May 2, 1972

NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. Douglas (Nanaimo-Cowichan-The Islands):

It is the

exceptions to which I object.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   PROTECTION OF PRIVACY BILL
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO CRIMINAL CODE, CROWN LIABILITY ACT AND OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT
Permalink
LIB

Douglas Aird Hogarth (Parliamentary Secretary to the Solicitor General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Hogarth:

The hon. member has said that he is concerned about the exceptions, and I agree. I will deal with that matter right now. This question came before the justice committee some two years ago. I do not think I disclose any private conversations or communications which have been intercepted by electronic devices when I say that we have discussed this matter extensively. Many of us on this side of the House are deeply concerned about

the reservations given in this bill to the solicitor general and the attorneys general of the province in matters of national security and emergencies.

I wish to assure the hon. member of my certainty that the justice committee, which has always acted in very much a non-partisan manner, would be most open to any suggestion he might put forward to correct the provisions of this bill and, hopefully, appreciate all the problems involved-and believe me , they do not all appear quite as superficially or as black and white civil liberties or tyranny as the hon. member has put it.

We are in a sense faced with this problem. We have in this nation and in every nation in the world advanced means of communication. We have laser beams, satellites and telephone systems that can get us instantly in touch with any part of the nation. As much as these have been used and are being used for the great benefit of mankind in 99.9 per cent of the cases, they are also being used to the detriment of mankind. For instance, they are being used by the purveyors of narcotic drugs. The hon. member should have been before the justice committee this afternoon and heard the appalling evidence of the commissioner of the RCMP who advised us of the increase in the number of heroin addicts in Canada. We know that purveyors of heroin are involved in a syndicated process of selling the drug, unfortunately mostly to our youth, and they use the telephone more than any other means of communication.

In the interests of the enforcement of law and the destruction of this nefarious activity, we must be allowed to use all modern scientific techniques to intercept these communications and use them in courts of law. With great respect, I think that the provisions for applying to a judge in the instances provided, where there is a long-term investigation, just as one applies for a search warrant today and has for centuries, are perfectly reasonable. These principles will apply for the purpose of using these modern techniques in the interests of enforcing the law.

There is always an eternal balance between what society requires for law enforcement and what should be the rights of the individual to preserve his privacy. The answer to that problem depends upon the times in which we live and the activities taking place in our society. I do not believe that this bill, in so far as the normal police application to a judge for a warrant to proceed to intercept communications is concerned, goes beyond that which is necessary in our society today.

Having regard to emergency provisions-it is in this respect that the hon. member was so concerned-there is a reservation in this bill, in section 171.15. If the hon. member really thinks this matter through, I am sure he will recognize that there are circumstances in which you cannot make an application to a judge because there is not time. The evidence is coming immediately; the knowledge of the officers is such that they must move immediately. I would ask the hon. member to come before the justice committee and give us solutions to that problem .

I think this provision in the main will be used more by the attorneys general of the provinces than by the Solicitor General. I would ask the hon. member to give the justice committee the solution to an emergency situation where there is not time to prepare the affidavit which is

May 2, 1972

required under this bill and where there is not time to confer on whether an application should be made on a Tuesday morning or a Wednesday morning, the police knowing that they must move immediately and that the evidence is extremely important. Perhaps the investigation has to do with the importation of 50 or 60 pounds of heroin through the port of Nanaimo. The local police know it is coming in at two o'clock in the morning and the details will be telephoned at eleven o'clock that night. Where do the police go? They cannot go to a Supreme Court judge in British Columbia, because there is not one in Nanaimo. But they can get the attorney general on the phone and he can give the emergency order that is contemplated by this bill. I ask the hon. member, inasmuch as I appreciate the counter point of view-I really do because I am not sure I am happy about the whole concept of "emergency" as it appears in this bill-to come before the justice committee and give us a solution to these emergency problems. I know the committee will listen to him.

Those of us who have participated in cases in criminal courts which have involved the admissibility of taped evidence, evidence obtained by electronic devices, have been impressed with something this bill has omitted, that is, the fantastic impact that taped evidence has on a jury during the course of the case. It is one thing to hear a witness describe what the accused said to Mr. Jones or what he overheard the accused say on the telephone but it is another to hear in the courtroom his actual voice on the tape. It has tremendous weight with any jury. I suggest that all hon. members when considering this bill bear in mind that this type of evidence is much stronger than the usual viva voce evidence you get in a courtroom.

