House of Commons Hansard #86 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was gas.

Topics

Fairness at the Pumps Act
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure this afternoon to speak to Bill C-14, An Act to amend the Electricity and Gas Inspection Act and the Weights and Measures Act. We are at third reading.

The bill is an important piece of legislation that goes a long way toward establishing fair business practices in industries that measure or weigh the products they sell.

It enhances consumer protection, something that is important to this government and to all Canadians. Bill C-14 promotes measurement accuracy, and encourages consumers and retailers alike to have confidence in a fair and competitive marketplace.

With this in mind, the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology heard from a wide range of expert witnesses: consumer groups, industry representatives, and civil servants. Their testimony contributed to lively and informative discussions.

I would like to take a few minutes to remind the hon. members that Bill C-14 is about fairness for both consumers and businesses, and it depends on the accuracy of the measurements of goods.

Every day Canadians make countless purchases based on measurement. With each transaction, these buyers, as individuals or as representatives of organizations and businesses, trust that the amount of produce they get at the grocery story, the amount of fuel they get at the gas pump, or the amount of milk they get from a farmer is precisely the amount they paid for. They trust that goods are measured meticulously and dispensed appropriately.

Under existing legislation, namely, the Weights and Measures Act and the Electricity and Gas Inspection Act, measurement inspectors conduct random inspections of measurement devices, and consumers have an avenue through which to file complaints of suspected measurement inaccuracies.

More stringent legislation is needed to maintain the credibility of Canada's market system and to ensure that the trust of consumers is well placed. More people are needed on the ground to validate measurement equipment. More inspectors are needed to detect non-compliance.

It is for these reasons that the bill before us today is of such vital importance. This legislation will encourage a fair processes and fair business transactions for Canadian consumers and businesses.

The hon. Minister of Industry is charged with ensuring that consumers and businesses receive fair and accurate measures of the goods they purchase. Although the importance of enforcing accurate measurements may sound obvious enough, experience has shown that only through a carefully monitored regulatory regime can Measurement Canada accomplish this task.

The proposed fairness at the pumps act provides the foundation for such enforcement. Bill C-14 amends the Weights and Measures Act and the Electricity and Gas Inspection Act. Specifically, Bill C-14 addresses weaknesses in existing legislation with three timely updates: first, mandatory inspection frequencies for devices subject to the Weights and Measures Act; second, increased fines and penalties for non-compliance; and finally, ministerial power to designate authorized service providers to assess the accuracy of measurement devices at check-out counters, gas stations, and everywhere else consumer goods are quantified.

Allow me to speak more on this last point. Authorized service providers will be private businesses trained and designated by Measurement Canada to inspect the accuracy of various measurement devices. They will provide private businesses driven by market forces to offer competitive rates and flexible schedules. They will be private contractors whose quality of work will be ensured through the public oversight. Measurement Canada's own inspectors will perform random follow-up inspections to make sure that authorized service providers evaluate equipment impartially, precisely, and reputably. Measurement Canada inspectors will also continue to respond to complaints from the public, to take cases in which non-compliance is detected, and to enforce actions as required.

As an added benefit of mandatory inspection frequencies, increased demand for authorized service providers across several trade sectors will create hundreds of jobs. It will create jobs for front-line workers who travel to the sites to inspect the accuracy of measurement equipment.

Designated authorized service providers must also be fair to retailers. Honest and fair-minded business operators, not just consumers, feel the sting when their less conscientious competitors inaccurately measure the products they sell.

The proposed fairness at the pumps act would help level the playing field for small businesses. Bill C-14 would ensure that all players in the retail petroleum, the downstream petroleum, dairy, retail food, fishing, logging, mining, and grain and field crops sectors are held to the same moral and business standards.

The industry's input has been invaluable. Consultations underscored the fact that retailers could also be victimized by inaccurate measurements, whether by their own inadvertent errors or their competitors' deliberate miscalculations. In fact, it was through our consultations that we saw a need for mandatory inspection frequencies and took action to bring these new inspection intervals into use.

