May 4, 1972

PC

John (Jack) Henry Horner

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Horner:

Well, bring in the bill again.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM CREDIT ACT
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING LOANS AND POWERS AND CAPITAL OF CORPORATION
Permalink
LIB

Horace Andrew (Bud) Olson (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Olson:

The farmers will not let you go through all that again.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM CREDIT ACT
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING LOANS AND POWERS AND CAPITAL OF CORPORATION
Permalink
PC

John (Jack) Henry Horner

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Horner:

I went back through the records for 22 years. I could not find a year in which farmers received less per bushel for oats than they did last year. I felt I should not be required to go back more than 22 years to make my point. The least for wheat, the least for barley, the least for oats. Is it any wonder that the farmers in the three prairie provinces who are major grain growers are in arrears in repaying their loans? It is no wonder that the arrears continue to grow rather than diminish. The arrears amount to $6 million in Saskatchewan, $6 million in Alberta and $2-3/4 million in the province of Manitoba, mainly because less money is loaned there.

May 4, 1972

Farm Credit Act

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM CREDIT ACT
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING LOANS AND POWERS AND CAPITAL OF CORPORATION
Permalink
LIB

Horace Andrew (Bud) Olson (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Olson:

Mr. Speaker, may I ask the hon. member a question?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM CREDIT ACT
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING LOANS AND POWERS AND CAPITAL OF CORPORATION
Permalink
PC

John (Jack) Henry Horner

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Horner:

After I am through. Let us take a look at where these non-viable farms are which are causing some of the trouble, and which represent the reason for bringing in the great small farms adjustment program. In another table at page 60 of this same publication, we see the percentage of viable farms varies from province to province. In the province of Quebec, only 30.3 per cent are viable compared to 55 per cent in the province of British Columbia, 51 per cent in the province of Alberta, 50 per cent in the province of Saskatchewan and so on. The next comparable figure to Quebec is 35.7 per cent. One could read figures at length from this book to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the farmers on the prairies under today's situation are in a much worse position than they have been in any other period of years one might mention.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM CREDIT ACT
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING LOANS AND POWERS AND CAPITAL OF CORPORATION
Permalink
LIB

Horace Andrew (Bud) Olson (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Olson:

1972.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM CREDIT ACT
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING LOANS AND POWERS AND CAPITAL OF CORPORATION
Permalink
PC

John (Jack) Henry Horner

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Horner:

The minister is boasting about 1972. In his speech he said that conditions are improving up. They have to be improving because they had been down so low. We have to improve our record because arrears on loans are increasing. If the minister is suggesting that incomes will be higher or better in 1972, I say to him and through him to the manager of the Farm Credit Corporation, that I hope the manager of the Farm Credit Corporation will not foreclose any more mortgages than should be necessary. I want to see the farmer have every possible break. I know that at page 8 of the small farms adjustment program, it is suggested that the government will get into the land business. It nails down four points as follows: a listing service to provide relevant information to prospective buyers and sellers; incentive grants to encourage prospective vendors to sell; special credit facilities to encourage prospective purchasers to buy and, finally, the authority to enter the market directly and purchase and resell farms as the need arises.

So, we will have the federal government competing with the Saskatchewan government in that regard. I hope they do not force land prices to rise to such an extent in that province that the farmer cannot pay, so then these wealthy governments will reap their money from the taxpayers and spend it in a glorious way. Surely, this bill is a glaring example of what the government is not doing. It is creating a situation in which the age limit is being reduced from 24 to 18. It may be 19 in some provinces, 18 in others and 21 in others, but only 2 per cent of loans made by the Farm Credit Corporation have been made to farmers under age 25. Therefore, I do not believe the reduction will mean that there will be very many more loans. Then, they have increased the amount that may be borrowed from $40,000 for a single individual to $100,000. If a person cannot meet the payments on $40,000, why should we assume he would be able to meet the payments on $100,000. The rejuvenated Social Crediter has forgotten about the high interest rates charged for Farm Credit Corporation loans, which have been better than 8 per cent for two years.

I listened to the minister on Tuesday evening. He balanced the problem. He asked whether we should refinance, whether we could do it this way or another way. He came to no conclusion. The minister did not have an answer. He said we could do as Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation does and adjust the interest rates every five years. This bill, however, does not include such a provision. I read over again what he said yesterday. He went back over the same problem and came to no conclusion. The bill glaringly omits dealing with the obvious problem that 13,000 loans were made by the Farm Credit Corporation at interest rates above 8 per cent. The government or the Farm Credit Corporation, if my memory serves me right, do not intend to give the farmers an opportunity to refinance even five years from now.

