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House of Commons Hansard #60 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-10.

Topics

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this is amazing. The Leader of the Opposition talks about people being afraid of doing things. The reality of this is we have a Leader of the Opposition who completely reversed himself on his environment position on the throne speech, completely reversed himself on his criminal justice policy and completely reversed himself and even instructed his own members not to support their own budget position.

Yesterday they already retracted the allegation of a May 17 meeting. They are going to eventually want to retract these other allegations as well, but it is going to be too late.

EthicsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, Dona Cadman continues to maintain that her dying husband was offered a $1 million insurance policy if he changed his vote. Chuck's daughter says that it broke her heart that her father was put in this position. Chuck's son-in-law confirms that a financial offer was made.

Is it the Prime Minister's position that the people close enough to Chuck Cadman to know are lying? If so, how are Canadians going to believe that he alone is telling the truth?

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, those are obviously very tough words for the deputy leader. However, first, I would like to thank him for supporting and showing confidence in our government by supporting our budget last night. That was very good of him, and I thank him for that.

In fact, as has been said a number of times by Chuck Cadman himself and by the Prime Minister, the only offer that was put on the table to Chuck Cadman was our desire to see him present himself as a Conservative candidate and to get re-elected as a Conservative in a subsequent campaign. That was the only offer.

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is simply not a credible answer. It is not credible to argue that a dying man would accept a nomination for an election in which he could not participate.

I ask this again. Is the Cadman family lying?

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, Chuck Cadman was not lying when he said there was no offer, as the Liberals are accusing us of making. Chuck Cadman spoke the truth. The Liberals can continue to throw all these kinds of accusations and falsehoods forward, but as George Will once said, these are like cobwebs trying to lasso a locomotive, and it is not going to work.

The truth stands on its own and the truth is that the only offer made to Chuck Cadman was our desire to have him rejoin the Conservative caucus, to present himself as a Conservative candidate and to continue to stand for the things that he believed in for the people of Surrey North.

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the interview granted to Chuck Cadman's biographer in September 2005, which was recorded, we clearly hear the Prime Minister say, and I quote: “The offer to Chuck was that it was only to replace financial considerations he might lose due to an election—”.

Will the Prime Minister admit that what he was referring to in that interview was financial losses following an election and not financial assistance for an election campaign, as he claimed yesterday?

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, no, and the Leader of the Bloc Québécois asked several questions about a meeting on May 17. I must point out to the Bloc leader that the company withdrew that allegation from its book.

I know the Bloc leader does not think this party or this leader offered a life insurance policy to Chuck Cadman at that time in his life.

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the date, May 17, was removed from the book, but the Prime Minister's remarks were not.

He says, for instance, that it was, and I quote in English:

“to replace financial considerations he might lose due to an election”.

He cannot erase or change this. It is still in the book. Will he now explain to us what he meant by the words “replace financial considerations he might lose”? What does that mean? We have heard enough of these ludicrous explanations.

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, I would like to tell the leader of the Bloc Québécois that all that—

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. The parliamentary secretary has been recognized. He has the floor. We will have some order, please.

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I did not yell when he was asking his question. He could listen to my answer. All that we have admitted saying to Mr. Cadman was what was said on May 19; that we wanted him to join our caucus and run as a candidate for the Conservative Party. That was the only offer put on the table and Chuck Cadman said so himself.

EthicsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, that does not hold water.

The idea that Conservative Party representatives asked Chuck Cadman to run as their candidate does not hold water because David Matta was already running for the Conservatives and he had never heard anything about being pushed aside. The Prime Minister was clear on the tape. It was never a matter of candidacy, but rather a question of financial considerations presented to Chuck Cadman to force an election.

Instead of dodging the issue, the Prime Minister should admit, as he already has in a recorded interview, that the Conservative Party made financial offers to Chuck Cadman.

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 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, my colleague is not making any sense. There was indeed a candidate, but Chuck Cadman said no to our offer to rejoin the Conservative Party and our caucus. There was no conversation with Mr. Matta after that conversation because Mr. Cadman said no.

As I have said a number of times, the only offer on the table was our desire to see Chuck Cadman come back to the Conservative fold and run as a candidate for us in the 2005 election campaign.

