December 29, 1971

IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

Order, please. I regret having to interrupt the hon. member. There is no limit on the extended time which he is allowed and he can speak much longer if he wishes to do so, but I have some doubts whether at least parts of the speech he is now making are within the terms of the motions before us. It seems to me that the approach of the hon. member is in relation to the principle of the bill itself, rather than to the principle of the motions now before us. In the time remaining at the hon. member's disposal he might relate his remarks to the motions under consideration.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM PRODUCTS MARKETING AGENCIES BILL
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF NATIONAL MARKETING COUNCIL AND AGENCIES
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NDP

Frank Howard

New Democratic Party

Mr. Howard (Skeena):

I thought that in the earlier part of the remarks I had followed precisely the scope that was available to hon. members who spoke yesterday when, of course, Your Honour was not in the chair. I was simply trying to follow the tenor of that debate. I admit that speaking about fisheries is somewhat far afield from a national farm products marketing bill and the amendments that are before us.

In summation and in conclusion I was trying to draw a parallel with the fishing industry. This government, without regard to the effect of some of our coastal communities, because of its attitude with respect to fisheries on the west coast has driven some of our coastal communities 95 per cent into the hands of the welfare agencies. There is nothing available to these people as prime producers because the government itself set the course which has driven fishermen out of the fishing industry. That is why I am sceptical and believe that the concept of this bill is designed to drive farmers out of agricultural life and into industrial life. Farmers are having to move into the cities owned by Kraft, by General Foods or by other massive organizations which seem to want to control the agricultural industry.

That is why I am sceptical about the effect this piece of legislation will have on the agricultural community. That is undoubtedly why those who will be affected by it, farmers in various fields of production, are also sceptical about it and are of divided opinion, because some of them can see the day coming when they will be out of business, unable to find employment in industry and on the welfare rolls. Surely that is not what we should be talking about in the House.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM PRODUCTS MARKETING AGENCIES BILL
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF NATIONAL MARKETING COUNCIL AND AGENCIES
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LIB

James (Jim) Gordon Lind

Liberal

Mr. J. G. Lind (Middlesex):

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure and a privilege to speak on Bill C-176, the national farm products marketing bill. As one who is an active farmer in the constituency of Middlesex, I say at the outset that I have enjoyed the privileges extended under three of the Ontario farm marketing boards. We all recognize that farmers as a general rule are rather independent people who rely on their own resources and initiative to make a "go" of farming. We realize that in the very competitive society in which we live some farmers need legislation to protect them. The well-to-do, prosperous farmers may not

December 29, 1971

Farm Products Marketing Agencies Bill

need this legislation. The gentleman farmer, the rancher, or the individual who is well established does not need any protection, but I assert that the young farmer, the one who is taking on the burden of debt in order to establish himself as a primary producer of agricultural products, needs some protection in the marketplace.

In my area of Middlesex and in southern Ontario we have 18 different marketing boards, four of which work under the quota system. I am referring to the Ontario Marketing Board, the Flue-cured Tobacco Marketing Board, and the broiler and turkey boards. This quota system, especially under the Ontario Marketing Board and the Flue-cured Tobacco Marketing Board has been advantageous to participating farmers. I think it has been good for industries such as the dairy industry and the tobacco industry to have these marketing boards. Because of their success, because they have been able to control production, they have enjoyed in the marketplace a fair return for their efforts. Therefore they have expanded, have been able to maintain a good level of economic prosperity in the community and have been successful in the eyes of their neighbours.

Within my riding of Middlesex is the riding of the Minister of Agriculture and Food of the province of Ontario. I should like to quote some of his remarks regarding the urgency of this legislation. I maintain that we need some national farm products marketing legislation. He said on January 25:

How soon can we expect to have national marketing legislation to bring order and stability to the industry? . . .Until a national marketing act has been developed and proclaimed, provinces will be forced to use whatever measures they can develop to protect the interests of their producers. It is possible that voluntary agreements can be established, but our experience has indicated little success by this method.

