April 16, 1975

PC

Almonte Douglas Alkenbrack

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Alkenbrack:

Let me remind them that the clear majority granted to them was granted in good part by the farmers of Quebec, which is part of their power base.

Tonight the cabinet is watching the press and the level of publicity from this debate. Last night's Ottawa Journal had this to say. There was a report headed "Cabinet may order men back" and it went on to say:

The cabinet is studying the possibility of forcing striking Quebec longshoremen back to work, Prime Minister Trudeau said Tuesday.

I hope it is, and that it has the guts to do it. What is there to study? All the cabinet need do is act and legislate the longshoremen back to work. If it cannot do this, then it could order an injunction giving needy farmers and their starving cattle, hogs and poultry access to the grain supplies in the Quebec elevators which are so fanatically and illegally picketed, thus withholding grain from the public. This reminds me of the ancient Bishop Hatto of Bingen who would give his hungry people no food.

I call upon the Prime Minister, the cabinet, and government benches, on behalf of the Quebec farmers and feeders, to put an end to this impasse by seeing to it that feed is provided to the livestock of Quebec farmers. In yesterday's Ottawa Citizen there was a picture with a news item showing Quebec trucks lined up at the Prescott elevator to load up with feed grains to be transported to Quebec to help in this serious situation. As a member representing the riding of Frontenac-Lennox and Addington in eastern Ontario, I hope our Prescott elevator supplies help allevi-

Feed. Grain

ate the shortage and play a helpful role. But there are, of course, limits to supply, and Quebec's problem this week could become our problem in Ontario next week. Then if we run out of grain and the longshoremen, abetted by this do-nothing Liberalism here on Parliament Hill, continue to control the situation and feed remains unavailable in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec and Montreal, most of eastern Canada will then be helpless and immobilized as far as this phase of our food production is concerned.

The government has a duty to perform, which is to stop this illegal sideshow run by the longshoremen's union at the elevators in Quebec. Their strike is no doubt a legal one, but their action in picketing grain suppliers is illegal. They are not classed as grain handlers, and their action is victimizing the farmers and feeders of the province of Quebec, starving their livestock and crippling and disrupting the production of food in this country. This must be stopped-immediately, forthwith, and now. I call upon our philosophic Prime Minister, his supine cabinet and his bewildered and misled followers, to govern themselves accordingly and move to alleviate this hardship and injustice that is being perpetrated upon the farmers and feeders of the province of Quebec.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MOTION TO ADJOURN UNDER S.O. 26 LABOUR CONDITIONS LONGSHOREMEN'S STRIKE-EFFECT ON FEED GRAIN SUPPLIES
Permalink
LIB

Gilles Marceau (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Gilles Marceau (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Justice):

Madam Speaker, after six hours of debate that I watched with interest, you will understand no doubt that I will try to limit my intervention in a gesture of friendship for my colleagues on this side of the House in particular who described the situation in great detail and explained to all members of this House that their colleagues on the government side were unanimous in deploring the urgency of the situation and the importance of finding a solution in the near future.

During this debate, Madam Speaker, I was particularly struck by the extremely sensible comments about Quebecers by my colleagues of the official opposition. And if I recall, a few years ago when the party opposite was in power, I was not a member of this House but I was nevertheless following what was happening here in the House of Commons and for having consulted abundantly the pieces of legislation that were passed at that time I remember quite well that eastern Canada and eastern farmers did not obtain to the best of my recollection legislations suited to the needs of Quebec farmers. Without wanting to pass any final judgement, perhaps I might be permitted to consider and hear with a little skepticism that sudden interest and somewhat extreme manifestation from members opposite for Quebec farmers.

I remember a few minutes ago, or let us rather say a few hours ago, hearing a member of the Official Opposition who did us the courtesy of saying a few words in French, but I must add that those few words in French indicated to me rather clearly that if he had a certain, at least apparent, respect for one of the official languages which is that of the man talking to you, there was a rather obvious lack of understanding of what is a French-Speaking Canadian and the way he acts in politics.

I think our friends opposite too often identify the activities of Quebec members with bombastic speeches and

April 16, 1975

Feed Grain

cutting interventions in the House of Commons or elsewhere.

I think those who somewhat know us realize that we have some sort of lobbying methods which may be more important and more efficient within the framework of a party, and which consist of regular meetings with the ministers concerned and official and often unofficial representations to them, which should not necessarily be identified with those long speeches intended, as my friends opposite have often said, "to be on the record".