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, that does not hold water because in addition to the recording of the Prime Minister, Mr. Cadman's wife, daughter and son-in-law are saying that financial offers were made. The Prime Minister is saying he did not know the details.

Is asking Mr. Cadman to be a candidate a detail when he was critically ill and the Conservative Party already had a candidate? Is that really a detail? Quite the detail.

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 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, only three people were at that meeting. My colleague was not there and there were no Liberals at that meeting. There were three people at the meeting: Chuck Cadman, Doug Finley and Tom Flanagan.

Each person has said that the only offer on the table was to see Mr. Cadman run as a candidate for the Conservative Party. All three people said the same thing. Chuck told the truth in his public life; he told the truth in interviews with the media. Chuck's words will live on.

The Bloc Québécois should try to differentiate between fact and fantasy.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to the government's apparently effective interference in the U.S. primary process, the government certainly cannot be trusted to investigate itself.

Yesterday the government said that it was going to investigate the second NAFTA leak, but what about the first leak, the leak that actually caused this entire international incident, which in fact has now damaged Canada-U.S. relationships?

I think the Prime Minister needs to clear this up once and for all. Will he tell us who caused the first leak and will he call in the RCMP to investigate the second Obama leak?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I have already said in the House, this kind of leaking of information is completely unacceptable and in fact may well be illegal.

I can say that the Clerk of the Privy Council, obviously working with the Department of Foreign Affairs, is bringing in an internal security investigation on this. Based on what they find and based on legal advice, we will take any action that is necessary to get to the bottom of this matter.

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, we would have appreciated a clear answer of “yes, we will bring in the police”. It is that serious. I think the Americans need to hear that we are serious about this issue.

No wonder we are facing a crisis of confidence in elected officials. We have an official opposition that will not show up to vote. On Cadman, we get half-truths half the time. When it comes to issues like helping out lobbyists, they can always count on the deputy press secretary to the Prime Minister.

My question to the Prime Minister is simply this: where is the openness and the “we'll get to the bottom of it” attitude that he tried to sell to Canadians during the last election? Where has that gone?

Canada-U.S. RelationsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I do not think that I could be plainer: we will take every step necessary to get to the bottom of this. The leak of this kind of information, for whatever reason by whomever, is completely unacceptable to the Government of Canada.

It is not useful, it is not in the interests of the Government of Canada, and the way the leak was executed was blatantly unfair to Senator Obama and his campaign. We will make sure that every legal and every investigative technique necessary is undertaken to find out who exactly is behind this.

EthicsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Prime Minister was forced to admit that it was his voice on Mr. Zytaruk's recording. In response to a question about a $1 million insurance policy, he can be heard answering, “I know that there were discussions.”

Will the Prime Minister finally tell us what he knew about this $1 million insurance policy?

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 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, there was in fact no life insurance policy proposal that was made. The Prime Minister has made that clear.

But I again would like to thank my colleague from Beauséjour for his support of the budget last night and his confidence in the government. Last night he confirmed what I have suspected for a long time: that the people of Beauséjour were never better served than when the hon. member did not show up to vote.

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister admitted that it is his voice on the Zytaruk tape. On the tape, the Prime Minister is directly asked about an offer of a million dollar life insurance policy to Mr. Cadman. The Prime Minister answers, “I know that there were discussions...”.

What did the Prime Minister know about these discussions and the offer of a million dollar bribe to Mr. Cadman?

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 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, there were no discussions about a million dollar bribe. The accusation is outrageous. That is why the Liberal Party in the future will be paying a serious and steep price for making these false criminal allegations.

The only conversations that took place with Chuck Cadman happened on May 19. Doug Finley and Tom Flanagan sat down with Chuck Cadman and expressed our desire to have Chuck Cadman rejoin the Conservative caucus, present himself as a Conservative candidate and get re-elected as the member of Parliament for Surrey North.

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, here is the Oxford dictionary's definition of the word “bribe”: “to dishonestly persuade (someone) to act in one’s favour by paying them or giving other inducement”.

Keeping that in mind, could the Prime Minister explain the tape and its specific mention of “the offer to Chuck”? Could he tell us why any offer at all to persuade Mr. Cadman to vote with the Conservatives could be interpreted as anything but an attempt to bribe him?