May 4, 1972

PC

J.-H.-Théogène Ricard

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Ricard:

I need not say here that I do not hold a brief for him. I am not known as a staunch supporter of the Quebec Minister of Agriculture, but I see in him and in his successors a contracting party to the jurisdiction in the agricultural field.

First of all, the attack the Parliamentary Secretary made against the Minister of Agriculture for the province of Quebec was groundless, for he accused him of statements he never made. In fact, he mistook this for a committee report on the state of agriculture in Quebec. In fact, Mr. Speaker,-

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

Marcel Lessard (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Lessard (Lac-Saint-Jean):

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

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

Gérald Laniel (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Laniel):

Order. The Parliamentary Secretary on a question of privilege.

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

Marcel Lessard (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Lessard (Lac-Saint-Jean):

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Saint-Hyacinthe just stated that I attributed to the Minister of Agriculture for the province of Quebec statements which are groundless. I am afraid I was sitting in front of my TV set when I very distinctly heard the said minister, the hon. Normand Toupin, state that, because of the federal government policy, it was impossible for the Quebec Department of Agriculture to establish a global policy. That is why I rose yesterday to set the record straight.

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

Gérald Laniel (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Laniel):

Order. The Chair finds it very difficult however to recognize that the question of privilege raised by the parliamentary secretary is well taken. If an hon. member should use this device every time his views or his interpretation differ from those of another hon. member, the House would be constantly debating questions of privilege or points of order. I think this is more a debate or an argument which can better be clarified at a later stage in this debate.

May 4, 1972

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, I would like to proceed with my comments by adding that the sharp criticism which the hon. parliamentary secretary directed against his government and probably against his minister when Bill C-176 was being debated has led him to adopt a more conciliatory attitude and that his statement surely purports to cover up this criticism. Unless he was asked by some ministers to make these comments-

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. Lessard (Lac-Saint-Jean):

This is absolutely false.

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

J.-H.-Théogène Ricard

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Ricard:

-since the higher authorities are unable to muster enough courage to criticize a liberal provincial minister.

At all events, I have noted that the hon. parliamentary secretary has attacked a provincial minister who is party to an agreement for setting up a general agricultural policy that would be viable and profitable to the industry; it is an attack that does no credit to the hon. parliamentary secretary.

In fact, what does that report call for? And I shall ask my hon. friends opposite from the province of Quebec whether they are in disagreement with the report submitted by Mr. Toupin to his Quebec cabinet colleagues. Here are the main general goals:

1) Integration of the agricultural sector in the general economy;

2) Effort to bring farm incomes into line with those of employees in other sectors of the economy;

3) Regionalization and diversification of resources;

4) Mobility and redistribution of resources;

5) Increase in Quebec's self-sufficiency on the agricultural plane;

6) Improved management of the offers of agricultural products and more balanced sharing of markets;

7) Maintaining of a socio-economic infrastructure in rural communities;

8) Increased programs for research and technological and vocational training.

This is what the Quebec Agriculture Minister, following the approach initiated by his predecessor, hon. Clement Vincent, wants to obtain for the farmers of his province. And it is amazing to see a federal representative from the province of Quebec, who happens to be Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture, indulging in an outburst against the provincial Minister of Agriculture.

His predecessor the hon. member for Richelieu (Mr. Cote) would never have thought indeed of making such statements since they only add fuel to the fire and because it is a well known fact that there are differences of opinions, as well as of interests between the two levels of government and that they can only be settled through goodwill, understanding and co-operation. This is why the arrogant attitude shown by the parliamentary secretary is unbecoming to a member from the province of Quebec representing the farming people.

I beg his colleagues for the province of Quebec to behave in such a way that his words may not undermine good feelings between the two levels of government because, there again, the first people to suffer would be the farmers and such is not the purpose of our being elected. In the circumstances, the parliamentary secretary

Farm Credit Act

should be the first to promote the interests of the farmers instead of sowing the seeds of discord at those two levels of government.

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):

On a question of privilege, 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):

The parliamentary secretary is rising on a question of privilege.

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. Lessard (Lac-Saint-Jean):

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Saint-Hyacinthe has now resumed his seat. He apparently wanted to impute intentions to me when he said that I was against the policy outlined in the white paper of the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Olson).

