February 15, 1979

PC

Sinclair McKnight Stevens

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Sinclair Stevens (York-Simcoe):

Mr. Speaker, my initial question is addressed to the Prime Minister. It centres on the report issued today by the Centre for the Study of Inflation and Productivity which, as we know, is a body that was established last summer at the request of the Prime Minister. This body has disclosed that 33 per cent of our inflation over the past two years is due to the falling dollar, a subject which we have debated so often in this House. That is, 6.5 per cent of our inflation is due to the simple fact that the dollar has fallen so fast and so far.

On June 29 I asked the Prime Minister if he was aware that a local commentator had said that the cost of the falling dollar on inflation was 4 per cent. The Prime Minister on that date said he had not done the calculation. Would he tell the House, now, does he agree with the body that was set up at his own request, that in fact 33 per cent of our inflation is due to his falling dollar?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CANADIAN ECONOMY
Sub-subtopic:   DEVALUED CANADIAN DOLLAR-EFFECT ON INFLATION
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LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Right Hon. P. E. Trudeau (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, the member said twice in his question that the Centre for the Study of Inflation and Productivity was set up at my request. It was set up at the request of the provinces at a federal-provincial conference meeting. The federal government had other plans for the post-AIB monitoring period and the provinces asked us to proceed in this way through the Economic Council of Canada. That is just to set the record straight.

As far as the effect of the falling dollar on inflation is concerned, I have said, as has the Minister of Finance, that anybody who knows the situation recognizes, of course, that one of the effects of a falling dollar is to increase the cost of living in Canada, because Canada is a country which imports many things. It also has the effect of favouring our exports and, therefore, gives jobs to Canadians.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CANADIAN ECONOMY
Sub-subtopic:   DEVALUED CANADIAN DOLLAR-EFFECT ON INFLATION
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CANADIAN ECONOMY
Sub-subtopic:   DEVALUED CANADIAN DOLLAR-EFFECT ON INFLATION
Permalink
LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Trudeau:

This is so evident that I do not know why the hon. member keeps asking the question. It is conceded. If the dollar is low, it means our imports cost more and that we have to pay more for imported oil, foodstuffs and everything else.

As to its exact effect in statistical terms, calculations have been made, some of which have been given by the Minister of Finance. I do not know the exact effect in terms of the cost of

February 15, 1979

Oral Questions

living index, but I do know that it means the inflation rate is higher.

The hon. member opposite argues that we should have a 90-cent dollar. How much would the cost of living go up if we had a 90-cent dollar instead of an 84-cent dollar? It is a calculation which the hon. member can make. But it is obvious, whether it be a 90-cent dollar, an 84-cent dollar, an 85-cent dollar or an 80-cent dollar, that the cost of living is higher because of the increased cost of things imported into Canada.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CANADIAN ECONOMY
Sub-subtopic:   DEVALUED CANADIAN DOLLAR-EFFECT ON INFLATION
Permalink
PC

Sinclair McKnight Stevens

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stevens:

Mr. Speaker, I would remind the Prime Minister that Sylvia Ostry, when she announced the formation of CSIP, stated that it was done at the request of the Prime Minister of Canada. The Prime Minister states that it is now conceded that there is a cost to the falling dollar, notwithstanding the fact that in December, 1978, his Minister of Finance told me, in reply to another question, that I should welcome the falling dollar.

My final question is again to the Prime Minister. As CSIP has now said that if workers and others demand income increases to match the high rate of inflation which depreciation has caused, still higher prices and more depreciation will result, what does the Prime Minister intend to do when he speaks to the workers of this country to justify the inflation which he has inflicted upon them as a result of his faulty fiscal monetary measures which have led to the fall of the dollar?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CANADIAN ECONOMY
Sub-subtopic:   DEVALUED CANADIAN DOLLAR-EFFECT ON INFLATION
Permalink
LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Trudeau:

Mr. Speaker, I think it is quite obvious why the Leader of the Opposition has dropped the hon. member as his chief financial critic in his undertaking not to name him as his minister in a future government.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CANADIAN ECONOMY
Sub-subtopic:   DEVALUED CANADIAN DOLLAR-EFFECT ON INFLATION
Permalink

SOURCES OF FUTURE OIL SUPPLIES

NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. T. C. Douglas (Nanaimo-Cowichan-The Islands):

Mr. Speaker, I would ask the Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources if he could be more specific with regard to the replacement of 100,000 barrels to 125,000 barrels of oil which will be necessary due to the disruption of Iranian exports of oil to Canada.

With reference to the 100,000 barrels per day from Mexico, I understood the minister to say that this oil will not be available until the end of 1980, perhaps 1981 and I understood him to say today in reference to Venezuelan oil that there is none available at the moment. Finally, with respect to swaps of western oil for offshore oil, the minister said today that this will give us about 40,000 barrels per day in this quarter.

Would the minister tell the House where we will get the

100,000 barrels or 125,000 barrels of oil per day guarantee which is necessary to meet the needs of Canada, particularly Quebec and the maritime provinces, in the next eight or ten months when it will be very crucial? The minister has given us no clear indication of where that oil is to come from.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   SOURCES OF FUTURE OIL SUPPLIES
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LIB

Alastair William Gillespie (Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources; Minister of State for Science and Technology)

Liberal

Hon. Alastair Gillespie (Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources and Minister of State for Science and Technology):

Mr. Speaker, I have indicated that I expect most of the shortage to be made up by production in western Canada which will be moved through the exchanges to which I have already alluded.

