Madam Speaker, petitions just keep pouring in from all over the Golden Horseshoe calling for the creation of an oil and gas ombudsman. I am pleased to present two stacks of those petitions here today. Clearly, consumers are tired of getting hosed at the pumps.
While the petitioners acknowledge that the combination of growing demand, worries over the turmoil in the Middle East and the closing of several strategic refineries in eastern Canada will continue to keep gas prices high for the foreseeable future, they also know that speculation by unregulated derivatives traders and index investors operating without enough government oversight exacerbates those price hikes.
The government cannot play these petitioners for fools. They rightly point out that it is rampant speculation that has thrown the fundamentals of supply and demand right out the window and that supply and demand fundamentals cannot discipline the price of discovery and that the price can be whatever it wants and any excuse can be used.
That is why the petitioners are calling for the speedy passage of my bill, Bill C-336, which would establish the oil and gas ombudsman. The ombudsman would be charged with providing strong and effective consumer protection to ensure that no big business can swindle, cheat or rip off hard-working Canadians.
The petitioners are demanding a meaningful vehicle for having their complaints taken seriously with effective mechanisms for investigation and remediation to help consumers fight the squeeze.
While the rules of the House do not allow me to endorse a petition, I do want to conclude by thanking everyone who is actively engaged in working toward the passage of my bill.