March 7, 1979

LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, we do not have export controls or exchange controls in this country. Canadians are free to travel to any part of the world that they want. The hon. member and his leader have made that kind of choice, and we are not going to criticize it.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   TOURISM
Sub-subtopic:   CURRENT ACCOUNT DEFICIT-GOVERNMENT POSITION
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PC

Geoffrey Douglas Scott

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Scott (Hamilton-Wentworth):

Let me put one simple question, Mr. Speaker. Since the Tourist Association of Canada has repeatedly asked to have expense deductibility restored in the United States so that Americans can deduct their convention expenses when they come here, surely this would be of tremendous benefit to offset this deficit.

Why does the Canadian government consistently refuse to raise this problem with the United States government? The Prime Minister has just returned from the United States.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   TOURISM
Sub-subtopic:   CURRENT ACCOUNT DEFICIT-GOVERNMENT POSITION
Permalink
LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Trudeau:

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member was asking about Canadian travel abroad. Now he has switched his question-

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   TOURISM
Sub-subtopic:   CURRENT ACCOUNT DEFICIT-GOVERNMENT POSITION
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?

An hon. Member:

No, your travel abroad.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   TOURISM
Sub-subtopic:   CURRENT ACCOUNT DEFICIT-GOVERNMENT POSITION
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LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Trudeau:

-and he is talking about Americans travelling in Canada. To compound his own confusion, he says we have always refused to raise this question with the United States. I raised it personally with the President, and other ministers have raised it. The Americans know our concern. It is a matter of-

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   TOURISM
Sub-subtopic:   CURRENT ACCOUNT DEFICIT-GOVERNMENT POSITION
Permalink
?

An hon. Member:

What did he say?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   TOURISM
Sub-subtopic:   CURRENT ACCOUNT DEFICIT-GOVERNMENT POSITION
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LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Trudeau:

Mr. Carter said he understood our point of view perfectly.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   TOURISM
Sub-subtopic:   CURRENT ACCOUNT DEFICIT-GOVERNMENT POSITION
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LIB

Donald Campbell Jamieson (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Jamieson:

And he has been trying to change it.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   TOURISM
Sub-subtopic:   CURRENT ACCOUNT DEFICIT-GOVERNMENT POSITION
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LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Trudeau:

Even the opposition would know that the President of the United States cannot have Congress vote the way he would like it to every time.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   TOURISM
Sub-subtopic:   CURRENT ACCOUNT DEFICIT-GOVERNMENT POSITION
Permalink

CONSUMER AFFAIRS

NDP

Lorne Edmund Nystrom (Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Lome Nystrom (Yorkton-Melville):

Mr. Speaker, I will try again. My question is for the Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs and it concerns high food prices which the AIB said went up by some 21 per cent last year. This is based on information made available this morning that profits for Loblaws last year went up by some 39 per cent and that profits for Loeb last year went up by 34 per cent.

Since the National Commission on Inflation has no power to roll back high and excessive prices, what is the minister going to do to make sure that companies making these huge profits are not gouging Canadian consumers?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CONSUMER AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   STEPS TO PREVENT PROFITEERING THROUGH FOOD PRICE INCREASES
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LIB

William Warren Allmand (Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs)

Liberal

Hon. Warren Allmand (Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs):

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member wants simplistic solutions to very complex problems. In the motion put before the House last week, they were suggesting we return to controls. But I would put to the hon. member and to members of his party that if he wants the power to roll back, does he also want the power to roll back costs, including wages?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CONSUMER AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   STEPS TO PREVENT PROFITEERING THROUGH FOOD PRICE INCREASES
Permalink
NDP

Lorne Edmund Nystrom (Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Nystrom:

Mr. Speaker, wages in this country have already been rolled back and workers are making less this year than they were last year, in terms of real dollars.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CONSUMER AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   STEPS TO PREVENT PROFITEERING THROUGH FOOD PRICE INCREASES
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CONSUMER AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   STEPS TO PREVENT PROFITEERING THROUGH FOOD PRICE INCREASES
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?

An hon. Member:

Nine per cent versus six per cent.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CONSUMER AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   STEPS TO PREVENT PROFITEERING THROUGH FOOD PRICE INCREASES
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NDP

Lorne Edmund Nystrom (Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Nystrom:

I would like to ask the minister, who is always looking into things, about the following. Nine days ago he took notice of a question from my leader about the price of flour in this country. It was based on the fact that a 5 Vi pound bag of flour went up by some 41 cents, while the subsidy the minister in charge of the Wheat Board took away was worth only 22 cents. He said he would look into why there was such an excessive-almost double-mark-up. What are the results of his investigation? He has had nine days to do something: surely to God that is long enough.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CONSUMER AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   STEPS TO PREVENT PROFITEERING THROUGH FOOD PRICE INCREASES
Permalink
LIB

William Warren Allmand (Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Allmand:

Mr. Speaker, as with several other questions that were put to me by the NDP about detailed price questions, I have prepared answers and I have sent them to members of the NDP, in many cases by mail because they were too long to give in this House. I sent one a few days ago respecting steel, and there was one a few weeks ago on another subject; I think it was with respect to lumber. There is one in preparation, which will go out very shortly, on the question of flour and bread.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CONSUMER AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   STEPS TO PREVENT PROFITEERING THROUGH FOOD PRICE INCREASES
Permalink
NDP

Lorne Edmund Nystrom (Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Nystrom:

Mr. Speaker, it seems to me the House has the right to know the answers to questions we are posing. I will try once more.

The organization call CSIP, which is now dead, reported a few months ago that the profits for beverage companies were excessively high, yet we notice in the press this morning that beer companies in Quebec have raised the price of beer by 9 per cent across the board.

I ask the minister, what will he do about this in view of the fact their profits are excessively high? Will the minister look into the possibility of price fixing, since three of the largest companies announced price increases at precisely the same time?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CONSUMER AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   STEPS TO PREVENT PROFITEERING THROUGH FOOD PRICE INCREASES
Permalink
LIB

William Warren Allmand (Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Allmand:

Mr. Speaker, we have under way several investigations with respect to price fixing and other infractions under the combines act. These are being pursued by the director of investigation under the combines act and charges are being laid from time to time.

With respect to the other matter that the hon. member mentioned concerning allegations with respect to profits, as I mentioned in my remarks last week, much depends on the base

March 7, 1979

upon which you start. There is no doubt in my mind that profits in many areas of the food industry were very low in 1976, so an increase in profits in some cases is warranted. The AIB, which studied profit margins in the food industry last summer and again in the fall, pointed out very strongly that the profit margins were quite in accord with historic norms and were not out of line.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CONSUMER AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   STEPS TO PREVENT PROFITEERING THROUGH FOOD PRICE INCREASES
Permalink

FISHERIES

March 7, 1979