February 4, 1935

LIB

Charles A. Stewart

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

Be careful.

Topic:   DEEP SEA FISHERIES
Subtopic:   FACILITIES FOR REFRIGERATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF BAIT
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CON

John Howard Myers

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MYERS:

I suppose one must be, but I feel it my duty to make these remarks.

I was nearly forgetting one other thing; I wish to join with the hon. member for An-tigonish-Guysborough, in the wish that assistance might be given our fishermen in regard to their equipment. This equipment and their fishing boats cost money. It is true that in Nova Scotia they use larger boats than we have in Prince Edward Island, yet a fisherman's boat, engine, traps, gear and equipment of all kinds, run into a good deal of money. I have seen men in Prince Edward Island set out in the spring of the year with a splendid equipment of lobster traps, each costing in the neighbourhood of S2.50. I have seen theta start out with from one hundred to three hundred traps, and perhaps they would not be in the water more than a day or two 'before every trap would be ashore, smashed into a 'hopeless wreck, and the fisherman would have to do all the work again and go to a great deal of additional expense. So I would recommend to the department and to the government that they take steps to bonus our fishermen in the construction and repair of their boats and equipment.

Topic:   DEEP SEA FISHERIES
Subtopic:   FACILITIES FOR REFRIGERATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF BAIT
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LIB

Joseph Philippe Baby Casgrain

Liberal

Mr. P. F. CASGRAIN (Charlevoix-Saguc-nay):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to say a few

words on this resolution. I am somewhat in the position of the hon. member who just resumed his seat (Mr. Myers); I am neither a farmer nor a fisherman, but I happen to represent an agricultural and fishing district in the county of Charlevoix-Saguenay, on the north shore of the St. Lawrence. Conditions in my district may be a little different from those obtaining on the Atlantic seaboard, but in my trips through that part of the country I have come in contact with the fishermen, who have told me of their difficulties in getting bait and keeping it in good condition.

I am proud to support this resolution; I think it should receive the serious consideration of the government. I was rather surprised to hear the remarks of the hon. member for North Winnipeg (Mr. Heaps) a few moments ago; he did not seem to attach much importance to this resolution and

seemed to make light of the hon. member who moved it. I think, however, that may be due to the fact that he lives very far inland and may not be familiar with conditions in the fishing industry.

All the recommendations contained in the latter part of the resolution are being carried out in the good old province of Quebec. The government of that province have come to the assistance of the fishermen in providing refrigerating plants at various places along the north shore of the St. Lawrence. As I was visiting my constituents last summer, at a place called Havre St. Pierre they were erecting a refrigerating plant with the money of the provincial government, with nothing contributed by the federal government. At another place called Thunder River a refrigerating plant was built a few years ago by the provincial government in order to aid the fishermen of that district.

Topic:   DEEP SEA FISHERIES
Subtopic:   FACILITIES FOR REFRIGERATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF BAIT
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CON

Grote Stirling (Minister of Fisheries; Minister of National Defence)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STIRLING:

Does the provincial government pay the full cost?

Topic:   DEEP SEA FISHERIES
Subtopic:   FACILITIES FOR REFRIGERATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF BAIT
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LIB

Joseph Philippe Baby Casgrain

Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN:

I believe so, because the plants were erected under the supervision of the government. The fishermen of those districts are not in a position to contribute to the cost of such plants, as they would be required to do if the plants were constructed by this government. I know this question has been discussed here at Ottawa, and we have been told that the government are willing to provide these plants if the fishermen pay their share, but the fishermen are not in a position to do that. I should be rather surprised to learn that the federal government contributed anything toward the improvement of the fishing industry in the province of Quebec.

I was going to say, Mr. Speaker, that the provincial government has given further assistance to the fishermen in the way of bounties to aid in the construction of boats and new equipment, as the last speaker mentioned, and the fishermen in that part of the country have been greatly encouraged by the aid they have received.

I heartily approve of this resolution, and I hope the government will give it very serious consideration. I believe in order that the conditions of the fishermen, more especially in the district from which I come, on the north shore of the St. Lawrence, should be improved, there should be more cooperation between the provincial and federal governments. Three years ago in this house I had occasion to bring in a resolution asking the present government to cooperate with the provincial government. At one time it was suggested that a certain school be established in the Gaspe peninsula in order

Deep Sea Fisheries

to help the fishermen, but up to the present I do not think this proposition has been materially advanced. I know it is a difficult question, but the provincial government have done their share to develop the fishing industry of the province. The government have spent their own money, since they have control of the fisheries, but with more help needed to-day the provincial government are not in a position to contribute what is needed in the circumstances. For all these reasons I wish to support the motion of the hon. member for Gloucester (Mr. Veniot). I congratulate him, and I hope the government will accept the motion and grant the request.

Topic:   DEEP SEA FISHERIES
Subtopic:   FACILITIES FOR REFRIGERATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF BAIT
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CON

Felix Patrick Quinn

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. F. P. QUINN (Halifax):

Mr. Speaker, I will not delay the house for very long. I just wish to congratulate the hon. member for Gloucester (Mr. Veniot) for having brought in this resolution. I consider that the time that has been devoted to the discussion of this question has been spent very profitably, since it has brought to the attention of parliament and the country the deplorable condition of the fishermen, particularly in the maritime provinces. I believe, with another hon. member who has spoken, that the resolution does not go quite far enough. I think it should have further consideration and should be thoroughly discussed before the fisheries committee. Following that a report could be presented by that committee to parliament and some action taken by the government looking to the improvement of conditions generally among our fishermen.

