April 5, 2006

CPC

Diane Finley

Conservative

Hon. Diane Finley (Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, we are delivering two times as many dollars for our child care program than the Liberals ever did in 13 years. We are going to create 125,000 new spots, and we are going to do it in consultation and collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders so we make sure that it happens.

Our choice in child care delivery will take effect July 1, with the permission of the House.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Child Care
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LIB

Ujjal Dosanjh

Liberal

Hon. Ujjal Dosanjh (Vancouver South, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's conflict of interest code states that ministers shall avoid even the appearance of being under an obligation to anyone who might profit from special consideration.

The Minister of National Defence was a registered lobbyist until February 2004, representing at least 28 defence firms. Why did the Prime Minister appoint that minister in violation of his own code?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Ethics
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CPC

Stephen Harper

Conservative

Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I can simply assure the House and the hon. member that the Minister of National Defence has complied with all aspects of the conflict of interest code and will be an outstanding Minister of National Defence. He brings tremendous knowledge to an area of government that needs a lot of rebuilding after 13 years of that party in office.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Ethics
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LIB

Ujjal Dosanjh

Liberal

Hon. Ujjal Dosanjh (Vancouver South, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister claims the accountability act as the top legislative priority of his government, but his defence minister's list of former clients reads like a who's who of the defence industry.

Defence procurement represents nearly half of all government procurement. Why did the Prime Minister give that portfolio to a former defence lobbyist?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Ethics
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CPC

Stephen Harper

Conservative

Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, once again, the Minister of National Defence is not only in compliance with all the conflict of interest rules of the previous government but with much more stringent conflict of interest rules that we are introducing.

I will only say that it is about time we had a Minister of National Defence who had some background and some knowledge in national defence.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Ethics
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CPC

Brian Pallister

Conservative

Mr. Brian Pallister (Portage—Lisgar, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have been told two different stories about David Dingwall: first, that he quit; and second, that he was fired. Either way, the previous Liberal government--

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   David Dingwall
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?

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   David Dingwall
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LIB

Peter Milliken

Liberal

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. member for Portage—Lisgar has the floor. I know that occasionally his comments cause some merriment in the chamber, but it seems excessive at the moment.

The hon. member for Portage—Lisgar has the floor and we will hear his question.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   David Dingwall
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CPC

Brian Pallister

Conservative

Mr. Brian Pallister

Methinks he doth protest too much, Mr. Speaker. Either way, the Liberal government found a way to pay David Dingwall severance, $400,000 plus, just before election day and in secret.

The arbitrator's report will clear up many questions surrounding this sordid affair. Will the Prime Minister release that report?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   David Dingwall
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CPC

Stephen Harper

Conservative

Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for his persistence in this matter. You will know that he has spent months, without success, trying to get to the bottom of the actions of the previous government.

I can confirm that the government has received the arbitrator's report dealing with Mr. Dingwall. Mr. Dingwall has agreed to its release and my officials are first making every effort to ensure that other individuals named in the report will also agree to its release. When we have achieved that, we will be all too happy to table it in the House of Commons.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   David Dingwall
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NDP

Pat Martin

New Democratic Party

Mr. Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have a democratic right to be represented by the political party that they elect to represent them. The Prime Minister offended all Canadians when he seduced the member for Vancouver Kingsway over into his camp and talked him into crossing the floor.

Floor crossing undermines the democratic process and fuels cynicism. Will the Prime Minister use his new accountability act to put an end to floor crossing and these musical chairs once and for all?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Members of Parliament
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CPC

Stephen Harper

Conservative

Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I do not think I have ever been accused of seducing anyone, even my wife.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Members of Parliament
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?

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Members of Parliament
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LIB

Peter Milliken

Liberal

The Speaker

Order, please. The right hon. Prime Minister has the floor.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Members of Parliament
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CPC

Stephen Harper

Conservative

Right Hon. Stephen Harper

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member will know that what he is asking for is not the position of this party. I explained that in televised debates during the election campaign. There are members of the House who favour that position, and if a private member wants to bring that forward, it of course will become votable in this Parliament.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Members of Parliament
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NDP

Pat Martin

New Democratic Party

Mr. Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I do not think the government believes in true transparency and accountability any more than the last gang did. The Prime Minister will not even talk to the media. He holds his secret cabinet meetings at midnight in the Diefenbunker and he is stripping out the ATI provisions from the accountability act.

There is plenty of room in the accountability act to answer this serious concern that Canadians have. They care about this. They want the practice stopped. Will he commit today to ending the practice of floor crossing once and for all?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Members of Parliament
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CPC

Stephen Harper

Conservative

Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, as I have said before, I believe members of Parliament should have that freedom and be accountable to their constituents for their decisions at the next election. However, in my observation, the only parties that really have this as an obsession are the parties that no one ever crosses to.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Members of Parliament
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LIB

John McCallum

Liberal

Hon. John McCallum (Markham—Unionville, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I look forward to engaging the Minister of Finance in lively but civil debate in the coming days and weeks.

Yesterday, on reading the throne speech, not a very long read, I was puzzled by one point. What is so terribly important in the Conservative agenda to justify increasing the personal income taxes paid by hard-working Canadians?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Taxation
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CPC

Jim Flaherty

Conservative

Hon. Jim Flaherty (Minister of Finance, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the proposal is to reduce the GST by a full percentage point. This is a tax cut for which Canadians voted and on which we intend to deliver. I can assure the member opposite that overall Canadians will pay less tax under this government than they did under the previous government.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Taxation
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LIB

John McCallum

Liberal

Hon. John McCallum (Markham—Unionville, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I had the impression from a story today in the Toronto Star that the minister might be making progress and seeing the light, that he was perhaps acquiescing, at least in part, to our position that it was wrong to raise the income taxes of Canadians at this time.

Will he confirm the story in the Toronto Star suggesting that he will keep the income tax that is now in place which was put forward by the Liberals? Will he confirm that story today and relieve all those millions of Canadians who do not want the burden of their income tax to increase?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Taxation
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April 5, 2006