Some businesses have implemented inspection frequencies voluntarily. They have seen solid benefits from inspections, because the companies know beyond a doubt how much they are selling. They face fewer inventory problems, and this streamlines their business practices and saves them time and money.

All consulted stakeholders, including consumer groups, reiterated that mandatory inspections are necessary to uphold the integrity of the industry and to help retailers remain competitive in high-stakes markets.

Consumers welcome this legislation as a means to re-establish the principles of fairness, honesty, and decency in commercial transactions.

Retailers welcome the legislation as a means to ensure that companies compete ethically to win the business of Canadian buyers.

As members of this House, we must welcome and endorse fairness at the pumps and in the marketplace. We must uphold integrity in transactions that depend on the measurement of goods. We must promote and protect the interests of consumers and retailers alike. Canadians have done their part. It is now time for us to do ours. What is fair must remain fair. I call on all hon. members to vote in favour of Bill C-14, a bill whose time has clearly come.

I have one item I would like to add. As a past employee of an oil company, I audited gas stations. These audits included reviews of inventories. There was nothing more important to the gas companies than making sure that we had accurate measurements of inventory. As this product is held underground, it becomes an environmental issue if it is found to have gone missing. It is not only an economic issue but also an environmental one.

Gas companies welcome this government's approach to making sure that we have fair and accurate measurements at their pumps and at all scales across this country.

Fairness at the Pumps Act
Government Orders

2 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Barry Devolin

I must interrupt the hon. member for Burlington at this time as it is two o'clock. He will have 11 minutes remaining in his speech when the House returns to this matter.

Teen Challenge Farm
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, it was recently my pleasure to visit the Teen Challenge Farm in my riding. This farm is part of an addiction rehabilitation initiative that was originally founded in 1958 and which now has 16 locations across Canada.

This organization offers a three-phase program of faith-based residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation and provides structured spiritual, academic and vocational training. This training equips individuals to return to society as responsible citizens.

On my visit I met several young men in different stages of the programs, some just new and starting out on their new life journey and some graduates of the teen challenge program who have stayed on as mentors. These mentors are examples of the success that can be attained through this program.

The positive outcomes and success rates at this facility reflect the hard work of these folks and the dedication towards a better life, and a better and safer society.

We thank the Teen Challenge Farm for what it does.

Medal of Bravery
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Foote Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in recognition of the heroic actions of Shane Doucette, a resident of Port au Port West, a small community in my riding of Random—Burin—St. George's.

It is because of the quick thinking and actions of Shane Doucette that his co-worker Jason Riggs is alive today. On August 18, 2008, while working for an oil company in Alberta, Shane discovered that Jason had fallen into a tank of toxic fluids.

Without hesitation, Shane placed his own life at risk and rescued Jason, who was unconscious when Shane removed him from the tank. Shane revived Jason by performing CPR. While Jason required a long stay in hospital, he did make a full recovery.

Because of his heroic actions, Shane was presented a Medal of Bravery on Friday by the Governor General.

I ask all members of the House to join me in recognizing Shane Doucette and congratulating him on this prestigious award.

Shane is the son of Gerard and Gertie Doucette of Port au Port West.

Claire Sauvageau-Chartier
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, we celebrated Claire Sauvageau-Chartier's 100th birthday on August 22 in Champlain, Quebec.

A caring, dedicated woman, Ms. Sauvageau-Chartier, a mother of seven, always helped and assisted others.

A nurse by profession, this remarkable lady attended to everyone in distress who came to ask for her help, and she did so free of charge. In times when health care was often too expensive for most people in this farming region, she helped numerous women during childbirth.

For decades, she bandaged the countless cuts and stitched the many wounds of unruly children.

Her hospitality is legendary, and her sharp mind has not diminished, even at the age of 100. This amazing lady still lives in her own home, by herself.

I would like to wish Ms. Sauvageau-Chartier, my mother-in-law, all the best on her 100th birthday. May you continue to enjoy good health and the love of family and friends.

General Jean V. Allard Memorial Library
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, I was quite surprised to hear that the General Jean V. Allard Memorial Library at the Saint-Jean Garrison in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu would be closing its doors on December 15.

