March 30, 2004 (37th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Yves Rocheleau

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Yves Rocheleau (Trois-Rivières, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask my colleague from Beauce what he thinks of our political mores and the integrity of our institutions with respect to the situation today and that which prevailed in 1993, at the time the Liberals took power.
In fact, we know that, as a result of the sponsorship scandal, the government is trying to change its image and give itself a makeover. As for integrity, the government has announced certain measures in the latest budget speech in order to establish the Office of the Comptroller General of Canada, for example. It will appoint professionally accredited comptrollers to sign off on all new spending initiatives in every government department. Moreover, it will try to reorganize and strengthen the internal audit function on a government-wide basis.
Nevertheless, it is interesting to see what was said in the red book of 1993, which, it appears, has been tossed out the window by the supposedly new leadership of the Liberal Party and the government. In the introduction to the chapter entitled, “Governing with Integrity”, it says, and I quote:

Yet after nine years of Conservative rule, cynicism about public institutions... is at an all-time high.

They are referring to the voters, the Canadian public, the people of Quebec.

—cynicism about public institutions, governments, politicians and the political process, is at an all-time high. If government is to play a positive role in society, as it must, honesty and integrity in our political institutions must be restored.
The most important asset of government is the confidence it enjoys of the citizens to whom it is accountable. There is evidence today of considerable dissatisfaction with government and a steady erosion of confidence in the people and institutions of the public sector.

That is how we see it. This was written by the Liberals in 1993. Later, speaking about order-in-council appointments, the Liberals add:

The Conservatives made a practice of choosing political friends when making thousand of appointments to commissions and agencies—

Here, I think that the government took its inspiration from that nasty habit of Canadian culture when it named—for example—André Ouellet to Canada Post, David Dingwall to the Royal Mint, Jean Pelletier to VIA Rail, as Paul Tellier's successor.
Therefore, I would like to hear from my colleague, the hon. member for Beauce, what he thinks of the real changes that may have happened between the Conservatives' fiasco—which was about integrity—and the public fiascos we have just been through, to the point where it has become an international embarrassment to see this government acting like the government of a banana republic, as I am sure he will agree with me.
Therefore, I would like to know what my worthy colleague from Beauce thinks of all this.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   The Budget
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