As I understand the law as it is now, a transcript of what is said on the tape can be prepared and given to the jury so there can be no doubt about what was on the tape when it was played back in the courtroom. This is extremely powerful evidence and is another matter we must consider in committee when we are going through the details of this bill.

In short, it is extremely difficult for an accused person who has made a statement of confession, so to speak, on the telephone, which has been taped and the tape introduced in evidence, to in any way deny that he said it or that it was taken out of context, as opposed to a witness who said he overheard him say it in a beer parlour or something like this. The witness can be cross-examined by experienced counsel and his evidence weakened, perhaps, and the tapes cannot. We should not forget this point when we consider this bill, because this practice strengthens the law and I do not minimize the extent to which it does strengthen it.

Another very interesting aspect of this bill is that it is introducing the United States evidentiary concept. It is almost exclusively a United States concept that evidence illegally obtained cannot be admitted in a courtroom. Under the British concept, evidence that is illegally obtained-that is, if stolen goods are found without a search warrant or in certain instances the evidence has been obtained by trespass or something of that nature- the evidence none the less is admissible. Certainly in the United States rule, for instance in the Miranda and

Protection of Privacy Bill

Escobedo case, where evidence is illegally obtained it is ruled that it cannot be introduced in court.

One of the criticisms which might be directed against this bill, although I am inclined to favour the government's decision to include it, is that the slightest technicality in the application to the judge, such as the time expiring at twelve o'clock and the tape was made at 12.05, means the evidence is inadmissible. Everybody knows what was said on the telephone or on the tape and everybody knows that the accused is guilty, but technically it cannot be proven.

If I have the opportunity to sit on the Standing Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs I will suggest there be flexibility in that provision so that the judge has the right to say that it was merely a technical deviation from the authorization allowed in the application made before him. I think this is a matter to which the Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs might give its attention.

I would not want to think that the hon. member for Nanaimo-Cowichan-The Islands (Mr. Douglas) was left with the impression that we on this side of the House are oblivious to the special powers that have been reserved here for the Solicitor General, particularly in respect of the Official Secrets Act. But in this country we are faced with the very fundamental fact that there are forces which would like to be at work to destroy this institution and even prevent the hon. member and myself speaking here tonight. They would prevent my telling the hon. minister from so-and-so exactly what I feel.

Because I speak in this manner I do not wish to leave the impression that I am paranoid about this. I do not think everyone behind the bush who expresses a violent contrary opinion against the government would overthrow the government. However, the fact is that I honestly believe it is the duty of the government not to prosecute such people but to constantly keep watch on what is happening and be able to constantly inform and take action if necessary when such activities reach the level where social order is to be disturbed by violence. I do not mean by hotheaded youngsters talking about what they would do to the government but a concerted effort to destroy and undermine what we respect as our social order.

Many of those who are violently opposed to some aspect of our society do not use violent means to express their opposition. I think there are many people in this country who appear to be violent but are not. But there are those who very carefully use many institutions in our country for the purpose of expressing some rather nefarious things, and I think the government must keep track of what is going on. This cannot be done through the normal channel of an application made to a judge, because no crime is being committed. It can only be done in the interest of national security. I think the time comes when we must show confidence in the people who are endowed with the responsibility of carrying out this function.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   PROTECTION OF PRIVACY BILL
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO CRIMINAL CODE, CROWN LIABILITY ACT AND OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT
Permalink
NDP

William George Knight

New Democratic Party

Mr. Bill Knight (Assiniboia):

Mr. Speaker, I rise to take part in this debate basically to express the view of a layman on this issue. I have listened to the opinions expressed by those with legal minds who have spoken in the debate. I was particularly interested in the remarks of

1840

May 2, 1972

Protection of Privacy Bill

the hon. member for Broadview (Mr. Gilbert), the hon. member for Hamilton West (Mr. Alexander) and the hon. member for Nanaimo-Cowichan-The Islands (Mr. Douglas). However, I wish to express the few concerns I have regarding this legislation.

Those of us who are from the country have had for a long time our own system of wiretapping, although it is not as serious as that being discussed this evening. This is called the party line. What we are discussing tonight reaches the fundamental freedoms and fundamental liberties of this nation. In this country, as in other countries, there has been a long history of trying to reach a balance, as the hon. member for New Westminster (Mr. Hogarth) mentioned, in terms of civil liberties of the individual as against any kind of subversive activity.

