....."With the arrests of these Babbar Khalsa militants a larger game plan has emerged. According to a report from the Press Trust of India, the blasts were part of a larger strategy to stoke communal tension and revive Sikh militancy. Militants have apparently revealed to the police plans to assassinate three prominent Sikh leaders of Punjab. Ammunition and explosives have been recovered from hideouts in Delhi." ......
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing -- Edmund Burke
Thursday, June 09, 2005
"The sorry history of the U.N. demonstrates precisely this truism. When it hasn't been a cash-cow for venal international bureaucrats, a venue for the machinations of corrupt autocracies, an anti-Semitic and anti-American megaphone, or a tool for furthering the totalitarian designs of Communist nations, the U.N. has been good only for issuing high-minded resolutions that it can't or won't back up, all the while corrupt regimes pursue their oppressive ends. Nothing shows this corrupt hypocrisy more than the U.N.'s obsessive demonization of tiny Israel. Because of this obsession, the U.N.'s Commission on Human Rights forbids Israel's membership but currently includes notorious violators of human rights such as Cuba, China, Pakistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Zimbabwe. And remember, despite rescinding, without comment or apology, its despicable Resolution 3379 equating Zionism with racism, that lie resurfaced at a U.N. conference in Durban in 2001, and periodically is repeated by Arab nations like Syria. Indeed, the U.N.'s hostility to Israel — almost 30% of its resolutions have been devoted to that tiny beleaguered state — at a time when oppression and slaughter have drenched the world in blood, demonstrates more than anything its moral bankruptcy and uselessness."......
Birds of a feather seem to flock together or at least speak with similar voices.Notice the similarities between AI and and these comments............
From Captains Quarters ........
and at MEMRI.........
"Bush, and Blair, and the Prime minister of Japan and Berlusconi, these people are criminals, and they are responsible for mass murder in the world, for the war, and for the occupation, through their support for Israel, and through their support for a globalized capitalist economic system, which is the biggest killer the world has ever known. It has killed far more people than Adolph Hitler. It has killed far more people than George Bush. The economic system which these people support, which leaves most of the people in the world hungry, and without clean water to drink. So we're going to put them on trial, the leaders, when they come. They think they're coming for a holiday in a beautiful country called Scotland; in fact, they're coming to their trial".
"When the administration asserts that it has never had a policy of abuse — when it asserts that the assaults at Abu Ghraib were the result of criminal guards acting wholly in violation of prison rules — the liberal media and left-wing advocacy groups are sure they are hearing a lie. Too bad they don’t bring such skepticism to reports of abuse by prisoners who have been trained to exploit American human-rights concerns and who know that the only place in the world where such allegations will be seriously worried over and investigated is in the land of the infidel."
Hon. Stephen Harper (Leader of the Opposition, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has had 24 hours to think about the question I asked him yesterday. He has appointed one Minister for Democratic Reform and another Minister for Democratic Renewal.
Could the Prime Minister please explain the difference between the two, and who is responsible for the democratic deficit?
Right Hon. Paul Martin (Prime Minister, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, multiple ministers have the responsibility for this, all working collaboratively, with the human resources minister coordinating the effort and overseeing the process.
If that is too difficult for the Leader of the Opposition to understand, perhaps we could give him private briefings.
* * *
Access to Information
Hon. Stephen Harper (Leader of the Opposition, CPC): Mr. Speaker, that is quite a job description, coordinating the effort and overseeing the process.
One part of fixing the democratic deficit is dealing with the government's addiction to secrecy. The Information Commissioner said that the government's discussion paper on access to information, “reveals a government preference for increasing secrecy and weakening oversight”.
With a cloud of scandal over the government, why is the Prime Minister choosing secrecy over transparency. Could he get one of his ministers to answer this?
Hon. Irwin Cotler (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to answer the question, particularly because I would just reverse the order.
We are seeking transparency and not secrecy. We seek exactly what the member opposite said. We are seeking openness, accountability and transparency. That is what I said to the committee and that is what I repeat in the House today.
Hon. Stephen Harper (Leader of the Opposition, CPC): Mr. Speaker, after 12 years I guess we keep on seeking.
Recently, the Information Commissioner commented that the sponsorship scandal would never have happened if the government had had a better Access to Information Act.