It was not at all the reason for my intervention yesterday. It is about the Quebec Minister of Agriculture's statements regarding his inability to bring in a policy because of the federal jurisdiction. I have the support of all my colleagues in that connection.

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. I would ask the parliamentary secretary to resume his seat.

The Parliamentary Secretary's question is not one of privilege under Standing Orders and the procedure of the House. As I said earlier it is more a matter of debate and I do think that hon. members will be able at a later stage to express their views thereon.

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

René Matte

Social Credit

Mr. Rene Matte (Champlain):

Mr. Speaker, as my hon. colleague from Bellechasse (Mr. Lambert) pointed out yesterday, this bill includes certain aspects with which we agree.

Granted, it is now easier to obtain the credit required to develop Canadian agriculture. Still, we must, as members of the opposition, point out what I would call the silences, the absences, the oversights with regard to introducing real reforms intended to solve at long last the problems of agriculture in Canada.

Some time ago, the right hon. Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau) himself tacitly recognized the existence of problems, and even recognized the absolute necessity of not staying put and of solving, from the ground up, the basic problems of the agricultural industry.

Again as the hon. member for Bellechasse said yesterday, Mr. Speaker, it is all very well to give the farmers greater credit facilities, but we must consider above all the means of making farming profitable to the man who devotes himself to it.

We must assure to producers a fair income comparable to the average income of those in other professions.

Mr. Speaker, when we have to face such facts and a government recognizes its deficiencies, we wonder why it does not bring in some amendments to solve all those problems. I agree that it is easy to criticize, to make suggestions.

Mr. Speaker, the government gets some real assistance in that field, especially from all Canadian farming unions, among others, the Canadian Federation of Agriculture as well as the CFU in Quebec.

25104-61*

May 4, 1972

Farm Credit Act

Mr. Speaker, it would seem that the views of those who live the day to day problems of agriculture should be considered when legislation is drafted.

May I quote a few suggestions contained in the brief which the Canadian Federation of Agriculture submitted last April 10. It says:

An adequate adjustment and development program should ensure-

-here follows a list of different things such a program should ensure-

That governments set up, in co-operation with representatives of agricultural associations, a land purchase program that would enable farmers aged 55 and over who wish to retire, to sell their property which could probably be used to consolidate adjacent farm land surrendered to the Crown or transferred to development organizations for further development or distribution.

That a land transfer program allow present farmers to acquire the additional land that will become available and that the greatest possible number of people be encouraged to remain in the rural community.

Mr. Speaker, we are faced with a problem of migration from the farms, especially in some regions of Quebec, and I have not yet gone through the statistical data of last year's federal census. But at first glance, and according to reports received last week, I noticed, for example, that in the Champlain riding which I am honoured to represent in this House, there was a decrease of 7,000 people. Champlain being mostly a rural riding, it shows once again that the state of agriculture compels a great number of producers to abandon the industry.

The price support policy is not, in my view, a way of ensuring better food for the people. This, I think, is forgetting about the most essential problem, that of feeding individuals.

Here is another point that the Canadian Federation of Agriculture stressed, and I quote:

That support be given to those federal policies aimed at improving the opportunities offered by agriculture and providing other possibilities for those who wish to leave this industry for other sectors of work.

Indeed, many people are facing enormous difficulties; these are concrete problems that we experience daily.

The quotation goes on:

That the Canadian government be urged to establish a retirement plan to help the farmers who want to leave their farms but whose income is not sufficient to meet their needs.

Such is the situation of dairy producers, for example, in Quebec, who have worked for 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years to produce a food that is essential to life, that is milk and its by-products. These people come to the end of their working life and do not have enough money for an honorable retirement. That is a shameful situation in a country as rich as ours. I go on with the quotation:

That every effort be made to avoid the creation of new structures or new departments duplicating present federal or provincial departments.

The Canadian Federation of Agriculture is referring to the famous conflict mentioned earlier by the hon. member for Saint-Hyacinthe (Mr. Ricard), and I am referring to the harsh words spoken yesterday against the Quebec

Minister of Agriculture by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Lessard).