Those are the words of Hon. William Stewart, Minister of Agriculture and Food of the province of Ontario. He also stated before the provincial legislature on April 15, 1971:

The government of Ontario is of the opinion that the ultimate solution to the problems of international or interprovincial agriculture trade and supply management must be found at the national level. We believe that Bill C-176, the national marketing bill now before the House of Commons, provides the legislative machinery whereby this national rationalization of production and marketing can be realized.

I am in agreement with his views on this legislation. I believe that many hon. members opposite are also in agreement with the views of the Ontario Minister of Agriculture and Food. I urge the House to give speedy approval to this marketing bill. Due to the nature of the farming industry in Canada and its present organization, we know that many individuals are operating under severe financial stress and strain. They more or less rely on the manufacturer, the consumer or the processor to give them whatever price is going at a given time in the market. This is unfair, because those who are least able to bear the burden receive a lower price than they should for their produce. They do not have the requisite facilities to store their produce long enough to take advantage of higher market prices. Under these circumstances, I urge speedy passage of the bill.

[Mr. Lind.J

Hon. Mr. Stewart, again on April 15, 1971, said:

I suggest that had the national marketing legislation now before the House of Commons been in effect, in my opinion, the problems we now face across Canada would not have occurred, as far as interprovincial marketing problems are concerned.

We all realize, Mr. Speaker, that from time to time we become very regionally minded. We all love our home areas, our home provinces. We all fight for the good of our constituencies. But we must remember that a national farm marketing bill is only enabling legislation supporting the ten provinces of Canada in order that they may have their fair share of the market place for their products.

Some people say that national farm marketing legislation will balkanize Canada. I maintain that it will not. As a matter of fact, we have lived for years under a type of balkanization due to the operations of the Canadian Wheat Board. In 1935 the federal government introduced the Canadian Wheat Board Act which really provided the basis for quotas. It placed restrictions on the movement of grain from one province to another. In essence, there is nothing really new about imposing a type of quota restriction on the movement of products among provinces. This has been going on since 1935.

I believe that the Prairie provinces would not like to do away with the Canadian Wheat Board. They may want to revise the Wheat Board legislation. They might like to reform it a little and bring it up to date. Maybe the board is a little old-fashioned, but the prairie provinces have lived with quotas for years. Quotas could be established under a national farm marketing act upon the advice of a national farm marketing council. I firmly believe that the marketing agencies provided for in the bill would be established only after the results of regional plebiscites had shown that producers in the provinces wanted them.

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I wish to say that Bill C-176 is simply enabling legislation to permit the provinces to set up their own marketing boards within their jurisdictions. I fully support it and urge that it be given speedy passage.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM PRODUCTS MARKETING AGENCIES BILL
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF NATIONAL MARKETING COUNCIL AND AGENCIES
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PC

Maclyn (Mac) Thomas McCutcheon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Mac T. McCutcheon (Lambton-Kent):

Mr. Speaker, we are discussing motions Nos. 1, 5 and 22 and I have no hesitation whatsoever in supporting these amendments. I think it is safe to say that everyone in this chamber believes we should have free trade in agricultural products, and indeed in all other products, between provinces.

I go a little further than that. I believe we should have free enterprise for the individual. I believe in this principle so firmly that I think every Canadian has the right to go broke on his own if he wants to, and a lot of them have been doing that.

Coming from the province of Ontario, Mr. Speaker, I know a little bit about marketing boards because my province has been a forerunner in the field of marketing legislation. We have a hog marketing board, a poultry marketing board and even an asparagus marketing board. You name it and we've got it in the province of Ontario. We have four boards that deal almost exclusively with livestock, and I think there are 11 others that deal with other commodities. What do these boards do? What are they supposed to do? Are they the panacea that the

December 29, 1971

government suggests they are for the problems facing agriculture at the present time? My first answer is, I think not.

I have noticed a thread running through all the speeches made in this chamber during the last couple of days, with virtually everyone accepting the principle that marketing boards are the answer. No one, so far as I have heard, has taken exception to the activities of marketing boards. No one has stood in his place in this chamber and offered anything in the way of criticism of marketing boards. Apparently we have naively accepted the premise that marketing boards are a way of life, and the government has assumed that marketing boards are the cure-all for the ills of agriculture.

