January 21, 1969

ORAL QUESTION PERIOD

VANCOUVER, B.C.-REQUEST THAT STEPS BE TAKEN TO EXPEDITE SHIPMENTS

PC

Robert Lorne Stanfield (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Robert L. Stanfield (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct a question, preferably to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce, or the Minister of Agriculture. I ask whether in light of the continued congestion at Vancouver, which according to the January 17 market letter of James Richardson and Sons Limited-this was only last week-caused the loss of an additional 17,000-ton wheat sale to Japan, the minister could tell the house what concrete steps the government is taking to move the requested grade of grain to the ships waiting in Vancouver harbour?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   VANCOUVER, B.C.-REQUEST THAT STEPS BE TAKEN TO EXPEDITE SHIPMENTS
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LIB

Jean-Luc Pepin (Minister of Industry; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Hon. Jean-Luc Pepin (Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce):

Mr. Speaker, I am in no position to comment on the allegation that a sale to Japan was lost because of this situation; I would have to check. But I have already explained to the house that we are confronted in Vancouver with a situation that results from weather conditions, obviously, also from the desire to ship to terminal elevators for drying purposes as much damp grain as possible, and finally from the growth, unexpected in some cases, of exports. As I indicated before, and as my hon. friend knows, sales that were to be made by the United States to Japan have been made by Canada. This has created a situation in Vancouver from which we are trying to get out. All efforts are being made by the transportation committee and its subcommittee in Vancouver to remedy the situation as quickly as possible.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   VANCOUVER, B.C.-REQUEST THAT STEPS BE TAKEN TO EXPEDITE SHIPMENTS
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PC

Robert Lorne Stanfield (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stanfield:

A supplementary question, Mr. Speaker. I do not make any comment on the explanation given by the minister with regard to why we are in this position. I would like to ask the minister whether he would take an early opportunity, this week I would

hope, to spell out the concrete action the government is taking and proposes to take to meet the difficulty in which it finds itself. I am not asking the minister to explain now why we are in this position, but I ask whether he will make a statement on motions as to what concrete action the government proposes to take to get the western farmer and the country out of this difficulty.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   VANCOUVER, B.C.-REQUEST THAT STEPS BE TAKEN TO EXPEDITE SHIPMENTS
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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   VANCOUVER, B.C.-REQUEST THAT STEPS BE TAKEN TO EXPEDITE SHIPMENTS
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LIB

Jean-Luc Pepin (Minister of Industry; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Pepin:

Mr. Speaker, I have already indicated that all possible steps are being taken. I have also recognized that a serious situation was created by the causes that I have also indicated. A few days ago the hon. member for Mackenzie came into the house with statistics, saying that there were 1,000 fewer car loadings as compared to the same period last year. I have checked on that, and find it is not the whole truth. The whole truth is that cars loaded for Vancouver-

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   VANCOUVER, B.C.-REQUEST THAT STEPS BE TAKEN TO EXPEDITE SHIPMENTS
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IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

Order, please. I wonder

whether the minister would not agree that we are becoming involved in debate. My understanding of the question asked by the Leader of the Opposition was whether a statement would be made on motions.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   VANCOUVER, B.C.-REQUEST THAT STEPS BE TAKEN TO EXPEDITE SHIPMENTS
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PC

Robert Lorne Stanfield (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stanfield:

A further supplementary question, Mr. Speaker. In other words, I am asking the minister whether he will tell the whole truth, including the concrete steps that the government proposes to take to deal with this problem.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   VANCOUVER, B.C.-REQUEST THAT STEPS BE TAKEN TO EXPEDITE SHIPMENTS
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Right Hon. J. G. Diefenbaker (Prince Albert):

A supplementary question to the minister, Mr. Speaker. I wonder whether the minister would go out west and really see the conditions on the prairies today, in order to realize the awfulness of the situation. I ask him at the same time whether, in view of the high authority of James Richardson and Sons Limited, he would consult the Minister without Portfolio from Manitoba and learn something about the wheat situation.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   VANCOUVER, B.C.-REQUEST THAT STEPS BE TAKEN TO EXPEDITE SHIPMENTS
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IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

Is the hon. member for Mackenzie rising on a point of order?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   VANCOUVER, B.C.-REQUEST THAT STEPS BE TAKEN TO EXPEDITE SHIPMENTS
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PC

