Friday, June 03, 2005

Question Period- Hansard excerpts- June 3/05- Part I

Mr. Peter MacKay (Central Nova, CPC): Mr. Speaker, there is a pattern in the Prime Minister's parliamentarian purchase plan. First, develop plausible deniability by trying to insulate the directions of the Prime Minister. Second, when caught on tape, deny, deflect and divert attention to some tampered tape excuse.

We saw with ad scam no responsibility in the Liberal government, just rogue bureaucrats.

The Prime Minister's chief of staff and his Minister of Health are caught red-handed acting as agents trying to buy Tory votes to save a corrupt government.

Is the real reason the Minister of Health and the Prime Minister's chief of staff remain that they were simply acting on the Prime Minister's instructions to do whatever was necessary to save his corrupt government?

Hon. Anne McLellan (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I honestly wish the official opposition would stop making these wild accusations and allegations without evidence that call into disrepute, not only their actions, but the responsibilities of all of us as ministers and members of Parliament in this House.

I think if there is any pattern here, it is a pattern being established by the official opposition. Yesterday afternoon the deputy leader said, “It is my understanding that those tapes are pristine. They haven't been altered, edited, nothing of the nature”.

We have the member for Calgary Southeast referring to four hours of discussions.

We have not seen four hours of tapes. They are--

The Deputy Speaker: The hon. member for Central Nova.

Mr. Peter MacKay (Central Nova, CPC): Mr. Speaker, it is on the tape what matters. That is what is in question here.

There is a bad smell emanating from the government's sordid attempts to buy votes, including attempting to get the Ethics Commissioner to take the cloud off an investigation and suggestions as to an RCMP investigation.

Tim Murphy's crass assertions hurt the office of the Ethics Commissioner. The commissioner himself said, “The cloud is over the person who makes the suggestion, not the office”.

Any complaints about his office being bandied about in these negotiations are wrong.

Why has the “let's make a deal Prime Minister” not fired his chief of staff for even attempting to manipulate an officer of Parliament?

Hon. Mauril Bélanger (Minister for Internal Trade, Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Minister responsible for Official Languages and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the Ethics Commissioner is an independent officer of Parliament, chosen by all parties of this House. He himself will make his own determination in this matter.

He also said that he had not been approached by Mr. Murphy.

If any member has any information, such as the two hours of missing tapes, apparently, that can be provided to the Ethics Commissioner, we would ask the members opposite to do so.

Á (1120)

Mr. Peter MacKay (Central Nova, CPC): Mr. Speaker, even a senior Liberal member of Parliament is calling for the Minister of Health and the chief of staff to step down until an investigation into the vote buying takes place.

The member for Sarnia—Lambton says, “The situation is totally odious and it makes his skin crawl”. Another senior member says, “The bar is so low...”, probably lower than his mentor, Jean Chrétien.

The Prime Minister promised to bolster trust by ensuring Canadians know, “That it is always the public interest that motivates the public business”.

Why did the Prime Minister let the bar drop so low by allowing his personal ambition to pervert the public interest? What shoddy ethics from the highest office--

The Deputy Speaker: The hon. Deputy Prime Minister.

Hon. Anne McLellan (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister was absolutely clear. When it came to his attention that a member of the official opposition might be interested in crossing the floor, the Prime Minister made it absolutely plain that no offer was to be made to that individual. It is that simple.

Mr. Jay Hill (Prince George—Peace River, CPC): Mr. Speaker, what is absolutely clear is the level and depth of corruption in the government. The self-proclaimed wire brush of ethics was going to restore integrity to Parliament. That is a joke.

Instead, the Prime Minister's own caucus has this to say about his ethics:

The bar is so low now.... Have you ever seen anything like this?

Everybody gets away with stuff. It's just a joke.

Will the Prime Minister take the first step in restoring integrity to Parliament by doing the right thing and demanding that his health minister and chief of staff step down?

Hon. Anne McLellan (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, if we want to throw quotes around in this House, let us see what the member for Edmonton—St. Albert had to say about the conduct of the member for Newton—North Delta.

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

He said that he would not do it. Or let us quote from the member for Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, where he says:

"I don't think it helps the atmosphere of a minority Parliament...to be secretly taping conversations.

There are lots of quotes.

Mr. Jay Hill (House Leader of the Official Opposition in the House of Commons, CPC): Mr. Speaker, today we learned from Hardev Bal and Kushpal Gill that as early as April 30 the Prime Minister was trolling to bring the member for Newton—North Delta across the floor to save his government.

