Hon. Jean Chretien (Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources):
Mr. Speaker, the PIP grants are a subsidy that we gave to the companies for drilling on Canada Lands in the North and in the Maritimes. Each contractor who drills is trying to get equipment at the cheapest cost possible so that the PIP grants will not be overspent. There is no law that forces anybody to use only Canadian equipment.
A lot of Canadian equipment has been used in the North or the offshore, and some other equipment was leased out there because there are a lot of rigs available at a cheaper cost in the world market at this time due to the surplus of rigs. The contractors, or companies, are trying to drill at the lowest cost possible so that the taxpayers will not pay too much money for the grants.
Subtopic: PETROLEUM INCENTIVES PROGRAM GRANTS FOR EXPLORATION IN ARCTIC