House of Commons Hansard #96 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was dna.

Topics

Gasoline Pricing
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

NDP

John Solomon Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, the big oil companies that are earning record profits are now threatening to hold consumers ransom in their fight with the government over sulphur levels in gasoline.

The government should be protecting consumers and our air quality and supporting the latest environmental technologies, but the responsible departments cannot even agree on their bottom line. Meanwhile, consumers who are already being gouged now face shortages at the pump, independent retailers face bankruptcy, and gas prices are set to rise by yet another 10 cents a litre. Why are the oil companies and the government holding consumers up for ransom?

Gasoline Pricing
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has it all wrong. We are not in any collusion with the oil companies. In fact, I have to say the government generally agrees with the tone of the hon. member's concerns.

The fact is that the health benefits of what the oil companies have been proposing are not good enough. My colleague, the Minister of the Environment, has said quite consistently that the oil companies would have to propose something that protected the health of Canadians to the same degree or better than the current regulation.

He also said that the regulation was about protecting the health of Canadians and that any proposal by the oil companies would have to demonstrate that there could not be any exception to the protection of health.

Gasoline Pricing
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

NDP

John Solomon Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, it is a question of competence. The Liberals' left hand does not know what the right hand is doing. Meanwhile, record gas prices could rise even further.

The government and the oil companies have had years to work on these problems. Here were are down to the wire. Both sides have dug in their heels and consumers are supposed to pay for the Liberals' incompetence.

A litre of gas costs 78 cents in St. John's today. They can little afford it. Do the Liberals really want to be the ones on guard when gas hits $1 in Newfoundland, or will they finally agree that it is time to establish a federal energy price review commission?

Gasoline Pricing
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, what is funny about this is that the member comes the province of Saskatchewan where his own party has been in power for a number of years. We know that pricing at the retail level is entirely within the jurisdiction of the province. His own party refuses to take any such action in the province from which he comes. Why does he not call his own government in the province of Saskatchewan and ask it if it wants to regulate prices in that province?

In the meantime, I have to wonder about the tone of a question that seems to put emphasis on a clean environment yet still wants even cheaper gasoline when Canada, second to the United States, has the cheapest gasoline of any developed country.

Highways
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Transport. The minister recently announced a $175 million program to address rural roads in western Canada.

Will the minister extend that $175 million program to rural highways in eastern Canada which also suffers from bad highways and has to compete as well as the western provinces?

Highways
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, my hon. friend well knows that in the budget the Minister of Finance announced that there would be $2.65 billion over six years for infrastructure, including $600 million specifically for national highways. The province of Nova Scotia will certainly have access to those kinds of funds.

He will also know that the $175 million of new money that I announced this week will help farmers in western Canada adjust to the new competitive world. I assume the Conservative Party has some cares about western Canada, at least as much as the Liberal Party does.

Highways
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, he says he wants to help the western provinces adjust to the new economy. The eastern provinces have to as well.

Perhaps he could explain to me the thought processes when he is deciding how to spend the $175 million. There is a highway in Nova Scotia on which 50 people have died in the last six or seven years, mostly young people. We could put the money in that or we could put the money in rural highways in western Canada to help grain transportation. How does the minister make the decision to put grain transportation over saving lives?

Highways
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is talking about two different programs. I have said to him that there is money available under the infrastructure program to deal with the very tragic circumstances of Highway 104 in Nova Scotia. I would ask him to talk to his provincial colleague in Nova Scotia to make that a priority at the provincial level.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Reform

Rahim Jaffer Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Modes Conili grant is a disaster royale. The MP for Ahuntsic lobbied the government for a $700,000 grant for Modes Conili and received a $7,000 donation from the company, the single biggest donation to a re-election campaign. Instead of creating new jobs, we see jobs transferred from Paris Star to Modes Conili.

How can the minister justify the government wasting $700,000 in public funds for the devious transfer of jobs?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Oakville
Ontario

Liberal

Bonnie Brown Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, this is the information that has been handed to the RCMP. I would ask the member how he can justify the allegations and the insinuations that he is making in the House about one of his colleagues who sits across the floor. If he believes what he is saying, I would suggest that, if he has the courage, he make those allegations outside the House.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Reform

Rahim Jaffer Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, the two letters that have been obtained from the two companies concerned, Paris Star and Modes Conili, prove that jobs were in fact transfers, not new jobs created.

My question for the parliamentary secretary is: Why is it that all the dirt at HRDC only gets referred to the RCMP after questions are raised in the House?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Oakville
Ontario

Liberal

Bonnie Brown Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the information was passed promptly to the RCMP as soon as we had our hands on it.

Shipbuilding
Oral Question Period

May 12th, 2000 / 11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Antoine Dubé Lévis, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Monday, the Minister of Transport confirmed that Marine Atlantic had purchased a used ferry for Newfoundland, which will go into service in 2001 because it needs to be upgraded. In the meantime, the corporation has to lease another ferry. Does the minister realize that his penny-pinching election-minded decision will deprive the shipyards of Canada and Quebec of hundreds of jobs?

Shipbuilding
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I hope that the hon. member is fully aware of the pressure on the Canadian government. Marine traffic to Newfoundland has increased in the past two years and we did not have the time to wait for a new boat to be built.

That is why we bought one offshore. However, I have instructed my officials regarding the future replacement of Marine Atlantic's existing fleet. A Canadian replacement program will be developed.

Shipbuilding
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Antoine Dubé Lévis, QC

Mr. Speaker, what an illogical answer. The minister himself just confirmed that he should have taken this decision two years ago. Then there would have been time to build a boat. Since he has decided to lease another ferry and the boat he has bought will not be ready until 2001, he would have had the time to have another one built.

Why is he depriving shipyards in Canada and Quebec of hundreds of jobs?