Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Zingers from Hansard

American Congressmen can get all fired up in congressional debate, but there are just some things that are really . . . not said in session. Tougher comments are for outside the chambers. However, it almost seems the opposite here in Canada, perhaps because of parliamentary privilege. Inside the House it's no-holds-barred. No one in the States reads the Congressional Record for amusement, but the oppo (mostly the CPC and the Bloc) is getting some good stuff into Hansard right now; of course, the Liberals are not amused.

Mr. Dave Batters (Palliser, CPC): [Last paragraph in section] I will paraphrase the member for Newmarket—Aurora. When she sat on this side of the House she said that the Prime Minister was the first mate on the good ship Chrétien before she decided to join that ship.

[Mr. Batters continuing] Let us talk about the immigration minister's ferocious appetite for pizza and the $138 bill for two people, which is more than a family of four spends in a week for groceries. Let us talk about the Minister of Foreign Affairs and his travelling chauffeur if we want to talk scandal. Let us talk about crony appointments to the Senate. Let us talk about André Ouellet from Canada Post. I can go on and on.

Hon. Pierre Pettigrew: And you are the fifth party in Quebec.

Mr. Dave Batters: The member is obviously upset about the chauffeur comment.

Not quite a "zinger", but an excellent point:

Mr. Pierre Paquette [Joliette, BQ]: Madam Speaker, what has struck me from the start of this debate is the Liberal's capacity to play the victim. I am greatly impressed. Every time they are presented with facts, whether by us, by the Conservatives, or by the NDP, there are accusations of rumour mongering and character assassination. We are basing ourselves solely on the contents of the Gomery report. Yet we had to ask questions of the government in order to get that report.

As the member for Bourassa [Denis Coderre, with whom M. Paquette is sparring] often says, in recent years question period has not been answer period. So we have had to keep our questions coming. Had any answers been forthcoming, things might not be where they are today.

I think on this, at least, I do like the Canadian way better.

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