House of Commons Hansard #55 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was foreign.

Topics

The Environment
Oral Question Period

February 11th, 2005 / 11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, just days away from the coming into force of the Kyoto protocol, the Minister of the Environment indicated that the Canadian government would seriously consider purchasing polluting rights in exchange for clean development projects abroad, to achieve its objective on greenhouse gas reduction.

Instead of sending taxpayers' money abroad to buy rights to pollute, does the Minister of the Environment not think that it would be more appropriate to invest here in Canada to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the source, and to impose on major polluters the burden that they should bear?

The Environment
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, indeed, the bulk of our initiatives must be implemented here in Canada. However, the Kyoto protocol includes provisions that allow countries to exchange emission permits. If this process is well thought out, it will help the environment. It will also help the Canadian economy, because we will be able to export our technologies, our know-how regarding environmental services, and thus conquer new markets.

This emission market is there to stay, to expand. Therefore, it is in the best interests of Canadians to learn quickly the recipe for success.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are confronted to a real political windsock. We know for a fact that the Quebec official responsible for negotiating a bilateral agreement is in Ottawa today.

Instead of discussing the system to exchange pollution rights, will the minister tell his officials to sit down with Quebec government officials and negotiate a bilateral agreement that is based on the conditions—

The Environment
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of the Environment.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, when the hon. member talks about a windsock, I suppose he is referring to the Government of Canada's policy to strengthen the wind power industry across the country and make Canada a leader in this sector. I suppose this is what he means, because I cannot imagine for one second that he wanted to insult one of his colleagues, definitely not.

Gasoline
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Yvon Lévesque Nunavik—Eeyou, QC

Mr. Speaker, while the price of gas regularly goes up for no reason, the federal government is doing nothing to help the consumers affected most by the repeated crises. People from remote areas are being penalized by the minister's inaction. Yet, there is something the government could do.

What is not setting up a petroleum monitoring agency, as unanimously recommended by the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology in 2003?

Gasoline
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Chatham-Kent—Essex
Ontario

Liberal

Jerry Pickard Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, every member of the House is concerned about the cost of gasoline in this country. There is no question about that. However we must realize who has the authority to control gasoline prices in this country. It primarily is the provinces.

I find it odd that people from the Bloc would be talking about infringing upon provincial legislation in order to change the direction.

Let me assure all members that the Competition Bureau is always looking at this issue and we on this side of the House are ready to strengthen the Competition Bureau's input.

Gasoline
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Yvon Lévesque Nunavik—Eeyou, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would remind the minister that, in addition to setting up an agency to monitor competition in the oil industry, it could beef up the Competition Act, specifically to enable the competition commissioner to call witnesses and ensure their confidentiality. He was on the committee that unanimously recommended this. What is he waiting for?

Gasoline
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Chatham-Kent—Essex
Ontario

Liberal

Jerry Pickard Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I understand that within Quebec alone there is an additional 4¢ on gasoline, which causes all people in Quebec on the provincial level more hardship than they normally have had.

However we must make sure that in Canada the Competition Bureau can work on this issue and make certain that things go forward. I would reiterate again that the Competition Bureau looks at those costs and does a stellar job of making sure they are fair.

Telecommunications
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, a broad consensus is emerging in calling for a telecommunications policy review. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Bell Canada, Motorola, Mitel and the Montreal Economic Institute have all called for the government to review their telecommunications framework.

What is the delay? Why is the Minister of Industry dragging his heels with regard to a review of telecommunications policy in Canada?

Telecommunications
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Chatham-Kent—Essex
Ontario

Liberal

Jerry Pickard Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

In Industry Canada, Mr. Speaker, there are always changing essential issues that come up. The government, as well as the CRTC, is looking at emerging issues that are happening in industry and we are revising policy on a regular basis to make sure we have appropriate legislation there.

It is not clear what has been suggested at this point in time by industry representatives, but we will be working on that issue and moving forward as information is available.

Telecommunications
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, what the industry has been calling for is less regulatory burden on the industry. This is what even members of the Liberal Party called for over two years ago, but the government has failed to act on it.

The fact is that the CRTC and the regulatory framework governing this industry are cumbersome, slow and outdated. Foreign ownership restrictions need to be relaxed. The government has failed to appoint a vice-chair for the telecommunications industry. The VoIP decision has been delayed.

The fact is, one of our best industries is left to dither while this government is dithering over a decision. When is this government finally going to relax the burden on the telecommunications industry in Canada?

Telecommunications
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Chatham-Kent—Essex
Ontario

Liberal

Jerry Pickard Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I have to reiterate the fact to the members across the way that we are always looking at ways in which we can modify and improve telecommunications in this country. There are extremely difficult issues to deal with in the telecommunications industry, but this side of the House is always looking at ways to improve communications to the public, which is the important issue in this case.

Post-Secondary Education
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Conservative

Peter Van Loan York—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, in a report this week, Bob Rae has exposed this government's use of Canada student loans to make money rather than assist students with education. The government charges students prime plus 2.5% interest. That is 6.75% right now. Yet the government pays less than 2% on Canada savings bonds.

Is it any wonder that people are finding themselves buried by student debt at a time when they are trying to build families and a brighter future? Why does the government use Canada student loans as a profit-making centre? Will the minister commit today to lowering student loan interest to prime plus 1%?

Post-Secondary Education
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Mr. Speaker, we followed with interest the tabling of Mr. Rae's report to the Government of Ontario. From what I understand, the Government of Ontario is currently reviewing the various recommendations. I can assure this House that we improve our student loan and bursary system every year and will continue to do so.