The hon. member for New Westminster pointed out a number of matters. He said that under the present law anyone can wiretap. May I point out to him that if this is so, surely in changing the law as we are now by amendment we should ensure that the actions of the government involving a kind of wiretapping do not infringe on the civil liberties of citizens. We should be extremely careful of the manner in which-this is the opinion I wish to express to the Standing Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs-we word any kind of legislation pertaining to such devices as wiretapping.

The hon. member said that as society moves along there must be some kind of eternal balance in terms of questions concerning civil liberties. I might point out that all societies have changed. Can one say, for example, that there was a balance in terms of the actions of men such as Robespierre? I feel that there should be serious consideration given by the hon. member to the part of the legislation which deals with the Official Secrets Act. This provision appears in clause 16(2):

The Solicitor General of Canada may issue a warrant authorizing the interception or seizure of any communication if he is satisfied by evidence on oath that

(a) the purpose of such interception or seizure is related to the prevention or detection of espionage, sabotage or any other subversive activity directed against Canada or detrimental to the security of Canada; and

(b) such interception or seizure is necessary in the public interest.

The concept of public interest has been considered throughout the century regardless of the type of government and who sits in power. The judgment of what is in the public interest is very important in terms of what is suggested here. I would hope that the members of the Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs will seriously examine this part of the legislation. The bill goes on to provide:

A warrant issued pursuant to subsection (2) shall specify

(a) the type of communication to be intercepted or seized;

(b) the person or persons who may make the interception or seizure; and

(c) the length of time for which the warrant is in force.

The Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police shall from time to time make a report to the Solicitor General of Canada with respect to each warrant issued pursuant to subsection (2) setting forth particulars of the manner in which the warrant was used and the results, if any, obtained from such use.

There are some real questions as to what is a subversive activity directed against Canada or detrimental to the security of Canada. I assume that members across the way believe as we do in the protection of civil liberties, but who defines that grey area of subversiveness? Who defines the activities of people who discuss politics or form political groups? Who defines what is a subversive activity and what is against the public interest? Can we interpret as subversive certain comments or actions of such groups as Action Canada? I suggest that this government would undoubtedly not allow itself to use such powers-at least I hope not-but this kind of legislation lays itself open to the interpretation of others who may sit on the government benches.

I recall, when I was a university student, the actions and the writings in student newspapers concerning the role of the RCMP in terms of investigation. Just who did they investigate? Did they investigate anyone who they felt had radical ideas? To that age group', sometimes what are considered radical ideas are really conservative ideas. The hon. member for New Westminster spoke about keeping the right balance. One wonders whether, under this legislation, what is out of balance with the thoughts of our society is subversive. That is the key. This might apply not only to people on the left but to those on the right in the interpretation of governments. So we must be careful in our interpretation.

I remember the time when a young mountie taking a training course in Regina showed me a history book which they used to teach new recruits the history of the development of the RCMP. He referred to the comments in the history book regarding the Regina riot in the 1930s during the great depression, and the riot in Estevan during the 1930s when three coal miners were shot and killed. The history book gave a simplistic judgment of the causes and effects of those riots and stated that they were the result of communist activity. It was a complete whitewash.

I submit that this is the kind of attitude in our society that can lead to the misue of power under this kind of legislation. I call on the Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs, and on my good friend the hon. member for Hamilton West, to examine this legislation carefully.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   PROTECTION OF PRIVACY BILL
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO CRIMINAL CODE, CROWN LIABILITY ACT AND OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT
Permalink
PC

Lincoln MacCauley Alexander

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Alexander:

Why are you friendly to me tonight?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   PROTECTION OF PRIVACY BILL
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO CRIMINAL CODE, CROWN LIABILITY ACT AND OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT
Permalink
NDP

William George Knight

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knight:

Other aspects of the legislation are good, but this particular aspect calls for serious examination of its implications, especially with regard to how political radicalism is defined. I remember that when I was younger I used to listen to the debates in the House of Commons.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   PROTECTION OF PRIVACY BILL
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO CRIMINAL CODE, CROWN LIABILITY ACT AND OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT
Permalink
PC

Lincoln MacCauley Alexander

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Alexander:

How old are you now, sir?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   PROTECTION OF PRIVACY BILL
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO CRIMINAL CODE, CROWN LIABILITY ACT AND OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT
Permalink
NDP

William George Knight

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knight:

I remember, also, reading the statements of the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Olson) when he was expounding the theories of the Social Credit party. At that time this was the kind of radicalism that developed in Alberta. Thank goodness it did not spread further. That is the kind of thing we have to watch and be aware of in the

May 2, 1972

future. I hope the committee will examine this legislation very seriously.

