June 26, 1980

PC

Ramon John Hnatyshyn

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Ray Hnatyshyn (Saskatoon West):

Madam Speaker, my question is also directed to the Minister of National Defence. There have been distressing reports that the whole wing of the F-18 fighter aircraft which Canada is committed to buy may have to be redesigned because of technical problems in meeting the specifications laid down by the U.S. navy.

Will the minister tell the House if a proportion of the extra design or development cost of this work will have to be paid for by Canada over and above the some $4 billion we have already agreed to pay?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REPORTED TECHNICAL PROBLEMS WITH F-18 FIGHTER AIRCRAFT-COST OF POSSIBLE REDESIGN
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LIB

J. Gilles Lamontagne (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Hon. J. Gilles Lamontagne (Minister of National Defence):

I feel, Madam Speaker, that perhaps the hon. member should not believe everything he sees in the media or magazines. There are conflicting opinions concerning those matters. I can say that I had a discussion with the Minister of Supply and Services who recently spent three days in St. Louis where the F-18 is being manufactured. The minister came back with the unquestionable assurance that McDonnell Douglas will satisfy all contract conditions.

June 26, 1980

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REPORTED TECHNICAL PROBLEMS WITH F-18 FIGHTER AIRCRAFT-COST OF POSSIBLE REDESIGN
Permalink
PC

Ramon John Hnatyshyn

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hnatyshyn:

Madam Speaker, 1 have a brief supplementary question for the minister. Can the minister tell the House if it is true that the F-18 is now up to two years behind schedule on the critical milestone for production go-ahead, and that it is now planned that the United States Defence Systems Acquisitions Review Council will not give that clearance until some time in the spring of 1982?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REPORTED TECHNICAL PROBLEMS WITH F-18 FIGHTER AIRCRAFT-COST OF POSSIBLE REDESIGN
Permalink
LIB

Maurice Lamontagne

Liberal

Mr. Lamontagne:

Madam Speaker, I am not aware of any delays in the manufacture or delivery of the F-18 aircraft. I want to assure the hon. member that 1 will personally go to the United States at an early date to check it out. I repeat once again that the Minister of Supply and Services has spent three days there and that our information is that everything is going according to schedule. Whatever the circumstances, we have a contract which is quite firm and the terms and conditions will be met.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REPORTED TECHNICAL PROBLEMS WITH F-18 FIGHTER AIRCRAFT-COST OF POSSIBLE REDESIGN
Permalink

AGRICULTURE

NDP

Laverne Lewycky

New Democratic Party

Mr. Laverne Lewycky (Dauphin):

Madam Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of Agriculture. There are measures, we believe, which would be available to the government to lessen the impact of the drought on prairie farmers.

Farmers have been approaching me because the banks are threatening foreclosure action. Furthermore, farmers are saying it would alleviate their situation somewhat if currently insured crops could be written off now and used for green feed. Could the minister please inform the House of the plans he might have for alleviating the drought-stricken farmers' credit situation, and whether the minister could discuss with provincial officials some leniency with regard to crop write-offs?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURE
Sub-subtopic:   DROUGHT IN WEST-ASSISTANCE IN CREDIT SITUATION OF FARMERS
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LIB

Eugene Whelan (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Hon. E. F. Whelan (Minister of Agriculture):

Madam Speaker, I am sure the hon. member is aware that the provinces administer crop insurance under the crop insurance agreements we have with them. Producers and farmers pay half the premiums and the federal government pays the other half of the premium, which this year will cost us about $90 million. The reinsurance program, if the weather stays the way it has been, can cost the federal government in total well over $500 million in payments to farmers.

Some of the crop insurance people at present are making the kinds of arrangements to which the hon. member has referred, evaluating the crops and letting the farmers harvest them for green feed, which we think is the proper thing to do. That kind of product can be salvaged to be used later in the year or it can be used at present.

I want to add the following to what the minister of agriculture from Manitoba has said in proposing to us a green feed program which he is going to institute and in which he wants

Oral Questions

us to participate. I think it is a very good program under which farmers will be paid $15 an acre to seed. I hope there will be enough moisture so that they can harvest more green feed in the areas of need. Some of the suggestions have been very good and positive, in my view, with a view to maintaining the livestock industry in that area.

