October 26, 1973

ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

INDIAN AFFAIRS AND NORTHERN DEVELOPMENT


Sixth report of Standing Committee on Indian Affairs and Northern Development-Mr. Buchanan. [Editor's Note: For text of above report, see today's Votes and Proceedings.]


ANNOUNCEMENT OF CRITERIA FOR CONDUCTING RAPESEED MARKETING POLL

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, it has already been indicated in the House on several occasions that it is the intention of the government to conduct a poll of rapeseed growers in western Canada before the end of the year to determine the system they prefer for the marketing of their product. On June 1, I announced the appointment of a supervisor for the poll, Mr. George S. Turner, to take charge of the task of consulting with rapeseed growers and overseeing the conduct of the poll itself. On the basis of Mr. Turner's consultations with growers and their organizations the following criteria for the conduct of the poll were recommended and accepted by government:

1. A producer eligible to vote in the poll will be defined as a Canadian Wheat Board regular permit holder whose permit indicates acreage seeded to rapeseed in any two out of the three crop years, 1971-72, 1972-73 and 1973-74. Also eligible to vote will be new permit holders who grew grain for the first time in 1972 or 1973 and whose permit books indicate acreage seeded to rapeseed in at least one year.

2. The ballot will be worded so that the rapeseed grower may indicate his preference for one of two options for the marketing of his rapeseed, that is, the present system or the Canadian Wheat Board, plus the opportunity to register an undecided vote.

3. A majority of at least 60 per cent of the ballots returned must be in favour of the Canadian Wheat Board alternative before such a change could be made.

4. Ballots will be mailed to producers in early December, 1973.

Information concerning alternative marketing systems for rapeseed will be distributed to growers prior to the poll to assist them in deciding on the system they prefer for

the marketing of their product. Manitoba Pool Elevators, Saskatchewan Wheat Pool and Alberta Wheat Pool, at our request, have jointly prepared an information brochure stating the case for including the marketing of rapeseed under the Canadian Wheat Board. The Rapeseed Association of Canada, again at our invitation, has prepared a brochure stating the case for the open market method of rapeseed marketing. The pools and the rapeseed association have borne the cost of preparing the material for their respective brochures while the government is bearing the cost of printing and distributing the material. The brochures will be jointly mailed on November 16 to those rapeseed growers who are eligible to vote in the poll. The ballots will be mailed on December 3 and voters will have until December 14 to return their ballots to the supervisor of the poll, Mr. George S. Turner. The results of the poll will be made known to the House immediately following the conclusion of the poll.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CRITERIA FOR CONDUCTING RAPESEED MARKETING POLL
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PC

Jack Burnett Murta

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Jack Murta (Lisgar):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to begin by thanking the minister responsible for the Wheat Board for sending us a copy of his statement a few minutes before he rose to make the statement in the House. It is a good idea for the government and various organizations to keep farmers well informed, and it was a good idea for the minister to make the kind of statement he made today well in advance of the intended rapeseed plebiscite.

The vote that will take place in the first part of December will be most important. A great many people see it as possibly a turning point for agriculture in Canada in relation to the Wheat Board form of marketing, which is basically negotiation and the pooling of prices, as against the concept of futures marketing in which prices are determined by supply and demand in the marketplace at any given time. There have been requests by organizations to postpone the plebiscite because of the complexity of the task of explaining the differences between open or futures marketing method and the Wheat Board selling method. The minister did not allude to this, but I understand they have been turned down and the vote will be taking place in the first part of December.

I am glad to see that in the plebiscite there will be an opportunity to register undecided votes. I take it from the minister's remarks that undecided votes will be counted as votes for retention of the present futures marketing system for rapeseed and flax.

When one looks at the whole situation concerning rape-seed and the tremendous growth of this crop over the past few years under the futures or open marketing system it is obvious that the growth has been phenomenal. I believe that for a good many producers across western Canada it has been a very satisfactory way of selling their product.

October 26, 1973

Rapeseed Plebiscite

While it might be improper for us as politicians to get involved at this time on one side or the other inasmuch as this is a good opportunity to let the issue be decided by the growers associations and the people directly involved in the plebiscite, I hasten to say that when one looks at the whole situation at the present time it seems that the present method of marketing rapeseed is quite satisfactory.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CRITERIA FOR CONDUCTING RAPESEED MARKETING POLL
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NDP

William George Knight (Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Bill Knight (Assiniboia):

Mr. Speaker, when one looks at the statement made by the minister on the question of the rapeseed marketing poll one wonders how far the government is going in the direction of government by plebiscite. It seems strange that when there is an issue whether this commodity should be sold on the open market or marketed by the Canadian Wheat Board we suddenly have a plebiscite. Where is the plebiscite on the action taken with regard to feed grains? There is none.