I have been somewhat surprised and confused by the lack of statements from representatives of the Social Credit party. Today we have heard from them a speech concerning the Gray report and we have heard from them much talk about subversiveness. I wonder whether they feel that this legislation is either too weak or too strong. I think they should express their point of view on it.

Essentially we get back to a very simple issue. The purpose of the interpretation of seizure is related to the detection of espionage, sabotage or any other subversive activity directed against Canada or detrimental to the security of Canada. We must ask ourselves whether seizure is necessary in the public interest. I hope the committee will seriously re-examine that aspect of the legislation.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   PROTECTION OF PRIVACY BILL
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO CRIMINAL CODE, CROWN LIABILITY ACT AND OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT
Permalink
LIB

Yves Forest

Liberal

Mr. Yves Forest (Brome-Missisquoi):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to participate briefly in this debate to indicate my support of Bill C-6 entitled "An Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Crown Liability Act and the Official Secrets Act" which is intended to respect and protect the privacy of individuals.

Even though this subject has been discussed on several occasions in recent years, through notices of motions or private bills, this is the first time that parliament is called upon to examine a bill concerning intrusion upon privacy with, the help of electromagnetic, acoustic, mechanical or other devices. I think the government and the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lang) are to be congratulated for introducing a practical, concrete and realistic legislation which might remedy this situation in today's world.

Unfortunately Mr. Speaker, I was no longer a member, in 1968-69, of the Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs as private bills were then examined and experts were called upon on this subject. I had then other duties but I had been a member of this committee until 1968, to my deep satisfaction. I think the bill before us is taking into account most of the recommendations which had been made by the Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs in its report which was tabled in the House.

Nowadays, the right to privacy is a strict matter as we are living in an era of advanced electronics and technology and wiretapping has reached an unheard-of degree of sophistication about which we do not yet know every aspect.

The right to privacy had not yet been firmly entrenched as it is a new legal concept now being introduced as against those traditional rights of freedom of speech, religion, press, association and meeting. However, I still think it is a privilege which is closely related to fundamental rights and which must fulfil an increasing role in our society.

It runs contrary to our concept of justice and democracy that an individual should be spied upon by the state or by anybody without there being well-defined and controlled restrictions. And yet, such is the present situation where no legislation specifies under which circumstances and conditions wire-tapping can be used.

Protection, of Privacy Bill

In order to protect individual freedom, this bill provides for three new criminal offences: first, the interception of private communications with a device or piece of equipment defined as an electromagnetic device, or others; second, the fact of disclosing private communications intercepted with a device as described in the bill; and third, the fact of possessing, selling or buying such devices. I think this list of offences covers just about any situation which can occur in the area of wire-tapping.

However, if the right of the individual to privacy is to be protected, society must also protect itself, for there is no doubt that those who want to attack this country, to endanger national security, or to sabotage our democratic institutions-i.e., criminals, gangsters, anarchists, and other people of that type-also have those devices available to them and do not hesitate to use them for illegal purposes in order to fulfill their ambitions or to work out their resentment.

It was also necessary, therefore, to allow police forces and police authorities to use modern refined electronic techniques in order to preserve national security, fight criminals and check the activities of subversive organizations.

I feel, Mr. Speaker, that this bill as presented reconciles the right to privacy, which cannot be absolute, with the need for society to ensure its own security.

In order that the police forces may not misuse the privilege they have to infringe upon the basic right of privacy, an application must be made to a judge of a superior court of criminal jurisdiction who, following the representations made to him by the officers designated by an authorized person, will be responsible to determining the conditions and the period of time, which may not exceed 30 days, under which the interception might be carried out. Such authorization could be renewed, but only for major reasons that must be again specified.

In urgent cases, an officer could use the same means, but he should subsequently obtain the authorization from a judge of a superior court.

I submit that it was right to defer to a superior court judge the decision to authorize or not the interceptions by means of wiretapping and not to rely, for instance, solely on the minister to take such a decision, without any control of a political or a judicial character, as customary elsewhere in certain countries including, I think, the United Kingdom.

The Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs has drawn a list of various major crimes and has suggested that this method could be authorized. But the bill does not reflect this suggestion and interception will be allowed in the case of an offence as defined in the act and I quote:

178.1 -"offence" means an offence created by an Act of the Parliament of Canada for which an offender may be prosecuted by indictment-

Finally, everything will at the judge's discretion.

