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House of Commons Hansard #145 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was crime.

Topics

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Vincent Bloc Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, the skyrocketing price of gasoline cannot be attributed to international factors alone. It also has to do with the voluntary closure of some refineries. A reasonable refining margin seems to be between 5¢ and 7¢, depending on the type of gas. We recently learned that this margin has reached 27¢. This translates into a 20¢ jump in profit. As we all know, the price at the pump is within provincial jurisdiction.

Can the federal government not verify the rate of profit on the refining margin, since this falls within its jurisdiction?

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, we all know that the price of gasoline is driven by market conditions, and what we do know, in fact, is that we have uncovered a conspiracy to increase gas prices. The sinister group behind this plot is none other than the Liberal Party of Canada. In fact, this is supported by economists such as Don Drummond and Mark Jaccard, who have confirmed that under the Liberal plan the price of gasoline would rise by more than 60% of today's prices.

When we look at the comments made by the Leader of the Opposition, who says that “high gas prices are actually good for Canada”, it is no wonder the Liberals are sitting on that side of the House.

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Vincent Bloc Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, we certainly do not mean to suggest any collusion, but here are the facts. In Halifax, for instance, Esso does the refining for everyone. In New Brunswick, Irving does it. In Quebec City, the same idea, it is Ultramar. In Montreal, guess what? Petro-Canada and Shell do the work for everyone, even for the competition.

Should we not start asking ourselves some questions, when the refining profit margin is 20¢ too high? Does this not warrant a serious investigation and an agency to monitor the whole thing?

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, there have been six federal studies of gas prices and each and every time the Competition Bureau has found that there has been no price fixing. If the member has information and would like another investigation, he is welcome to bring that forward.

However, our government is taking action. We have brought in $2 billion in our biofuel strategy. We are providing incentives for Canadians to purchase fuel efficient vehicles. We have lowered the GST. Our government is doing something about it.

TaxationOral Questions

May 2nd, 2007 / 2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General has told us eight times now that excessive use of tax havens, such as Barbados, by wealthy taxpayers is a threat to Canada's tax base.

How can the minister simply stand by knowing that his government is losing billions of dollars in tax revenues every year, billions of dollars that middle class taxpayers have to compensate for, to fund the federal government's spending?

TaxationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Nose Hill Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the government is very concerned about tax loopholes and tax havens. That is why we are eliminating an important tax loophole allowing multinational corporations to deduct interest incurred in foreign jurisdictions without paying taxes.

I point to the fact that the official opposition does not seem to agree with this, but the Toronto Star says that it makes no sense to allow companies to claim breaks against income on which they pay no tax. The Liberal leader is turning his back on sound policy.

TaxationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, if this government is serious about its intentions, the recent budgetary measures will not put an end to this situation.

Do the Minister of Finance and the government understand that they do not even have to change the legislation? The easiest way to deal with the Barbados issue is to amend section 5907 of the Income Tax Act regulations.

TaxationOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Nose Hill Alberta

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, closing tax loopholes makes lower taxes for all Canadians. That is our goal. We want to make Canada even more competitive for all business. We are having discussions on a manner of issues and areas where we can move forward with this agenda. This goal is possible, and I welcome the Bloc's support in moving forward on this.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Ruby Dhalla Liberal Brampton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, chaos, confusion and cover up and now access to information documents show that the government tried to suppress a photograph of Afghan detainees a year ago.

In May 2006 a photojournalist took pictures of 10 suspected insurgents captured by the Canadian military. Canadian military lawyers told him that the photos could not be published because they would violate the Geneva convention.

Why is the government's respect for human rights and the Geneva convention so selective?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Conservative

Helena Guergis ConservativeSecretary of State (Foreign Affairs and International Trade) (Sport)

Mr. Speaker, again, I can confirm for the member that Canadians are respecting their obligations under international law. Canadian brave men and women are doing an excellent job in Afghanistan. We have relationships with the Government of Afghanistan and the human rights commission to ensure there is an investigation. We will work closely with them.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Ruby Dhalla Liberal Brampton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, make no mistake that on this side of the House we support our Canadian brave men and women, but we must tell the truth. Access to information documents show that even a National Defence spokesman has questioned why the photo was suppressed. He has said, “The military should not play cat and mouse on this one because success lies in openness”.

Could anyone on the frontbench tell the—

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. the Secretary of State.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Conservative

Helena Guergis ConservativeSecretary of State (Foreign Affairs and International Trade) (Sport)

Mr. Speaker, there have been many allegations. I remind the hon. member that there were five reports on Afghanistan, four of them were delivered to the previous Liberal government, with which it did absolutely nothing. There were general allegations within all of those reports. There are no specific details or specific evidence to support any of the allegations made by Taliban alleged terrorist detainees.