I am firmly convinced that when inflation hits in Canada it will be at the rate it is in Brazil, but I did not know that the minister was prepared to point this out. He said on Tuesday night that next year interest rates will be back up to 8 per cent, 9 per cent or 10 per cent, and that really he might be doing the farmers some harm if he gave them an opportunity to adjust interest rates in five years. Why do we not have a clause which would allow the interest rate to be adjusted every five years as is the case with Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation? When you borrow money to buy a home, the mortgage always contains a clause in respect of refinancing. However, this minister does not want this because he believes interest rates will be higher and we had better remain where we are at 81 per cent.

At one time the minister campaigned across Alberta saying that a 2 per cent interest rate was all that was necessary. The position of the Social Credit party was that 2 per cent on loans was all that was necessary, and that high interest rates represented an evil. Now, the minister will not even allow the farmers the right to refinance, and he holds the rate tightly at 8f per cent. Then, in a recent speech as reported in the Regina Leader Post of March 13, 1972 the minister said:

Free trade is a great thing when it works, but unfortunately there aren't enough constraints within the free trade system for us to accept that this is the way marketing will be.

In that speech he stated that there must be restraint built into the marketing system, and he now shows the country what he calls a marketing system. It is something like the small farm adjustment program. No one knows what is in it. The hon. member for Vegreville (Mr. Mazan-kowski) questioned the manager of the Farm Credit Corporation when he appeared before the committee. He was dealing with one particular aspect, I believe the special credit section, and the manager of the Farm Credit Corporation said that he believed it had been dropped. On another point, the manager said that he was not sure but he believed that had also been dropped.

So, we do not know what clause 1 of the bill really means when it says that the corporation has all the powers necessary to carry out such duties or functions as may be assigned to it by the Governor in Council. We do not really know what that clause means. No wonder the minister has not sold this program to any province. No province has signed the terms of the small farm program because they do not understand what this means. Perhaps

May 4, 1972

the minister had adjusted the program too often. When he finds that his program has failed to gather support, he brings out another one such as the systems marketing project, or something like that. Perhaps I used the wrong title.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM CREDIT ACT
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING LOANS AND POWERS AND CAPITAL OF CORPORATION
Permalink
LIB

Horace Andrew (Bud) Olson (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Olson:

Project 75.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM CREDIT ACT
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING LOANS AND POWERS AND CAPITAL OF CORPORATION
Permalink
PC

John (Jack) Henry Horner

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Horner:

Project 75. There must be some advertising agency dreaming up these titles. In any event, what does Project 75 or a system marketing project mean? The interpretation I put on this is that a federal government employee will follow the product from the time it is first produced until it gets to the consumer to make sure everybody gets the best deal, a square deal, an up and up deal and everything else.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM CREDIT ACT
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING LOANS AND POWERS AND CAPITAL OF CORPORATION
Permalink
LIB

Horace Andrew (Bud) Olson (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Olson:

That is a wrong conclusion again.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM CREDIT ACT
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING LOANS AND POWERS AND CAPITAL OF CORPORATION
Permalink
PC

John (Jack) Henry Horner

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Horner:

The minister says I have come to a wrong conclusion. I wish he would explain these programs. There is one devious thing I have noticed about the members of this government, and the Minister of Agriculture is no exception in this regard, they all by-pass the normal procedures of Parliament in respect of most of their important legislation.

The government wants clause 1 accepted, so that they will never have to come back to Parliament. They can do things by order in council, designating a farm corporation and handle this thing and that thing in that way. The government will never have to produce a bill again. Perhaps this is necessary because the government has so much trouble drafting bills which meet with approval. The minister in charge of the Wheat Board (Mr. Lang) followed this practice with Operation Lift, and we have seen what it has done in respect of farm credit programs. The Government includes $1 items in the estimates and the estimates have to be passed by May 30 no matter in what state the examination of them is in the committee. Parliament has to pass them, and the member has to scurry around to find out what are the exact interpretations.

