Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak today to the motion introduced by my colleague, the member for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou and supported by the member for Hochelaga.
Since I also live in a resource region, I am in a position to see that we are somewhat affected by gasoline prices. We have no control over and cannot monitor gas prices. We must rectify this situation, because it has a major effect on the economy.
In a region like mine, which is hard hit by business closings, it is necessary to foster the emergence of new businesses. However, when we experience petroleum price increases, of course, this is another constraint for the economy as well as for the consumer. The petroleum price increase affects the taxi industry, the trucking industry, indeed, the whole transportation industry, whether in the public or the private sector. It affects municipalities and citizens as a whole.
As a member from a resource region, I must often drive long distances, not only in my riding, but also across Quebec, and I am appalled at price variations from one city to another. It is not taxes that cause price variations, since they are stable. There is the GST, the QST, the Quebec gas taxes, which vary, as well as a flat federal tax.
It goes without saying that oil companies are there to make profits. We have seen that they make huge profits. I will only mention Petro-Canada, which, during the first semester of 2003, had a 564% increase. Of course, other companies also make huge profits.
I believe my time has expired, Mr. Speaker, so I must say that there has to be price control—