Mr. Jason Kenney (Calgary Southeast, CPC): Mr. Speaker, yesterday, in response to a question from me about the apparent seizure of documents from the Department of Public Works, the minister said, "I am informed that last week the RCMP contacted Public Works [which] provided an invoice to the RCMP...".
Is it the position of the minister that the invoice ran over 100 boxes long? Is it not true and will he not confirm that over 100 boxes of information were taken from the offices of his department by the RCMP related to the sponsorship inquiry?
Hon. Scott Brison (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, yesterday that hon. member said on the floor of the House of Commons that in fact the information that was voluntarily provided by Public Works to the RCMP in full cooperation with the ongoing investigations of the RCMP was in fact withheld from the Gomery inquiry.
He was wrong. In fact, that information had been provided to the Gomery inquiry on at least two occasions previously. In fact, over 28 million pages of documents have been provided by the Government of Canada to the Gomery commission.
That hon. member should rise and apologize to the House.
Mr. Jason Kenney (Calgary Southeast, CPC): Mr. Speaker, is that not interesting? The minister will not deny that he claimed yesterday that an invoice was seized when in fact, by all appearances, over 100 boxes of evidence were taken from the offices of his department.
We are not going to accept the transparent diversions of the minister. We would like a straight answer. Were over 100 boxes of information seized by the RCMP from his department and were those boxes of information relevant to the sponsorship inquiry, yes or no?
Hon. Scott Brison (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the fact is that there are several ongoing RCMP investigations and Public Works has cooperated fully with the RCMP.
Some hon. members: Oh, oh.
Several ongoing RCMP investigations? After the argy-bargy died away, Scott Brison tried to recover:
Hon. Scott Brison: Mr. Speaker, the fact is that Public Works is cooperating fully with any RCMP investigation. That is the right thing to do. Beyond that, Public Works is cooperating fully with the Gomery commission by providing over 28 million pages of documents to the Gomery commission.
"Several" becomes "any". "Ongoing" disappears completely. But too late -- everyone heard what he said.
Scott Brison needs to explain himself. He announced "several" ongoing RCMP investigations on the floor of the House. That was captured in the official transcript. He should be required to enumerate each and every investigation, when it was started, who is running it, and the nature of the allegations being investigated.
Let's see what happens on the floor of the House next week.