The people of this country, whether they be farmers or otherwise, are deeply concerned, frustrated, angered and annoyed at what is happening. Can you blame them? I do not think you can. We want more information as to what the government intends to do with Project 75, with the small farms adjustment program, with interest rates and now with the Farm Credit Corporation.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM CREDIT ACT
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING LOANS AND POWERS AND CAPITAL OF CORPORATION
Permalink
NDP

William George Knight

New Democratic Party

Mr. Bill Knight (Assiniboia):

Mr. Speaker, I listened with a great deal of interest to the remarks of the hon. member for Crowfoot (Mr. Horner), and I should like to compliment him on some of the issues he brought forward. I do not wish to deviate from the debate, but I was interested to hear the hon. member challenge the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Olson), to a debate in respect of the Farm Income Stabilization Plan and the benefits thereof. He suggested the minister would not win, and I think he is correct. However, I suggest the hon. member would not win either, after the stand his party took in respect of that bill last fall.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM CREDIT ACT
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING LOANS AND POWERS AND CAPITAL OF CORPORATION
Permalink
PC

John (Jack) Henry Horner

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Horner:

I make you the same challenge.

Farm Credit Act

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM CREDIT ACT
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING LOANS AND POWERS AND CAPITAL OF CORPORATION
Permalink
NDP

William George Knight

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knight:

When one examines the bill and the amendment, one finds it much like the sugar coating on a bitter pill. In dealing with the amendment, I suggest that the question of interest rates is one that is always before the farmer. This is a very important aspect, as the hon. Minister of Agriculture should know, being a former Social Credit member. The amendment refers to providing for partial repayment of interest when a young farmer meets performance standards. It appears that the Tory party, in moving this amendment, intends to introduce a kind of selectivity to the program. This is the very kind of selectivity they attacked last week in respect of the Family Income Security Plan.

What is a performance standard? Is there going to be some kind of bureaucracy set up to go out and examine farms to see who is up to date in performance standards? Who is to make the judgment? Is the hon. member for Mackenzie (Mr. Korchinski) going to make the judgment as to performance standards? I should hope not. That part of this amendment is selective, and is at variance with statements by members of the Conservative party in this House last week concerning other bills. This amendment to include a performance standard brings in a certain element of selectivity.

If you look at this bill in terms of its different amendments to the Farm Credit Corporation Act, you will see some changes which may possibly bring it up to date, especially those relating to the amount allowed as the borrowing level. If you look at the bill you will see certain changes suggested which, on the surface, do not appear to be of great concern.

I suggest it is the underlying motive behind the changes which is important to the farmers of Canada. I need only refer to part 1, the amendment to Section 11 of the Farm Credit Corporation Act, which gives the corporation all the powers necessary to carry out such duties or functions as may be assigned to it by the governor in council in relation to the administration of any agricultural program, or is assigned to it pursuant to any other act of the Parliament of Canada. What is the significance of that amendment, and what lies behind it? This amendment allows the government to bring in a small farm consolidation plan which it does not have to have approved by the House of Commons. This is what is behind the amendment, and it should be questioned very seriously in committee.

There are other amendments of concern, such as the one in clause 3 which would enable the corporation to make a loan under the act where in its opinion the uses of the proceeds of the loan would facilitate the efficient operation of the farm mortgaged. Under the present act, the corporation must be of the opinion that the loan is necessary for the efficient operation of the farm to be mortgaged. That sounds like nothing more than a play on words by the government. I hope the Minister of Agriculture will take the opportunity of explaining in this House and In the committee the over-all meaning of that clause.

If you carry on with an examination of the clauses you will see there are some changes which may have some merit. Let me refer to clause 2 which proposes to amend the legislation as it relates to corporations. The explanation is that this amendment will provide that loans may be

May 4, 1972

Farm Credit Act

made under the act only to individuals who are Canadian citizens or landed immigrants. However, it would also provide that loans may be made to farm corporations only if they are controlled by shareholders who are Canadian citizens. The real question that arises as a result of this amendment to the Farm Credit Act is who is going to be allowed to borrow funds to buy farm land, and whether or not those loans will be allowed to such non-farmers, if I may use that phrase sarcastically, as the National Grain Company and other elements of the grain business.

The report of the task force in respect of the farm adjustment resources mobility plan suggests there should be consistency in allowing loans for that kind of corporate farming, not a father and son arrangement or an arrangement between two brothers who incorporate, but corporate farming on the basis of land owned by large multinational corporations which allow the land to be farmed by employees. The fundamental question is whether the family farm, as a viable economic unit, will be preserved.

