May 18, 1984

LIB

Herbert Eser (Herb) Gray (President of the Treasury Board)

Liberal

Hon. Herb Gray (President of the Treasury Board):

Mr. Speaker, my hon. friend knows that questions of this sort should be addressed to the responsible Ministers. In this case it is the Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources.

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Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR MINISTERIAL ACTION
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PC

Erik Nielsen

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Nielsen:

Where is he?

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Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR MINISTERIAL ACTION
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?

An Hon. Member:

They are never here.

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Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR MINISTERIAL ACTION
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LIB

Herbert Eser (Herb) Gray (President of the Treasury Board)

Liberal

Mr. Gray:

I think the Minister of Regional Industrial Expansion also has a role.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR MINISTERIAL ACTION
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PC

John Carnell Crosbie

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Crosbie:

Where is the responsible Minister?

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Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR MINISTERIAL ACTION
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LIB

Herbert Eser (Herb) Gray (President of the Treasury Board)

Liberal

Mr. Gray:

My hon. friends ask where they are. Where are all the people sitting on your side? Where is your Leader, for example?

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Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR MINISTERIAL ACTION
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PC

Ramon John Hnatyshyn (Official Opposition House Leader; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hnatyshyn:

Down in Windsor.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR MINISTERIAL ACTION
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LIB

Herbert Eser (Herb) Gray (President of the Treasury Board)

Liberal

Mr. Gray:

In any event, I want to confirm to my hon. friend the great interest that the Government has in the well-being of the eastern petrochemical industry. In that regard we have the benefit of the very firm views of the Hon. Member for Sarnia. Many of the things my hon. friend is saying, which he has just learned of, have been put forward very effectively by the Hon. Member for Sarnia. With his interest and support I am confident that we will make the right decision in the best interest of the petrochemical industry and its workers.

* *

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Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR MINISTERIAL ACTION
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EXTERNAL AFFAIRS

NDP

Ian Gardiner Waddell

New Democratic Party

Mr. Ian Waddell (Vancouver-Kingsway):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to direct a question to the Minister of International Trade. I am sure he must be aware, as we all are, of the events in the Strait of Hormuz and the potential threats to the oil supply to the western world. Would he inform the House whether he has been in touch with the Canadian embassies in the area, and can he give us any further information on the damage to the ships there? Has the Government been in touch with the Government of the United States concerning the strategic reserves of the United States in particular, and of Canada?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   STRAIT OF HORMUZ-BOMBING OF OIL TANKERS-REQUEST FOR REPORT
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LIB

Gerald Augustine Regan (Minister for International Trade)

Liberal

Hon. Gerald Regan (Minister for International Trade):

Mr. Speaker, of course the Hon. Member touches on a very serious threat to world peace, the escalation of the conflict between Iran and Iraq down in the Gulf with the interference with tankers in that area. It is true that attacks have occurred on ships in that region and that this could pose a threat to the shipment of oil from an area that provides in excess of one-quarter of the world's oil supply. Actually only about 3.5 per cent of Canada's oil supplies came from that area as of 1979, of which the percentage has been tending downward since that time with Canada's temporary self-sufficiency in oil. We do

May 18, 1984

Oral Questions

technically import some oil into Canada on the East Coast while we are able to do some exporting from the West Coast.

I see no short-term threat in relation to oil supplies as a consequence of the problem in the area. First, there are very substantial reserves around the world at the present time. There is, as the Hon. Member states, an international organizational agency that provides for a sharing scheme, of which this scheme can be triggered if a shortage occurs. That further protects our interest.

