June 28, 1944

LIB

Ernest Bertrand (Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. BERTRAND (Laurier):

This vote is decreased by $10,000 because the activities of certain officers have been transferred to vote 70, which is increased by $63,300. The chief supervisor is in the district at the present time looking over the situation. He will make a report and I imagine that more inspectors will be appointed.

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LIB
LIB

Ernest Bertrand (Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. BERTRAND (Laurier):

The supervisor is there looking over the situation.

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CCF

Joseph William Noseworthy

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. NOSEWORTHY:

What is being done to develop deep sea fisheries and the demand for fish? The hon. member for St. John-Albert raised the broader question of what the department was doing; what measures were being introduced to see that fishermen in the years immediately ahead will not be faced with the conditions they suffered in the year immediately before the war. I think the minister knows that there was not a single class of citizen in this country exploited to the same extent as the fishermen, and certainly there is not a class of citizen which has been forced to live under such deplorable living conditions. Go along the coast of Prince Edward Island, of New Brunswick, of Nova Scotia; go into the fishing villages of Quebec and Ontario- I am not familiar with the western provinces

and you will see fishermen living in hovels no human being should be required to live in. It seems to me that something should be done to improve the future lot of these fishermen. All I can see in the item is provision for two lecturers, a little printing and some travelling expenses. Is there some other vote under which the minister can make some plans for the future?

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LIB

Ernest Bertrand (Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. BERTRAND (Laurier):

In order to answer my hon. friend I would have to discuss some other items. The situation is much better to-day than it was. and I have never known it to be as described by the hon. member. However, I was not Minister of l'isheries at that time. Our main purpose is to try to keep the level of income of the fisherman as it is to-day. I should not like to go into the details of our programme at this time, because I would have to repeat myself later on. We are helping the fisherman to get better boats which will permit him to land more fish in better condition. We are helping him to bring his fish to the consumer in the best possible form.

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CCF

Joseph William Noseworthy

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. NOSEWORTHY:

Is the department considering the use of aeroplanes to bring fish from the fishing grounds direct to the markets?

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LIB

Ernest Bertrand (Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. BERTRAND (Laurier):

Aviation has not advanced sufficiently to make it commercially possible to bring fish to market by aeroplane. They would have to go by air express and the rates are too high. I do not think we need that. If the fisherman takes good care of his fish; if he does not stay too long at sea; if he has enough ice for the time he is at sea and brings his fish in in good condition, then we intend to help him. I think with the ordinary facilities we have for bringing fish to the consumers' market we can deliver the fish in good condition. The problem is to help the fishermen catch more fish.

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CCF
LIB

Ernest Bertrand (Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. BERTRAND (Laurier):

We want to process the fish immediately it is landed on the wharf and to have a continuity of supply. One of the greatest handicaps facing the fisherman is the fact that fish are plentiful at certain times and scarce at others. At times we have too much fish and then, when the consumers want fish, we sometimes find we have none. We are trying to develop better fishing methods by means of the use of drag-gers and long liners and so on.

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LIB

Vincent-Joseph Pottier

Liberal

Mr. POTTIER:

I understand that at a later stage the minister is going to give a general statement on the development of file fisheries. I had intended to make reference to a minimum price on fish, but time does not permit. I intend to bring that point up later.

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NAT

Douglas Gooderham Ross

National Government

Mr. ROSS (St. Paul's):

One thing we never could understand in Toronto was the tremendous spread between what the fisherman got and what the people had to pay for his fish in the stores. Before the war the fishermen used to get about half a cent a pound for haddock which would sell in the stores in Toronto for from twenty to twmnty-five cents a pound. That does not seem to make sense. If the minister wants to get at the bottom of this problem and increase the demand for fish he must see that the fish is offered for sale at a reasonable price.

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LIB
NAT

Douglas Gooderham Ross

National Government

Mr. ROSS (St. Paul's):

The merchants are not responsible because I have taken that matter up with them.

Item stands.

Progress reported.

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At six o'clock the house adjourned, without question put, pursuant to standing order. Questions



Thursday, June 29, 1944


June 28, 1944