Tapes now prove that both the Prime Minister's chief of staff and the Minister of Health were the Prime Minister's agents in this sordid vote-buying scheme. Neither Mr. Murphy nor the Minister of Health have been asked to step aside by the Prime Minister. Is this not because the Prime Minister was ultimately micromanaging this vote-buying scheme?

Hon. Anne McLellan (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I would advise the hon. member to be very careful about the allegations that he is throwing around. He has just referred to two individuals as the agents of the Prime Minister. That is a legal conclusion and it is another example of how those members do not have the guts to go outside and make that claim, but they come in here and are willing to destroy the reputations of innocent people and the offices they hold..........

Mr. John Reynolds (West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, CPC): Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Deputy Prime Minister claimed there was no intention on the part of the Prime Minister to offer anything to any member who would consider crossing the floor to join the government. Yet the words spoken by the Prime Minister's chief of staff and the health minister indicate the exact opposite. It was wink, wink, nudge, nudge, sort of like Monty Python's flying circus but far more sinister.

Is there anyone on that side of the House who can provide a single shred of evidence that contradicts the evidence on the audiotapes that Liberals are prepared to do anything to maintain power?

Hon. Anne McLellan (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I will simply say again that the Prime Minister was absolutely clear that no offer was to be made to anyone. But let me suggest that when talking about people who are willing to do anything, it does seem passing strange to me that we have this situation where yesterday the deputy leader of the official opposition was talking about pristine tapes, unaltered and so on, and then a few hours later the very same party said that the tapes were altered.

Mr. John Reynolds (West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, CPC): Mr. Speaker, we know that the chief of staff and the health minister met and talked numerous times with the member for Newton—North Delta. There are two possible explanations: either the chief of staff and the health minister have too much time on their hands, or they are addicted to meetings. There is no other explanation for all those meetings between the Minister of Health and the chief of staff, especially after the Prime Minister ordered them not to make any offers.

How many meetings do Liberals have to have before they can say no?

Hon. Anne McLellan (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I think the problem here is that the member for Newton--North Delta would not take no for an answer........

Mr. Richard Marceau (Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, BQ): Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's chief of staff is intimating that he could put pressure on the ethics commissioner to hurry up an inquiry report on the Conservative member for Newton—North Delta.

How is it the Prime Minister is still hesitating about suspending his chief of staff who, according to the tapes, indicated his intention to influence the ethics commissioner?

Hon. Mauril Bélanger (Minister for Internal Trade, Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Minister responsible for Official Languages and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, first, the ethics commissioner is an officer of the House. He is completely independent. He is chosen by all parties in this House. He alone will decide on this matter, since it has been brought to his attention, I believe.

Second, the commissioner himself acknowledged that Mr. Murphy had not spoken to him on this matter.

Third, when tapes that have been altered, reduced from four hours to two hours in length, are used as evidence, considerable caution must be exercised in making statements of the type made by the member opposite.

Mr. Richard Marceau (Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, BQ): Mr. Speaker, the commissioner himself has described the remarks of the Prime Minister's chief of staff as unacceptable. He also said that if there are any clouds hanging over anyone they are over the person making the suggestion, Tim Murphy, and not over the office of the ethics commissioner.

In the light of such a blatant allusion to political interference, does the Prime Minister not feel his chief of staff should withdraw immediately?

Hon. Mauril Bélanger (Minister for Internal Trade, Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Minister responsible for Official Languages and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the ethics commissioner said “if there are any clouds”. I believe the hon. member opposite would do very well to follow this matter.

Judgments cannot be made based on recordings that have been altered. That is recognized now. They were reduced in length from four hours to two hours. I therefore think that the ethics commissioner, this House's independent officer, should be permitted to decide for himself, as he is empowered and is intending to do.

Mr. Stéphane Bergeron (Verchères—Les Patriotes, BQ): Mr. Speaker, on the tape, we can hear the member for Newton—North Delta say, “If we have something then we don’t need to lie to the media. We can tell them that OK, if we do something out of encouragement and conviction, then you have to have something for that. Some reward or whatever”. To which the Prime Minister's chief of staff replied, “Right”.

If that is not indicative of a desire to buy a member's vote, what is it?

[English]

Hon. Anne McLellan (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, first of all I go back to the fact that we need to be very careful in terms of the allegations that we throw around in this place.