I suggest to you, Mr. Speaker, that so far no concrete evidence has been put forward to show that marketing boards have in fact improved the situation for the farmer. I am distressed that some members blithely talk in support of this legislation, all-inclusive as it is, and give the impression that they believe all we have to do is pass this bill and farm problems will disappear as if by magic. I suggest that the problem goes much deeper than that. I ask, what do marketing boards do? What are they supposed to do? Have they done what was expected of them? Who has been the recipient of the greatest benefit, the producer or the consumer? I suggest it is the hired help, the bureaucracy that has attached itself to the marketing boards.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM PRODUCTS MARKETING AGENCIES BILL
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF NATIONAL MARKETING COUNCIL AND AGENCIES
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM PRODUCTS MARKETING AGENCIES BILL
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF NATIONAL MARKETING COUNCIL AND AGENCIES
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PC

Maclyn (Mac) Thomas McCutcheon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McCutcheon:

I am not about to try to discredit marketing boards but I hope to differentiate between efficient market sales agencies and what is involved in this bill, compulsory supply management types of agencies. I suggest that the duties of marketing boards are threefold. First, to sell the farmer's product to the best advantage. I think we are all agreed on that. Second, they should standardize quality to give a better balance of supply. Third, they should establish collective marketing where there are many sellers and few buyers. But how have they done? I can speak only of the province of Ontario, but I submit they have not done as well as they might in the selling field because they have not had active governmental support.

In Ontario we have a couple of classic examples of marketing boards and I should like to discuss one which falls in the category of supply management. I am referring to the Flue-cured Tobacco Board. This has the reputation of being a very successful organization, and single-handedly has been able to cut back the acreage each year for the last three years by about 50 per cent. I am not critical of the board in this respect because they have kept supply and demand in pretty good balance, but I suggest to you, Mr. Speaker, that their problem has been compounded by those confounded plant breeders. These individuals have consistently brought in new, high-yielding varieties of plants which double production. You need only half as many acres to grow tobacco if you are getting twice as much growth per acre. This board has also established an elite, highly capitalized group of tobacco grow-

Farm Products Marketing Agencies Bill

ers with a closed shop in which no young Canadian can aspire to membership unless born into it.

We have heard a lot about opportunities for youth, but how hollow that sounds. If youth wanted to start in agriculture, particularly in the tobacco growing areas, I question very much whether it could be done. A young man could have the best training and expertise in the world but could only get into the tobacco industry if he were born into it. Another thing that is missing in this bill and which has contributed to the success of the Flue-cured Tobacco Board is strict import controls. There is nothing about that in this bill. But on April 14, 1970, when the minister introduced Bill C-197 he made a platitudinous statement to which I shall refer a little later.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM PRODUCTS MARKETING AGENCIES BILL
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF NATIONAL MARKETING COUNCIL AND AGENCIES
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PC

Steve Eugene Paproski

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Paproski:

Promises, promises.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM PRODUCTS MARKETING AGENCIES BILL
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF NATIONAL MARKETING COUNCIL AND AGENCIES
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LIB

Horace Andrew (Bud) Olson (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Olson:

A good thing we keep them, isn't it?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM PRODUCTS MARKETING AGENCIES BILL
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF NATIONAL MARKETING COUNCIL AND AGENCIES
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PC

Frederick Johnstone (Jack) Bigg

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Bigg:

What about $2 wheat, Mr. Richardson?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM PRODUCTS MARKETING AGENCIES BILL
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF NATIONAL MARKETING COUNCIL AND AGENCIES
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PC

Maclyn (Mac) Thomas McCutcheon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McCutcheon:

We have examined a supply management type of marketing board, Mr. Speaker. Now let us look at the Hog Marketing Board. Some of these boards have been pretty successful, by which I mean that they have closely followed the prices established by the United States market. If the province of Ontario or the federal government have the temerity to question the actions of a marketing board, there is the stock answer, "Where would we have been without the board?" I should like to put on record a few facts relative to the Hog Marketing Board and other livestock boards in the province of Ontario. Some of the proponents of marketing boards should study their performance.

