House of Commons Hansard #52 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was services.

Topics

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dave Chatters Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, the price of gasoline has been going through the roof across the country. This morning the price of gas in Victoria was 95.9¢ a litre.

The Minister of the Environment is on public record, indicating that he believes motorists are not being charged enough for their gasoline. Could the minister tell his constituents in Victoria how much more they should expect to pay?

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

R. John Efford Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, all members opposite and all members in the House know and understand quite well what is happening to the world price of oil. Internationally and globally, the price per barrel of oil has escalated to almost $40 a barrel. That is being reflected at the pumps. There is nothing that he or I can do to stop the world price of oil. Consumer demand is growing worldwide.

We are concerned about it. We are checking into it to see if everything is being done according to the Competition Act. If there is anything wrong done, it will be corrected.

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dave Chatters Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am not surprised the minister did not want to answer my question. A study that the Minister of the Environment commissioned speculated that the price of gasoline would have to double to change Canadian driving habits to meet the targets within Kyoto. This would produce increased revenue to the Canadian governments by over $33 billion a year.

Is it not a fact that his government's position is that we need higher gas prices to meet his Kyoto targets?

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

R. John Efford Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, every member of the House and every minister in the government is quite concerned about the price of oil, reflected at the pumps by gasoline, home heating fuel, all of it. We are very concerned about it. It is an international problem. The Competition Bureau is checking into it and if there is anything reflected in that investigation, it will be dealt with by the Competition Bureau.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

May 11th, 2004 / 2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, perhaps I can get the environment minister to answer a question here. Almost half the cost of a litre of gasoline is taxation. Half that taxation comes to Ottawa. Virtually none of it goes back to municipalities at all.

What I want to know from the Minister of the Environment, the minister for Victoria, is this. Does he not believe that perhaps giving some of those gas tax dollars back to the city of Victoria might help it clean up the over 80 million litres a day of raw sewage pumping into the environment minister's own riding?

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, indeed, sharing the fuel tax with municipalities will help them with a whole variety of local priorities and that is why this government invented that idea on the recommendation of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

Airline Industry
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, as the cost of fuel goes up, it is not just consumers and drivers who are hit. It is also the air industry that is hit. Fourteen per cent of Air Canada's overall net costs is the cost of fuel and this government is doing nothing whatsoever about it. We have heard nothing from the Minister of Finance and nothing from the Minister of Transport at all.

Over 30,000 jobs are at stake with Air Canada and this government is completely silent. It is silent on excise fuel taxes and it is doing nothing about eliminating the air tax and nothing at all about landing fees.

Why does the government not have anything at all to say about helping the air industry by lowering fuel taxes so that more people will fly and the air industry will be safe and ready to go for the future?

Airline Industry
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Stoney Creek
Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, in fact the air industry is safe. I do not understand why that member continues to portray that kind of message.

In fact, what is happening is that we have more competition in the air sector today than at any time before. We have Jetsgo, we have CanJet, we have WestJet, and we have Air Canada, which is going through a restructuring period, always a difficult time. I would refer the hon. member to the comments made by Judge Farley just recently, which called on all individuals involved in the Air Canada restructuring deal to get around the table, strike the deal and ensure that Air Canada comes out a strong and united company.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Savoy Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. In my riding of Tobique—Mactaquac, the provincial government is making significant changes to the way rural health care will be delivered. Can the minister assure my constituents that health care services in the rural communities will continue to meet the standards of availability and accessibility as guaranteed by Canada's Health Act and can he tell us whether this important issue of rural health care will be addressed at this summer's meetings with Canada's premiers?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada is committed to working with the provinces and territories to identify ways we can best serve rural areas. Provinces have the primary responsibility for the organization and delivery of health care services to their residents. The Government of Canada confirmed its commitment to improving access to quality health care for all Canadians by increasing its support by $34.8 billion over five years.

In October 2003, Health Canada and the CIHR--

Health
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Churchill.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Bev Desjarlais Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. Given that the Liberal strategy is to yet again try to pretend there is a big difference between its health care policy and the Conservatives' health care policy, I am sure the health minister can answer a very simple question. However, I predict he will not answer a very simple question, because the real difference is between what Liberals say and what they do, but let us see.

Does the health minister condemn the growth of private, for profit delivery of health care that we have seen since the Liberals took office in 1993, yes or no?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, let me be very clear. If the opposition member has a difficulty seeing the difference between us and them, I will tell her that between the tax cutters, who pretend that while cutting taxes substantially they would be able to build a new health care system, and the mega-spenders, who live in the 1970s and want to have the health care of the 1970s, we Liberals have a way to build a plan which we will build with the provinces. It is a plan that Canadians will be able to trust because it will be between the tax cutters and the mega-spenders. It is a balanced approach.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Bev Desjarlais Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, if I were a Liberal MP being told by the Earnscliffe boys to pretend there is a big difference between the Liberal health policy and the Conservative health policy, I would be a bit nervous with a Liberal health minister who has no opinion on the growth of private, for profit delivery over the last 10 years.

Let us try another simple question. In the 1997 red book, the Liberals promised a pharmacare plan, but seven years later we are still waiting. Can the health minister explain why the Liberals chose to spend $100 billion on tax cuts instead of keeping their promise to help Canadians with prescription drug coverage?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we have been working on catastrophic drugs; it is in the health accord of 2003. This is a government that will continue to work with the provinces. We are working on the home care front. We want to do a better job on primary care with the provinces. We will be looking into doing more on the pharmacare side, as we already have done in the health accord of 2003.

Our health system is a work in progress. We believe it needs to be improved year after year to reflect the values and interests of Canadians and the evolution of our society.