Yesterday we had an assertion that the tapes that are in the public domain were pristine or unaltered. A few hours after that statement was made, we discovered that this was not the case. I think we need to be very, very careful here in terms of the kinds of allegations that are being made and the basis on which they are being made.

[Translation]

Mr. Stéphane Bergeron (Verchères—Les Patriotes, BQ): Mr. Speaker, since the Minister of Health is challenging the quality of the translation of his remarks from Punjabi, I will read an excerpt from what the Prime Minister's chief of staff said, and he said it in English. He said, “I think it is important that we are honest about it. But [we] also think that those people who take risk are ought to be rewarded for the risk they take”.

If that does not hold the promise of an offer, what did it mean?

[English]

Hon. Anne McLellan (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.): Again, Mr. Speaker, let me be absolutely clear. The Prime Minister said that no offers were to be made and that is as simple as the matter is, but let me say that I think we in fact come back to a very basic proposition here, which is that the hon. member for Newton—North Delta was simply not willing to take no for an answer.

Question Period- Hansard excerpts June 3/05 Part II

Government Contracts

Mr. Pierre Poilievre (Nepean—Carleton, CPC): Mr. Speaker, taxpayers paid millions of dollars in rent for an empty building owned by the company of a Liberal senator. In committee hearings over this Liberal rent for nothing scandal, the public works minister admitted that his Liberal caucus colleague broke the law. I asked the minister, “You learned that he was contravening section 14 of the Parliament of Canada Act from me in question period?” The minister's reply, “That's correct”.

Liberals wasted money and broke the law. When will they stop paying the rent?

Hon. Walt Lastewka (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, if I could go over the sequence of events, the building in question was first started in May 2001. By the way, in December 2001 the contract was awarded. It was an irrevocable offer to lease. The document was signed. A fairness monitor, KPMG, was involved in the whole process and the building was done on time and on budget.

The situation with the departments moving in is that they were merging and it took a little time to merge those departments. There were 1,000 people involved in the move.

Á (1140)

Mr. Pierre Poilievre (Nepean—Carleton, CPC): Mr. Speaker, on May 17 the minister's lawyer wrote the senator's company threatening to cut off the rent by the end of May because of this violation, but after a mysterious phone call, the minister's department granted the Liberal senator another month's rent worth half a million dollars. That is a half a million dollar phone call.

What happened during this secret phone call? What dirty deal was cut to give the Liberal senator's company another half a million dollars?

Hon. Walt Lastewka (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, let me reiterate. The contract was signed in 2001, an irrevocable offer to lease legal document. Let me also reinforce the fact that yes, when the Minister of Public Works heard about the situation, he acted immediately. He has referred it not only to the company but to the individual involved.

The Minister of Public Works should be complimented. On hearing of this, he immediately took action. That is what the minister does. He takes action.........

Sponsorship Program

Mr. Jim Gouk (British Columbia Southern Interior, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I previously asked a question in the House regarding the laundering of ad scam money through VIA Rail, where Lafleur Communications Marketing was paid $112,000 to carry a cheque from public works to VIA Rail. It then turned around and donated half the money back to the Liberal Party of Canada.

The question was answered by the then public works minister, now in charge of Canada's finances, who stated that he too was troubled by this file and had referred it to the RCMP. That was three years ago. What results do we have from this three year investigation that so troubled the present finance minister?

Hon. Walt Lastewka (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the Gomery commission was appointed by this Prime Minister. The Prime Minister has said that we should let the Gomery commission do its work and it has done its work.

I know that there has been an ongoing parallel investigation here of no value at all, but the Gomery commission has done its work. Justice Gomery has concluded hearing witnesses and we look forward to the time when the Gomery commission reports to the House. I can assure members in this place and Canada as a whole that once Gomery reports, this government will take action.

Mr. Jim Gouk (British Columbia Southern Interior, CPC): Mr. Speaker, if after three years there are no results of such blatant money laundering it seems that it was only the bad publicity that troubled the minister. The Minister of Finance was at the time in charge of public works and is now in charge of the nation's finances. He should have been more concerned about the operation of public works then and about the theft of taxpayers' money now.

Given this incredible example of the ad scam at its worst, will the government commit to returning its proceeds from this theft of taxpayer money now, today?

Hon. Walt Lastewka (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, it is very obvious that the member and the opposition do not understand that there was an inquiry and that Justice Gomery has done his work. He finished the work with witnesses yesterday and is now moving on to his report.

