March 19, 1979

NDP

Stanley Howard Knowles (N.D.P. House Leader)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

I rise on a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I am sure you must realize what my point of order is going to be. A little while ago the minister, who has just been speaking, gave notice of a closure motion, indicating that the government wants to get on with this legislation. We now have before us a very precise report stage amendment dealing with the proposal that Petro-Canada should be designated as the sole importer of petroleum and petroleum products in an emergency situation. Surely it is out of order for the minister to wander over the whole question, to revive the second reading debate or to anticipate the third reading debate. If he is anxious to get this debate finished, why does he not deal with that which is before us; in other words, why does he not speak to the motion?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ENERGY SUPPLIES EMERGENCY ACT, 1979 MEASURE TO CONSERVE STOCKS
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Gillespie:

Mr. Speaker, I have just about concluded my remarks. I think it is important that we discuss the role of

March 19, 1979

Energy Supplies

Petro-Canada as that is the subject of the particular amendment before us. As the hon. member has noted, the amendment would make Petro-Canada the sole importer of foreign oil. 1 think anyone who has been following the debate would recognize that Petro-Can represents a very important policy instrument for any government. I believe that one of its functions should be the importation of foreign oil. That has been very clear in view of the actions we have already taken to ensure that Petro-Canada will in fact become a significant importer and, therefore, provide a greater degree of energy security for Canada.

It is important to recognize that we are dealing with a question of sovereignty here. The Leader of the Opposition has not recognized that. These two sovereign nations, Venezuela and Canada, have stated they want to do business together. We are prepared to provide a market for their oil and they are prepared to guarantee that oil to us. When an international company like the Exxon Corporation intervenes, that international company is interfering with the sovereign rights of, for example, Venezuela and Canada. I think that is important and that is why I have dealt with it.

I indicated at the beginning of my remarks that I felt I had made it clear before the committee why this particular amendment was not needed. We have powers in respect of importing, as I have already indicated, but I do not feel we should hold out the expectation that overnight-and I think this can be read into the amendment-Petro-Canada would take over all imports. Because this would mean arranging all the transportation, determining all the qualities and quantities, establishing contacts with all suppliers, and acquiring a degree of knowledge about the refining industry in this country; and that may not be possible overnight as some of the refiners themselves may want to keep that information to themselves, for good reason.

Others, let us face it, might wish to place Petro-Canada in a position in which it was not able to deliver, particularly in view of the complexity of the job that might be given to it if we were to go the sole importer route. That could have the effect of discrediting Petro-Canada at a very important time when Petro-Canada's competence and its achievements are becoming better known on a week by week basis. Petro-Canada has shown that it can attract management, that it can think imaginatively and well in advance, and that it can put Canadian priorities first. It has shown that it does not have to worry about the views and priorities of those who might make decisions for Canadian subsidiaries operating in Canada, putting their interest before Canadian national interests.

There is a suggestion at times-I think it has been put forward by the Leader of the Opposition-that more Canadian companies-I presume that he means more Canadian controlled companies, although he has not said it because Imperial Oil itself is a Canadian company-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ENERGY SUPPLIES EMERGENCY ACT, 1979 MEASURE TO CONSERVE STOCKS
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PC

Walter David Baker (Official Opposition House Leader; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Baker (Grenville-Carleton):

Yes, he has.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ENERGY SUPPLIES EMERGENCY ACT, 1979 MEASURE TO CONSERVE STOCKS
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Gillespie:

I am reading from the text of the remarks he made on Sunday, and he does not make that point.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ENERGY SUPPLIES EMERGENCY ACT, 1979 MEASURE TO CONSERVE STOCKS
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PC

Walter David Baker (Official Opposition House Leader; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Baker (Grenville-Carleton):

You can't read.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ENERGY SUPPLIES EMERGENCY ACT, 1979 MEASURE TO CONSERVE STOCKS
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Gillespie:

Even if the industry were different in terms of Canadian control-and that is obviously some way off into the future, however one may wish that it was sooner rather than later-it does not necessarily follow that the decisions of those companies will always ensure that the risky, far off, and imaginative projects will be undertaken for Canada's good. I am referring to the high Arctic, and I am sure that hon. members realize that there will not be an immediate cash flow from the high Arctic. We know that the Panarctic people, those in the private sector and Canadian companies, have been-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ENERGY SUPPLIES EMERGENCY ACT, 1979 MEASURE TO CONSERVE STOCKS
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PC

