July 22, 1969

PRIVILEGE

MR. FORTIN-PROTEST AGAINST STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER ON C.B.C. FRENCH NETWORK

RA

André-Gilles Fortin

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Andre Forlin (Lolbiniere):

Pursuant to Standing Order 17 (2), I have given notice to the Chair of a question of privilege I intended to raise at the beginning of the sitting, following the extremely serious statements made by the Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau) last night on the C.B.C.'s French radio and television network, that is that members of the House of Commons are rather old fogies.

He stated moreover that parliament is an antiquated institution and on the whole, his statement suggested that he feels nothing good is done by parliament and that it is only a waste of time for which the members of the opposition are responsible.

To make it worse, the injustice results from the fact that the C.B.C.'s French network was not fair enough to ask for an account from a member of the opposition to counteract the Prime Minister's gratuitous and extremely serious statements.

In my opinion it is sheer dishonesty, a breach of the members' privileges and of the right to information of the Canadian people.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. FORTIN-PROTEST AGAINST STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER ON C.B.C. FRENCH NETWORK
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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. FORTIN-PROTEST AGAINST STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER ON C.B.C. FRENCH NETWORK
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RA

André-Gilles Fortin

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Fortin:

Mr. Speaker, that is the essence of my question of privilege.

In view of the implications of the application of closure in accordance with standing order 33, considering that closure is seldom resorted to and that most often its application is odious, considering that those who resort to it must, from a parliamentary standpoint, be held responsible for the consequences, and considering that the people of Canada have a right to get accurate information, I say, Mr. Speaker, that the whole matter affects the right of the people of Canada to such accurate and fair information.

Indeed, Canadians must be informed of the fact that the opposition members are doing an honest job, not as dotards or simpletons but as responsible men. I suggest that the privileges of the people are being dangerously affected. It is the responsibility of every member of Her Majesty's loyal opposition to cast some light on this subject in order to bring the Right Hon. Prime Minister to express his opinions more specifically in respect of the disparagement campaign he has undertaken against the supreme, democratic institution which is parliament.

Mr. Speaker, as long as the rights and privileges of the representatives of Canadians in the House of Commons are not properly respected by the Right Hon. Prime Minister, we will have to conclude that this is a pure and simple belittling of parliament, made deliberately and with full awareness by the government, and I suggest this situation should not be tolerated by any parliamentarian worthy of the name.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. FORTIN-PROTEST AGAINST STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER ON C.B.C. FRENCH NETWORK
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. FORTIN-PROTEST AGAINST STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER ON C.B.C. FRENCH NETWORK
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IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

The hon. member for Lot-biniere will appreciate that, even if the question of privilege were well taken-which I doubt-I must take into account the fact that no motion has been introduced in the house. The question is not debatable and I cannot rule in the circumstances on whether or not the question of privilege was in order.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. FORTIN-PROTEST AGAINST STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER ON C.B.C. FRENCH NETWORK
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RA

André-Gilles Fortin

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Forlin:

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege.

I willingly abide by your ruling which I think is sensible. But my purpose was to call the attention of the house to some unfortunate statements.

I should like however to point out to you, Mr. Speaker, with all due respect, that every time a member of the Ralliement Creditiste rises to speak, the members on the other side, and particularly those immediately opposite, keep making a lot of noise, thus proving the Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau) is right-

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. FORTIN-PROTEST AGAINST STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER ON C.B.C. FRENCH NETWORK
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IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

Order. If this is any comfort to the hon. member, I can assure him that I am actually listening to him rather than to the interruption he just mentioned.

11500 COMMONS

Proceedings on Adjournment Motion Canadians must have special permission before they can take their horses into New York state to race. Of course, the additional assistance United States owners receive from the government of New York state for the purpose of improving their stock means that we stand small chance of competing with them favourably at the race tracks in that state.

Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I would ask the Minister of Agriculture to look upon this one per cent tax that is being charged on parimutuel betting in Canada as a subsidy to be allotted to an all-Canadian standard Bred Breeders Association to enable the owners in our Canadian racing stables to improve their stock. It is interesting to note that there are as many horses or stables, I am not sure which, at the moment in New York state alone as there are in the entire Dominion of Canada.