He will report in the fall. He will tell us exactly what happened. He will name names and he will also tell us about responsibility. He will make sure that we understand what needs to be changed, and this government will take action and it will take action immediately.....

Canada Post

Mr. Brian Pallister (Portage—Lisgar, CPC): Mr. Speaker, today is the day. Judge Gomery has completed nine months of listening to countless witnesses testify. He will be reviewing thousands of pages of documents.

Coincidentally, it has also been nine months since supposedly Revenue Canada began investigating the former chairman of Canada Post who still has not accounted for his $2 million in self-approved receipts. It has been nine months and any other Canadian would have been called to account in nine days.

When will the minister admit that he is covering up for his Liberal crony, or will he announce the date the audit will be made public?

Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, Mr. Ouellet provided some documents in December to Canada Post, but they did not cover all the expenses set out in the original Deloitte Touche report. Canada Post has given all the documentation to the Canada Revenue Agency and will continue to collaborate with the agency fully with the audit that is under way. The board of directors of Canada Post will take all necessary action at the conclusion of the Canada Revenue Agency audit.

Á (1155)

Mr. Brian Pallister (Portage—Lisgar, CPC): Mr. Speaker, that is a stalling tactic and it is a marathon audit.

The Prime Minister told party faithful last night at a speech in Montreal that “those who abuse the system will all be held accountable”. Video will show very likely that he was winking at the time.

If there were any other Canadian involved in a case like this, Revenue Canada would have completed that audit, penalties would have been levied and possible jail terms would have been provided to those wrongdoers.

The revenue minister has failed the people of Canada. He has not upheld the responsibilities of his office. It is time for the government to admit that if it were interested in cleaning up anything, it would clean up the revenue minister and--

The Deputy Speaker: The hon. Minister of Finance.

Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, personal insults and spurious allegations do not advance either the substance of the issue on the table or the reputation of the House.

The fact is the government, at all levels from the Prime Minister through all the ministers, has made it very clear that in this whole affair whatever needs to be investigated will be investigated through the Auditor General, or through the police, or the Gomery process or independent processes and on the basis of those facts, properly determine the proper consequences which will be followed without exception.

The tragedy of the U.S. Marine Corps

"That being said, all the tradition and honor and uniforms in the world cannot make up for what in my opinion is the biggest mistake they’ve made in years: the Ilario Pantano mess.

I say “mess”, not because Pantano is a mess; but because everything about this case was - and I do mean everything.

The Corps took one of their own - an officer who had served proudly and with distinction - and crucified him on the cross of political correctness, in a society where too many are more concerned with how we look to the world than how safe we are. His accusers were sloppy and unbelievable at best, and at worst they were simply malicious; determined to ruin a career and a man who was so much more than they would ever be. The case itself was flimsy on all counts - no real eyewitnesses, conflicting statements. Even prosecution witnesses ended up sounding like advertisements for the defense."



via Michelle Malkin

More hypocrisy via Canada Free Press

The Sunday Telegraph article

Trafficking in Persons Report

"In his 2005 inaugural address, President Bush gave renewed voice to the hopes and dreams of people around the world who seek lives of freedom. He said, "America will not pretend that the jailed dissidents prefer their chains, or that women welcome humiliation and servitude, or that any human being aspires to live at the mercy of bullies." Yet for millions of people entrapped each year in vicious schemes of labor and sex trafficking, freedom is denied. These trafficking victims are deprived of their most basic human rights and fall into modern-day slavery. President Bush, the Congress, and the American people are united in efforts to eradicate trafficking in persons internationally and within national borders because this global crime opposes the universal value of freedom"

Victor Hanson

"In response, we have embarked on the only strategy that offers a lasting victory: Kill the Islamic fascists; remove the worst autocracies that sponsored terrorists; and jump-start democratic governments in the Middle East.

Our two chief worries — terrorists and weapons of mass destruction — wane when constitutional societies replace autocracies. Currently few democratic states harbor and employ terrorists or threaten their neighbors with biological, chemical, or nuclear weapons, even if they have ample stockpiles of each.

Where will it all end? Our choices are threefold".........
.

Hanson's prolific and very, very good.Here's another excellent column

Toronto's Police Chief

He can't clean up the streets alone.Let's hope he gets the community and governmental assistance needed to keep the citizens safe.

Grewal tapes-..........

The spin is trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.The old adage of the best defense is an offense is being played out once again.Canadians heard and read the transcripts and didn't fall off a turnip truck. They are quite capable of making up their own minds without it being misinterpreted for them.The only question would be matching up the voices with the individuals and that shouldn't take more than 2 hours.It could have been done in the time it took to spin the story about a few seconds of glitches in a 2 hour tape.

