Winnipeg New Democrat Pat Martin can cram more attacks and clichés in 35 seconds than anyone else in the Commons. Still, he failed in this masterful tirade to rattle Rona Ambrose.
The Minister of Public Works calmly clung to her lines throughout Question Period as the opposition pounced on news of an RCMP probe into a $9-million contract to renovate Parliament. Here is the exchange:
Mr. Martin: Mr. Speaker, this is the government that rode into Ottawa on the horse of accountability. It said it would clean up Ottawa, but all it has done is replace dirty Liberal lobbyists with its own dirty Conservative lobbyists. So, now it is Conservative cronies who are using their connections to sell privileged access to juicy government contracts. The Public Works gravy train is alive and well. It just changed engineers.
We stopped Rahim Jaffer and we stopped this Gilles Varin, but how many more well-connected Conservatives are skulking around the hallways, the corridors of power, pedlling influence and getting these juicy contracts that they do not deserve?
Ms. Ambrose: Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated, no members of this government are part of this inquiry. However, if the RCMP does find any wrongdoings with any individual contractors, we expect that it will prosecute to the full extent of the law.