Skip to comments.Tories to renew attack (Canada's Conservatives not letting-up on corrupt Liberals)
Posted on 05/28/2005 7:26:00 AM PDT by GMMAC
Tories to renew attack
Return of House will see motions on Gomery, confidence
Tim Naumetz, with files from Chris Wattie, National Post
CanWest News Service, with files from the National Post
May 28, 2005
OTTAWA - The Conservatives have set the stage for a potentially acrimonious return to Parliament on Monday by blindsiding the government with three motions -- including one calling for indictments in the sponsorship inquiry -- for the first opposition day since the House of Commons showdown began last month.
The first Conservative motion listed on the order paper calls on the government to amend the terms of reference for Justice John Gomery's inquiry into the sponsorship scandal "to allow the commissioner to name names and assign responsibility."
Liberal party witnesses and advertising executives have testified that hundreds of thousands of dollars of sponsorship money were illegally funnelled to campaign workers and the Quebec wing of the federal Liberal party for election campaigns. Some of the testimony has been challenged by other witnesses.
The Conservative motion stems from opposition criticism that Judge Gomery will be prevented from assigning blame by a paragraph in his mandate that directs him "to perform his duties without expressing any conclusion or recommendation regarding the civil or criminal liability of any person or organization."
The paragraph also directs the judge not to jeopardize criminal investigations or trials.
During a visit to Toronto yesterday, Stephen Harper seemed to set the tone for the resumption of Parliament next week, telling reporters the Liberals are spending money to keep their government afloat.
"Just because we have the money doesn't mean we should spend it all," the Conservative leader said during a tour of a retirement home and Italian cultural centre in north Toronto. "It should be managed more carefully. ... I think a lot of money is being spent very unwisely so that Mr. Martin can keep his coalition [and] keep himself in power.
"We have a government that is up to its eyeballs in a corruption scandal -- it should be held responsible for that," he said. "We will continue to press for this government's removal. But as long as they're prepared to buy off the NDP and as long as the NDP's prepared to back corruption, it's going to be difficult to remove them."
In Ottawa, Conservative party spokesman Geoff Norquay acknowledged that Gomery motion on Monday is not binding on the government and will be no more than an expression of advice from the Commons. However, he said, the party intends in part to test the extent of the alliance the NDP forged with the Liberals in order to pass the budget.
"One of the things that will be revealed in the next little while is the extent of the NDP-Liberal coalition," said Mr. Norquay. "In our view, the NDP has signed on to support Liberal corruption and they will have to put their money where there mouth is and reveal whether they're in for a penny, in for a pound with the government."
NDP MPs have said since the budget vote, which included a bill containing $4.5-billion in new spending on social programs sought by the NDP, the party should wrest further concessions from the minority Liberals in return for continued support.
The NDP did not respond yesterday to a request for an interview.
A spokeswoman for Public Works Minister Scott Brison said the Tory move is unnecessary and an attempt to discredit the Gomery inquiry.
Press secretary Renee David said the Inquiries Act already gives Judge Gomery the mandate to assign blame once the inquiry is complete.
"It's a blatant attempt to discredit an independent judicial inquiry and the work of Justice Gomery," Ms. David said.
She said the paragraph prohibiting conclusions or recommendations about civil or criminal liability is a routine direction given to all commissions of inquiry to prevent them from interfering with the judicial process or fair trials.
The government also said yesterday that one of the motions, expressing non-confidence in the government, contradicts Mr. Harper's pledge not to try to topple the Liberals following the cliff-hanger confidence vote on May 19.
Furthermore, since the Conservatives gave the required 48-hour notice on three motions rather than one for the opposition House day scheduled for Tuesday, a spokeswoman for Liberal House leader Tony Valeri said the manoeuvre does not allow the Liberals a fair opportunity to prepare for the debate.
Under Commons rules, the government might not find out until Tuesday morning which of the three motions will be moved. A vote will be held following the debate on Tuesday or the next day.
Conservative House leader Jay Hill said the possibility of a confidence motion, moved by Mr. Harper himself, is a signal the government should not expect a free ride from the opposition simply because the budget passed by one vote.
© National Post 2005
This is not a criticism, merely an observation. Redundancy is indicated. The case against this decadent movement cannot be overstated.
Good! It's about time!
Fry the SOB's and fry them every chance you get.
Now if only our conservative leaders would do the same.
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