I have spoken to many standard bred breeders who are interested in this problem. They have a great deal invested in what is becoming a very popular Canadian sport. These people are interested in having an all-Canadian standard bred breeders association instead of having a Standard Bred Breeders Association along provincial lines. It is only in this way that they can become a large enough

DEBATES July 22, 1969

organization to compete with the stables in the United States.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. FORTIN-PROTEST AGAINST STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER ON C.B.C. FRENCH NETWORK
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LIB

Albert Béchard (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bechard):

Order,

please. The parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Agriculture.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. FORTIN-PROTEST AGAINST STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER ON C.B.C. FRENCH NETWORK
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LIB

Florian Côté (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Florian Cote (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture):

Mr. Speaker, when the hon. member for Renfrew North (Mr. Hopkins) and the hon. member for Pontiac (Mr. Lefebvre) called the attention of the minister to some discrimination that appeared to exist within the Canadian Trotting Association-we must not forget that this is a strictly private and independent association- the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Olson) got in touch with the officials of that association in order to know if discrimination really existed. The minister asked that measures be taken in order to stop this as soon as possible and that an elaborate inquiry be made.

I think that the minister will receive before long an answer to his request. He will then be pleased, as well as I, to communicate to the hon. member for Renfrew North any decision that might be reached.

Motion agreed to and the house adjourned at 10.27 p.m.

July 22, 1969 COMMONS

imports are not the only reason why the prices of eggs fluctuate. As a matter of fact, every year similar fluctuations occur depending on the time when the chickens that will become laying-hens get to the farmers.

This year, imports were equal to only 1 per cent of Canada's total egg production. On the other hand, 65 per cent of that 1 per cent was used for dehydration, for the freezing of eggs employed in food by-products which, if they were not manufactured here in Canada, would have to be imported.

For the information of the hon. member for Bellechasse, I should say that imports are slowly tapering off. In fact, during the month of June imports were as follows: first week, 9800 crates; second week: 4600 crates; third week, 3750 crates; last week, 1500 crates only. Moreover, in July, not a single dozen eggs was imported into Canada.

The department does not foresee other imports at the present time.

Besides, when prices climb a little too high, the manufacturers themselves buy in foreign countries. Production, in the province of Quebec, represents only from 65 to 70 per cent of consumption. Therefore if production is not large enough to meet the needs of consumption, we have to go elsewhere.

Since the farmers organization has now divided the province of Quebec in 16 areas, that indicates a tendency towards planning on the part of farmers-

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. FORTIN-PROTEST AGAINST STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER ON C.B.C. FRENCH NETWORK
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LIB

Albert Béchard (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bechard):

Order, please. The hon. member for Renfrew North.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. FORTIN-PROTEST AGAINST STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER ON C.B.C. FRENCH NETWORK
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SPORTS-TROTTING RACES-REFUSAL TO LICENCE LADY DRIVERS

LIB

Leonard Donald Hopkins

Liberal

Mr. Leonard Hopkins (Renfrew North):

Mr. Speaker, this evening I am pleased to continue expanding the question which I asked on July 10 concerning the Canadian Trotting Association and the particular regulation which they have laid down in their by-laws.

The Canadian Trotting Association holds a federal charter and they report to the federal Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Olson). I wish to repeat the question I asked at that time. It is as follows:

Would he ask the minister to investigate whether or not Rule 17, section 1, of the Canadian Trotting Association rules and regulations, 1969, is contrary to the Bill of Rights, in that it declares the association's refusal to licence lady drivers for extended meets, who have not previously held such a licence-

Proceedings on Adjournment Motion

I had a particular person in mind, Mr. Speaker. She is Miss Sandra Clouthier of R. R. 6, Pembroke, in my constituency. This young lady, who is 18 years of age, is reported to be able to handle horses as well as any man. She comes from a large family. Her father owns between 90 and 100 race horses and she participates in the training of many of those horses.

As hon. members know, many of our young people are becoming more and more interested in all kinds of sports in this country. I think it is rather obnoxious that a by-law should be laid down to prevent them from participating in racing. Nevertheless, Miss Sandra Clouthier has been refused the privilege of racing on race tracks in Canada.

I wish to read Rule 17, section 1 found on page 69 of the by-laws of the Canadian Trotting Association. The preamble reads as follows:

No driver's licence valid for extended meetings will be granted to women drivers who have not held previously such a licence valid for extended meetings.

[DOT] (10:20 p.m.)

There is no reference to fall fairs because fall fairs are not considered to be extended meetings. The fact remains that previously lady drivers were allowed to race in Canada, but recently it was decided that those ladies who held licences can renew their licences while those who have come into the field lately cannot. I feel this is a great disadvantage to young people in Canada such as Miss Clouthier. I should like to have the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Olson) make a deep survey into this situation to find out exactly on what legal basis, and on the basis of the Bill of Rights, an association can bring in such a discriminatory bylaw.

