

Why did he not remember that at the time, three months later, when he remembers now, three years later? This is nonsense. He has an excellent memory, as he has just proven. Why did he not say that? It is because it was not true.

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker—

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. Everyone wants to hear the hon. parliamentary secretary's answer. We must have some order so that we can hear.

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I agreed with the deputy leader of the opposition party when he said earlier this week that the basic issue was whether a member of the Canadian Parliament had been offered a financial inducement to change his vote. The answer to that question is no.

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would have expected the Prime Minister to show courage, accountability and transparency when faced with my question. But he is turning into a Liberal and remaining seated instead of answering the question.

Will he admit that he never told reporters that he had made Mr. Cadman an offer to rejoin the caucus? He never said that because he never made that offer to Mr. Cadman. That is the truth. He talked about “financial considerations”. What were those “financial considerations”?

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, the member is going to hurt himself by asking his questions so forcefully.

All we are asking the Bloc and the Liberal Party is to listen to what Chuck Cadman himself said. He said that he had never received the sort of financial offer the opposition is talking about. Mr. Cadman himself said that the only offer put on the table was for him to rejoin our caucus and run as a candidate for our party so that he would be re-elected as the Conservative member for Surrey North.

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

March 13th, 2008 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, Justice John Gomery not only said that the Prime Minister's Office is becoming too powerful, but he went on to say that the current system is, and I am quoting from Justice Gomery, “a danger to Canadian democracy and leaves the door wide open to the kind of political interference”.

We have certainly seen plenty of political interference lately, whether it was the chief of staff being embroiled in NAFTA-gate, or the Quebec adviser to the Prime Minister, who is under investigation by the Ethics Commissioner.

Will the Prime Minister follow Justice Gomery's advice and curb the personal power of the staff in his office? Will he finally bring in the police on NAFTA-gate?

Government AccountabilityOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we ran on a clear election platform in terms of reforming some accountability rules. That included many of the recommendations that Justice Gomery himself later made. Justice Gomery made recommendations after the election that this government has not accepted.

I would remind the House that we received representations from a wide range of Canadian government, political, and business leaders, urging us, for very good reasons, not to accept those recommendations; that they were not in the democratic interest. Those recommendations included advice from former NDP premiers Blakeney and--