Ten years ago in the province of Ontario hogs sold at $27.58 on a dressed weight basis. Today they sell at almost $28. In 1961, cattle, which do not come under a marketing board, sold at $21.12 live weight, and today they sell at $34. It is interesting to note that since 1961 the Ontario Hog Marketing Board has collected a few for each hog marketed. Until 1965 or 1966 this was 42 cents, then it went up to 45 cents and to 60 cents, so it has averaged 45 cents per hog marketed in a ten-year period during which time 25,700,000 hogs were marketed. At 45 cents each, this brought the Hog Marketing Board between $11 million and $11 i million of the farmers' money. For this, all the farmers got was a big staff in Toronto. The packers used to send out the cheques, but now that is done by the board.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM PRODUCTS MARKETING AGENCIES BILL
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF NATIONAL MARKETING COUNCIL AND AGENCIES
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PC

Steve Eugene Paproski

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Paproski:

Shame! How do you like that, McBride?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM PRODUCTS MARKETING AGENCIES BILL
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF NATIONAL MARKETING COUNCIL AND AGENCIES
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LIB

Murray Arndell McBride

Liberal

Mr. McBride:

Why don't you say something relevant?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM PRODUCTS MARKETING AGENCIES BILL
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF NATIONAL MARKETING COUNCIL AND AGENCIES
Permalink
PC

Steve Eugene Paproski

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Paproski:

You tell that to your people in Lanark county.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM PRODUCTS MARKETING AGENCIES BILL
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF NATIONAL MARKETING COUNCIL AND AGENCIES
Permalink
PC

Frederick Johnstone (Jack) Bigg

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Bigg:

Back in your pulpit!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM PRODUCTS MARKETING AGENCIES BILL
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF NATIONAL MARKETING COUNCIL AND AGENCIES
Permalink
LIB

Russell Clayton Honey (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Order, please. The hon. member for Lanark-Renfrew-Carleton (Mr. McBride) is rising on a point of order.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM PRODUCTS MARKETING AGENCIES BILL
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF NATIONAL MARKETING COUNCIL AND AGENCIES
Permalink
LIB

Murray Arndell McBride

Liberal

Mr. McBride:

Mr. Speaker, since other members keep referring to me, I wonder if they would permit me to ask whether they would refer to the bill rather than condemn marketing boards. No one is arguing for or against them.

December 29, 1971

Farm Products Marketing Agencies Bill

We are just arguing to pass a bill whereby producers, if they want, can have this type of organization. The hon. member is saying it should not include hogs. That is fine, but it does not have anything to do with the bill.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM PRODUCTS MARKETING AGENCIES BILL
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF NATIONAL MARKETING COUNCIL AND AGENCIES
Permalink
LIB

Russell Clayton Honey (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Order, please. The hon. member, of course, is arguing a point. The hon. member for Lamb-ton-Kent (Mr. McCutcheon) has the floor.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM PRODUCTS MARKETING AGENCIES BILL
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF NATIONAL MARKETING COUNCIL AND AGENCIES
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PC

Maclyn (Mac) Thomas McCutcheon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McCutcheon:

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I sat patiently and listened to the inane chatter of the hon. member for Lanark-Renfrew-Carleton (Mr. McBride).

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM PRODUCTS MARKETING AGENCIES BILL
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF NATIONAL MARKETING COUNCIL AND AGENCIES
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM PRODUCTS MARKETING AGENCIES BILL
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF NATIONAL MARKETING COUNCIL AND AGENCIES
Permalink
PC

Maclyn (Mac) Thomas McCutcheon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McCutcheon:

I had the courtesy not to interrupt even though it was stupid gobbledygook he was putting forth.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM PRODUCTS MARKETING AGENCIES BILL
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF NATIONAL MARKETING COUNCIL AND AGENCIES
Permalink

December 29, 1971