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.
Subtopic: ANNOUNCEMENT OF CRITERIA FOR CONDUCTING RAPESEED MARKETING POLL