March 17, 1910

LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

Unless the hon. gentleman can show that his organization found San Jose scale on the plants that went through the Dominion fumigation station, it is not fair to cast any reflection on the work of that station.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   INSECTS, PESTS AND DISEASES ACT.
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CON

Martin Burrell

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURRELL.

I will touch on that point in a moment. From the month of January to October we inspected 96,600 boxes of fruit and condemned 12,200 boxes, and in addition to that, we have also carried the work of inspection to rice, for the weevil, and out of 163,000 sacks of rice we fumigated 14,500. I hope the minister will understand that I am not particularly reflecting on the work of the Dominion fumigation station, except that I would point out that for other reasons (unless a change has been made within the last year) that station has never been satisfactory. To my mind, and to the mind of a great many of our leading fruit growers, the Dominion fumigating station has not been quite up to the mark in the past. We do not want to run any risks in the province of British Columbia, and when we established our fumigating station, we took care to get all the latest methods and improvements to effectually meet the evil, not only in regard to the actual fumigation itself, but also in regard to packing and unpacking, drying out, subjection to frosts, and things of that kind. The actual fumigating room in the Dominion station is 8 by 8, 16 by 8 by 6 by 4 high, and as I think the minister knows, a great part of the platform where the stock is unloaded from the railway cars is exposed and open, and there is

comparatively little room to move along it. The consequence is that only a small quantity can be fumigated at a time in a chamber of that kind. The stock has to be put on the floor, generally in bundles, and fairly tightly packed, and it is pretty hard for the gas to penetrate, in a thoroughly effective wav, all the nursery stock under these conditions. Then there is the further disadvantage of the stock being exposed to drying out, and the difficulty of handling it. The minister apparently did not want to trust us entirely with the duty of fumigating, probably he saw difficulties in the way. However, when we put up our fumigation station we consulted Dr. Willis Johnson the state entomologist of New Jersey. The fumigation station has four rooms. The actual fumigation room was 11 feet by 16 feet by 18 feet. The stock is put on racks, where the fumes penetrate it very freely. The rooms are all air-proof and frost-proof. So that we have a good many advantages in that way. I do not say whether or not we discovered the San Jose scale alive after the stock passed through the Dominion fumigating room, though I think we did. However, we did discover the borers, the aphis and other pests; so that we have had to make a very thorough and systematic inspection of the stock after it nassed the Dominion fumigation station. I do not want to delay the discussion of the Bill now, as it will be taken up later clause by clause. I simply say that we have all this elaborate provincial machinery, and we hope for development on sound lines of our valuable and increasingly valuable fruit industry. 1 have endeavoured to get into as close touch as possible with the leading men connected with the fruit industry in the province, and there is a strong feeling among them that although the jurisdiction is concurrent, we should be very loath to relinquish any of our organization or our methods or our efforts, and we hope that under this Bill, which gives the minister much larger and wider powers, there will not be any clash between the federal and the provincial authorities. I desire to say here that I recognize that the minister, in bringing forward this Bill, is earnestly desirous of coping with anything injurious to the fruit industry of Canada. I frankly make that admission; but I thought it well at this stage to point out -what our general attitude was, so that the minister might give a full explanation of the modus operandi of this measure in order that we should have a clear understanding of it before it went into actual effect.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   INSECTS, PESTS AND DISEASES ACT.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

I appreciate fully the position which the hon. member takes, and I take no exception whatever to any of his statements. In fact, I rather welcome Mr. BURRELL.

them, because I think that his description of what is' being done in British Columbia is one of the best proofs of the advisability of a Bill of this kind being introduced and made applicable to the whole of Canada. I will not delay the House by any reference to my hon. friend's personal opinions of British Columbia fruit, and that of Quebec; but I do not hesitate here, in the face of my hon. friend and others, to maintain the character and quality of the fruit of the province from which I come. I consider the apples of Quebec, as far as quality and flavour are concerned, to be infinitely superior to anything produced not only in British Columbia, but in the whole world. ,

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   INSECTS, PESTS AND DISEASES ACT.
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CON

Martin Burrell

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURRELL.

I cannot allow that.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   INSECTS, PESTS AND DISEASES ACT.
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CON

Edgar Nelson Rhodes

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. RHODES.

What about Nova Scotia?

