seconded by the hon. member for New Brunswick Southwest,moved for leave to introduce Bill C-353, an act to establish the Energy Price Commission.
Mr. Speaker, I wish to thank my seconder, the member for New Brunswick Southwest, who is equally concerned about this issue.
The bill seeks to establish an energy price commission to regulate the wholesale and retail price of motor fuels: gasoline, diesel, propane and heating oil. The purpose of price regulation is to avoid the unreasonable increases that many Canadians are experiencing today which have a profound effect on the cost of living and a terrible effect certainly on small businesses.
The proposed legislation would facilitate reasonable consistency in energy prices from province to province, also allowing of course for legitimate increases in production and distribution costs. The bill would further minimize the risk of collusion or price fixing in pricing and prevent dominant suppliers from setting unreasonable prices.
The bill seeks to link the issue of price control to competition and any investigation of an alleged offence under the Competition Act would be automatically referred to the new energy price commission. Such a commission would be made up of independent commissioners who would then deal with the matter and report back to the tribunal in the case of that type of complaint.
In setting prices for energy the bill would dictate that the commission must take into account as its primary concern the interests of the public in having energy available at reasonable and consistent prices for their personal, commercial or industrial use.
Everyone here knows that Canadians are fed up with the gouging and they want the federal government to take concrete steps to ensure stability in energy pricing across the country. The member for New Brunswick Southwest and I are proud to present this bill today.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)