The Conservative Government that boasted about revitalizing the Royal Military College Saint-Jean does not have much to boast about anymore.

It has decided to close a library, a jewel with 85,000 volumes serving 3,000 students, while the Minister of National Defence has decided to invest $16 billion in F-35s.

With this government, it is not surprising to hear a public affairs officer at the garrison describe a library as something useless.

What about the Official Languages Act? Did the minister shelve it at the library?

It is unacceptable that linguistic works will no longer be accessible to soldiers who are not taking language training.

I am therefore calling on the government to reverse the decision to close the General Jean V. Allard Memorial Library.

Baha'i Community in Iran
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada has condemned Iran's continued imprisonment of seven Baha'i community leaders. These individuals appear to have been imprisoned because of their religious beliefs. They should be released unconditionally and reunited with their families as soon as possible.

To quote the Wall Street Journal:

According to human-rights organizations including Amnesty International, executions have increased four-fold since [Ahmadinejad] became president in 2005, and Iran now executes more people per capita than any other country in the world. Iran also lifted its moratorium on stoning since [he] became president.

The Baha'i are a peaceful people who live in harmony with other faiths in countries around the world, including Canada. Our government stands four-square with the Baha'i people in their desire to have their rights respected and their freedoms upheld.

Small Business Week 2010
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, last week, Canadians throughout the country celebrated Small Business Week 2010. The following individuals and businesses in Madawaska-Restigouche were recognized.

In Restigouche: L.C.L. Excavation (2006) Inc., business of the year; Hélène Bernard, community individual; Christine Côté, woman entrepreneur; Corey Jacques, student entrepreneur; Atelier Gérard Beaulieu, innovation award.

In Madawaska: Beaulieu Plumbing & Mechanical Inc., business of the year; Scott Philippe of 3D Innovations, young entrepreneur; Murielle Bourgeois of the Service d'aide à la famille d'Edmundston/Grand-Sault Inc., woman entrepreneur; Marc Francoeur, president of Focus Maintenance Inc., innovation award; Atelier des copains co-op ltée, Bob Connors award; Soucy Brothers Ltd., J.-Aldéric Daigle award; Gérald Dufour of Audiotek, Samuel E. Burpee award.

I congratulate one and all for their ongoing efforts to ensure the success of their business and their community. This is proof of the dynamism of the people of Madawaska—Restigouche. I am proud of them. I hope they will continue their good work.

Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Cornwall and District
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, this past Saturday I had the pleasure of attending the 37th annual banquet and awards night for the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Cornwall and District. Thirty-seven of Cornwall's finest citizens were recognized for their dedicated service to this great organization. Three special awards were also presented.

Cynthia Seguin received the Big Brother and Big Sister Service Award for her great contribution to the organization.

D'Arcy Grant was awarded Big Brother of the Year, the second year in a row that D'Arcy has been honoured with this award. He was also honoured for serving on the board of directors for 10 years and being a big brother for 15 years.

Cindy Latreille was the recipient of the Big Sister of the Year Award. Cindy has been volunteering with Big Brothers and Big Sisters for more than four years now.

It was an honour to be part of this wonderful evening. I congratulate Cynthia, Cindy, D'Arcy and the other volunteers honoured. I thank president Bill Makinson and executive director Amanda Brisson for including me in this great event.

Sainte-Foy Optimist Club
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Pascal-Pierre Paillé Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am proud today to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Club optimiste de Sainte-Foy. I congratulate its members, who have done a great deal for the entire community over the years.

Since it was founded in 1960, the club has injected over $1 million into the community. Year after year, the club has helped more than 50,000 young people through its various activities.

I would also like to congratulate Benoît Morin, a founding member of the Club optimiste de Sainte-Foy. Mr. Morin was honoured this weekend for his outstanding volunteer service and his altruism, which have helped make so many achievements possible.

Thank you to the volunteers, to Mr. Morin, and especially to the Club optimiste de Sainte-Foy, which continues to make a difference.