Another item connected with this question deals with the one half per cent tax placed on parimutuel betting at our race tracks which now has been raised to one per cent. I understand that originally this tax was supposed to go to the Standard Bred Breeders Associations throughout this country to help the various breeders improve their stock. I also understand that in New York State the tax is two per cent on parimutuel betting and that it goes to the racing stables by way of subsidy to assist the owners to improve their racing stock.

The people from New York state can bring their horses over here to Ontario tracks or to Montreal tracks. They can race here and take home Canadian purses, but I am told that

11498 COMMONS

Proceedings on Adjournment Motion month of April, 1,222,609 dozens were imported. In fact, during the first four months of 1969, 2,744,139 dozen eggs were imported.

On the other hand, we exported 140,204 dozens, which leaves a deficit of 2,603,908 dozens. The weighted average price obtained by the Canadian producer, which was 44 cents per dozen at the beginning of January 1969 has kept decreasing steadily and according to the federal statistics, it was less than 34 cents in May. The real situation is still more serious than is indicated by statistics.

Mr. Speaker, several producers have built quite modern henroosts with adequate equipment. They have invested rather large amounts and yet they see, month after month, their profits decreasing and the producer's profit margin is dwindling constantly.

I have here a comparative table on grade A eggs. In 1949, for instance, marketing costs amounted to 18.5 per cent and the producer's share to 81.5 per cent, while in 1966, marketing costs reached 30 per cent, and the producer's share was 70 per cent. It is estimated that in 1969, the situation is even worse.

A study was made to determine as exactly as possible the production cost of eggs on the farm, and this study-Cornwell'-has shown that the average cost of one dozen eggs for the farmer was 35.7 cents.

So, Mr. Speaker, it may be inferred from the study I just mentioned, that the hourly salary of the main producer has been established at 67 cents for an adult, and at 57 cents for the others.

[DOT] (10:10 p.m.)

During our visit in the Maritime provinces, various briefs submitted to the committee on agriculture deal with this disastrous situation.

I think it is our duty to say that in the circumstances, but for reasons I am unaware of, the committee was unable to present a report to the house.

The producers' grievances are very serious, and they are right to complain because in the province of Quebec, for example, egg producers set up cooperatives to market their product. But regardless of the efforts of the directors, Mr. Speaker, successful production planning is impossible for them if the government does not protect them from massive imports.

I explained a minute ago the nature of those imports. The profits of certain categories of businesses increase continually, while the profits in agriculture decrease steadily,

[Mr. Lambert (Bellechasse) .1

DEBATES July 22, 1969

whether in the field of farming, poultry farming, truck gardening or dairy production.

For instance, I have here a statement published on May 12, 1969, to substantiate that there are increases in profits in areas other than agriculture.

Gulf Canada: 7 per cent Increase in net profits in 1968.

For example, insofar as Bell Canada is concerned:

Operating profits have increased by 10 per cent at Bell Canada.

Mr. Speaker, if operating profits could increase at the same rate in the field of agriculture, I think that Canada would only feel better and we would be able to see that unemployment is less acute, because agriculture creates employment in related industries, for the benefit of the people.

I should like to ask the government, on behalf of those producers who rightly urge the government to take whatever steps are necessary to exert a more effective control over egg imports into Canada, to protect those businesses which really deserve its full attention, so that we may preserve a most essential industry.

The federal government has exclusive jurisdiction on imports. In his letter dated June 25, the Quebec Minister of Agriculture and Colonization informed the president of the C.F.U. that he had spoken to the federal Minister of Agriculture about the problem of egg imports into Canada during the last federal provincial conference of the Agriculture ministers held in Ottawa. The provincial Minister of Agriculture was answering the telegram of June 20 from the C.F.U., which was asking for the provincial government to make representations to the federal government, and stating he had discussed this problem with other provincial ministers.

As we said, Mr. Speaker-

Topic:   SPORTS-TROTTING RACES-REFUSAL TO LICENCE LADY DRIVERS
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LIB

Albert Béchard (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bechard):

Order. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture.

Topic:   SPORTS-TROTTING RACES-REFUSAL TO LICENCE LADY DRIVERS
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LIB

Florian Côté (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Florian Cote (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture):

Mr. Speaker, in answer to the question of the hon. member for Bellechasse, may I tell him that I also am deeply concerned with the problem of egg production and imports in Canada.