If 51 per cent of the producers who return the forms say they want the Canadian Wheat Board to market their rapeseed, it will not be done. If 59 per cent say that is what they want, it will not be done. The plebiscite requires 60 per cent. That must be what is called Liberal democracy. The question should be decided on the basis of a simple majority one way or the other. If a 60 per cent majority were required to form a government in this country, we would not have a government at this time.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CRITERIA FOR CONDUCTING RAPESEED MARKETING POLL
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?

An hon. Member:

Maybe we don't have one now.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CRITERIA FOR CONDUCTING RAPESEED MARKETING POLL
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NDP

William George Knight (Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knight:

Maybe we don't.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CRITERIA FOR CONDUCTING RAPESEED MARKETING POLL
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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CRITERIA FOR CONDUCTING RAPESEED MARKETING POLL
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NDP

William George Knight (Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knight:

The Conservative critic stated, as the Tories have done with regard to every major policy that has come before the House, that they want a hands off policy. They do not want to take a stand. Not taking a stand in the debate that will take place on rapeseed simply means one thing, a stand for an open market. All members of the House should take a stand. In fact, the minister should take a stand. Where do the politicians stand in regard to marketing rapeseed? This party stands for putting flax, rye and rapeseed under the jursidiction of the Canadian Wheat Board.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CRITERIA FOR CONDUCTING RAPESEED MARKETING POLL
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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CRITERIA FOR CONDUCTING RAPESEED MARKETING POLL
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NDP

William George Knight (Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knight:

Under the open market system farmers sign contracts for $3 a bushel and the brokers and shysters resell the rapeseed at $6 to $7 a bushel. I say it is time we moved into a position of orderly marketing through the Canadian Wheat Board.

The leaders of the farm organizations and the members of the government should state where they stand. It is nonsensical to hold a poll now when last year the government brought in amendments to the Canadian Wheat Board Act which raised the question of the marketing of these commodities outside that board. The New Democratic Party moved an amendment in committee to the Wheat Board Act to provide for the marketing of flax, rye and rapeseed under the jurisdiction of the board. The government party and the Official Opposition defeated that amendment. Now there is to be a plebiscite and the law does not even allow the Wheat Board to market these

grains even if the farmers vote in favour of the proposition.

Does the minister in charge of the Wheat Board give western farmers the assurance that if they vote for Wheat Board marketing his colleagues will allow him to bring such an amendment before the House? Will the Conservative party allow the government to give the Wheat Board jurisdiction over rapeseed? I think the manner in which the plebiscite has been set up, and the manner in which the government is carrying it out, amounts to an attempt to weigh the procedure in favour of the open market system.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CRITERIA FOR CONDUCTING RAPESEED MARKETING POLL
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SC

David Réal Caouette

Social Credit

Mr. Real Caouette (Temiscamingue):

Mr. Speaker, I think that the minister's statement that a consultation of producers would be held in late November or early December is an undertaking to enable an important area of our economy to express itself and choose a process for the marketing of its production.

As stated in paragraph (2) of the minister's statement, the ballot will be worded so that the rapeseed grower may indicate his preference for one of two options for the marketing of his rapeseed, that is, the present system or the Canadian Wheat Board, plus the opportunity to register an undecided vote.

Mr. Speaker, this process seems to me altogether democratic and enables producers to choose their own marketing system for their products. I understand that in other fields of production, they do not operate this way and I would suggest that the Department apply that consultation policy not merely to rapeseed growers but also to all other Canadian farmers.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CRITERIA FOR CONDUCTING RAPESEED MARKETING POLL
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NATIONAL DEFENCE

NDP

Frank Howard

New Democratic Party

Mr. Frank Howard (Skeena):

Mr. Speaker, I rise pursuant to Standing Order 43 to seek permission of the House to move a motion on a matter of urgent and pressing necessity, namely, the deteriorating situation of the search and rescue activities or operations of the Department of National Defence on the west coast and the inability of that group properly to fulfil its functions. I move, seconded by the hon. member for Comox-Alberni (Mr. Barnett):

That the Standing Committee on External Affairs and National Defence be authorized to conduct an immediate inquiry into the search and rescue operations of the Department of National Defence on the west coast with instructions to report its findings and recommendations back to the House not later than November 30 of this year in order that whatever corrective measures are deemed necessary may be put into effect as quickly as possible.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Sub-subtopic:   AIR SEARCH AND RESCUE OPERATIONS ON WEST COAST- REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION
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NONE

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

No affiliation

Mr. Speaker:

Is there unanimous consent?

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Sub-subtopic:   AIR SEARCH AND RESCUE OPERATIONS ON WEST COAST- REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION
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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Sub-subtopic:   AIR SEARCH AND RESCUE OPERATIONS ON WEST COAST- REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION
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?

Some hon. Members:

No.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Sub-subtopic:   AIR SEARCH AND RESCUE OPERATIONS ON WEST COAST- REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION
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NONE

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

No affiliation

Mr. Speaker:

There is not unanimity.

October 26, 1973

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Sub-subtopic:   AIR SEARCH AND RESCUE OPERATIONS ON WEST COAST- REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION
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October 26, 1973