Mr. Speaker, it is useless to cover one's face, and to shut one's eyes; one must admit that there is a conflit, that the orientation now given by the Quebec government to agriculture does not agree with that of the federal government.

We are dealing with a problem and it is not by accusing the Quebec government of mismanagement of public affairs that we shall come to a solution. It is obvious that in a country as large as ours, where you find areas as different as Quebec and the western plains, the role of the federal government is then that of a coordinating body. The federal government should aim at a better distribution of the goods and farm products in all parts of Canada. That should be the major objective of any federal government rather than attempting to interfere in areas which may appear to be within its jurisdiction under the Constitution, but which in fact, for all practical purposes, because of the duplication of departments and agencies, lead to injustice.

This may be one of the main reasons why the Quebec farmers think-and they may be wrong-that the Western farmers have a better deal.

The fact that they think so, Mr. Chairman, is detrimental to the very existence of our country. The federal government should make every effort, through appropriate coordination to avoid such conflicting views.

In order to emphasize this point, I should like to read into the record a letter which a Quebec farmer sent to the newspaper Terre de chez nous in which he described one of the problems I have just mentioned. I quote:

Quebec Farmers Pay more than Foreigners for their Grain

Why must livestock breeders in Eastern Canada pay more for their grain than Westerners? The federal government has refused until now to comply with a request by minister Toupin supported by the UCC, which would force the Canadian Wheat Board to adjust rates so that livestock breeders in the East and in the West be treated as equals.

Even foreign countries that import feed grains from Canada pay less than we do. Are we going to put up with such injustice much longer? First of all a Minister of Agriculture for Eastern Canada should be appointed. There was some mention of this in Mr. Pearson's time but it did not materialize.

Mr. Trudeau has announced that a five-dollar subsidy would be paid to hog producers, but this payment applies only to hogs that are sold slaughtered, whereas in Quebec a large proportion of hogs are sold live at auction. This deprives many producers of a substantial income to which they should be entitled. Let us hope that the federal government will comply with UCC's requests and make all hogs eligible for this subsidy.

Mr. Speaker, this letter from a farmer-

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

Gérald Laniel (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Laniel):

Order. I regret to interrupt the hon. member, but the House must now proceed with consideration of private members' business.

May 4, 1972

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

PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION

SUBJECT MATTER OF QUESTIONS TO BE DEBATED

LIB

Gérald Laniel (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Laniel):

It is my duty, pursuant to Standing Order 40, to inform the House that the questions to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment are as follows: the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles)-Income Tax-Suggested increase in exemption for retired persons or granting of tax credits in budget; the hon. member for Athabasca (Mr. Yewchuk)- Indian Affairs-Request for statement on action to protect rights in relation to James Bay hydroelectric project; the hon. member for Regina East (Mr. Burton)-Manpower-Local initiatives program-Funds allocated, amounts spent, applications received, by provinces.

It being five o'clock, the House will now proceed to the consideration of private members' business as listed on today's order paper, namely, private bills, notices of motions (papers) and public bills.

As no private bills are listed on today's order paper, the House will proceed to the consideration of notices of motions (papers).

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   SUBJECT MATTER OF QUESTIONS TO BE DEBATED
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LIB

James Alexander Jerome (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. lerome:

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I think there is disposition among the members of the House to stand those items which precede motion No. 8, standing in the name of the hon. member for Winnipeg North (Mr. Orlikow), it being resumption of the debate on that measure. I believe the records will verify that at the conclusion of the debate during the last private members hour, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Manpower and Immigration (Mr. Perrault) was in the midst of his speech. Possibly he might conclude his remarks.

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   SUBJECT MATTER OF QUESTIONS TO BE DEBATED
Permalink
LIB

Gérald Laniel (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Laniel):

Hon. members have heard the proposal of the parliamentary secretary that motions 2, 3, 6, 36 and 38 be stood and that the House proceed with Motion No. 8 on the understanding that the hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Manpower and Immigration (mr. Perrault) will conclude the debate. Is this agreed?

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   SUBJECT MATTER OF QUESTIONS TO BE DEBATED
Permalink
NDP

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

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

Conclude his speech, surely.

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   SUBJECT MATTER OF QUESTIONS TO BE DEBATED
Permalink

May 4, 1972