Hon. Mitchell Sharp (Eglinton):
Mr. Speaker, during the discussion in the standing committee on this matter I raised some objection to this proposed motion, both on the ground that it did probably impose a charge on the public and also because I did not think a percentage of this kind, if it were realistic, would be anything but a floor under expenditure. I propose to deal only with the first of these arguments since it touches the question Your Honour has raised.
It seems to me this proposal is only important if it does actually put forward a limitation. So when the hon. member for Yukon says it could be amended to 10 per cent, he does not mean it seriously. It would have no purpose at all, then. The whole purpose is to restrict in some way a charge upon the company. If it is to be a restriction it could very well result in an additional cost over and above the amount payable by the company. This would fall upon the Government of Canada and thus the proposed amendment would require a message which recommended such additional expenditure.
I might add that if the hon. gentleman intended this to be a real restriction he could have amended his proposal very easily by saying, "provided that such costs shall not exceed one per cent" and by adding the words "that would be the cost imposed upon the company."
Topic: GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic: NORTHERN PIPELINE ACT