The problem comes down to the fact that despite all the hollow words of making improvements in how Canadians are governed, the buck never stops in Ottawa- it's more like a hot potato flipped from person to person.Parents trying to impress upon their kids to become good citizens will really be impressed with the banana republic we seem to have become.Those soldiers who died for Canada's freedom will be rolling around in their graves .

Gomery Commission- Gagliano was the last witness

Chantal Hebert-

"If there is a lasting subtext to the tape transcript that has immortalized tawdry Liberal haggling over the purchase of the soul of a Conservative opposition member this week, it is that precious little stands between Paul Martin and a repeat of the sponsorship episode.

Justice John Gomery can be as thorough as is humanly possible in his report — and there is every probability his recommendations will fully live up to the high hopes of Canadians — but even he cannot make up for the poor quality of the moral fibre of a government."

Question Period - Hansard excerpts - June 2/05

Mr. Peter MacKay (Central Nova, CPC): Mr. Speaker, in response to allegations of vote buying, the Prime Minister initially said, “ I made it very clear that no offers were to be made, and no offers were made”. Yet yesterday he admitted knowledge of the negotiations.

The attempts to distance himself from this deal are failing. The tapes show the health minister saying, “Cabinet can be arranged right away”. The health minister and the Prime Minister's chief of staff set up the deal and the Prime Minister, the big boss, seals it or formally okays it.

Does the Prime Minister still deny that his health minister and chief of staff were making a deal on his behalf?

Hon. Anne McLellan (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I think the Prime Minister has been very clear about this, but let me clarify it again. When the Prime Minister was informed that the member for Newton—North Delta was interested in joining our caucus, the Prime Minister was absolutely clear in relation to what he told Mr. Murphy. He told Mr. Murphy, “do not make an offer” and no offer was made.

Mr. Peter MacKay (Central Nova, CPC): Clear as mud, dirt actually, Mr. Speaker. The RCMP have the tape so we will see.

The Prime Minister said that he would never meet with the member for Newton—North Delta, yet the tapes say otherwise. His chief of staff said that the Prime Minister would only meet once a deal was in place. He said that he would formally okay it. That was the way previous defections were handled.

We only have to take a look around the benches to see how that works. A deal was offered. The chief of staff said that the Prime Minister would be “prepared to talk to you directly both by phone and subsequently in person as we see fit”.

There is a blatant contradiction between the Minister of Health, the chief of staff and the Prime Minister's version of events. Which Liberal is telling the truth?

Hon. Anne McLellan (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, there is no contradiction. The Prime Minister was clear. The Prime Minister told Mr. Murphy that there was no offer to be made. There was no offer made.

Mr. Peter MacKay (Central Nova, CPC): What we know, Mr. Speaker, is that the Prime Minister has made a career out of playing a clever game of plausible deniability and attempts to hide some of his sordid vote buying activities.

This well orchestrated plan goes like this. A third party, usually a Liberal confidant, makes the initial offer. The chief of staff claims that this allows the government to say, “The independent party played the role, like we didn't approach, you didn't approach”. Then the chief of staff works out the details and the Prime Minister closes the deal at 24 Sussex.

Why does the Prime Minister not just stand up and admit what Canadians have come to know, that in his desperation to cling to power, the Prime Minister will do anything?

¸ (1420)

Hon. Anne McLellan (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.): I think, Mr. Speaker, it would be more appropriate to cast our eye on the benches of the official opposition over there. It seems to me that some, including the member for Newton—North Delta, would do almost anything to leave that side of the House.

Mr. Peter MacKay (Central Nova, CPC): The fact, Mr. Speaker, is some did.

Last night CTV television reported that the RCMP had launched an investigation into the corrupt deal making efforts of the Prime Minister. Then the station received a call from the Prime Minister's Office saying that the RCMP was only reviewing the complaints and further questions would be directed to the RCMP.

How did they know in the PMO, and could the Prime Minister tell us when his communications department became the official spokesperson for the RCMP?

Hon. Anne McLellan (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, let me make it absolutely plain. No one from the Prime Minister's Office contacted anyone in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Mr. Peter MacKay (Central Nova, CPC): Mr. Speaker, we will just have to take their word for that. Time will tell. This is very reminiscent of the efforts to interfere with the Ethics Commissioner.