Italian Campaign
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Greg Kerr West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, this month marks the 66th anniversary of the Italian Campaign. Sixty-six years ago, Canadian troops played a vital role in this bitter and costly conflict, one of the longest and fiercest struggles of World War II. Of the more than 93,000 Canadians who served in this 20-month campaign, nearly 6,000 would lay down their lives.

They fought in Italy's rugged mountains, flooded rivers, and rubble-filled streets. They fought for peace, freedom and justice, the same values our military men and women continue to protect today. The legacy of our veterans lives on in the brave Canadians who are serving today in Afghanistan and other areas of the world.

We honour this legacy by caring for the World War II veterans who are still with us and those who have come after them. We are committed to providing the care and support that veterans and their families need, where and when they need it.

Lest we forget.

Global SIAL D'or Award
Statements By Members

October 25th, 2010 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, today I congratulate Island Abbey Foods of P.E.I. for its Global SIAL D'or award in Paris, France, the largest food trade show in the world.

Island Abbey Foods' Honibe “Honey Drop” beat out 270 products from 30 countries and was named as best new product for 2010 in the “sweet - grocery” category.

Global SIAL is considered the Oscars of the food world. This was a phenomenal achievement for an Island company. Having previously won the “Country Award - Canada” as the highest scoring Canadian product, Island Abbey Foods and the products they produce are a true representation of hard work and innovation.

Founded five years ago by John Rowe and his wife, Island Abbey Foods has now received the most prestigious award in the food industry. Their product, the “Honey Drop”, is the world's first 100% pure dried honey cube. Members should try a little of that Island sweetness.

Congratulations.

The Economy
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, as the Minister of Finance highlighted in the pre-G20 summit in Korea this week, Canada is leading the world in global economic recovery. This year our deficit is lower than projected and the lowest in the industrialized world.

With an economic and fiscal record that is stronger than other industrialized nations, Canada has responded to the recession with the economic action plan, which created jobs and protected families.

Through the economic action plan we have lowered taxes, invested in infrastructure and training, and boosted support for workers and families. Our action plan is working.

Since July 2009, the Canadian economy has created over 420,000 new jobs. However, the economic recovery is still fragile. There are still too many families struggling to make ends meet.

That is why we will continue to implement the economic action plan to create jobs and to protect Canadian families.

The Bellerophon
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, it was with great sadness and pride that I witnessed the decommissioning and final reunion of Canada's oldest Sea Cadet corps, the Bellerophon, chartered on November 25, 1918.

The Bellerophon has a long-standing history of service in the Welland community. It was an outstanding organization that made valuable contributions to the development of many young Canadians, who now epitomize the meaning of good citizenship.

A local organization both innovative and progressive in nature, Bellerophon, under Horace Cox and Ed Mason, introduced young women into the corps in 1919, even though they received no support or recognition from the Navy League.

This is a time of mixed emotions for Alan O'Neill, chair of the decommissioning committee, whose fond memories and long-lasting friendships are no doubt the silver lining to his noble efforts to save the Bellerophon, memories that include the Bellerophon Drum and Bugle Band, which continues to exist as the only Sea Cadet alumni band in Canada. Since its inception in 1993, the band has contributed over $400,000 to Wellanders.

May the spirit of Bellerophon live on in every shipmate who had the privilege of being part of the oldest Canadian Sea Cadet corps, and may their distinguished history never be forgotten.

Economic Action Plan
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Daniel Petit Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, in his speech to delegates attending the G20 Seoul pre-summit conference, the Minister of Finance noted that Canada leads the global economic recovery.

Canada leads the recovery because its economic and fiscal situation is stronger than that of most other industrialized countries. Our deficit this year is smaller than anticipated and, in fact, is the lowest in the industrialized world.

Our government responded to the recession by implementing the economic action plan, which created jobs and protected our families. Thanks to this economic action plan, we lowered taxes, invested in infrastructure and training, and increased our support for workers and families.

Since July 2009, the Canadian economy has helped create more than 420,000 new jobs. However, the economic recovery remains fragile, which is why we will continue on with the economic action plan in order to create jobs and protect our families.