The hon. member referred to 40,000 barrels a day. When we go into the second quarter, unless the situation is normalized in Iran and production starts up again, obviously we will be faced with large amounts. I believe that excess producing capacity in western Canada can look after that shortage up to as much as

100,000 barrels a day, if that is necessary.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   SOURCES OF FUTURE OIL SUPPLIES
Permalink
NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. Douglas (Nanaimo-Cowichan-The Islands):

Mr. Speaker, if the minister is going to count on exchange oil from the midwest, can he tell us, first of all, what are the available oil supplies which Canada has now? In Washington, Mr. Schle-singer has said the United States has 70 days' supply, but I think generally around the world there is an 80-day oil supply reserve.

What are Canada's supplies at the present time, and to what extent are we using up or drawing down these reserves of oil? If, as the minister suggests, we step up the production of western oil, how long will we be able to continue at that rate? Will it be long enough to meet Canadian requirements until Mexican oil is available in 1980 or the beginning of 1981?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   SOURCES OF FUTURE OIL SUPPLIES
Permalink
LIB

Alastair William Gillespie (Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources; Minister of State for Science and Technology)

Liberal

Mr. Gillespie:

Mr. Speaker, it is impossible to say at the present time whether it will be enough to make up the difference until 1980 or 1981. One cannot be sure of intervening events or whether production will be resumed in Iran. I believe that the shortages I have been referring to in eastern Canada as a result of these reallocations can be made up by western crude through the exchange route at least until the end of this year, and probably beyond that.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   SOURCES OF FUTURE OIL SUPPLIES
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CRIMINAL CODE

PC

Eldon Mattison Woolliams

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Eldon M. Woolliams (Calgary North):

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Justice. During the week the opposition agreed that Bill C-21, amending the Code, be divided so that a separate bill dealing with the new definition of "soliciting" in reference to prostitution and redefining "public place" to help the situation in Vancouver and Toronto, can be introduced. If that is a separate bill, it will have only one section and it will be a small bill.

In light of yesterday's decision by provincial court judge Sydney Harris in acquitting Pink Triangle Press, publishers of The Body Politic newspaper which published an article dealing with men loving boys, and vice-versa, and such further immoral and degrading conduct, and in light of the recent horrible death in Toronto of Emanuel Jaques who was used

February 15, 1979

prior to his death as a human machine by men, will the Minister of Justice consider bringing in amendments to the Criminal Code to protect young children against this kind of propaganda which may lead to the most degrading abuse of children, particularly as the minister has dealt with it in the same bill dealing with prostitution?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CRIMINAL CODE
Sub-subtopic:   REQUEST FOR AMENDMENTS TO PROTECT CHILDREN FROM SEXUAL ABUSE
Permalink
LIB

Marc Lalonde (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada; Minister responsible for the Status of Women)

Liberal

Hon. Marc Lalonde (Minister of Justice):

Mr. Speaker, first of all, I would like to thank representatives of the opposition parties who have given their consent to divide Bill C-21 so that we can proceed speedily with the clause dealing with prostitution.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CRIMINAL CODE
Sub-subtopic:   REQUEST FOR AMENDMENTS TO PROTECT CHILDREN FROM SEXUAL ABUSE
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CRIMINAL CODE
Sub-subtopic:   REQUEST FOR AMENDMENTS TO PROTECT CHILDREN FROM SEXUAL ABUSE
Permalink
LIB

Marc Lalonde (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada; Minister responsible for the Status of Women)

Liberal

Mr. Lalonde:

I will proceed as soon as possible to get the appropriate consent in this House.

As for the other problem which was raised by the hon. member, I know it is a serious problem which is of great concern to members of this House. I will certainly look into the issues he has raised. Obviously, I do not know whether the case decided by the provincial court judge will be appealed. This is a matter which the attorney general of Ontario will want to examine, I am sure.

Second, I believe hon. members have received various representations on the clause that is already in Bill C-21 which aims at strengthening the provisions dealing with obscenity. The government has decided to act on this matter pursuant to recommendations from a committee of this House. I would hope we could proceed not only with the clause on prostitution but with the rest of the bill if it is found that it is preferable to keep the obscenity clause in the first bill. 1 will take the hon. member's suggestion under very serious consideration and will advise him as to what can be done.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CRIMINAL CODE
Sub-subtopic:   REQUEST FOR AMENDMENTS TO PROTECT CHILDREN FROM SEXUAL ABUSE
Permalink

CORPORATE AFFAIRS

LIB

Herbert Eser (Herb) Gray

Liberal

Hon. Herb Gray (Windsor West):

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Prime Minister. 1 understand the Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources said earlier during this question period that he was going to ask CSIP to investigate any allegations of oil industry profiteering, but CSIP has said that it has access only to ordinary publicly available information, which is often incomplete and subject to revision.

Large companies were reported yesterday to be unwilling to co-operate with that agency in providing information to it voluntarily. Will the government now give this agency full powers under the Inquiries Act so that it can get full and timely information directly from companies, including the authority to inspect or compel production of their books and records where circumstances require it?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CORPORATE AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   POWER OF CSIP TO INSPECT BOOKS AND RECORDS OF CORPORATIONS
Permalink
LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Right Hon. P. E. Trudeau (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, that question is not unlinked to the one I received from the

Oral Questions

hon. member for York-Simcoe. I reminded him that the government's intention in the post-control period was to set up a monitoring body which would have such powers.

It was at the federal-provincial conference of February last year that the provinces, practically unanimously, dissuaded the federal government from this approach and recommended that the Economic Council of Canada set up the Centre for the Study of Inflation and Productivity. We did that. This is all the action that has been taken to date. Any further contingency action such as that suggested by the hon. member for Windsor West is being studied by the government, but there has been no decision in that regard.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CORPORATE AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   POWER OF CSIP TO INSPECT BOOKS AND RECORDS OF CORPORATIONS
Permalink

CONSUMER AFFAIRS

February 15, 1979