September 14, 1973

ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

ANNOUNCEMENT RESPECTING 1973-74 FEED GRAINS PROGRAM

LIB

Otto Emil Lang (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada; Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board)

Liberal

Hon. Otto E. Lang (Minister of Justice):

Mr. Speaker, I would like to give members of parliament up to date information on the implementation of the 1973-74 feed grains program.

The 1973-74 feed grains program includes two main provisions:

1. The pricing of feed grains, moved from the Canadian Wheat Board area to other parts of Canada, based on off-board prices within the Wheat Board area.

2. Buying of feed grains by the Agricultural Products Board to provide a broader base and give more certainty to the off-board market within the Wheat Board area. This will ensure that no producer in the Wheat Board area will have to sell his grain at distress prices even if quotas are not immediately available to him in what he considers sufficient quantity.

The Canadian Livestock Feed Board is working with the Canadian Wheat Board to determine the level of off-board prices in order to arrive at the base price for sales to eastern Canada. The price quoted at Thunder Bay for eastern markets will be this base price plus costs such as handling, transportation and storage that are associated with having grain in market position.

Monitoring of off-board prices on the Prairies will be carried out by Agriculture Canada under the authority of the Agricultural Products Board Act. Survey results will be provided to the Wheat Board and the Livestock Feed Board for their use in determining the off-board price. The monitoring will include sales to feed mills, feed lots, and to larger livestock and poultry producers within the Wheat Board area.

In addition to continuing to offer grain as in the past, the Canadian Wheat Board has reinstituted a policy used occasionally in the past of offering feed grains on a deferred or provisional price basis. This means buyers can buy feed grains for later delivery at the Canadian Wheat Board domestic selling price in effect at the time of such delivery.

The first offering, price of the Products Board will be announced within the next few days. Due to the build-up of grain stocks caused by the rail strike, actual purchasing by the Products Board will begin later this month. Thereafter the Canadian Wheat Board will be able -to declare prevailing selling prices based on the monitoring of off-board prices.

The Agricultural Products Board purchase program will be operated through the Canadian Wheat Board and country elevators in the Prairies. Producers wishing to sell to the Products Board will deliver their grain in the same manner as if they were selling to the Wheat Board. They will receive a cash ticket as they do with Wheat Board purchases. The payment they receive, however, will be a final payment and will not entitle them to participation in the pool final payments.

Feed freight assistance will continue to apply during the year and the Canadian Livestock Feed Board will closely observe movement and pricing in eastern Canada.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT RESPECTING 1973-74 FEED GRAINS PROGRAM
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PC

Frank Fletcher Hamilton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Frank Hamilton (Swift Current-Maple Creek):

Mr. Speaker, anyone familiar with the grain industry is well aware that there have been many communications between the Premier of the province of Quebec and the right hon. Prime Minister of Canada (Mr. Trudeau). I want to quote from one letter addressed to the Prime Minister of Canada which reads in part as follows:

The damage to Quebec farmers caused by Canadian Wheat Board policies is now universally recognized. It has actually created the situation you are familiar with both for the Quebec government and for the farm organizations from whom you have often received numerous representations.

Moreover, you recently acknowledged those representations by officially and publicly pledging to produce a final solution to the feed grain problem before August 1, 1973.

It is now September 14 and from one end of Canada to the other there is confusion not only in the feed grain industry but in the entire Canadian grain industry.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT RESPECTING 1973-74 FEED GRAINS PROGRAM
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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT RESPECTING 1973-74 FEED GRAINS PROGRAM
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PC

Frank Fletcher Hamilton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hamilton (Swift Current-Maple Creek):

We have this government establishing initial prices on western grain under which there is a return of some $2 a bushel to the producer. The Canadian Wheat Board is selling that same milling wheat for $5.65 a bushel and the same durum wheat for $9 a bushel on the export market. As I said, the farmer gets $2 per bushel.

We have a program in the grain industry being imposed by stealth. What the farmers want are more options, and what we on this side of the House want is more opportunity to debate those options.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT RESPECTING 1973-74 FEED GRAINS PROGRAM
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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT RESPECTING 1973-74 FEED GRAINS PROGRAM
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PC

Frank Fletcher Hamilton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hamilton (Swift Current-Maple Creek):

What this announcement means is that we will now have a group of civil servants setting prices for western feed grains. I see

September 14, 1973

Feed Grain

this as just another step toward turning the Canadian agricultural industry into a public utility.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT RESPECTING 1973-74 FEED GRAINS PROGRAM
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?

An hon. Member:

Shame!