The Globe and Mail reports today that the RCMP said that it was only reviewing the complaint, only after the RCMP spokesperson, Nathalie Deschenes, told the Globe and Mail that an investigation had been launched.

Why was the police investigation suddenly downgraded to a review, and was the Prime Minister once again exercising political interference in an RCMP matter?

Hon. Anne McLellan (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, let me clarify for everyone. The RCMP is an independent law enforcement body. As I have said in the House before, if anyone is in possession of any information that he or she believes points to an alleged criminal offence, it is that person's obligation to turn that information over to the RCMP. It is then up to the RCMP, and the RCMP alone, to review that information and determine whether an investigation is to proceed.........

Mr. Michel Gauthier (Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean, BQ): Mr. Speaker, it would be interesting to hear the Deputy Prime Minister answer the question put to her. Was the Prime Minister informed of the fact that the Conservative member was asking for some compensation or reward to join the Liberal caucus? Did the Prime Minister know that such a request had been made?

[English]

Hon. Anne McLellan (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister made it plain that no offer was to be made in this situation. I am sorry, I do not know what else one can say. The Prime Minister said there were to be no offers made and no offers were made.

[Translation]

Mr. Michel Gauthier (Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean, BQ): Mr. Speaker, let us be clear. If the Prime Minister was aware that the member had set conditions for supporting the government and no offer was made, could the minister explain two things to us? First, why did the chief of staff and the Minister of Health spend four hours talking with the member? Four hours to tell him they had nothing to offer sounds like a long time.

Second, why did the Prime Minister not inform the RCMP, knowing that a criminal act might be committed? That is clear.

[English]

Hon. Anne McLellan (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, let me be plain about this. The Prime Minister was aware of the fact that the member for Newton—North Delta had approached our side of the House. The Prime Minister was clear that no offers were to be made to the member for Newton—North Delta and no offers were made.........

Mr. Gilles Duceppe (Laurier—Sainte-Marie, BQ): 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 this 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.

[English]

Hon. Anne McLellan (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.): 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.

[Translation]

Mr. Gilles Duceppe (Laurier—Sainte-Marie, BQ): 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—

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

[English]

Hon. Anne McLellan (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.): 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.

[Translation]

Mr. Gilles Duceppe (Laurier—Sainte-Marie, BQ): 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—

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

[English]

Hon. Anne McLellan (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister was clear. There were to be no offers made and no offer was made.

[Translation]

Mr. Gilles Duceppe (Laurier—Sainte-Marie, BQ): 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 advisor 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?

[English]

Hon. Anne McLellan (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.): 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.

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What's the real cost of the Child Care Program?

Question Period- Hansard excerpts- June 2/02 (between this and the costs of implementing Kyoto-Canadians are going to be in for quite a surprise to their pocketbooks)

Mr. Pierre Poilievre (Nepean—Carleton, CPC): Mr. Speaker, on Tuesday I asked the social development minister how much it would cost to fully implement his day care bureaucracy. He said no one can know, yet the NDP, which wrote this year's federal budget, seems to know. It estimates $10 billion per year. Major unions, day care industry groups and other supporters of the minister's day care bureaucracy say it could be more than $10 billion.

The minister should quit dodging. How much will it cost in the immediate future to fully implement your day care bureaucracy?

The Speaker: I urge the hon. member for Nepean--Carleton to address his remarks to the Chair.

The hon. Minister of Social Development.

Hon. Ken Dryden (Minister of Social Development, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as I said to the hon. member the other evening, with our early learning and child care system we are in our early stages. We want to develop a true system, as education has been developed over the last 100 years and as health care has been developed over the last 100 years.

At those particular times no one knew at that moment how important or how costly those systems would be, but as we look back in time we see how important that health care system has been and how important that education system has been to us.

Mr. Pierre Poilievre (Nepean—Carleton, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the minister has effectively just admitted it will take 100 years to finally implement his program. We know it will take 100 years to pay for it.

This bureaucracy will cost $10 billion a year or more. The Liberals have only budgeted $1 billion. That leaves a $9 billion black hole. Is it not true that the only way to pay for this $10 billion bureaucracy is through higher taxes on working families and on parents?

Hon. Ken Dryden (Minister of Social Development, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the creation of this kind of system is in the same way as the health care system costs parents and families, as education costs parents and families. We just need to ask any member of the public whether he or she wants the kind of health care system and education system that we have been able to build in this country in the last 100 years.

Seems like a lot of people talk the good talk but............