But the act does not mention this control only. By amending the Crown Liability Act, a further control is established: the setting up of a compensation system for unlawful invasion of privacy by a Crown official. The damages, which may be compensated to a maximum of

1842

May 2, 1972

Protection of Privacy Bill

$5,000, may be paid by the Crown; they might even be paid by the officer at fault.

Mr. Speaker, no doubt that as a result of the introduction of this bill, the provinces will follow suit either by modifying it or proposing another piece of legislation also aimed at protecting those who fall victims to illegal acts carried out by provincial officials in right of the Crown and providing legal means for victims to seek damages or some other kind of compensation.

Mr. Speaker, considering the provisions of the bill such as the notice of intention given to the party concerned to the effect that an intercepted private communication will be adduced in evidence and taking into account other restrictions provided in the legislation, I think that the guarantees are sufficient for the protection of individual rights.

As regards the public, it will be necessary, in view of the reports which the solicitor general and the provincial attorneys general will have to prepare, to determine to what extent these methods are used for the detection of criminals and other such aims.

Mr. Speaker, I believe that the bill provides for the establishment of a mechanism capable of protecting the average citizen who really has nothing to fear from such a bill, as well as society which needs to be protected now more than ever before.

Mr. Speaker, in concluding my remarks, I am pleased to support the bill and I hope that it will be passed by the House.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   PROTECTION OF PRIVACY BILL
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO CRIMINAL CODE, CROWN LIABILITY ACT AND OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT
Permalink
LIB

Albert Béchard (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Albert Bechard (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Justice):

Mr. Speaker, I listened carefully to the remarks of previous speakers and I want to thank them for their constructive suggestions.

We have gone through this stage of the procedure with a speed which clearly shows, Mr. Speaker, that all members are anxious to see this bill go through the next stage, and then become part of our statutes.

This measure is part of the long series of reforms undertaken by the present government in order to ensure a greater respect of individual freedom and privacy.

One can easily understand the concerns voiced by the four members of the New Democratic Party, and I am sure that their distinguished representative on the Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs will be able to obtain from the minister the answers to their objections, with a view to clarifying the situation for the benefit of his colleagues, of all the other members of this House, and the general public, in order to give them a better understanding of this bill.

Mr. Speaker, that is what I wanted to say to close this debate. I want to thank once more the House for its co-operation.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   PROTECTION OF PRIVACY BILL
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO CRIMINAL CODE, CROWN LIABILITY ACT AND OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT
Permalink

Motion agreed to, bill read the second time and referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs.


FARM CREDIT ACT

AMENDMENTS RESPECTING LOANS AND POWERS AND CAPITAL OF CORPORATION

LIB

Horace Andrew (Bud) Olson (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Hon. H. A. Olson (Minister of Agriculture) moved

that Bill C-5, to amend the Farm Credit Act, be read the second time and referred to the Standing Committee on Agriculture.

He said: Mr. Speaker, Bill C-5 contains many important amendments to the Farm Credit Act. The general objective of the amendments is to enhance the ability of the Farm Credit Corporation to meet what I think are demonstrated, long-term credit needs for the development of viable farm businesses, and to provide the corporation with the powers necessary to carry out such other duties or functions as may be assigned to it in relation to the administration of those programs.

One of the most important to us now is, of course, the small farms development program. This program has been authorized by the House under the vote that has been presented to hon. members and passed. It seems to us, however, that it would be useful to have a provision in the statutory authority whereby the Farm Credit Corporation, because of the number of offices and the experienced field personnel, has authority to perform these functions.

Mr. Speaker, there are two main areas of these amendments. The first is the updating, bringing into 1972 and the years ahead, of the requirements of certain limitations that were put in, quite appropriately, at the time. I refer to such things as the maximum amount of loans which has not been changed since 1964, I believe, and certainly since then there has been an increase in land value and the size of farm units. We intend to change that provision.

There are other factors within the bill about which I wish to speak in some detail. One is the restrictions that were placed on farmers with respect to the amounts or the method and procedures they were required to use in relation to a loan taken under the FCC and one taken under the Farm Improvement Loans Act. Hon. members will know that experience has shown that even in certain areas where this seemed to be necessary, it is not required; so that restriction or limitation is being repealed. The other main area of these amendments is to provide for new concepts and functions that the FCC will be administering in the agricultural sector of Canada.