When the question was brought up, I got together with a few members of the committee on agriculture in order to look into the matter more fully. It must be pointed out that

July 22, 1969

situation will now develop into a permanent $1 charge on welfare recipients. May I point out also that the 20 per cent drop in usage simply means in plain English that patients cannot afford now to pay that $1 charge so that the use of the drugs they need is dropping.

On its side, the provincial government appears to be quite happy to sit back and do nothing except advertise to social assistance people that the drugs listed in the drug benefit list, that is drugs available to welfare recipients at commercial drug stores, are also available at the provincial pharmacy without charge to such patients. That this does not solve the whole problem is evident. There is only one such provincial pharmacy to serve the whole province,, and it is in East Vancouver. To visit it, many Vancouver residents would have to spend several hours going and coming and use two bus fares. These are simple drawbacks unless one is elderly, sick and poor, which so many of these people are. People outside Vancouver must rely on the mails. In many cases they would possibly be dead of old age before the medicine arrived, so they have to give in and pay the $1 fee to get their prescriptions filled locally.

In this age of moon landings it just is not good enough for the pharmacists' society or the provincial government or the federal Department of Consumer and Corporate Affairs, which is supposed to protect consumers, to wash their hands and say: Well, the welfare recipients are now paying the shot, or going without, so why should we nor-ry? Action is needed now. Again I ask the minister: Has he now received a report on this matter from the combines branch, and if so, has the pharmacists' society the legal right to fix this $1 charge on the prescriptions paid by welfare recipients throughout British Columbia?

Topic:   SPORTS-TROTTING RACES-REFUSAL TO LICENCE LADY DRIVERS
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LIB

Stanley Haidasz (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Stanley Haidasz (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs):

I recall that the hon. member, during the adjournment debate on April 28, raised the same question of the $1 surcharge by the members of the B.C. Professional Pharmacists Society to welfare recipients for prescription drugs. At that time I assured the hon. member that I shared her concern with respect to the high cost of drugs and also proper medical care for people who need it most. I went on to remind the house of the government's five point program designed to reduce the cost of drugs to Canadians, an

Proceedings on Adjournment Motion important feature of which was Bill C-102 which received Royal Assent on June 27.

With respect to the $1 surcharge, I also confirmed on April 28 that the minister received a letter from the Honourable Dan Campbell, Minister of Social Welfare in British Columbia, asking for a combines investigation. I also stated that the matter had been referred to the combines branch. I explained that the director then had the matter under review to ascertain whether there was reason to believe the Combines Investigation Act had been violated.

As the house is aware, it is not the practice to disclose whether formal inquiry under the act into a particular firm or industry has been undertaken. However, since that time it has become public knowledge, through sources outside our department, that a senior officer of the director's staff attended at the department of social welfare in Victoria and Vancouver early in May. In accordance with the usual practice, however, no information is given about inquiries in progress, unless and until a report is published or some other public proceeding has been taken pursuant to the act. It can be safely stated now, Mr. Speaker, that this matter is properly in hand in accordance with the provisions of the statute.

Topic:   SPORTS-TROTTING RACES-REFUSAL TO LICENCE LADY DRIVERS
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AGRICULTURE-EGGS-GOVERNMENT ACTION TO PROTECT CANADIAN PRODUCER FROM IMPORTS

RA

Joseph Adrien Henri Lambert

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Adrien Lambert (Bellechasse):

Mr. Speaker, on July 7th last, I put a question to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce (Mr. Pepin) concerning a specific problem which Canadian egg producers are now facing.

That industry has become most important and provides employment to a large number of people. It is now going through an increasingly difficult period. The cost of production is going up while the cost of eggs has gone down considerably since January 1st, 1969.

According to the official figures that have been published, grade A large eggs retailed at 67.3 cents in January 1969; today their retail price is 55.7 cents. The price has gone down constantly since the beginning of the year.

Eggs are being imported in increasing quantities. For instance, almost a million dozen eggs were imported from the United States during the weeks of May 11 and May 18 alone. In the first few months in 1969, or rather during the month of December 1968, 268,400 dozens were imparted. During the

Proceedings on Adjournment Motion

Topic:   AGRICULTURE-EGGS-GOVERNMENT ACTION TO PROTECT CANADIAN PRODUCER FROM IMPORTS
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PC

J. Michael Forrestall

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Forreslall:

With their six months' experience!

Topic:   AGRICULTURE-EGGS-GOVERNMENT ACTION TO PROTECT CANADIAN PRODUCER FROM IMPORTS
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July 22, 1969