There are other changes on which I should like to comment. There is the provision which states that the total of outstanding loans made to a farmer under the act shall not exceed $100,000. If the Minister of Agriculture speaks again, he will perhaps explain section 17(1) in terms of its effect on any ventures in co-operative farming and whether or not the limit of $100,000 in terms of our modern society is sufficient. I wonder whether perhaps some changes should not be made to that limit when there are three, four or five farmers involved in a co-operative venture. Possibly the minister will explain that.

We see a change regarding the valuing of land according to productivity. It seems to me that these changes do not merit too much discussion. All these amendments to the Farm Credit Corporation Act, as I have stated before, essentially act as an umbrella and as an opportunity for this government to bring in for the coming seven years the small farm consolidation plan. When we questioned the chairman of the Farm Credit Corporation in the Standing Committee on Agriculture, he did not give us the details of the plan. But the amendment to section 11 allows the Minister of Agriculture to bring in the small farm consolidation plan. I wonder how many individuals have been called in by the Department of Agriculture when they were preparing the small farm consolidation plan. Undoubtedly, the minister has received some good advice from the public relations people regarding the manner in which he should bring this plan forward. If we look at the description of the farm adjustment and resource mobility plan, we will see that there is reason to fear the effects of the small farm consolidation plan.

The Farm Credit Corporation was set up in the beginning to assist farmers in borrowing sums of money in order to maintain a viable economic unit. But once the amendment to section 11 is passed, if it is passed, the scope of the Farm Credit Corporation will be fundamentally changed. It will deal with the socio-political aspects of farming under the amended legislation and it will deal with the nature of the lives of the people affected by in the small farm consolidation plan. When that plan is in operation, I wonder how many bureaucrats the Department of Agriculture will have to hire to implement the plan and to

talk to the farmer who will have to move to the cities. When one looks at the unemployment figures one realizes that there is very little that the farmer can do in the city. How many sociologists, psychologists and new members of the Department of Agriculture will have to be hired to facilitate farmers in adjusting to a new way of life? Where does all this fit into the role of the Farm Credit Corporation as it was established originally?

Under this legislation the land transfer system, the concept of amalgamating several small farms into one large one, is taken into account. The small farm adjustment program does not take into consideration the economic and social effects it might have on the agricultural economy in Canada, both in the east and in the west. No real imagination is used with regard to the collateral needed in order to go into farming. There is no projection of the idea that young people who grew up on farms, for example in the province of Saskatchewan, who have had to go into the cities and take jobs there because, as a result of the policies of the federal government, farming brought them no income, would now like to return to farming. The province of Saskatchewan has made a number of moves in this direction, controversial though they may be. The first move was to bring in the system of land transfers to assist these young farmers in farming.

The whole concept of the small farms consolidation plan had its source in the task force report. Let there be no question about that. Last fall, the grain income stabilization policy came from the same source. The amendment to section 11 of the Farm Credit Corporation Act carries out the recommendations of the task force. The farm adjustment and resource mobility plan contains some fundamental aspects of importance to many people whom we in the House of Commons represent, including the constituents of the Minister of Agriculture in Medicine Hat. It concentrates on increasing the mobility of the land resource, enabling some farmers to increase the size of their farming operations and enabling others to get their assets out of farm real estate so that they can take advantage of non-farm income, employment or retirement opportunities. It involves a package of four programs. These are: a listing service to provide the relevant information to prospective buyers and seller; incentive grants to encourage prospective vendors to sell; special credit facilities to encourage prospective purchasers to buy; and, finally, authority to enter the market directly to purchase and resell farms as the needs arise.

I wonder if the Minister of Agriculture took into consideration the real significance of such a proposal, and the fact that it will not be put on the statute books of Canada but can only be implemented by the passing of the amendment to section 11. I think that is important. It may be good for the Department of Agriculture, in terms of a good public relations job to introduce the program in this way, but it is detrimental to the people involved if they are not allowed to have an open, formal discussion of the suggestions of the Department of Agriculture.

What is the direction of this policy? I think that is a fundamental question. When one sits in the Standing Committee on Agriculture and discusses the problems which farmers face in Canada, one finds that the officials of the Department of Agriculture, perhaps unconsciously

^***********

May 4, 1972

and unknowingly, continually discuss the problems of farmers and people in farming communities from what I would call a restricted point of view, in the same way as we examine Farm Credit Corporation loans. Let them examine the problems in depth. There is never an examination of the whole question of an incomes policy and the costs of production. As was mentioned by the hon. member for Saskatoon-Biggar (Mr. Gleave), the government has had possession of the Barber royal commission report on the price of farm machinery, but has taken no action on it. At the same time organizations such as the Canadian Federation of Agriculture have made representations on an incomes program that would ensure a reasonable return to farmers, that would help keep them on the land, and that would facilitate and encourage young farmers to get into farming because they know they will get a reasonable return on the labour and capital they invest.

