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House of Commons Hansard #126 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was land.

Topics

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

September 27th, 2005 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Marc Boulianne Bloc Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Industry indicated that he was finally looking at giving some teeth to the Competition Act, as we have been asking for nearly five years.

Will the minister tell us what his intentions are exactly and confirm that he does plan to augment significantly the powers of the Competition Bureau, so that it can efficiently investigate the conduct of the oil industry?

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, Bill C-19 is in the House. It does strengthen the Competition Act. I am prepared to look at further amendments. We are prepared to look at giving the Competition Bureau the power to undertake investigations of industries and take action as needed. We are prepared to listen if the hon. member has some suggestions for further improvements to the act. We will have further suggestions of our own.

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Marc Boulianne Bloc Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, if he is serious about wanting to better protect consumers against the oil companies, should the minister not act on another recommendation of ours and set up the petroleum monitoring agency, so that fluctuations in petroleum product prices can be examined and explained to consumers on a regular basis?

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, that is indeed one of the issues we are looking at very closely.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Quebec minister of the environment said this about Kyoto: We will not allow ourselves to be punished. Now the feds are telling us “That is all very fine, and yes, you do have only half the greenhouse gas emissions that other Canadians do, but we are not going to take into account the efforts you have already financed”.

Why is the Minister of the Environment refusing to have territorial agreements, when this approach would restore justice to Quebec, once and for all?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, negotiations with the Government of Quebec in connection with the partnership for climate change are proceeding very well.

Moreover, because of the way targets have been assigned to industry, those with low emissions will have fewer reductions to make. Thus, of the 45 megatonnes Canada has to reduce, only 3 will come from Quebec.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yet minister Mulcair has also been quoted as saying: The federal minister is putting $10 billion of Canadian taxpayers' money on the table, which includes Quebeckers' money of course, and here he is telling me “Not only will I not recognize past efforts, but on top of that, I will take money from your taxpayers and ship it off to Alberta, which has a $10 billion surplus”. That strikes us as totally wrong, and we will never go along with it.

Why is the Minister of the Environment doggedly sticking to this approach, which has no justification, and which rubs even the most federalist of Quebec politicians the wrong way?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the hon. member was too busy reading his questions to listen to what I just answered. The very fact that a given province has lower greenhouse gas emissions will mean that province will not be required to cut as many tonnes. This is absolute logic, which undoubtedly escapes the hon. member, who cannot see beyond his separatist questions.

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, the government rakes in about $40 million every time the price of gasoline goes up a single cent. In Nova Scotia over the past month the gas prices have fluctuated between $1.12 and $1.49. The finance minister told us yesterday that any increase in gas tax revenue will be redirected to the benefit of all Canadians. Of course, we know what this means, it is the usual pre-election vote buying spree we often see.

Here is an idea. Why not just let Canadians keep more of their hard-earned tax dollars? The Prime Minister does not like paying taxes. Why does he think Canadians do?

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, in an industry in which retail prices can bounce around by 10¢ or 20¢ or even more per litre within just a few hours, it is difficult to demonstrate a consumer benefit from a simple tax cut, as appealing as that might sound. The industry itself has indicated that one might need a forensic auditor to find the benefit. Even the member for Okanagan—Coquihalla, when he was the distinguished treasurer of the province of Alberta, expressed the opinion that a consumer benefit could not be guaranteed.

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister knows an awful lot about bouncing around when it comes to his facts. Yesterday the Prime Minister said that Canadians will not get a tax break at the pumps because according to him, gas tax money is going to be sent to cities to pay for good roads.

Well, again the Prime Minister has been caught out being liberal with the truth. The mayor of Winnipeg, Sam Katz, said he cannot use these funds to fix potholes in the roads in his city because the Prime Minister has put stringent conditions on this tax.

Why did the Prime Minister again mislead municipalities and all Canadians by saying he would use the gas tax in the provinces?

