Here is the transcript from yesterday’s Question Period in the House:
Hon. Stephen Harper (Leader of the Opposition, CPC): Mr. Speaker, today Liberal spin doctors and Liberal lawyers actually have the gall to try to depict the Liberal Party as the victim of the sponsorship scandal. Caught as it is, will the government at least have the decency to simply admit that the only victim is the Canadian taxpayer whose money was stolen?
Right Hon. Paul Martin (Prime Minister, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Party consists of thousands of men and women in Quebec and right across this country who are dedicated to the Liberal Party and to their country. They work day in and day out for the benefit of Canadians. Those members of the Liberal Party should not have to bear the rumours or the burden of the activities of a very small few who may have colluded against the party and against the well-being of Canadians.
We will defend those Liberals. These are Canadians who have given their all for their country.
Hon. Stephen Harper (Leader of the Opposition, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the judge, the police and Canadians will be the judges of how involved the Liberal Party has been.
On another subject, last week Canadians finally learned the details of the brutal torture and murder of journalist Zahra Kazemi in Iran. It turns out that for months the Prime Minister knew the true extent of the brutality inflicted upon Ms. Kazemi. Instead of taking a firm stand against Iran, he sent our ambassador back to that oppressive regime.
What kind of callous, spineless government re-establishes normal diplomatic relations with that kind of regime?
Right Hon. Paul Martin (Prime Minister, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, let me respond first to the preamble. The fact is that Canadians do merit having the facts and should have the facts. That is why I called for the Gomery commission. That is why this government put that commission in place. It is precisely to have those facts. That is why there should not be an election until Justice Gomery has reported, because Canadians deserve to know the facts.
Right Hon. Paul Martin: Now if I may respond to the hon. member’s question over the baying on the other side–
The Speaker: I am afraid the right hon. Prime Minister has used up the time responding to the preamble, but I suspect there might be a supplementary question from the hon. Leader of the Opposition.
Hon. Stephen Harper (Leader of the Opposition, CPC): Mr. Speaker, let me just say that was a perfect example of what is wrong with the government. He should have used the opportunity to defend a Canadian citizen, not the Liberal Party.