But within the department we have the Canadian Grain Commission, the Farm Credit Corporation, the Deputy Minister and others discussing this whole matter in a restricted manner, in terms of farmers and of farm units, without touching the whole question of an incomes policy. When we examine this we see it is nothing more than economic talk without social consequences, just as we have seen in the task force report on agriculture. That task force report has become the gospel of the Department of Agriculture, and the minister and the officials are the disciples. What is needed, as I have already suggested, is the development of an incomes policy for the farmers of Canada.

In this connection I need only refer to the brief which the Canadian Federation of Agriculture submitted when it met with the Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau) and the Minister of Agriculture, as follows:

We meet with you today following a year when the farmers' realized income fell to a new, disastrous low-the lowest in dollar terms for as long as comparisons make any sense; in real terms to 73 per cent of what it was ten years previously. The forecast for 1972, which we sincerely hope events will disprove, signals a further decline. The cost price squeeze has achieved a new, startling and damaging intensity.

This must be stopped. This is the clear message from grain producers, from livestock producers, from egg and poultry producers, from milk producers, from producers of horticultural products.

The brief went on to state something related to a farm income policy which the minister should take into consideration and that would be far more beneficial than his small farm consolidation plan. I quote:

Whereas it is necessary in the interests of the nation as a whole to maintain an efficient and viable agricultural industry;-

I might point out that one in five firms employing people who are not farmers depends on the primary products it gets from agriculture.

Whereas the revenues obtainable from the market place are currently insufficient for the survival of primary food or agricultural production;

Therefore it is imperative that supplementary income payments shall be paid by governments on all products which are necessarily required from the agricultural sector, in amounts when coupled

Farm Credit Act

with such revenues received from the markets, that will in total maintain solvency for the industry.

That is the kind of farm income policy that the government should be considering. I have already shown the kind of attitude that members of the government seem to have developed. They follow the charts up and down in terms of farmers and economically viable units, whereas if they had any real concern their attack on the problem should deal with the income of farmers and their costs of production. There are some alarming figures which indicate what has been happening. Other hon. members have referred to the amounts of arrears of farmers in the different provinces in respect of Farm Credit Corporation loans. In the province I represent, in 1971-72 the amount of those arrears totalled 21.1 per cent, up from 18.9 per cent in 1970-71, and from 11.6 per cent in 1969-70. Those are critical and telling figures respecting the income problems of farmers.

There are other telling figures which relate to clause 11 of this bill which will allow the minister and the Farm Credit Corporation to implement a small farm consolidation plan without incorporating it in legislation. The 1971 census of agriculture shows that the number of farms in 1971 was 15 per cent fewer than the number of farms in existence in 1966, a mere five years ago. In 1966 in the province of Saskatchewan there were 85,686 farms. In 1971, there were 76,970 farms, a downward variation of 10 per cent.

When the hon. member for Mackenzie (Mr. Korchinski) spoke on this bill he lambasted the provincial government of Saskatchewan for trying to tackle this problem, a problem which has not been tackled by the federal government. It is the first province in the Dominion of Canada which has gone so far as to suggest a land bank commission and a land transfer system to allow more young farmers to get on the land. Considering that, Mr. Speaker, we should not pay any attention to the nonsense the hon. member uttered. Further, the government of the province of Saskatchewan is the first government in Canada to be prepared to took into the whole problem of foreign ownership of farm land. Representing the constituency of Assiniboia, I well realize the problems in connection with farm land being bought up by American buyers. This brings me back to the amendment which was moved by the hon. member for Mackenzie.

I have already said that I am quite concerned about the manner in which a concept of performance standards, of some kind of means test for young farmers, is introduced by that amendment. For that reason I wish to move a subamendment, seconded by the hon. member for Batt-leford-Kindersley (Mr. Thomson) as follows:

That the amendment be amended by deleting therefrom the words "where young farmers meet performance standards," and by substituting therefor the words "for young farmers,"

If accepted, the amendment would then read:

That Bill C-5 be not now read a second time but that it be resolved that in the opinion of this House the government should give consideration to the introduction of legislation to amend the Farm Credit Act by incorporating the incentive principle-already approved by this House in other legislation-to provide for partial non-repayment of interest for young farmers, for deferred interest payments on all loans during an initial period, for equitable adjustment of interest rates for the benefit of borrowers; and, as

1904

May 4, 1972

Farm Credit Act

well, to provide for open-end loans which will allow additional borrowing without refinancing costs.