That is not our line, and I would invite my friends on the other side to stop telling liberal members from Quebec that we do not speak up enough in the House. I respect them enough to respect their way of doing things and stepping in in due time, and I hope they will show their respect for our personality which leads us to act by using the means we think most efficient in the way we think most appropriate in the interest of our constituents and in the interest of the Quebec people as a whole.

Madam Speaker, it should no doubt be recognized that our debate tonight represents an extremely important step in the dispute we have been discussing for several hours.

I also think that the tribute we paid to the hon. member for Bellechasse (Mr. Lambert) seconded by the hon. member for Joliette (Mr. La Salle), was well deserved. I think the hon. member for Bellechasse in particular, and even my friend from Joliette with some reservations, on the whole made interesting points, but I think what we should keep in mind tonight at this late hour and as this debate drives to a close, is the fact that we should understand that all parties represented here in the House of Commons should unite to understand how important it is to make the government realize that it is urgent not to consider in detail the situation but to take a decision.

I think that, as a government member, it is my duty to endorse the action that will be taken by the minister concerned. On that point, I trust him entirely, and I urge him not only to consider the emergency of the situation but also to take action since, in my opinion, the situation has reached a degree which warrants government intervention. Even though I respect, as most members do, the workers' right to strike, even though I accept straight away that collective bargaining formula, I think public interest demands, at the present time, that the government take the matter into its own hands and take the action requested by the circumstances and which, to my opinion, justifies the drafting and tabling of special legislation. I think we must not dodge the issue. It is of course easy to try to protect altogether the worker, the union, the government and the opposition and to adopt a middle of the road solution. But I think that period is over with, and, as a government member, I think the representations submitted to the Minister of Agriculture are likely to indicate to him that the problem has reached such a point as to warrant government action, and I am convinced that hon. members opposite will be the first to support a legislation designed to enable Quebec farmers to get supplies, as they have the right to do, in order to distribute to Quebec consumers the food they need for their families.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MOTION TO ADJOURN UNDER S.O. 26 LABOUR CONDITIONS LONGSHOREMEN'S STRIKE-EFFECT ON FEED GRAIN SUPPLIES
Permalink
?

An hon. Member:

It is very important.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MOTION TO ADJOURN UNDER S.O. 26 LABOUR CONDITIONS LONGSHOREMEN'S STRIKE-EFFECT ON FEED GRAIN SUPPLIES
Permalink
LIB

Gilles Marceau (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Marceau:

Madam Speaker, I think that... Oh, I am sorry, things are changing so quickly, Mr. Speaker; I think, looking at all of us here tonight, at this time when both hands of the clock are meeting, that it would perhaps be the time for all parties to join together. It may be the time for each of us, irrespective of the political party we belong to, of our nationality, of our cultures or language, to understand that the situation the Quebec farmers are now requiring that we join together and, that in a movement of collective solidarity, we tell the Minister of Agriculture that we trust him, that we urge him to take immediate and concrete action to meet the needs of Quebec farmers and at the same time of the Canadian people who is looking at our government, who trusts them and will continue to trust them and to support them for the action they will take hopefully very soon.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MOTION TO ADJOURN UNDER S.O. 26 LABOUR CONDITIONS LONGSHOREMEN'S STRIKE-EFFECT ON FEED GRAIN SUPPLIES
Permalink
PC

Peter Elzinga

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Peter Elzinga (Pembina):

Mr. Speaker, leave has been granted to the hon. member for Bellechasse (Mr. Lambert) to move the adjournment of this House, pursuant to Standing Order 26, for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter requiring urgent consideration, namely, the continuing longshoremen's strike in the ports of Quebec City, Trois-Rivieres and Montreal which prevents millers from getting the feed grain supplies normally required for animal feed, and endangers the life of thousands of animals.