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   INSECTS, PESTS AND DISEASES ACT.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

I am not going to make an exception of even Nova Scotia. My hon. friend must not accuse me of having made ad captandum statements to the people of Quebec, because when I was in British Columbia I told the people there that if they obtained great prizes abroad, for their apples, it was only because the fruit of Quebec had not been shown at the same exhibition. I appreciate the quality of the fruit of British Columbia, I recognize the great fruit-growing capabilities of that province, and I congratulate it not only on the quality and beauty of its fruit, but on the fact that in recent years especially the increase in fruit-growing in British Columbia has been enormous, and that its prospects in the near future are still brighter. Under these circumstances I do not hesitate, while standing up for my own province, as far as quality is concerned, to recognize the superior producing character of the great province of British Columbia in regard to actual production. My hon. friend twitted me with not having visited Kelowna. I could not visit every place in the province, and the connections were such that I could not make it convenient to visit Kelowna; but I can assure my hon. friend and the people of Kelowna that I have not forgotten them nor their hospitable intentions, nor their great interest in fruit-growing, and tobacco-growing, and I hope very soon to give an evidence of the value I place on their tobacco-growing work by aiding it in some substantial way. Having disposed of these extraneous matters. let me come to the Bill before the House. I accept my hon. friend's compliment in the spirit in which it is given; but I have introduced this Bill in the interest not only of fruit-growing, but of treegrowing in the Dominion of Canada. Insect pests attack other things than fruit trees and fruit, and it is just as important to protect our forests and shrubbery as our

orchards, and our fruit trees. But I recognize also the good work being done in British Columbia, under the Provincial Act. If as good work were done all over Canada as has been done in British Columbia, under that Act, the necessity for this Bill would be to a large extent removed. I believe that the inspection under the British Columbia Act is as good as any on the continent of America, or perhaps, even better. I have watched it with great interest, and have sympathized with the efforts of the British Columbia people to legislate for the protection of their orchards and forests. I think the work done there has been excellent for the province, and has had excellent results. In that respect my hon. friend and I are absolutely at one.

I would like to remind my hon. friend that when the fumigating station at Vancouver was established, the importations of nursery stock into British Columbia were far less than to-day, and the station was then established on a scale which Dr. Fletcher considered sufficient. I am aware that its capacity and arrangements are today not quite what they might be, and had it not been for my expectation of passing this Bill this session, I would have taken steps last year to re-arrange and improve that station. I thought it possible however, that when this Bill came into force we might have to provide for other work besides fumigating the San Jose scale. In these fumigating station's we have not attempted to more than protect against the introduction of the San Jose scale and for that purpose there is just one kind of fumigation. But in dealing with other pests, we may have to use other methods, because that which might be effective in the one case might not necessarily be in others. I am not sufficiently familiar with the insect pests to say what these are, but it is quite possible that there are other pests which the fumigation would not destroy. It is therefore quite possible that the provincial government inspectors may have found in nursery stock that passed through our fumigating stations in Vancouver other insect pests. My hon. friend seems to think it possible that they have found the San Jose scale. I do not think so. Since the establishment of these stations, not only in British Columbia but in the other provinces, not one case of San Jose scale has been in any way traced to imported stock, and all imported stock goes through our fumigating stations.. Under these circumstances, I am justified in assuming that these stations have been effective and that mw hon. friend's impression is not founded on fact. I can only regret extremely that if, on any occasion, the inspectors of the provincial government found anything of the kind, they did not take trouble to report fio us, so that we might investigate and remedy any deficiency or carelessness which might have oc-cured at any of our stations. We have no report that anything of the kind has oc-cured, no complaint has been made to us, and I think that I am justified in assuming that the impression under which my hon. friend labours is absolutely unfounded.

The provisions of this Bill are very similar in a general way to those of the British Columbia Act which my hon. friend has praised. I did not take that Act particularly as my model although it was thoroughly studied by us. What we took was rather the Act of Great Britain which seemed to suit our purposes here, and we have drafted a Bill which we think will cover the same ground and accomplish the same purposes as the British Act.

The conflict which my hon. friend thinks possible between this parliament and .the provincial legislature I trust will not arise. As far as I am concerned, wherever it can be shown that the provincial authorities are taking all the necessary steps, I shall be very loath to interfere. I am not at all anx'ious for unnecessary w ork, and Jf have no desire to assume any responsibility or labour which does not fall naturally to my lot. If a provincial legislature takes the necessary precautions and carries them out efficiently, as I think the British Columbia people are doing, I shall not interfere with its work or try to overlap or duplicate it. But at the same time I think that an Act of this kind should, in the interests of the whole country, be passed and applied bo the Dominion at large and not merely to one province. Otherwise while British Columbia might be very well safeguarded, the rest of the Dominion might not, and the danger of spreading infection elsewhere is entirely outside the purview of the British Columbia authorities. By means of a general law we can protect the whole Dominion much better than it can be by any number of Provincial Acts. I do not understand that my hon. friend objects at all to the passage of this Bill. I am sure he recognizes that it is quite within the competence of this parliament. That opinion I do not presume to give on my own authority, but I have the assurance of the Department of Justice that this Bill is absolutely within our jurisdiction. British Columbia may have no doubt a similar jurisdiction within the limits of that province, but I understand that by the British North America Act, where jurisdiction is given to both provincial and federal parliaments, and a conflict arises, the federal authority must prevail. I can, however, assure my hon. friend that I shall not undertake to interfere in any way with the provincial work. It would be only when I found it necessary in the interests of the country at large, that anything should be done in any province, that I would take

such steps as this Bill empowers me to take. .