Walter David Baker (Official Opposition House Leader; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Baker (Grenville-Carleton):

Mr. Speaker, can he not

stay on the point?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ENERGY SUPPLIES EMERGENCY ACT, 1979 MEASURE TO CONSERVE STOCKS
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Gillespie:

I am dealing with Petro-Canada's future and what this particular amendment would do to it. I think that that is an important point. I understand that the hon. member shares his leader's view, that he would dismantle Petro-Canada; or to quote his leader-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ENERGY SUPPLIES EMERGENCY ACT, 1979 MEASURE TO CONSERVE STOCKS
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PC

Walter David Baker (Official Opposition House Leader; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Baker (Grenville-Carleton):

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The view that I share with many Canadians is that this is the most incompetent minister that we have ever had in that important portfolio.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ENERGY SUPPLIES EMERGENCY ACT, 1979 MEASURE TO CONSERVE STOCKS
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Gillespie:

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member sometimes demonstrates the distinction in this House of being an able parliamentarian, but every so often when he finds himself on the defensive, unfortunately, he loses that distinctiveness and becomes very personal. He seems to feel that by becoming personal he can somehow blur the issue and divert people's attention. What he does not realize is that he somehow diminishes himself. I suggest that the hon. member and some of his colleagues think about what I have said.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ENERGY SUPPLIES EMERGENCY ACT, 1979 MEASURE TO CONSERVE STOCKS
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PC

Walter David Baker (Official Opposition House Leader; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Baker (Grenville-Carleton):

How did we get on to this high level? What about the amendment?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ENERGY SUPPLIES EMERGENCY ACT, 1979 MEASURE TO CONSERVE STOCKS
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Gillespie:

Mr. Speaker, the diminished leader of the Conservative party-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ENERGY SUPPLIES EMERGENCY ACT, 1979 MEASURE TO CONSERVE STOCKS
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PC

Walter David Baker (Official Opposition House Leader; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Baker (Grenville-Carleton):

You are delaying the bill.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ENERGY SUPPLIES EMERGENCY ACT, 1979 MEASURE TO CONSERVE STOCKS
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Gillespie:

I have noticed that the hon. member is very uncomfortable

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ENERGY SUPPLIES EMERGENCY ACT, 1979 MEASURE TO CONSERVE STOCKS
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LIB

John Napier Turner

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Turner):

Order. 1 would suggest that the minister get back to the clause under discussion.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ENERGY SUPPLIES EMERGENCY ACT, 1979 MEASURE TO CONSERVE STOCKS
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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ENERGY SUPPLIES EMERGENCY ACT, 1979 MEASURE TO CONSERVE STOCKS
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Gillespie:

Thank you for your assistance, Mr. Speaker. I recognize, as we all have in this House, that when we deal with the really gut issues involving Petro-Canada the official opposition squirms and gets very uncomfortable. I suppose the

March 19, 1979

reason they heckle is that it takes their minds off their discomfort. We saw another example of that a moment ago when I accused the House leader for the opposition of sharing the view of the Leader of the Official Opposition. I can understand his discomfort because the Leader of the Opposition said yesterday that they were going to be moving out of Petro-Canada as an instrument.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ENERGY SUPPLIES EMERGENCY ACT, 1979 MEASURE TO CONSERVE STOCKS
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PC

Walter David Baker (Official Opposition House Leader; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Baker (Grenville-Carleton):

That is right. He said that.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ENERGY SUPPLIES EMERGENCY ACT, 1979 MEASURE TO CONSERVE STOCKS
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Gillespie:

That is clearly the position of the opposition party. They do not recognize the need for a policy instrument for Canadian energy security.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ENERGY SUPPLIES EMERGENCY ACT, 1979 MEASURE TO CONSERVE STOCKS
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PC

Walter David Baker (Official Opposition House Leader; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Baker (Grenville-Carleton):

We do, though, Alastair.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ENERGY SUPPLIES EMERGENCY ACT, 1979 MEASURE TO CONSERVE STOCKS
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March 19, 1979