May I commend the hon. member for Bellechasse and the hon. member for Joliette (Mr. La Salle) for bringing in such a timely motion, and may I commend all hon. members who have, and are, participating in the debate at this late hour. I see the time is now 2.15 a.m., and after listening to the debate for some 6 hours and 15 minutes I feel somewhat like the man who married a widow who had eight children. Everything that had to be said has been said, and everything that had to be done has been done- by the opposition side only. We have urged this government to action, but now all we can do is hope that the Liberal administration will react in a positive way to the extent that these ills will be cured with regard to the crippling situation we have now in Quebec.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MOTION TO ADJOURN UNDER S.O. 26 LABOUR CONDITIONS LONGSHOREMEN'S STRIKE-EFFECT ON FEED GRAIN SUPPLIES
Permalink
LIB

Albert Béchard

Liberal

Mr. Bechard:

You did not hear the last speaker.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MOTION TO ADJOURN UNDER S.O. 26 LABOUR CONDITIONS LONGSHOREMEN'S STRIKE-EFFECT ON FEED GRAIN SUPPLIES
Permalink
PC

Peter Elzinga

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Elzinga:

The hon. member for Frontenac-Lennox and Addington (Mr. Alkenbrack) attempted to gather opinions for some individuals from the Quebec region on this depressing problem. One individual he questioned appeared before the Standing Committee on Agriculture on behalf of the Pork Council of Canada. I should like to relate to the House the opposition which the hon. member met from the Liberal members of the Standing Committee on Agriculture. It was their feeling that they did not have to discuss this pressing problem. This is just another example of the Liberal arrogance we have been experiencing and it is typical of their approach to the serious problems facing us as a nation.

The reason we enjoy our liberty now is that in the past people were allowed to speak out. People had enough brains to reject what was false and to hold on to the truth. I submit that that should be the basis of our public policy

April 16, 1975

in Canada today. Yet we see attempts time and time again by this Liberal administration to muffle members of the House. There is also an indication that the government does not know, or is not completely aware of the facts regarding this strike. On April 8, as recorded in Hansard at page 4593, the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Whelan) said:

Mr. Speaker, according to information I have received today most people still have some stocks of grain and there is no real loss of feed stocks. That is, no livestock or poultry are going without feed. We are watching the situation very closely and moving as much as we possibly can by all means, as I have said.

Two days later, the Minister of Agriculture abruptly changed his mind. As recorded in Hansard of April 10 at page 4672, he said:

Mr. Speaker, the condition is rapidly deteriorating and unless injunctions are obtained to disallow the picketing at the elevators in Quebec City and Trois-Rivieres, there will be some loss of poultry and livestock. We know people are being asked to share the feed that is in the area and feed is being trucked in from Montreal and Prescott. We do not think, however, that this will be sufficient to look after the needs that will be there in the next day or two.

I would like to share, now, with the House points that were brought out in conversation with the millers' association. Contrary to the statements made by the Minister of Agriculture, the association feels that the situation is reaching dramatic proportions. They are preparing an injunction to force the port in Trois-Rivieres to open if the situation does not change by the weekend. They are confusing "provisions" with "abcess". The minister said that there seems to be enough grain. The millers' association says that the grain might be there, but they do not have access to it. Producers were leading their stock to slaughter in Beauce last week, and this week it is mostly in Nicolet, St-Hyacinthe and Yamaska. Farmers are blaming this on lack of feed grain.

Producers usually replenish their supplies every three or four days. If the grain is available in Prescott, producers cannot truck it from there every three or four days. Producers are not even thinking of the cost of the strike to them in terms of increased grain costs; their main concern is to get enough feed for their stock. If producers have to truck the grain from Thunder Bay or Prescott, the increased cost of the grain would be prohibitive. In Quebec, trucks were able to pass on Saturday and Sunday, but in Montreal and Trois-Rivieres they cannot. Some producers in southern Quebec have already sent some calves to slaughter because of feed shortage, calves that had not attained the normal weight for slaughter. In the province in general, producers will have to slaughter shortly because they cannot change the feeding habits of their stock.

It appears that the minister is unaware of the real truth, and I would like to pose a couple of questions to him in my closing comments because this government is not coming forward with the answers which the country is looking for. It is my sincere hope that the Canadian people will not again be disappointed. Since the hour is late and, as I said earlier, what needs to be said has been said, all we need now is action from the government. I ask the minister if he plans to introduce special legislation to deal with this serious situation. The Canadian people are looking to him for action.

