Mr. Pierre Paquette
Mr. Speaker, that is a very good question. It is as interesting as the hon. member for Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean.
Everyone agrees on the Competition Act. The government says that the price at the pump is the responsibility of the provinces and Quebec, but that is just another excuse. Profits are not made at the pump; they are made at the refinery.
We want to know why the refining margin has gone, as I have already mentioned, from 8¢ or 9¢ to 26¢ in the past few years.
As I said, price setting needs to be transferred from the criminal section of the Competition Act—where it is now—to the civil part of the act because the burden of proof is lower in a civil case.
Furthermore, as far as the Competition Act is concerned, a petroleum monitoring agency needs to be created in order to monitor what is going on and to be able to provide information to the public. Consumers would know exactly what is happening and under what conditions things are happening. It seems to me that with these two items, we would have the means to discipline the major oil companies in relation to setting the price at the pump.
Obviously this would not solve all the problems. The real solution to this problem is to cut our dependence on oil and gas, which is what we should be doing in Canada and Quebec.
Subtopic: Business of Supply
Sub-subtopic: Opposition motion—Gasoline Prices