With those few introductory remarks I should like to get down-

Topic:   FARM CREDIT ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING LOANS AND POWERS AND CAPITAL OF CORPORATION
Permalink
?

An hon. Member:

Explain!

Topic:   FARM CREDIT ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING LOANS AND POWERS AND CAPITAL OF CORPORATION
Permalink
LIB

Horace Andrew (Bud) Olson (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Olson:

I intend to explain some of these in detail and even to explain what I have said in more detail. Hon. members will realize that the powers of the corporation are being changed. The present powers of the corporation are those required to fulfil its objectives and purposes, which are to make, to administer and supervise farm loans. That is about as far as the powers granted to the corporation in the past would go. The corporation has a staff experienced in farm appraisals and farm land transactions deployed throughout the agricultural areas of

May 2, 1972

Canada. We think that with this background the amendment will permit the minister to utilize this source of expert knowledge through the assignment of responsibility for other administrative programs. The first one that we have in mind is the land transfer program of the small farm development plan.

The second main change, Mr. Speaker, is authorized capital. The Minister of Finance is authorized at the present time to subscribe $56 million to the capital of the corporation and to lend the corporation 25 times this capital, or $1.4 billion. An estimated $245 million will be left unexpended as of March 31, 1972, so an increase of $10 million, permitting the borrowing of an additional $250 million, will provide for the future lending program of the corporation for some time. Hon. members will realize that this is $495 million in total. When that requirement is met or if it is met in four or five years or however long it takes, we will be back to parliament with further amendments.

Topic:   FARM CREDIT ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING LOANS AND POWERS AND CAPITAL OF CORPORATION
Permalink
?

An hon. Member:

You will not be back.

Topic:   FARM CREDIT ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING LOANS AND POWERS AND CAPITAL OF CORPORATION
Permalink
LIB

Horace Andrew (Bud) Olson (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Olson:

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member says that I will not be back. By that time I will have been around for 20 years, almost as long as the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles). Maybe that is long enough, but I am pretty sure that my colleagues will be over here.

Topic:   FARM CREDIT ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING LOANS AND POWERS AND CAPITAL OF CORPORATION
Permalink
?

An hon. Member:

Which colleagues?

Topic:   FARM CREDIT ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING LOANS AND POWERS AND CAPITAL OF CORPORATION
Permalink
LIB

Len Marchand

Liberal

Mr. Marchand (Kamloops-Cariboo):

He will be the first one back.

Topic:   FARM CREDIT ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING LOANS AND POWERS AND CAPITAL OF CORPORATION
Permalink
LIB

Horace Andrew (Bud) Olson (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Olson:

In addition to the specific purposes for which loans may be made, the act authorizes loans for any purpose which is necessary-I underline the word "necessary" because that is in the act at the present time-to the efficient operation of the mortgaged farm. This provision has been interpreted rather restrictively because of the word "necessary". The revised wording will replace it with the two words "will facilitate", so that loans may be made for any reasonable purpose related to the acquisition, operation, maintenance or development of the farm business. We have some cases which we would like to explain in more detail to the standing committee, when this bill goes there, relative to the significant difference between "necessary" and "will facilitate" and what it may mean in the practical application of the act.

A further point, Mr. Speaker, is that in one of the amendments we will change the requirement so that loans will be made to Canadian citizens or to landed immigrants within the meaning of the Immigration Act. From then on it is intended that loans will be made to assist only persons who are Canadian citizens or who intend to be permanently domiciled in Canada. At the present time, as hon. members know, it is legally possible to make loans to other than Canadian citizens or landed immigrants. We believe they should be primarily, or perhaps even exclusively for the benefit of Canadian citizens and landed immigrants.

Another major change is with respect to the maximum amount of loans. This matter is dealt with in clause 4. Hon. members know that the present loan limits for individual farm operators, which are $40,000 maximum

Farm Credit Act

under part II and $55,000 under part III, were established in 1964. Limits for multiple owner operations, that is, from $80,000 for two and up to $100,000 for more than two under part II, were established when the bill was amended in 1968. The amendment in this bill provides for a maximum of $100,000 to any farmer alone or jointly with others or in respect of a single farming enterprise. The size of individual farm units is increasing steadily, labour is being replaced in many cases by capital and the purchasing power of the dollar has decreased a little during recent years-

Topic:   FARM CREDIT ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING LOANS AND POWERS AND CAPITAL OF CORPORATION
Permalink

May 2, 1972