Why is the Prime Minister refusing to allow the Information Commissioner to examine all crown corporations, officers of Parliament, foundations and organizations that spend taxpayer money?
Hon. Reg Alcock (President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as the member opposite would know, if he read the reports that we have been tabling, it is our intention to make all crown corporations subject to the Access to Information Act.
What we need to do is bring forward to the House and pass the amendments that protect commercially confidential and sensitive information, and we have undertaken to do so.
Mr. Gilles Duceppe (Laurier—Sainte-Marie, BQ): Mr. Speaker, with regard to the tape affair, we are inventing nothing, we are quoting the Prime Minister himself and not the tapes. On May 31, he said in this House, and I quote, “—when the member approached the government, I was obviously informed”. He added as well that an offer had been solicited. At that point, the Prime Minister knew there was a possible criminal offence and he failed to inform the RCMP of it.
I put the question once again to the Prime Minister. At what point did he know that the Conservative MP was soliciting an offer from his chief of staff? Was it during the negotiations or after them, once they had been made public?
Right Hon. Paul Martin (Prime Minister, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as I have said repeatedly, we are talking about altered tapes.
Second, we are saying very clearly that no offer was made.
Third, unlike the opposition, we do not launch accusations of malfeasance gratuitously. We are basing our action on the principle that all MPs act in good faith. We may be disappointed sometimes, but, still, that is the underlying principle.
Mr. Gilles Duceppe (Laurier—Sainte-Marie, BQ): Mr. Speaker, I will never believe that the Prime Minister was guilty of malfeasance. I am quoting him. These are his words. He is the one who said, “an offer was solicited”. I am not quoting doctored tapes; I am quoting Hansard. These are his words. I did not doctor them. He said: “—an offer was solicited”. It was he who said it. He knew.
I am asking him to stop avoiding the issue and answer us. When did he know that an offer had been solicited? During the negotiations or after them? That is the question.
Hon. Tony Valeri (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister said that he was informed that the member for Newton—North Delta wanted to cross the floor. The Prime Minister said that no offer was made or was to be made and no offer was made.
The hon. member mentioned the RCMP. I would reiterate that the RCMP will determine whether there is anything to investigate in this matter. If the hon. member does have any information to provide the RCMP, then he should do so.
Mr. Michel Guimond (Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, BQ): Mr. Speaker, the Liberals' attitude is always the same and consists in denying and ignoring the whole issue. But the Deputy Prime Minister told us what to do when she said it was our duty to contact the RCMP. It is obvious that the Prime Minister knew what was going on, since he said, and I quote, “—the statement is absolutely clear that no offer was made, that an offer was solicited”.
The Prime Minister makes this kind of statement, but he never contacted the RCMP. My question to the Prime Minister is clear. When did he learn that an offer was solicited?
Hon. Tony Valeri (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, that is essentially the same question. I understand that the hon. member also wrote the RCMP to lodge a complaint, I assume, or ask the RCMP to investigate. The RCMP will determine where there is anything to investigate in this matter. In fact, if the member has any other information he would like to provide the RCMP, then all members in the House would certainly encourage him to do so.
Mr. Michel Guimond (Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, BQ): Mr. Speaker, I will again quote the Prime Minister, who said in this House, on May 31, “—when the member approached the government, I was obviously informed”.
Knowing that the member's move might be a criminal act, why did the Prime Minister act like an accomplice by refusing to report it?
Hon. Tony Valeri (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister said that he was informed the member for Newton—North Delta wanted to cross the floor. The Prime Minister also said that no offer was to be made and no offer was made.......
Hon. Stephen Harper (Leader of the Opposition, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I want to follow up on some questions that were asked earlier because I want to cut through a whole bunch of the spin that has been going around here.
The Prime Minister and his agents have claimed that the member for Newton—North Delta was soliciting an offer from them. If that is the case, why did neither the Prime Minister nor any of his agents ever report this to the appropriate authorities?
Hon. Tony Valeri (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, this question is coming from a member who supports tapes about which, frankly, every day more concerns are raised regarding their authenticity. Expert after expert comes forward and says these tapes have been changed in some way. The hon. member across the way does not have the courage to stand in his place and say that the member of Parliament from his party was wrong. What he does is stand in his place and defend something that is indefensible.
