Pierre Poilievre, parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Transport, responding this afternoon to the NDP’s Alexander Boulerice, who asked if the government would allow a parliamentary inquiry into the G8 Legacy Fund to proceed.
Mr. Speaker, there already has been an inquiry into it. There has been an exhaustive review by the interim Auditor General. If I could quote a truly great Canadian, “The facts have not changed.” Everyone could take a moment now to recognize that truly great Canadian, ladies and gentlemen, the honourable member for Calgary East.
The member for Calgary East is Deepak Obhrai, who was, until yesterday, the Conservative MP assigned to handle questions about the G8 Legacy Fund when John Baird is absent from the House.
Today’s round of Legacy Fund questions after the jump.
Alexandre Boulerice: Monsieur le Président, on sait que le député de Parry Sound—Muskoka a géré une caisse occulte de 50 millions de dollars à partir de son bureau de comté. On sait que malgré la présence de plusieurs hauts fonctionnaires, aucun document n’a été remis à la vérificatrice générale. Là, surprise, on apprend qu’il n’était pas seul. D’autres ministres se sont joints au party quand ils ont été invités à soumettre des projets d’infrastructure. Le gouvernement persiste-t-il à croire qu’il n’y a aucun fait nouveau et que les ministres impliqués dans le scandale du G8 n’ont rien à se reprocher?
Pierre Poilievre: Monsieur le Président, c’est clair que l’ancien ministre de l’Infrastructure a pris ces décisions. En outre, chaque dollar est justifié. Il n’y a aucun cent qui manque. M. Wiersama, l’ancien vérificateur général, a reconnu cela quand il a dit: « Nous savons ce que nous avons reçu et nous savons qu’il y a 32 projets. Chacun de ces projets financés ont été annoncés par le gouvernement. Ils peuvent être trouvés sur le site web du département. »
Alexandre Boulerice: Monsieur le Président, on est entre nous. On va se dire les vraies affaires. Gaspiller 50 millions de dollars de l’argent des contribuables, utiliser les comptes du gouvernement comme son compte de dépenses politiques, cela a toutes les allures d’une très beau scandale politique, financier et éthique. Si, comme les conservateurs le prétendent, ils veulent appliquer les recommandations de la vérificatrice générale, si une de ces recommandations est que le Parlement aille au fond des chose dans ce dossier, allez-vous accepter de vous soumettre à une commission d’enquête parlementaire complète sur le scandale du G8?
Pierre Poilievre: Mr. Speaker, there already has been an inquiry into it. There has been an exhaustive review by the interim Auditor General. If I could quote a truly great Canadian, “The facts have not changed.” Everyone could take a moment now to recognize that truly great Canadian, ladies and gentlemen, the hon. member for Calgary East.
Charlie Angus: Mr. Speaker, 139 days and the Muskoka member is still hiding behind the backbenchers and not explaining why he hid the paper trail in his office. Now the Auditor General said he broke the rules and has called on Parliament to investigate. That was before we learned about all the other cabinet ministers who were taking his lead and going to the pork buffet as well. A simple question. How many other ministers circumvented the rules, took this man’s lead, and used the taxpayers’ Treasury Board as their own personal cash machine?
Pierre Poilievre: Mr. Speaker, I clearly could not say this with the same level of eloquence as my colleague for Calgary East, but what I will try to explain to the hon. member, who has heard this answer so many times before, is that the minister responsible for infrastructure made this decision, that all 32 projects are public, every dollar is accounted for, and the projects came in under budget. That is the reality. The reality, also, is that that member across the way has promised his constituents time and time again to support the elimination of the long gun registry. Will he honour his word, do the right thing and vote for our bill to do just that?
Charlie Angus: Mr. Speaker, if the big game hunter on the back benches is going to take down this scandal, he is going to have to put a little more ammunition in his pop gun. The facts are that since the Muskoka minister has to hide behind members like him to answer, I will do him a favour and I will speak for the Muskoka minister. He said “If set up a parallel process where the Auditor General did not know, I would be resigning right now and turning myself into the local police.” The question to my good friends on the Conservative back benches, will someone volunteer, do the right thing, help this verbally challenged minister, put up a hand and call 1-800-Huntsville PD.
Pierre Poilievre: Mr. Speaker, the member continues to ask the same question, so he will continue to get the same answer. The reality is that the former minister of infrastructure made this decision. He has taken responsibility for it. The reason we know what these projects are is because they are all published on the Infrastructure Canada website. There are 32 of them. We know where the funds went. We know that it came in under budget. We know that every dollar went toward building the projects that have been published.