Madam Speaker, the member for Ottawa Centre spoke of the fable of the fox and the crow. I would like to speak of this fable using another image.
In 1998, a Liberal committee was established with 47 Liberal members. They behaved like the fox and wanted public opinion on their side. They said, in a report, things such as “There is an unreasonable industry concentration”. They also said that it meant a saving for the major oil companies with the way the competition was organized. Further on they said “The federal Competition Act has no teeth and the Competition Bureau is unlikely to uncover the practices”.
Today, the situation facing us is a short term one. There is the problem of overpriced gasoline and there is pressure on governments to lower taxes. There is also a long term problem in this situation. The government in office was not elected yesterday. It set up a committee that made recommendations in 1998. At that point, all the fox wanted from the crow, which represented public opinion, was satisfaction, to try to put an end to the story.
Was there no way to come up with real solutions and to implement the recommendations of the committee without denigrating today those trying to find solutions?