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House of Commons Hansard, question period, Thursday, May 19, 2005

Mr. Peter MacKay (Central Nova, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the government's mistrust fund for repayment of dirty sponsorship money is yet another duplicitous trick on the eve of an election. Just a month ago the Liberal Party voted against a motion to set up the same type of trust.

The promise to deposit money into a trust for repayment to the Government of Canada should it be judged to have been received inappropriately is laughable. Clearly money was stolen, and like the account itself, the promise is empty. What all this really means is not one red cent will be set aside in all likelihood until after another Liberal election campaign has been run with dirty money.

Will the Prime Minister come clean and confirm that to date, no money has been put in a trust account to reimburse the Canadian taxpayer?

Hon. Scott Brison (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, once again the Prime Minister has been clear and the party has been clear from the beginning that if any funds have been received inappropriately, they will be returned to the Canadian taxpayer.

The establishment of the $750,000 trust fund is a goodwill measure that will establish to Canadians a step in that direction, but the final transaction to the Canadian taxpayer cannot occur until we have all of the facts. That is why it is important that Justice Gomery complete his work and work with party auditors to ensure that we have all the facts. I can assure the hon. member and all Canadians that the Liberal Party will be doing the right thing in returning every penny inappropriately received.

Mr. Peter MacKay (Central Nova, CPC): It is pretty hard, Mr. Speaker, to take that member or any other Liberals seriously when they talk about trust funds of any kind.

If the Prime Minister wants to assure Canadians that money was really set aside to repay the taxpayer for the kickback cash used by his party in at least two elections, he has a chance to do so. He could demonstrate a grain of integrity and some semblance of a higher level of civility to enhance the public trust instead of his continual unethical behaviour and desperate partisan tactics to be reckless with people's lives and their money.

Will he simply agree to have the Auditor General today audit this account and assure Canadians that the money is actually there?

Hon. Scott Brison (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, once again, Canadians know that this Prime Minister keeps his promises, because he is doing the right thing to get to the bottom of this issue. Canadians know that this is a Prime Minister who has put country above party, he has put principle ahead of partisan strategy, and he has done the right thing to get to the truth, which Canadians deserve.

That hon. member ought to clean up his own house and his own party because they owe money to David Orchard. David Orchard is still looking for the money that that party owes him and he is not getting any response.

Our party is doing the right thing in fixing the problem. They are ignoring the problem.

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