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Don Valley West Ontario

Liberal

John Godfrey LiberalMinister of State (Infrastructure and Communities)

Mr. Speaker, we are having excellent conversations with the mayor of Winnipeg, with the Association of Manitoba Municipalities, with the Manitoba government. We will find a solution which works for both of us very soon.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Lunn Conservative Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, we have reached a new low in ethics today. Convicted Liberal fraudster, Paul Coffin, is set to give his first lecture on ethics to university students. I wonder how many cabinet ministers are planning on attending.

Canadian taxpayers have been robbed of over $1 million and robbed of the justice they deserve due to Coffin's unethical actions solely because of the unethical actions of the government.

Is it not time to start seeing Liberals go to jail for the worst scandal in Canadian political history?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

Order. The hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands asked a question and I know he is waiting to hear the answer from the Minister of Justice. We cannot hear a thing. The Minister of Justice now has the floor. I know the hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands will encourage his colleagues to pipe down so we can hear the answer.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, there are two responses. One, ministers of justice do not comment on specific sentences in specific cases. I would appreciate it if the member opposite would understand that. Two, with regard to the matter of sentences in any particular case, it is the provincial Crowns that prosecute and make submissions before the court.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

James Moore Conservative Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, today Paul Coffin, the only person to have been sanctioned for that fraud, is giving his first lecture on ethics at McGill University.

How can the public continue to have confidence in Canadian justice, when the only person punished for this fraud is called upon to give lectures on ethics?

When, then, will a Liberal be really punished and put in jail?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, that is the same question, only in French. So the answer is also the same in French.

Social DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, more and more Canadian seniors and people with disabilities are receiving unpaid care in their own home, care that is provided by friends, neighbours or family members. This trend is expected to grow over the next decade with Canada's aging and diversifying population.

Could the Minister of State for Families and Caregivers tell the House what the government has done in order to ensure the well-being of families, seniors and caregivers?

Social DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Trinity—Spadina Ontario

Liberal

Tony Ianno LiberalMinister of State (Families and Caregivers)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to commend the hon. member on her efforts with regard to seniors and caregivers.

As the hon. member knows, this government has been working ferociously to ensure that our seniors have the dignity that they deserve in our society. We have doubled the medical expense tax credit for those disabilities and the families and caregivers. We have made the largest GIS increase in the history of this country. We will continue working with the seniors secretariat to ensure that we are ahead of the curve on the demographics so that our seniors are taken care of. We are working with the caregiver stakeholders across the country to ensure that we are sensitive--

Social DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Windsor West.

Oil and Gas IndustryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, people are burning more oil because the government has done nothing whatsoever to introduce regulations to increase efficiency. Ten U.S. states actually have better laws and regulations than this government.

Because people are burning more, they are paying more, getting fleeced by oil companies which have no requirements to explain their pricing. The mandatory measures have not come in by the Minister of Industry. What is he going to do specifically to ensure that Canadians are protected and big oil is not rewarded?

Oil and Gas IndustryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows that we have entered into an agreement with the automotive sector to reduce emissions in automobiles and that we are supporting an enormous amount of environmental technology. In the $4.5-plus billion increases in investment that are going into Canada and Ontario, there is an awful lot of environmental improvement there.

Oil and Gas IndustryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government has helped the oil and gas industry by providing in 2002 $1.4 billion in subsidies and additional corporate taxes that are reduced, all while the industry reaps in record profits. The government backed off mandatory fuel efficiency standards to help people burn less and it refuses to explain how it will protect people from predatory prices.

Will the government admit that voluntary regulations do not work on efficiency and will not work on pricing? Does the government have the courage to get tough with big oil and put Canadians first?

Oil and Gas IndustryOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, it is a bit pathetic when I hear a member of the NDP calling for a tax on a sector, given that the member and his community are so dependent on the automotive sector. To hear him talking like that, calling for mandatory regulations that would hurt the industry and that would drive investments south of the border, I think is pathetic.