Stanley James Korchinski

Progressive Conservative

Mr. S. J. Korchinski (Mackenzie):

Yes, Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. I believe it is

January 21, 1969

Inquiries of the Ministry also a question of privilege because the minister suggested I came into the house with some untrue figures. I received those figures from the Dominion Bureau of Statistics and, if he likes, I am prepared to give him this information.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   VANCOUVER, B.C.-REQUEST THAT STEPS BE TAKEN TO EXPEDITE SHIPMENTS
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NDP

Harold Edward Winch

New Democratic Party

Mr. Harold E. Winch (Vancouver East):

Mr. Speaker, on this matter of ships in the Vancouver harbour, may I ask the minister, in view of the information which I received only yesterday from the harbourmaster of Vancouver to the effect that the number of ships awaiting cargo has now reached such proportions that 16 have had to be anchored in English Bay, and not in the inner harbour, whether for reasons of public relations, he would consult with the Minister of Transport to consider the possibility of foregoing the $2,500 a day demurrage on ships held there through no fault of their own?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   VANCOUVER, B.C.-REQUEST THAT STEPS BE TAKEN TO EXPEDITE SHIPMENTS
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LIB

Jean-Luc Pepin (Minister of Industry; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Pepin:

Mr. Speaker, I have looked back at the record for former years and I have found that even when the situation was far from being as dramatic as it is now, requests were being made for the payment of demurrage by the Canadian government; so this situation is not new. What I am saying, however, is that short of going there myself and administering the port of Vancouver, and dealing with box car assignments myself, which would be highly undesirable, the government has done everything that needs to be done to ensure that the work is being carried out by the proper authorities, and by people who know about transportation and about port operations. I think that is all the government can be asked to do.

To come back to the point made by the hon. member for Mackenzie, I did not say that he did not tell the truth. I said that the statistics he used were good statistics but that they gave a wrong impression of the facts. It is true that the carloadings are down by 18 per cent, but one must consider how this figure comes about-

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   VANCOUVER, B.C.-REQUEST THAT STEPS BE TAKEN TO EXPEDITE SHIPMENTS
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PC

Howard Russell MacEwan

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MacEwan:

Go back to the university and start lecturing there again.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   VANCOUVER, B.C.-REQUEST THAT STEPS BE TAKEN TO EXPEDITE SHIPMENTS
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NDP

Alfred Pullen Gleave (N.D.P. Caucus Chair)

New Democratic Party

Mr. A. P. Gleave (Saskaioon-Biggar):

Mr. Speaker, I have a supplementary question for the Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce. Would he consider doing what has been done before, that is appoint an individual or a controller who would go to Vancouver to co-ordinate the activities there?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   VANCOUVER, B.C.-REQUEST THAT STEPS BE TAKEN TO EXPEDITE SHIPMENTS
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LIB

Jean-Luc Pepin (Minister of Industry; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Pepin:

I have already answered this question five times. The reason I gave for not

agreeing is that if a single man is appointed to do that job, every group might dump their problems on him.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   VANCOUVER, B.C.-REQUEST THAT STEPS BE TAKEN TO EXPEDITE SHIPMENTS
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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   VANCOUVER, B.C.-REQUEST THAT STEPS BE TAKEN TO EXPEDITE SHIPMENTS
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LIB

Jean-Luc Pepin (Minister of Industry; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Pepin:

Instead of appointing one man we have appointed a transportation committee which brings together all the interested parties. A subcommittee has been formed in Vancouver to take care of that particular problem and the members of the subcommittee are the representatives of those who have an interest in and a knowledge of the problems. They are doing their best to get out of a very unhappy and difficult position.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   VANCOUVER, B.C.-REQUEST THAT STEPS BE TAKEN TO EXPEDITE SHIPMENTS
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NDP

John Stratford Burton

New Democratic Party

Mr. John Burton (Regina East):

I have a supplementary question, Mr. Speaker. In view of the fact that some of the ships in Vancouver harbour have been tied up for over a month, and in view of the many other difficulties involved in grain movement and handling over the past several months, will the government give consideration to the appointment of a grain controller to co-ordinate as well as to control and oversee all aspects of the grain situation?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   VANCOUVER, B.C.-REQUEST THAT STEPS BE TAKEN TO EXPEDITE SHIPMENTS
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January 21, 1969