Feed Grain

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MOTION TO ADJOURN UNDER S.O. 26 LABOUR CONDITIONS LONGSHOREMEN'S STRIKE-EFFECT ON FEED GRAIN SUPPLIES
Permalink
LIB

Gaston Clermont (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Gaston Clermont (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce):

Mr. Speaker, without downgrating the importance of the special debate which started at 8 o'clock last evening, I must inform opposition members that we on the government side have not waited for this debate to make representations to the Minister of Agriculture or to the minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board. I for one made such representations a number of times, and other names were quoted here by the Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs or by my colleague from Bonaventure-Iles-de-la-Madeleine (Mr. Bechard). A couple of other names should be added, among others that of the member for Pontiac (Mr. Lefebvre). I join my colleagues to appeal to both parties affected by the strike in Montreal, Trois-Rivieres and Quebec City. I urge them to take into serious consideration the human problem referred to by the hon. member for Bonaventure-Iles-de-la-Madeleine. It is not only a matter of moving feed grain. The sending of goods to the Magdalen Islands for instance is also involved.

I was amazed at the remarks by the hon. members for Saint-Hyacinthe, Rocky Mountain (Messrs. Wagner and Clark) concerning the contribution of the minister for Consumer and Corporate Affairs. They seem to be surprised that the minister participated in this debate. They implied that the minister was speaking on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture.

The hon. member for Papineau (Mr. Ouellet) could speak on his own behalf for various reasons. I shall mention at least two. First, as minister of Consumer affairs, he knows full well that if the strike goes on in Montreal, Trois-Rivieres and Quebec City, this will mean production costs to cattle producers in Quebec will go up. And you know what happens in this case, higher costs are often passed on to the consumer.

So I am glad to do justice to the hon. member for Papineau.

We all know, on the government side, that the hon. member for Papineau has been very concerned for several years by the question of feed grains supplies for Quebec. As recently as yesterday afternoon, cabinet ministers were accused of not having been present yesterday evening or during the night at this emergency debate. I have been told by authorized sources, Mr. Speaker, that representatives of the FPA have met yesterday afternoon with three members of the cabinet of the right hon. Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau), who are the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Whelan), the President of the Treasury Board (Mr. Chretien) and the Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs (Mr. Ouellet); those representatives have informed those ministers of the problems which the cattle producers are presently facing in the current situation. The Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Corriveau) have set forth a list of measures the government has been taking for some time to ensure a normal supply to Quebec cattlemen. But I have to catch the attention of the minister of Agriculture and also, hopefully, of the minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board. I believe there is an area in need of improvement, Mr. Speaker. It is that

April 16, 1975

Feed Grain

of railway transportation to the East. I heard representations by those responsible for purchasing at the Cooperative Agricole Papineau. Since last January, railway transportation of grain to the East has been extremely limited, and I am asking the Minister of Agriculture to make the necessary representations to whom it may concern. Sometimes, Mr. Speaker, I get the impression that the authorities of the Canadian Wheat Board do not consider consumption important for the domestic market. I know that foreign markets are very important for Western wheat producers, but I believe that the priority must be given to domestic consumers. I join my colleague for Portneuf (Mr. Bussieres) and the hon. member for Bellechasse (Mr. Lambert) in asking the minister to give more power to the Canadian Livestock Feed Board. Mr. Speaker, I have made this suggestion several times in the past and I know that it will not be welcome among Western members. But we Easterners want the Canadian Livestock Feed Board to have more power to ensure a regular supply for Eastern livestock producers.

Therefore, I would like to suggest to the Minister of Agriculture that he seriously consider the increased costs that the present situation will bring about for livestock producers, and I hope that if he needs any help from members on the government side to support his requests from the President of the Treasury Board or the Cabinet we shall be behind him so that he may offset in one way or another the additional cost that Quebec cattle producers will have to bear because of the present situation.

Let me make a further suggestion which was made to me by someone who deals in feed grain because mention is often made of millers, even in the motion of the hon. member for Bellechasse. Not only are millers experiencing difficulties in obtaining supplies of feed grain, but cooperatives as well. One of the suggestions made by a representative of a very important cooperative on the Quebec side of the Ottawa Valley is that the government should perhaps seriously consider building regional storage facilities which could be supplied by rail. Among others, I think of the Cooperative Agricole Papineau which has its headquarters and plant in Plaisance. Since it is located west of Montreal, it would be much more economic for it to get its supplies by rail-the Canadian Pacific serves our area-if we had such a warehouse in our area.