The Prime Minister made it very clear that no offer was made.
Hon. Stephen Harper (Leader of the Opposition, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I will ask the question again of the Prime Minister.
If the Prime Minister believed the member for Newton—North Delta was doing something wrong, why did he and his agents never report it to the appropriate authorities?
Hon. Tony Valeri (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, it is clear that the Leader of the Opposition sees nothing wrong in defending a member who has altered tapes. Jack Mitchell stated:
These tapes have been edited. This is not a maybe. This is not something that's unexplained. This is not, “Oh, this is odd”. This is a definitive statement. The tapes have been edited.
The member opposite stands in his place and defends these tapes. John Dooher said:
This sounds to me, not only that this is an edit, but an edit done with something very crude.
He is an audio expert. The Leader of the Opposition sees fit to defend that. I do not understand why.
* * *
Mr. Pierre Poilievre (Nepean—Carleton, CPC): Mr. Speaker, yesterday the public works minister denied his Liberal government paid $100 million in rent without a signed lease, but his communications director contradicted him, later admitting to the Ottawa Sun that there was no lease. She explained away the broken rules as nothing more than a bureaucratic snafu.
The minister has admitted the Liberal rent for nothing broke the law. One hundred million dollars is at stake here. Could he please define the meaning of snafu?
Hon. Scott Brison (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, snafu would be very easy to define. It is typically defined by the hon. member's questions every day on the floor of the House of Commons.
Yesterday the hon. member said there was no contract. As I told him yesterday, it was an irrevocable contract that was signed in 2001. The contract stated that the anticipated date of the commencement of the lease would be on December 1, 2003. The contractors lived up to their contractual obligations by delivering the building on time and on budget. The government believes in honouring its contracts and paying its bills.
Mr. Pierre Poilievre (Nepean—Carleton, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the hon. member admitted, when he was caught, having broken the law and then the government just went ahead and cancelled the law. Unfortunately, it did not do so retroactively, meaning that the period of the infraction still has a $200 a day fine for a total of $118,000 owed by a Liberal member.
Will the Liberal government collect that money or will it just continue to say to taxpayers “snafu”?
Hon. Scott Brison (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the Senate code of ethics was approved by this House in 2003.
Yesterday the hon. member referred to the new Senate code of ethics by saying:
Here you have a group of fat-cat unelected politicians who have a job for life and now we find out that they're policing themselves.
That is the same old Reform Party Senate bashing rhetoric that Canadians are sick of.
After decades of work, the Canadian Senate has a code of ethics and an independent Ethics Commissioner, and that is to be congratulated because it is good for the Senate and it is good for Canada.
Mr. Gary Lunn (Saanich—Gulf Islands, CPC): Mr. Speaker, we all know what happens when public works fails to follow proper contracting guidelines. Ad scam happens.
On May 16 the Canadian International Trade Tribunal ruled that once again contracting guidelines were not followed for the federal relocation contract worth $563 million awarded last November. Instead of accepting the tribunal's decision, the government's response was to appeal it to the courts.
Why should Canadians believe that the government is cleaning up its act when it will not even respect its own tribunal's rulings?
Hon. Scott Brison (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, after the contracts were awarded a complaint was launched by the unsuccessful bidder. The tribunal rejected two out of the three grounds set out in the complaint. This is a common procedure.
My officials reviewed the CITT ruling and determined that the appropriate course of action would be to file an application for judicial review with the Federal Court of Appeal. We look forward to that running its course.
Mr. Gary Lunn (Saanich—Gulf Islands, CPC): Mr. Speaker, once again we just get more spin and convoluted explanations.
The truth is that Canada is earning an international reputation for underhanded deals and contracting corruption. We need to correct this reputation now.
Liberals originally re-tendered the contract based on an earlier tribunal ruling but now that they do not like the findings of this ruling they decide to challenge it in federal court.
How can anyone believe that the government will clean up the mess in public works when political interference continues on the minister's watch on a regular basis?
Hon. Scott Brison (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, once again, these contracts were awarded in a fair, open and transparent process, a process that treated all bidders equally. It was overseen by an independent fairness monitor. The department chose a selection based on a combination of technical merit and price in order to get the best value for Canadian taxpayers while ensuring the delivery of the best possible services to Canadian public servants.