Topic:   DEEP SEA FISHERIES
Subtopic:   FACILITIES FOR REFRIGERATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF BAIT
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CON

Grote Stirling (Minister of Fisheries; Minister of National Defence)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. GROTE STIRLING (Acting Minister of Fisheries):

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Gloucester (Mr. Veniot) brings to the attention of the house 'his suggestion for the improvement of conditions in the fishing industry on the Atlantic coast. He suggests the establishment at important centres of a number of refrigerator plants adequate to meet the needs of the industry, and at the same time he desires that consideration be given to the best method of distribution of the bait required. In his remarks he has explained that he wishes this to be done entirely at the expense of the taxpayers. He did not make it clear whether that applied to the distribution required as well as to the building of the refrigerator plants but it is obvious that if the refrigerator plants are not dotted along the coast at close intervals the distribution necessary will be much more expensive.

The policy of the government as illustrated by its introduction of the Natural Products Marketing Act-which covers products of the

sea as well as of the land-has been to show a readiness to assist the producer when he has shown himself able and willing to assist himself. In the past, governments in Canada have made attempts to handle the bait problem, and difficulty has been experienced because of the fact that bait is not available every month of the year. As a rule there is a scarcity in the fall and a plentiful supply in the spring, and the difficulty is that facilities are not easily provided for caring for the surplus obtainable in the spring so as to make it available during the fall months. The hon. member for Antigonish-Guysborough (Mr. Duff) referred to one series of attempts made nearly forty years ago with respect to the provision of bait freezers using ice and salt. They were to be built on a fifty-fifty basis as between the dominion government and the associations of fishermen. The system fell down for one reason because sometimes there would be years when bait would be plentiful, and on such occasions the fishermen did not see fit to store the ice, so that the bait was not put into storage and when bait became scarce there was no supply in the freezers. That policy was changed some ten years later, and other attempts were made by the dominion government over a course of years to provide freezers to overcome the bait difficulty. In 1929 and 1930 a determined attempt was made to overcome the difficulty, and as a result regulations were formulated which I shall summarize in this way: Where associations consisting of not more than twenty fishermen, who spend at least three months at sea fishing each year with baited hooks, would be formed, they would be assisted in the establishment of bait freezers to the extent of seventy-five per cent of the cost, and would also receive a bonus on the bait frozen for the first five years of $5 per ton, up to twenty tons. The associations were required1 to give a bond for $1,000 that they would carry on in accordance with the regulations. These provided amongst other things that the association would employ and pay a competent man to operate the plant and to deliver bait to the fishermen as they might call for it.

Only three freezers have been built so far under that arrangement. The first one, in Halifax county, operated only one year; the second was in Inverness county and is still operating, and the third, which was completed only last fall, is in Richmond county. In June, 1930, the late administration saw fit to give considerable assistance by way of a money grant for the building on a very large scale of a bait freezer at Yarmouth.

Railway Act-Traffic by Water

The plant cost in the neighbourhood of $100,000, the contribution by the federal government being $63,750. There were many who gravely doubted whether a large bait freezer could be made to pay, one of the great difficulties being the consistent and continuous distribution required from that one spot to the many points all along the coast where the bait was needed. The plant went out of operation in two years. An appeal was made to the present government to permit the closing of the plant, and permission was granted on the understanding that it would be reopened on demand.

Topic:   DEEP SEA FISHERIES
Subtopic:   FACILITIES FOR REFRIGERATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF BAIT
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LIB

William Duff

Liberal

Mr. DUFF:

Would the minister allow me to say that one of the officials of his department recommended the purchasing of the plant in Yarmouth, a plant which never should have been purchased?

Topic:   DEEP SEA FISHERIES
Subtopic:   FACILITIES FOR REFRIGERATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF BAIT
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CON

Grote Stirling (Minister of Fisheries; Minister of National Defence)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STIRLING:

There was a recommendation that if the government asked the company in question to build a plant at Canso within a year, the plant would be built, presumably under the same arrangements. As the original plant was not successful, the one at Canso was not built. Probably that was a mighty good thing.

Hon. members speaking to the resolution have wandered rather far afield by suggesting its expansion to provide fishermen with boats and gear, marketing facilities and all sorts of things that do not come within its terms. I believe the best way to handle the matter would be to refer it to the select standing committee on fisheries, and with that in mind I would move, seconded by the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Stewart):

That at the end of the resolution should be added the words "and that the resolution be referred to the select standing committee on fisheries for consideration and report to the house."

Topic:   DEEP SEA FISHERIES
Subtopic:   FACILITIES FOR REFRIGERATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF BAIT
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LIB

Peter John Veniot

Liberal

Mr. VENIOT:

Mr. Speaker, evidently we cannot finish this debate to-night, and I therefore move the adjournment of the debate.

Motion agreed to and debate adjourned.

On motion of Mr. Guthrie the house adjourned at 10.58 p.m.

Tuesday, February 5, 1935

Topic:   DEEP SEA FISHERIES
Subtopic:   FACILITIES FOR REFRIGERATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF BAIT
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February 4, 1935