In conclusion, I join with all the members who have already participate in this debate to urge once again the parties involved in this labour dispute affecting the three ports I mentioned to carry on serious negotiations around a table and arrived at a settlement soon, so that our Quebec producers will be normally supplied with feed grain.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MOTION TO ADJOURN UNDER S.O. 26 LABOUR CONDITIONS LONGSHOREMEN'S STRIKE-EFFECT ON FEED GRAIN SUPPLIES
Permalink
SC

Gilbert F. Rondeau

Social Credit

Mr. Gilbert Rondeau (Shefford):

Mr. Speaker, I must warmly congratulate my colleague, the hon. member for Bellechasse (Mr. Lambert) as the previous speakers have done it, for his excellent job in proposing to the House a motion under Standing Order 26 in order to discuss this urgent matter of feed grain supplies and in particular the strike now going on in the province of Quebec.

I think that every member of this House is prepared to congratulate the hon. member for Bellechasse. First because he himself is a farmer and as such, is deeply concerned by the problem of agriculture of which he has a

thorough knowledge. Since we have had the opportunity of taking advantage of his knowledge in this House, we have been able to appreciate his devotion and concern over this matter in the committee on agriculture.

However, I heard my hon. colleagues tonight and this afternoon try to take the credit that the hon. member for Bellechasse deserves for putting this motion forward. Things have been said on the Progressive Conservative side by the hon. member for Joliette (Mr. La Salle) and on the government side through the question asked by the hon. member for Bonaventure-Iles-de-la-Madeleine (Mr. Bechard), who pretended to be the first one to raise the matter yesterday when he asked a question to the right hon. Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau). I invite the hon. member for Frontenac-Lennox and Addington (Mr. Alkenbrack) to check in Hansard where he will see, on page 4651 of the Debates of House of Commons of April 9, that the hon. member for Bellechasse was the first one to raise this matter of the strike in the ports of Quebec City, Montreal and Trois-Rivieres. On page 4651 of Hansard- and I shall not read again the motion he has put forward in its whole-he said and I quote:

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order 26, I request that an emergency debate be held on the feed grain supply in eastern Canada, and more particularly in Quebec.

And he listed all the effects of this strike that had been going on for more than 7 days and has worsened from day-to-day.

Yet, the hon. member for Bonaventure-Iles-de-la-Made-leine tries to take the credit that the hon. member for Bellechasse entirely deserves. I remember quite well that in 1962 when we arrived in this House as a result of the general election of 1962, we raised for the first time the feed grain issue in Eastern Canada.

I remember quite well that the government of that time, day after day, week after week, promised to come up with a solution and now, in 1975, we are still at grips with the same problem. After 13 years, the situation is exactly the same. There is still no solution. We heard pious wishes from all sides and I do not know how many Ministers of Agriculture made promises though we are still facing the same problem today. This is an important issue which threatens our economy and Canadian consumers and tonight we heard some interesting comments from government members. For instance, I liked the comments made by the hon. member for Lapointe (Mr. Marceau) who did not simply state: I have confidence in the minister and he will solve the whole problem in due time. He asked instead for immediate measures and we fully agree with him.

I also support the comments of the hon. member for Portneuf (Mr. Bussieres) who said that there should not be any problem for a government which can use an airplane overnight to move food products to the Western world or to Bangladesh. Why could it not move food products from Western Canada to the port of Montreal or to the farm cooperative of Granby or to any farm centre in Eastern Canada?

Mr. Speaker, there are members who have been kind to the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Whelan), as if they were afraid to expose themselves.

April 16, 1975

There were members who said tonight: we have other means of pressure, we have other solutions within our reach to force the government to act. We of the opposition have been blamed for wanting to make speeches and have been told that such speeches would not move grain. If our speeches did not move grain, they have made it possible for some members from the province of Quebec to express their views on as important a problem as the one we are faced with today. They have enabled some Liberal members who did not have the opportunity before-I do not say they did not avail themselves of it, but they did not have it before-to speak openly in the House, and enabled us to see what they think of the problem.

Mr. Speaker, there is no need to say this is an important problem, since several members have stressed it. The strike that is now going on in the ports of Trois-Rivieres, Montreal and Quebec is jeopardizing food supply in Quebec for several months to come.

Mr. Speaker, I do not want to take either the millers' or the employers' side, I do not want to take one side, but I would like to refer you to some court judgments. I admit as everybody does that the strike between employers and employees is legal. However, if I refer to a judgment in a trial of Dusessoy and Hersees, in a case of retail clerks union put before Mr. Justice Aylesworth, mentioned in Carrothers at page 462, and I quote:

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MOTION TO ADJOURN UNDER S.O. 26 LABOUR CONDITIONS LONGSHOREMEN'S STRIKE-EFFECT ON FEED GRAIN SUPPLIES
Permalink
?

