June 14, 1984

LIB

Edward C. Lumley (Minister of Regional Industrial Expansion)

Liberal

Hon. Ed Lumley (Minister of Regional Industrial Expansion):

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the Hon. Member's preamble, the first he heard of the Honda announcement was when he saw it in the paper, unlike a lot of House colleagues. I will even give credit to his side of the House. A lot of his colleagues, when they heard about the possibility of having a Honda plant come to Canada, wrote and asked if we could put it in their constituencies. That Hon. Member did not say one cotton-pickin' word, Mr. Speaker.

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Subtopic:   REQUEST THAT AGREEMENT BE SIGNED
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?

Some Hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

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Subtopic:   REQUEST THAT AGREEMENT BE SIGNED
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LIB

Edward C. Lumley (Minister of Regional Industrial Expansion)

Liberal

Mr. Lumley:

Then, to top it off, he tried to stand up in the House a week later under S.O. 21 and did not even acknowledge the contribution of the Government of Canada in getting the Honda plant there.

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Subtopic:   REQUEST THAT AGREEMENT BE SIGNED
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?

Some Hon. Members:

Shame.

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Subtopic:   REQUEST THAT AGREEMENT BE SIGNED
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LIB

Edward C. Lumley (Minister of Regional Industrial Expansion)

Liberal

Mr. Lumley:

Also, without the IRDP program, the new $764 million American Motors automotive plant would not have been possible in Canada. It was that program that enabled the Government of Canada to offer financial assistance to obtain that plant.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REQUEST THAT AGREEMENT BE SIGNED
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?

Some Hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REQUEST THAT AGREEMENT BE SIGNED
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LIB

Edward C. Lumley (Minister of Regional Industrial Expansion)

Liberal

Mr. Lumley:

Finally, Mr. Speaker, we will look very seriously at the possibility of a subagreement with the Province of Ontario on tourism.

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Subtopic:   REQUEST THAT AGREEMENT BE SIGNED
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COST OF ELECTRICITY IN PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND

PC

Thomas Michael McMillan (Deputy House Leader of the Official Opposition; Progressive Conservative Party Deputy House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Tom McMillan (Hillsborough):

Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of Finance. On May 25 I asked the Minister whether the Government would be open to the idea of an energy subsidy for Prince Edward Island given that the province's electrical costs are at least twice those of the rest of Canada. His reply was entirely negative on the grounds that Prince Edward Island had missed its opportunity to lower electrical costs by rejecting energy from the Lepreau nuclear plant in New Brunswick. Is the Minister aware of data released by the Minister of Energy in Prince Edward Island, Fred Driscoll, a few days ago demonstrating that energy from Lepreau would have been much more expensive for P.E.I. than other options? If not, will the Minister inform himself about Mr. Driscoll's data and take a fresh look at the issue in light of that data?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   COST OF ELECTRICITY IN PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
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LIB

Marc Lalonde (Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Hon. Marc Lalonde (Minister of Finance):

Mr. Speaker, 1 previously referred to Mr. Carl Beigie, and I would not want to be unfair to him, but I should also add that I understand Mr. Beigie has been asked to advise the Conservative Party on

June 14, 1984

policy. Therefore I think his statement has all the more authority when he says that the economy has never been in better shape in the last 15 years.

I might advise my friend that I did not take a totally negative attitude to his question the other day. On the contrary, I indicated the large contribution the federal Government had brought to Prince Edward Island in helping that province reduce its dependence on oil in particular, especially in the area of conservation of energy generally, through home insulation, et cetera. Programs were specifically tailored for situations like that of Prince Edward Island.

As far as the report the Hon. Member has referred to is concerned, I will read it with interest, but I can tell him that the studies the Department of Energy had made at that time, in consultation with the Governments of New Brunswick and P.E.I., seem to indicate that the cost of not using the Lepreau electricity was much higher than if it had been used.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   COST OF ELECTRICITY IN PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
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ENERGY SUBSIDY

PC

Thomas Michael McMillan (Deputy House Leader of the Official Opposition; Progressive Conservative Party Deputy House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Tom McMillan (Hillsborough):

Mr. Speaker, the Minister will recognize that, while conservation is important, it is just the tip of the iceberg as far as Prince Edward Island's energy problem is concerned. Therefore, does he at least recognize that exorbitantly high electrical costs on the Island constitute the biggest obstacle to that province ever achieving any degree of economic self-sufficiency? If so, would he be prepared to recommend to the new Liberal Prime Minister after the weekend that he examine the idea of a P.E.I. energy subsidy with an open mind so that the Island can become more industrially competitive and ultimately less dependent on transfer payments both to individuals and to the Government?

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Subtopic:   ENERGY SUBSIDY
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LIB

Marc Lalonde (Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Hon. Marc Lalonde (Minister of Finance):

Mr. Speaker, I do not agree with the analysis of the Hon. Member. I can only remind him that the federal Government paid $18 million, I believe, for an electrical transmission cable to Prince Edward Island. That is a significant subsidy to help reduce the cost of electricity to the people of Prince Edward Island.

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Subtopic:   ENERGY SUBSIDY
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INDUSTRY

NDP

Lynn McDonald

New Democratic Party

Ms. Lynn McDonald (Broadview-Greenwood):

Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of Supply and Services concerning another plant closing, Woods Incorporated, in my constituency. Some 140 production workers have been laid off, and the question is whether it is temporary or permanent. The Minister will know the company because it bid successfully on a number of contracts before, and has recently bid on a major contract. Can the Minister hold out any hope for those workers who have been laid off that there will be production jobs in September and that they will be getting back to work?

Oral Questions

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   INDUSTRY
Sub-subtopic:   LAY-OFFS AT WOODS INCORPORATED, TORONTO
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LIB

Charles Lapointe (Minister of Supply and Services)

Liberal

Hon. Charles Lapointe (Minister of Supply and Services):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to thank the Hon. Member for her question and for giving me advance notice of the question.

I discussed with the Hon. Member the offer made by the company in her riding. The information I was able to obtain was as follows: The contract will be awarded in the first half of July. At the present time, the Department is checking the quality of certain materials for these emergency bags which will be used by the Armed Forces. Today I am not in a position to say who will or will not get the contract, but I realize that the workers in the company mentioned by the Hon. Member are in a difficult situation. I hope, if the company's price and product is the best one being offered, that it will get the contract.

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Subtopic:   INDUSTRY
Sub-subtopic:   LAY-OFFS AT WOODS INCORPORATED, TORONTO
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SLEEPING BAG CONTRACT

NDP

Lynn McDonald

New Democratic Party

Ms. Lynn McDonald (Broadview-Greenwood):

Mr. Speaker, my supplementary question is for the same Minister, or perhaps for the Minister of National Defence. It is with regard to a similar contract. Timing seems to be very important in this situation. For this company to survive and these jobs to continue, there must be some production in the fall. Yet there have been a number of delays on another major contract of around $1 million for sleeping bags for the Armed Forces. Can we have an understanding as to when this contract will be out for bids? The company has been told week after week that it is immiment, yet there has not been any action. I trust both the Ministers are aware that the livelihood of a community, and of real people who are suffering, is at stake.

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Subtopic:   SLEEPING BAG CONTRACT
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Hon. J.-J. Blais@Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I would be pleased to look into the representations of the Hon. Member. I am not familiar with the particular contract she is speaking of, nor the particular requirement. I will inquire and provide her with as much information as I possibly can.

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Subtopic:   SLEEPING BAG CONTRACT
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EXTERNAL AFFAIRS

June 14, 1984