Mr. Horner (Crowfoot):
Price and wage control would be nothing compared to the rationing and complete control that this bill could bring about.
We on this side need not feel alone, that somehow we are the only ones who think the bill is wrong. We note that in his opening remarks the Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce said:
-the fact that the minister in charge of energy for Canada has been attempting for at least the past four months to create a feeling of crisis within Canada on the energy question.
That is exactly what we are saying today. They are trying to create the illusion that somehow there is a crisis. Do you know what that crisis is? It is the election. Here they are again with the same reasons as in 1974. What makes me so happy about this situation is to know that our party has the support of a cabinet minister who feels the same way about this legislation. With regard to the opinion of the government about the government, it says this about the need for the bill in 1974:
They failed to gather appeal across the country so attempted to create an issue in the hope they could go to the country and win an election on some short-term policy they had devised.
What they did in 1974 is what they are doing in 1979. Do you know what this is? It is government by carbon copy. What they thought worked once might work again. A government that is short on policy stoops to trickery hoping that somehow the tricks might pull it through. I find it interesting what the Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce said about that bill:
Are there no clauses in this bill which are negotiable with the premiers?
A few moments ago we heard the minister classifying that point as unimportant.
This has been the trouble about the chess game we have been watching. The federal government has made up its mind as to its intentions and said ho-hum to the provinces and their desires. Is this a fair attitude to take if the first ministers conference is to be carried on in a proper spirit so as to devise ways of meeting the energy crisis which could develop in Canada should the Arabs shut off the oil being delivered to the five eastern provinces?
Even one of their own ministers back in 1974 was expressing the same concerns that we are expressing now. The concern specifically was that there is not a stability with those people importing oil to the eastern part of this country. For a long time the need has been there to bring western petroleum to the eastern markets. There has been a lead weight around the ankles of government members to move in such a direction.
As a member of parliament from a western province, I remember the anguish that was felt across the prairie communities when we wanted to sell our oil to the eastern markets but could not because the price of oil from Venezuela was $1 per barrel cheaper than bringing it through a pipeline from the west to the east. We are now in the awkward situation where our party still wants to extend that pipeline. Irrespective of the noises we hear from the other side, my leader's policy is that Canada will become self-reliant in energy.
All this government wants is some kind of emergency legislation in case the countries it deals with are too shaky. It wants to be able to cope somehow, shape up or handle them. The present oil shortage is not an accident. The oil shortage on the Atlantic coast is government policy.
The Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources can point his finger at the official opposition and say that we are alone in condemning certain aspects of this bill, or that we are alone without policy. I say to him that the editorials in the major newspapers throughout the country in the past few weeks simply do not subscribe to that fact. I wish to quote from the Saturday, March 10, 1979, Globe and Mail. The editorial has a beautiful title, "Tyrant in Ottawa". This bill should not be called the energy supplies emergency act. It should be called the emergency tyrant act. I quote the first paragraph:
The energy supplies emergency act is a bill produced by the federal government under false pretences. It is a bill rammed through a committee of the House in the early hours of yesterday morning in the face of heavy protest from Conservative members and an informed and bitter attack by the province of Ontario-
Well, I guess the opposition does not matter to the government. As the Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce said, socialists do not like opposition. I guess the premier of Ontario does not matter either, because they not listen to him.
It goes on to say:
It is a bill which has been damned in a letter by Premier Lougheed of Alberta to Prime Minister Trudeau. It is a piece of tyranny, with the tyranny handled by amateurs and all the professionals shoved aside.
Apparently that did not make any difference to them either. In other words, the whole question of energy is now to be left up to bureaucrats. And who is to decide when there is an emergency? That is to be left to the government. But this is a government that creates emergencies. It creates an emergency whenever it thinks an election is coming around. That is why we end up in this unsavoury situation; at election time the government choses to attack personalities and parties rather than to produce policy.
The editorial goes on to say:
It is a bill which the Liberals intend to flourish during the election as a substitute for energy policy they have failed to develop during the seven years since the Arab boycott... It could force pipeline companies to build pipelines that will bankrupt them, run railroads, take over trucks, throw out environmental safety protections, invade every energy field in Canada including your kitchen. There is virtually no appeal from its decisions. Those who disobey are subject to fines up to $20,000 or two years in jail or both for every day on which they commit an offence.
Just moments ago the Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources virtually admitted that this was a bill designed to meet a potential crisis. Well, if it is meant to deal with a potential crisis, why do we find locked into this legislation all the power, all the control that the government assumes it needs-the right to fine people $20,000 or put them in jail, when the bill does not even define what will be regarded as a crisis? They have not shown that a crisis is at hand.
Toward its conclusion the editorial speaks about the government in these words:
It has no energy policy, it has only a piece of paper which would feed its appetite for authoritarian power.
Is there not a similarity between that editorial and what the Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce said about the government-I just love that line of his when he said:
March 20, 1979
What is involved in this bill is a reach for power, dictatorial power, power which only a real socialist would love, power which only real socialists could appreciate, power to take away freedom from the individual.
Surely you cannot have it both ways. You cannot both condemn and embrace and have the same motive in mind in both experiences. The Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce should stand in his place and tell us whether or not he is a part of the socialist thinking he embraces, or whether he wants to find time in the opportunity left to him between now and six o'clock tomorrow to let us know that he does not like the power which is being sought in the legislation before us. I challenge him to do so.
In case the Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources should get the impression that we are alone in our condemnation of the government let me refer to another editorial, this time from the Toronto Sun-I am deliberately picking eastern newspapers because it is important to note that the papers in central Canada are not of the opinion the minister would have us believe they are. I quote from the Sun of Tuesday, March 13:
In negotiations with the provinces, Trudeau has never been able to 'con' the premiers out of control of their energy resources. After all they are guaranteed by the BNA Act. It is one thing Trudeau would change if he got his hands on the constitution.
Well, this bill looks like the first hint of the direction we are going to take. An hon. member asks for the source. Well, the source was just given.
Topic: GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic: ENERGY SUPPLIES EMERGENCY ACT, 1979 MEASURE TO CONSERVE STOCKS