An hon. Member:

What page?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MOTION TO ADJOURN UNDER S.O. 26 LABOUR CONDITIONS LONGSHOREMEN'S STRIKE-EFFECT ON FEED GRAIN SUPPLIES
Permalink
SC

Gilbert F. Rondeau

Social Credit

Mr. Rondeau:

Page 462 and you can refer to it.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MOTION TO ADJOURN UNDER S.O. 26 LABOUR CONDITIONS LONGSHOREMEN'S STRIKE-EFFECT ON FEED GRAIN SUPPLIES
Permalink
?

An hon. Member:

And what date?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MOTION TO ADJOURN UNDER S.O. 26 LABOUR CONDITIONS LONGSHOREMEN'S STRIKE-EFFECT ON FEED GRAIN SUPPLIES
Permalink
SC

Gilbert F. Rondeau

Social Credit

Mr. Rondeau:

In 1963, you will see that this is a very interesting judgment which has a direct relation to the present conflict and I quote:

. . . the secondary strike pickets (that is those who prevent the entrance of the employer's suppliers or customers) were declared illegal because they violate the right of trade. These cases present some remarkable aspects, not only because of the prohibition of secondary action, but also because the decisions were taken while considering the conflicting interests. The proposal was as follows:

"The right... of the respondent to take part in picket lines in a secondary strike ... must give way ...

So the members of this House should be serious and refer to that judgment.

. . . must give way to the right of the petitioner to trade; the first right... is exercised for the benefit of a particular category, while the second is a much more fundamental and important right... as it is exercised for the benefit and in the interest of the community as a whole. For the purpose of the act. .. the interests of the community as a whole must outweigh those of the individual or of a particular group of individuals".

Mr. Speaker, unlike those who talk nonsense on the other side, those judgments still have their full value, particularly in the current conflict. We recognize the right of longshoremen to strike, but on the other hand, we oppose picket lines which hinder trade or deny the right to supply millers. Those judgments should allow the Minister of Agriculture to take more urgent measures, more effective means to meet the situation.

Mr. Speaker, Quebec producers now have problems, consumers will have some too. Moreover, farm animals have also theirs, not because of animals but because of the

Feed Grain

stupidity of men who have been looking for solutions since 1962, but offer nothing except wishful thinking.

Mr. Speaker, if government members reproach us for speaking too much, we are really anxious to see concrete action not expedient, temporary measures, but positive measures which will solve the problem of feed grains in eastern Canada and will do so for good.

Mr. Speaker, the problem in this House is, in fact, similar to the difficulties in the Babel Tower. In a country as affluent as ours, in a country where grain is abundant, there is a transportation problem between the East and the West. I support the action of the member for Belle-chasse (Mr. Lambert) in this House. If Liberal members have, as they alleged, efficient leverage and better means than speeches and words, well, now is the time to prove it.

It is easy to blame the opposition, but only the government party can act. Government members are the ones who can take measures. Tomorrow, when Canadian consumption will be jeopardized, when hundreds and thousands of farmers will be on the brink of bankruptcy because a situation has been allowed to deteriorate, it might be too late. I believe that in such situations supply is involved and we should be able to agree that supply is vitally important for a province. Our Quebec farmers will soon lose millions of dollars.

I would not want the Minister of Agriculture to put forward, by way of a solution, the same ones I have seen since 1962. Anytime there were losses, the Minister of Agriculture offered long term loans to compensate for the losses suffered. The Minister of Agriculture should not suggest as a solution to delay the interests on losses brought about by a situation which the government could have settled otherwise.

When we see such absurd solutions as the ones we have known up to now, some so-called proposals or solutions suggested by the ministers, we are aware that farmers and producers are always a little poorer, always more in debt and that financiers are always a little richer.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MOTION TO ADJOURN UNDER S.O. 26 LABOUR CONDITIONS LONGSHOREMEN'S STRIKE-EFFECT ON FEED GRAIN SUPPLIES
Permalink
?

An hon. Member:

Shame!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MOTION TO ADJOURN UNDER S.O. 26 LABOUR CONDITIONS LONGSHOREMEN'S STRIKE-EFFECT ON FEED GRAIN SUPPLIES
Permalink
SC

Gilbert F. Rondeau

Social Credit

Mr. Rondeau:

It is pitiful to note that in our economy on a whole for the past two years, the various groups of producers have been in a bad way. Only the banks and their branches as well as monopolies which belong to banks have prospered. The finance companies and banks have prospered. The financiers have thrived, but farmers as other social classes have been in a bad way. All we can offer them is debts, all we can offer them is deferred interests.