With regard to interest rates, so far as we have anything to do with the Farm Credit Corporation we have said there should be no demand for payment from those farmers who are hit in a hard way.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURE
Sub-subtopic:   DROUGHT IN WEST-ASSISTANCE IN CREDIT SITUATION OF FARMERS
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Order.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURE
Sub-subtopic:   DROUGHT IN WEST-ASSISTANCE IN CREDIT SITUATION OF FARMERS
Permalink
LIB

Eugene Whelan (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Whelan:

Madam Speaker, members of the official opposition have decided not to ask me any questions on drought today, so I am happy that the hon. member has done so.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURE
Sub-subtopic:   DROUGHT IN WEST-ASSISTANCE IN CREDIT SITUATION OF FARMERS
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURE
Sub-subtopic:   DROUGHT IN WEST-ASSISTANCE IN CREDIT SITUATION OF FARMERS
Permalink

RIDING MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK-AVAILABILITY OF FEED HAY

NDP

Laverne Lewycky

New Democratic Party

Mr. Laverne Lewycky (Dauphin):

Madam Speaker, my supplementary question is directed to the Minister of the Environment. 1 am receiving daily representations by way of resolutions, telephone calls and telegrams from western constituents. This week, for example, the northern district of the Union of Manitoba Municipalities passed a resolution requesting that the federal government permit farmers to enter the Riding National Park to secure the feed hay which is available in the park.

Considering the fact that farmers have been previously able to do this, and notwithstanding the minister's response in the House yesterday but recognizing the emergency situation, I should like to ask the Minister of the Environment to tell the House what plans he has to open up the parks, and will he consider the fact that farmers need to be allowed haying operations to help sustain cattle herds within Manitoba and Saskatchewan?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   RIDING MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK-AVAILABILITY OF FEED HAY
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LIB

John (Moody) Roberts (Minister of the Environment; Minister of State for Science and Technology)

Liberal

Hon. John Roberts (Minister of State for Science and Technology and Minister of the Environment):

Madam Speaker, as I indicated to the House yesterday, 1 have no such plan at present. In response to questions, I indicated that to do so would be clearly contrary to long-established national parks' policy.

I did indicate that if members on the far side of the House could provide me with more information on the situation than I have so far received, I would be happy to explore the question again. But up to the present time I must reiterate what I said in the House yesterday, that is, that there are no present plans to follow the course of action which the hon. member recommends.

June 26, 1980

Oral Questions

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   RIDING MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK-AVAILABILITY OF FEED HAY
Permalink

ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS

LIB

Norman Kelly

Liberal

Mr. Norman Kelly (Scarborough Centre):

Madam Speaker,

I should like to direct my question to the Minister of the Environment. The United States has just approved a bill which will replace oil by coal in 80 power plants throughout the northeastern states.

Since this bill has the potential to increase the acid rain content in parts of southern Ontario and the maritimes by nearly 16 per cent, 1 ask the minister whether he would inform the House of his reaction to the bill and outline the course of action he might pursue to protect the Canadian environment.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   ACID RAIN-POLLUTION FROM U S. SOURCES
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Order.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   ACID RAIN-POLLUTION FROM U S. SOURCES
Permalink
?

An hon. Member:

This question was asked yesterday.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   ACID RAIN-POLLUTION FROM U S. SOURCES
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Order.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   ACID RAIN-POLLUTION FROM U S. SOURCES
Permalink
LIB

John (Moody) Roberts (Minister of the Environment; Minister of State for Science and Technology)

Liberal

Hon. John Roberts (Minister of State for Science and Technology and Minister of the Environment):

Madam Speaker, this is an extremely serious situation and we are very concerned about it. The legislative proposals have not passed through the entire legislative system of the U.S. government. They have, however, passed the Senate, which is one step toward their completion.

We have expressed on many occasions our concern to the U.S. government, on my own part as recently as last Monday when 1 met with Mr. Costle, the director of the Environmental Protection Agency of the U.S. We are renewing our expressions of concern to the United States. The legislative proposals still have to go through the House of Representatives. 1 expect that in the process of undertaking that path they will be substantially modified.

But 1 share the concern expressed by the hon. member. It is an extremely serious situation. We have made our views on this matter clearly known to the Americans on many occasions. We will not in any way diminish our efforts but will, rather, redouble our efforts to ensure that the American Congress, the Administration and the American public are conscious of the very grave dangers which these proposals imply not only for Canada but for the United States as well.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   ACID RAIN-POLLUTION FROM U S. SOURCES
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   ACID RAIN-POLLUTION FROM U S. SOURCES
Permalink

June 26, 1980