Why do the hon. member and the opposition parties continue to take the word of the Taliban detainees over our Canadian brave men and women?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Liberal Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, this detainee debacle continues every day with a different story from the elevator scrums of Conservative ministers.

First, it was the Red Cross. Then it was Correctional Service Canada. Then the allegations were false. Then there were no allegations. And yesterday, the Prime Minister again got involved in this disinformation campaign.

When will the Prime Minister cut loose the symbol of this scandal and fire his incompetent Minister of National Defence?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Conservative

Helena Guergis ConservativeSecretary of State (Foreign Affairs and International Trade) (Sport)

Mr. Speaker, obviously the member did not hear me when I quoted the Liberal member for Vancouver South as to what he had to say about the agreement that the Liberal Party put in place a month before it was fired. He said:

I agree that it is an important agreement and it is one that is quite good in many respects.

The involvement of the International Red Cross or the Red Crescent as an independent third party is very important because it can then follow the prisoners and ensure they are treated well and appropriately in accordance with the Geneva conventions. The agreement makes reference to the Geneva conventions and that is important for us to recognize.

Again, that was the Liberal member for Vancouver South.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Liberal Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, there are no versions of the truth. The Prime Minister is at the centre of all these contradictions. For two weeks the government has had changing stories on very straightforward questions.

Six different cabinet ministers have given confused explanations on what happens to detainees once they leave the control of Canadian soldiers. They are either providing disinformation or they just do not know. Neither is acceptable.

Our military deserves better and Canadians expect more. When will the Prime Minister take control of this crisis?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Conservative

Helena Guergis ConservativeSecretary of State (Foreign Affairs and International Trade) (Sport)

Mr. Speaker, our military on the ground in Afghanistan, our brave men and women, take their job and their role very seriously. They are working very hard and they are conforming with international law.

What is so hard for the hon. member and the opposition to understand? Why is it so difficult for them to trust our Canadian brave men and women?

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

James Lunney Conservative Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are concerned about the recent spike in gasoline prices across the country. In my home province of British Columbia, gas prices reached $1.28 per litre yesterday.

Our government has introduced programs to help Canadians save on gasoline such as the ecotransport strategy, the eco-auto program and support for public transit. However, there are some in the House who have advocated higher gasoline taxes for Canadians.

Could the Minister of the Environment enlighten the House on whether higher gas taxes are good for Canadians?

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, my colleague, the Minister of Natural Resources, quoted earlier, and I saw the Leader of the Opposition shaking his head.

In the Calgary Herald, on August 24, 2005, the leader of the Liberal Party said that high gas prices were actually good for Canada.

It is time for the Liberal Party to expose its secret plan to bring in a massive new tax, called a carbon tax, be honest with Canadians and let them be the judge.

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, let us get down to the facts about gas prices. Yesterday, Imperial Oil reported a 31% increase in quarterly profits on the very same day that gas prices went through the roof. In Vancouver it is $1.30. In Winnipeg it topped out at $1.10. We have big oil companies making big profits and consumers still paying big prices. It does not add up.

Why does the government not take on these big gas makers? Why does it not listen to consumers who want a public inquiry into this?

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, as I have said for the members across the way, and I will say it for the NDP members, if they would like an investigation, they are welcome to bring one forward to the Competition Bureau. There is a process to check into that. In fact, that has been done six times, and we all know the result.

Our party is delivering action on this file. As has been mentioned, we are bringing in initiatives for public transit. We are bringing in incentives to buy fuel efficient vehicles. We are bringing in our ecotransport program.

We are taking action and we are delivering results, something the old Liberal government could never get—

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Winnipeg North.

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, why does the minister and his government not try doing something for a change? Why do they just keep sitting on their rear ends when gas prices keep going up and consumers are getting dinged right, left and centre.

The government has the power to start an inquiry into rising gas prices, so all we are asking is why does it not at least conduct a public inquiry? What is it trying to hide?

When will the Conservatives start facing the facts? Canadians are getting sick and tired of their inaction. Will they do something for a change?

Gasoline PricesOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure why, but every time we turn around, the NDP seems to want a public inquiry.

We all know there are a number of factors on the world scale that affect the price of gasoline. It is market driven. We have seen price controls by socialist governments in the past and they simply do not work.

The best thing we can do is create certainty in the industry and certainty for the markets to ensure that stability. We are taking action. We are delivering. We are getting the job done.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

John Godfrey Liberal Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, there are more bad reviews for the environment minister's latest green scam.

Richard Peltier, co-author of a recent UN climate change report, says that under the latest Conservative plan greenhouse gas emissions will climb “like a rocket”.

Gordon McBean of the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences says that the plan will rob Canada of its leadership role on the world stage.

Will the minister stop destroying Canada's credibility and bring Bill C-30 back so the country can have a real plan to meet the challenge of climate change?