Mr. Speaker, since 1962, in every budget speech in, every throne speech, I heard about saving measures to help farmers, but those saving measures, before being tabled in this House, always amounted to the same thing: a bigger farm loan than before, more debts than before and then, we hear government members boasting of having saved agriculture.

Well, Mr. Speaker, when one sees the farmers' situation, when one sees that the number of farmers is decreasing every day in Canada, that debts on farm loans, farm

April 16, 1975

Feed Grain

securities, securities on machinery, on livestock constantly increase, that banks are doing a roaring trade with farmers, and that today we still are in a situation where there is a huge difference between the prices paid to western producers for their production, for barley, oats and corn and other grains, and the price paid by eastern farmers for the same production, for the same grains, well, that scandal was exposed.

I have been hearing this same old story, this tune, those pious wishes, since 1962. No solution came out of them. No solution since how long? We suggested grain elevators in eastern Canada where grain could be taken at harvest time and be moved immediately so as to prevent any labour dispute.

The hon. member for Portneuf (Mr. Bussieres) admitted a while ago in this House, and he was right-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MOTION TO ADJOURN UNDER S.O. 26 LABOUR CONDITIONS LONGSHOREMEN'S STRIKE-EFFECT ON FEED GRAIN SUPPLIES
Permalink
?

An hon. Member:

He spoke well.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MOTION TO ADJOURN UNDER S.O. 26 LABOUR CONDITIONS LONGSHOREMEN'S STRIKE-EFFECT ON FEED GRAIN SUPPLIES
Permalink
SC

Gilbert F. Rondeau

Social Credit

Mr. Rondeau:

Yes, he spoke well and I congratulate him. And when the government-

I am not here to reproach him, when I hear an hon. member say something sensible, I am the first to recognize it. The government can solve the national harbours problem tonight if they want to. The minister could have solved the problem seven, ten days ago.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MOTION TO ADJOURN UNDER S.O. 26 LABOUR CONDITIONS LONGSHOREMEN'S STRIKE-EFFECT ON FEED GRAIN SUPPLIES
Permalink
?

An hon. Member:

The hon. member for Lapointe (Mr. Marceau) spoke well.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MOTION TO ADJOURN UNDER S.O. 26 LABOUR CONDITIONS LONGSHOREMEN'S STRIKE-EFFECT ON FEED GRAIN SUPPLIES
Permalink
SC

Gilbert F. Rondeau

Social Credit

Mr. Rondeau:

The hon. member for Lapointe, and I said so a while ago. He was not satisfied with flattering the minister, he asked him to bring in a serious solution. When animals begin to destroy one another, it is absurd, it is a perfect Babel, and the opposition members are not responsible for this state of affairs. Those responsible, those who maintained or supported and tolerated this situation are those now sitting on the front benches, those who have the power to solve problems but do nothing, lead nowhere, administer nothing, but let the bureaucrats decide everything. I am anxious to see the Minister of Agriculture assume his role as he wanted, as he wished and as he advocated when he was a member on the government side and his predecessor was sitting in the Chair of the Minister of Agriculture, the former member for Medicine Hat. I recall very clearly that when the present Minister of Agriculture was sitting not far from us, across the aisle, he seemed to know all the answers then. He would grumble and criticize-although not too loudly-the then minister of agriculture, and I would rely on the present Minister of Agriculture. However, I am somewhat disappointed by the time he needs to make up his mind, although I am willing to admit something: he may be competent and knowledgeable, but I feel he is prevented from acting by his officials who make decisions much too often in all departments. These are the real administrators of this country, while ministers only pretend to administer their respective departments. Ministers are not responsible for decisionmaking.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MOTION TO ADJOURN UNDER S.O. 26 LABOUR CONDITIONS LONGSHOREMEN'S STRIKE-EFFECT ON FEED GRAIN SUPPLIES
Permalink
LIB

Gérald Laniel (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Order, please. I regret to interrupt the hon. member, but the time allotted to him has expired. The hon. member for Richelieu.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MOTION TO ADJOURN UNDER S.O. 26 LABOUR CONDITIONS LONGSHOREMEN'S STRIKE-EFFECT ON FEED GRAIN SUPPLIES
Permalink

April 16, 1975