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT RESPECTING 1973-74 FEED GRAINS PROGRAM
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PC

Frank Fletcher Hamilton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hamilton (Swift Current-Maple Creek):

I am still waiting to hear how the minister in charge of the Canadian Wheat Board is going to get around the new feed grain commission established in the province of Manitoba. In addition, it has just been announced that a feed grain commission is to be established in the province of Saskatchewan. The Minister of Agriculture for Saskatchewan gives as his reason that his board is going to regulate the federal government's feed grain program.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT RESPECTING 1973-74 FEED GRAINS PROGRAM
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NDP

Alfred Pullen Gleave

New Democratic Party

Mr. A. P. Gleave (Saskatoon-Biggar):

Mr. Speaker, we have waited some time for the minister responsible for the Wheat Board to make a statement of policy in the House and he has now done so. It has been obvious from his previous statements that this method of pricing is designed to subsidize the producers in the province of Quebec and the Maritimes at the expense of the grain producers of western Canada. It is designed to give an advantage to the livestock and poultry producers in the eastern provinces and to put the western producers of livestock at a disadvantage.

This is such an unfortunate policy it has forced two grain growing provinces, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, to set up grain marketing agencies. This step should not have been necessary since we already have a very effective marketing agency. It destroys the effectiveness of the Canadian Wheat Board as the pricing agent in the domestic market, and puts in its place a very cumbersome pricing method that will not work well, will give trouble continually and give rise to political arguments in this House and elsewhere. It is an unfair policy for the farmers in the province of Ontario. I am surprised that the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Whelan), who is a farmer in Ontario, has lent his support to a policy that is so biased, so cumbersome and in a great many respects unworkable. The pricing policy we had maintained an equality between the price of corn produced in Ontario and the price of feed grains produced in western Canada. It maintained a certain equilibrium which this new policy will destroy.

Finally, I am surprised that the minister, who represents a Saskatchewan constituency, has seen fit over the last several weeks to bring in policies that cause the western grain grower to subsidize the bread and flour industries in Canada, and now caps it off by formally bringing in this policy which will cause these farmers to subsidize the livestock producers of eastern Canada.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT RESPECTING 1973-74 FEED GRAINS PROGRAM
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SC

Joseph Adrien Henri Lambert

Social Credit

Mr. Adrien Lambert (Bellechasse):

Mr. Speaker, I would like first of all to thank the minister for having followed what seems to become more and more the general rule in this House and having given to the spokesman for our party the French version of his statement.

Mr. Speaker, the problem referred to in the minister's statement is not new. In fact, we have been hearing for several years about the difference in prices between the east and the west.

Because I am an optimist, I would like to repeat once more that before criticizing the policy announced today- and I would like this criticism to be as frank as possible-I believe that we should wait until we have tried the policy for a while.

For my part, I do not think that this policy is at all unfair to the western grain producers, any more than it is particularly to the advantage of those in the east.

In any event, I have always thought that the central government existed to adopt programs designed to bring justice to all areas of the land. And I am still convinced that all governments have endeavoured, in the past, to find a solution to that problem.

Of course, to my mind, it is too soon to pass a valid judgment on the plan proposed to us today. In any event, I trust the agriculture organization of the province of Quebec, the APU, will analyze this solution in depth, after which I am convinced its president will make an official statement and say with his usual frankness what he thinks of the policy.

Whatever the case may be, as the measure goes into force from September 15, that is tomorrow, I expect that in the very near future both eastern and western producers will be able to understand the full significance of this measure. If its effects are really good, the government will then have been justified in seeking a really fair solution, although it did take a long to time to do so.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT RESPECTING 1973-74 FEED GRAINS PROGRAM
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NONE

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

No affiliation

Mr. Speaker:

Does the hon. member for Joliette (Mr. La Salle) wish to comment the minister's statement on motions?

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT RESPECTING 1973-74 FEED GRAINS PROGRAM
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IND

Roch La Salle

Independent

Mr. Roch La Salle (Joliette):

No, Mr. Speaker, I should like to move a motion pursuant to Standing Order 43.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT RESPECTING 1973-74 FEED GRAINS PROGRAM
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NONE

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

No affiliation

Mr. Speaker:

I recognize the hon. member for Joliette.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT RESPECTING 1973-74 FEED GRAINS PROGRAM
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BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

IND

Roch La Salle

Independent

Mr. Roch La Salle (Joliette):

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 43, I request the unanimous consent of the House to move a motion concerning a matter of urgent and pressing necessity.

In view of the reasons which have led to the early convening of this House, I move, seconded by the hon. member for Champlain (Mr. Matte):

That, when the House has passed Bill C-219, An Act to amend the Old Age Security Act, Bill C-220, An Act to amend the statute law providing for the payment of supplementary retirement benefits to certain persons in receipt of pensions payable out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund, and Bill C-223, an Act to amend the Family Allowances Act and the Youth Allowances Act, and the said bills have received Royal Assent, this House adjourn to October 15.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED ADJOURNMENT TO OCTOBER 15-REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION
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NONE

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

No affiliation

Mr. Speaker:

The House has heard the motion moved by the hon. member. Pursuant to Standing Order 43, this motion requires the unanimous consent of the House. Is there such unanimous agreement?

September 14, 1973

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED ADJOURNMENT TO OCTOBER 15-REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION
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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED ADJOURNMENT TO OCTOBER 15-REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION
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?

Some hon. Members:

No.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED ADJOURNMENT TO OCTOBER 15-REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION
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September 14, 1973