I want to say that we are concerned from the point of view of urging and supporting other nations in opposing the spreading of the conflict. We, of course, have an export embargo on arms and war supplies to both Iran and Iraq. We certainly join with other nations in doing everything to prevent the spread of the conflict.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   STRAIT OF HORMUZ-BOMBING OF OIL TANKERS-REQUEST FOR REPORT
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FORECAST OF OIL SUPPLY SHORTAGES

NDP

Ian Gardiner Waddell

New Democratic Party

Mr. Ian Waddell (Vancouver-Kingsway):

Mr. Speaker, let me warn the Minister of International Trade, and bring to his attention the possibility of an oil crisis in Canada in the near future. Perhaps he will be interested to know that at the recent National Energy Board hearings-the Energy Board is to give a report on Canada's oil supply and self-sufficiency in a few weeks-Shell Canada maintained that the last year for Canada's self-sufficiency will be 1985, and that imports will be necessary after that until the year 2000. The reason is mainly that the Hibernia and the Beaufort Sea Supplies will not come on stream until 1997. That will leave us a shortfall, or an oil gap if you like, between 1985 and the 1990s of 600,000 barrels a day. What plans does the Government have to fill this oil gap in the event of a potential crisis for Canada?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FORECAST OF OIL SUPPLY SHORTAGES
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LIB

Gerald Augustine Regan (Minister for International Trade)

Liberal

Hon. Gerald Regan (Minister for International Trade):

Mr. Speaker, I am not able to confirm the exact statistics which the Hon. Member presents, as being totally authentic. I do agree it is quite possible that there would be an interim period before new major oil supplies come on stream when Canada could be a net importer, but not to the same degree as we were a few years ago. The dependence on imported oil would be on a much smaller basis. In the meantime we are self-sufficient. I think our needs, if we do encounter the necessity of importing, can very well be managed from those sources with which, through Petro-Canada and through private oil companies, we have ongoing contractual relationships.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FORECAST OF OIL SUPPLY SHORTAGES
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HIBERNIA OIL FIELD AND ALBERTA TAR SANDS

NDP

Ian Gardiner Waddell

New Democratic Party

Mr. Ian Waddell (Vancouver-Kingsway):

Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the Minister for International Trade a further question with respect to this potential oil gap, which Shell Canada calls a real oil gap, in the near future.

The Minister must be aware that the two great areas for oil in Canada are Hibernia, and a place where we have Saudi Arabian type oil, namely the tar sands which are located in the western provinces.

I want to ask the Minister a question with respect to these two areas. First, concerning Hibernia. Could the Minister indicate to the House whether he feels we are in a position where we have put the political disputes behind us so we can get on with the development of Hibernia? Second, with respect to the tar sands, given that the Albertan economy is so down right now, would the Minister be prepared to recommend to the Cabinet that there be a national effort, a commitment now, to develop the enhanced oil recovery and the tar sands projects of Alberta?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   HIBERNIA OIL FIELD AND ALBERTA TAR SANDS
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LIB

Gerald Augustine Regan (Minister for International Trade)

Liberal

Hon. Gerald Regan (Minister for International Trade):

Mr. Speaker, I do not know whether the Hon. Member is taking me beyond the jurisdiction of the Department of External Affairs and into the field of the Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources. I will respond to the extent that it relates to the necessity for importation and to the extent it affects exports. There is no question but that Hibernia is a tremendous future source of hydrocarbons for the Canadian economy, and that the tar sands are a treasure trove for present and future generations in this country. But I do not think the Hon. Member should underestimate the potential for additional oil recovery in many areas-perhaps on a smaller basis in any one area, but in many areas of Alberta and Saskatchewan. I think he will find, with the passage of time, that we will have many sources of production in those provinces beyond those that already exist. Of course there is also the potential for increased gas production from the Member's own province.

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Subtopic:   HIBERNIA OIL FIELD AND ALBERTA TAR SANDS
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PC

John Carnell Crosbie

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Crosbie:

Order.

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Subtopic:   HIBERNIA OIL FIELD AND ALBERTA TAR SANDS
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LIB

Gerald Augustine Regan (Minister for International Trade)

Liberal

Mr. Regan:

It is also interesting to contemplate the ways in which gas may be used as a substitute for oil in subsequent times.

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Subtopic:   HIBERNIA OIL FIELD AND ALBERTA TAR SANDS
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PC

John Carnell Crosbie

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Crosbie:

Gas is being used now.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   HIBERNIA OIL FIELD AND ALBERTA TAR SANDS
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May 18, 1984