That would take out the means test which the Tory party has suggested.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM CREDIT ACT
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING LOANS AND POWERS AND CAPITAL OF CORPORATION
Permalink
PC

J.-H.-Théogène Ricard

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Theogene Ricard (Saint-Hyacinthe):

Mr. Speaker-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM CREDIT ACT
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING LOANS AND POWERS AND CAPITAL OF CORPORATION
Permalink
LIB

Gérald Laniel (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Laniel):

Order. Does the hon. member want to speak to the amendment or-

At this time the Chair is considering the amendment moved by the hon. member. After reading all the precedents that have existed in this House, and also in the United Kingdom, the Chair can find no precedent for the acceptance of an amendment to a reasoned amendment moved on second reading of a bill. On the other hand, looking at the wording of the amendment moved by the hon. member for Assiniboia (Mr. Knight) and its impact on the amendment which has been proposed, at first glance the Chair would be ready to accept it. Unless hon. members would like to express their views as to the acceptability of the change made by this subamendment, I would be ready to put the motion.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM CREDIT ACT
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING LOANS AND POWERS AND CAPITAL OF CORPORATION
Permalink
NDP

Stanley Howard Knowles (N.D.P. House Leader; Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

Agreed.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM CREDIT ACT
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING LOANS AND POWERS AND CAPITAL OF CORPORATION
Permalink
LIB

Gérald Laniel (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Laniel):

It is moved by the hon. member for Assiniboia (Mr. Knight):

That the amendment be amended by deleting therefrom the words "where young farmers meet performance standards," and by substituting therefor the words "for young farmers,".

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM CREDIT ACT
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING LOANS AND POWERS AND CAPITAL OF CORPORATION
Permalink
PC

J.-H.-Théogène Ricard

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Ricard:

Mr. Speaker, the measure now before us, Bill C-5, will apply to a great extent to a large number of people in my riding, therefore, I ought to state clearly my position in this regard.

First of all, I would like to mention that this measure, which affects a large number of Canadians, is worth being examined, reviewed and corrected, so that farmers get as much as possible out of it; and my hon. friend from Mackenzie (Mr. Korchinski) introduced an amendment designed to ecourage young farmers to this end.

If we are to expect that one day farmers as well as agricluture will continue to develop in the country, it is fair to assume that unless enough people are available to take over in this sector, it will be impossible to expect any improvement in our farmers' condition.

The hon. Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Olson) would like us to agree with him completely, to believe him without question and to pass as soon as possible the measure now before us.

However, the past behaviour of the minister leads us to be extremely cautious, because his attitude toward farmers invites us to ask ourselves questions. One must not forget, Mr. Speaker, that it is the present Minister of Agriculture who reduced by $10 million in 1970 the budget of the Canadian Wheat Board. One must not forget that it is this same minister who penalized milk producers for overproduction.

Therefore, for all those reasons, Mr. Speaker, I deem it my duty to urge the House to proceed very carefully and to scrutinize in every detail the measure now before us. I am sure we all want farmers to get the best terms possible. As a matter of fact, when we were in power, we gave proof of what I am now saying.

One must recognize also that this government also took measures in order to improve the farmer's lot. There is much more to be done however, and it is up to both government levels to co-operate.

The main reason for my taking part in the debate this afternoon is perhaps more precisely related to that cooperation between the provincial and federal governments in the agricultural field.

One knows that according to section 95 of the Constitution, the jurisdiction in agricultural matters is divided between the provinces and the federal government. I was somewhat shocked yesterday by the diatribe which the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Lessard) aimed at the Quebec Minister of Agriculture, the hon. Mr. Toupin.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM CREDIT ACT
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING LOANS AND POWERS AND CAPITAL OF CORPORATION
Permalink
LIB

Marcel Lessard (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Marcel Lessard (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Agriculture):

He deserved an answer.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM CREDIT ACT
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING LOANS AND POWERS AND CAPITAL OF CORPORATION
Permalink

May 4, 1972