June 1, 1981

?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   TIMING OF PROGRAMS
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PC

John Carnell Crosbie

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Crosbie:

Madam Speaker, they do not like their neglect pointed out to the public.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   TIMING OF PROGRAMS
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   TIMING OF PROGRAMS
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LIB

Jeanne Sauvé (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Madam Speaker:

Order, please. Order, please.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   TIMING OF PROGRAMS
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PC

John Carnell Crosbie

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Crosbie:

Thank you, Madam Speaker. The minister has had 15 months to bring forward an industrial policy. The Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources has had 15 months to reach an agreement with the provinces and all he has done is put forward conditions that no one can accept, and it has stalemated our whole energy investment and recovery program. Will the minister tell us what the timetable is for achieving completion of these strategies and putting them into action so that the battle against inflation can start to be

June 1, 1981

successful? When are they going to have a sense of urgency? When are they going to act to help the Canadians who are suffering so badly today?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   TIMING OF PROGRAMS
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LIB

Herbert Eser (Herb) Gray (Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Hon. Herb Gray (Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce):

Madam Speaker, first of all I should point out that I understand the Prime Minister is taking part in a meeting of the Council of Maritime Premiers, and that the Secretary of State for External Affairs is accompanying the Governor General on an important mission to Scandinavia. I hope that this is not something that my hon. friend would see fit to oppose, or object to.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   TIMING OF PROGRAMS
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PC

John Carnell Crosbie

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Crosbie:

He is having a sauna. Where is the Minister of Finance? He came on the plane last night.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   TIMING OF PROGRAMS
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LIB

Herbert Eser (Herb) Gray (Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Gray:

I think the evidence is clear that we are working vigorously to achieve progress, and that we have achieved progress in the areas my hon. friend has mentioned. If he is serious about what he is saying, he would do more than he has to make sure that we get the necessary co-operation, in particular from the producing provinces, in the energy area.

With respect to the number of ministers at present in the House, I might say that those who are here are more than enough to deal with the vapid and empty questions of the opposition.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   TIMING OF PROGRAMS
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PROFITS OF OIL COMPANIES

PC

Michael Holcombe Wilson

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Michael Wilson (Etobicoke Centre):

Madam Speaker, I have two supplementary questions to put to the Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources regarding the lack of an energy policy and the impact this is having on inflation and economic growth in the country.

Government policy in Canada has contributed to a surge in profits in the refining and retailing side of the energy business, causing Canadians to pay much more than is necessary for energy in this country. Let me quote an example. As a result of the deregulation of oil prices in the United States, Gulf Oil in the U.S. went from a profit of $247 million in the first quarter of 1980 to a loss of $186 million in the first quarter of 1981. That is in the downstream side of the business. At the same time Gulf Canada went from a $55 million profit to a $95 million profit this year. In light of this, what does the minister propose specifically to remedy the situation? How is he learning from what is going on in the United States, in the evolution of his energy policy for this country?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PROFITS OF OIL COMPANIES
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LIB

Marc Lalonde (Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Hon. Marc Lalonde (Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources):

Madam Speaker, first of all my hon. colleague has forgotten to point out that he has at heart the welfare of consumers. He should have indicated in his question, since he likes to refer to the United States' experience, that at the present time the American consumer is paying about 50 cents per gallon more than the Canadian consumer. We in this country have tried to protect the Canadian consumer from the inflationary impact of the very high price of gasoline. In all honesty, my friend should have referred to that.

Oral Questions

He refers to some profit situation with regard to particular firms. I would suggest to my hon. friend that his party should get their energy act together because, for the last six months, what we have heard from the other side has been that a National Energy Program was going to destroy the oil industry in this country.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PROFITS OF OIL COMPANIES
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?

Some hon. Members:

It is.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PROFITS OF OIL COMPANIES
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LIB

Marc Lalonde (Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. Lalonde:

They say it is, and at the same time their official spokesman accuses us of letting corporations make high profits. Make up your minds, fellows.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PROFITS OF OIL COMPANIES
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POSSIBLE CHANGE IN TAXATION

PC

Michael Holcombe Wilson

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Michael Wilson (Etobicoke Centre):

Madam Speaker, the minister quite rightly points out what has happened in the United States. Let me quote the consumer price index figures which show that in July, 1980, Canada had a lower consumer price index growth, 10.1 per cent, against 13.1 per cent relative to the United States. This year the whole thing has turned around. We are now 2.6 percentage points higher, for a deterioration in the inflation performance in Canada relative to the United States of 5.6 per cent in less than a year. That is what is happening in this country, and the minister should listen to that.

Let me be quite specific in my supplementary question. Part of the Gulf Canada increased profits results from the paper profits that the minister referred to in this House a couple of months ago. These are caused by the minister through the imposition of his petroleum compensation charge, the Canadian ownership charge, and the Lalonde levy which result in real price increases to the consumer.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   POSSIBLE CHANGE IN TAXATION
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LIB

Jeanne Sauvé (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Madam Speaker:

Order, please. That question is a bit long. I would ask the hon. member to try to shorten it.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   POSSIBLE CHANGE IN TAXATION
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PC

Michael Holcombe Wilson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Wilson:

I was just coming to the question, Madam Speaker. The point is that what the consumer loses, the government gains by income tax increases. Since I indicated, in a letter dated April 17 to the minister, that the problem could be remedied easily by a minor change in the method of imposing that tax, what action is the minister taking as a result of my letter to save Canadians in excess of $170 million in taxes which go to his government?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   POSSIBLE CHANGE IN TAXATION
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LIB

Marc Lalonde (Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Hon. Marc Lalonde (Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources):

Madam Speaker, as far as the point raised by the hon. member with regard to inflation rates is concerned, because we were able to keep energy prices at a lower level last year, in particular, we have been able to maintain our inflation rate lower than that in the United States.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   POSSIBLE CHANGE IN TAXATION
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?

An hon. Member:

That is wrong.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   POSSIBLE CHANGE IN TAXATION
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PC

Michael Holcombe Wilson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Wilson:

Last year.

June 1, 1981

Oral Questions

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   POSSIBLE CHANGE IN TAXATION
Permalink

June 1, 1981