As the results of our work, done with the concurrence and assistance of the importers, willingly given to us-hut possibly given to us because they anticipated a Bill of this kind and felt that the sacrifices they made this year would be followed up by continuous safety in the future-by reason of that wfOrk, we have been able to inspect 1,700,000,000 seedlings since the first of January, and found 293 nests of the brown tail moth. I have no doubt that each nest contained 200 to 300 caterpillars which would mean some 60,000 caterpillars or more, and if these had gone abroad throughout Canada and had been able to reproduce themselves in the way these insects do. we might easily have had this coming season a very severe and expensive visitation of this pest. That was done by volunteer work with only one official in addition to our regular staff, and I have no doubt we will be able to do our work more efficiently by having it legally recognized.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   INSECTS, PESTS AND DISEASES ACT.
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CON

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ARMSTRONG.

I have already said I am in favour of this measure, and since the minister has given us to understand it is not going to be interfered with in any way by the provincial governments, we can more readily acquiesce in it. I was sorry to hear the minister say that he has stated that the apples of the province of Quebec were very much superior to those of any other part of the Dominion of Canada.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   INSECTS, PESTS AND DISEASES ACT.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

Of any other place in the world.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   INSECTS, PESTS AND DISEASES ACT.
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CON

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ARMSTRONG.

I consider that that statement is a very narrow statement for a minister of the Crown to make. I certainly feel justified in criticising and condemning it in the strongest kind of language.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   INSECTS, PESTS AND DISEASES ACT.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

Go ahead.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   INSECTS, PESTS AND DISEASES ACT.
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CON

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ARMSTRONG.

Because while the minister may take the position that the apples of Quebec are superior, and may believe it, yet such a statement from a minister of the Crown sent broadcast throughout our land, and possibly through other lands, is not justified. It would be wise for him to retract that statement and place himself in a correct position before the people.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   INSECTS, PESTS AND DISEASES ACT.
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LIB

Henry Horton Miller

Liberal

Mr. MILLER.

Why should the minister be asked to retract it? I do not think there is anything narrow in it. If he believes it to be true that is the statement he ought to make.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   INSECTS, PESTS AND DISEASES ACT.
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CON

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ARMSTRONG.

Does the hon. gentleman believe it to be true?

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   INSECTS, PESTS AND DISEASES ACT.
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LIB

Henry Horton Miller

Liberal

Mr. MILLER.

It does not make any difference whether I do or not. If the minister believes it to be true he had a right to say so. I have no doubt that if the minis-Mr. FISHER.

ter had been speaking in the Northwest Territories, or in Quebec, or in Ontario, of the wheat of the west he would have said there is no wheat grown in Canada equal to the No. 1 hard.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   INSECTS, PESTS AND DISEASES ACT.
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CON

John Allister Currie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. A. CURRIE.

The hon. gentleman forgets that the apples from the county which he represents bring the highest price in the English markets of any Canadian apples.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   INSECTS, PESTS AND DISEASES ACT.
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LIB

Henry Horton Miller

Liberal

Mr. MILLER.

I am not arguing that because I have not sufficient knowledge. If the Minister of Agriculture thought that the apples grown in Quebec were the best it was not narrow to express that opinion.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   INSECTS, PESTS AND DISEASES ACT.
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CON

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ARMSTRONG.

The hon. gentleman (Mr. Miller) is in a different position from the Minister of Agriculture. It is quite right for the hon. gentleman to make a statement about fruit grown in his riding, but the Minister of Agriculture is a prominent man to whom the apple growers look for reasonable, and fair statements, and for him to make such a statement is narrow. [DOT]

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   INSECTS, PESTS AND DISEASES ACT.
Permalink
LIB

Henry Horton Miller

Liberal

Mr. MILLER.

An opinion expressed by the Minister of Agriculture has more weight than a statement by a private member, but I think the Minister of Agriculture has just as good a right to be frank and honest in the statements he makes as any private member, and it seems to me rather a sign of narrowness to criticise the statement than to make it.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   INSECTS, PESTS AND DISEASES ACT.
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CON

John Allister Currie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. A. CURRIE.

The minister has said that the apples from Quebec are the best in Canada, or in the world. That is his individual opinion.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   INSECTS, PESTS AND DISEASES ACT.
Permalink
LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

Yes.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   INSECTS, PESTS AND DISEASES ACT.
Permalink

March 17, 1910