November 25, 1983

STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S.O. 21

AGRICULTURE

PC

Frederick John King

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fred King (Okanagan-Similkameen):

Mr. Speaker, farmers in Okanagan-Similkameen have reason to feel unjustly put upon. Economically many who may not survive the winter can only wonder at the Government's failure to act in their defence. Now farmers find that the very structure of their industry is under attack, perhaps being destroyed by federal government action under the Combines Investigation Act.

One industry official told the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Whelan), "We have been operating this system for nearly 50 years. If we have been doing something wrong, tell us and we will correct it, but don't take action which will cost us hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend. We are in deep financial trouble without that."

To discourage farmers in the area further, the CBC reported in a most inflammatory manner alleging racial bias, intolerance, and harassment of orchard workers, in generalized statements which are condemned and challenged by the industry.

A further series of unworthy statements made to the Special Committee on Visible Minorities on behalf of transient workers from Quebec is so overstated as to cause despair on the part of the vast majority of Okanagan farmers who are decent and fair in their relationships with their labour.

It is a sad day when a farmer, receiving five cents for a product which costs him 13 cents to produce, and who is paying the highest farm wages in all of Canada, should be subjected to the kind of abuse which seems to be thrown at him by Government, CBC and individuals with an axe to grind.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S.O. 21
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURE
Sub-subtopic:   PLIGHT OF FARMERS IN OKANAGAN-SIMILKAMEEN, B.C.
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LIB

Cyril Lloyd Francis (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Order. The Hon. Member's time has expired.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S.O. 21
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURE
Sub-subtopic:   PLIGHT OF FARMERS IN OKANAGAN-SIMILKAMEEN, B.C.
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INDUSTRY

LIB

Stanley Hudecki (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Stanley Hudecki (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Defence):

Mr. Speaker, the Hon. Member for Ontario (Mr. Fennell), in the course of a question to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce (Mr. Lumley) on November 24, 1983, in a very cursory manner commented that "Stelco is now planning to shut down its Hilton works in Hamilton and move everything to its new plant". 1 have contacted the executive director of Stelco in Hamilton, Mr. Peter Gordon, and he categorically denied planning such a move, indicating that the statement is just not true.

I am very concerned that a Member of Parliament would make such an irresponsible comment concerning the Hilton works in Hamilton, a plant which currently employs 10,000 workers. Surely there are enough anxieties and worries in the life of many of the employees these days without the aggravation of such comments that have no foundation in truth.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S.O. 21
Subtopic:   INDUSTRY
Sub-subtopic:   FUTURE OF HAMILTON STEEL PLANT
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EXCISE TAX

PC

T.A. Bud Bradley

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Bud Bradley (Haldimand-Norfolk):

Mr. Speaker, 1 notice that the Minister of Finance (Mr. Lalonde) has announced a task force to examine the current method of indexing the excise taxes on alcohol and tobacco products, chaired by Dr. Douglas Peters. He states that the task force is being established in response to industry's concerns about the technical operation of the indexing system. Surely the word "industry" includes the tobacco-growing industry. This is the industry the Government is systematically setting out to destroy, and that destruction must stop.

The recent 15.8 per cent increase in federal tax on cigarettes is totally unacceptable, and the provincial ad valorem tax in Ontario on top of that is unbearable. The federal Government alone took in $1.14 billion in tax on tobacco last year when the market value to growers was only some $285 million, a four to one ratio. The task force, indeed, has a serious task, that is, to reverse this government rip-off of the agricultural sector.

I note that individuals and associations are asked to make submissions to the task force and to send them to Dr. Peters at the Department of Finance. I would call on any one in this country who is concerned about the Government's abuse of agriculture to make such a submission to Dr. Peters.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S.O. 21
Subtopic:   EXCISE TAX
Sub-subtopic:   APPLICATION OF INDEXING TO TOBACCO PRODUCTS- ESTABLISHMENT OF TASK FORCE
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AGRICULTURE

NDP

Ian Gardiner Waddell

New Democratic Party

Mr. Ian Waddell (Vancouver-Kingsway):

Mr. Speaker, Colony Farm is the last large farm left on the north shore of the Fraser River, in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, near metro Vancouver. This 800 acre farm is owned by the British Columbia Government. That Government now wishes to privatize it and sell it to developers so that it can be blacktopped.

Action has been taken at the community level to save this farm. The reason 1 raise this issue in the House of Commons is that representation has also been made to the federal Minister of Agriculture, asking him to set up an agricultural research station on the farm.

In light of the quickly disappearing farmland in the country, and particularly in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, and in light of the fact that today the livestock from that farm is going up for sale, and that we do need agricultural research facilities in the area, I urge the Minister of Agriculture to enter into negotiations with the Province either to purchase the land itself, or to buy the land in conjunction with the University of British Columbia.

The matter is urgent, and the Minister will be pressed next week by the former Hon. Member for Mission-Port Moody and by the Hon. Member for New Westminster-Coquitlam (Miss Jewett). I urge the Minister of Agriculture to act on this right away if he does not want to lose his green hat.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S.O. 21
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURE
Sub-subtopic:   SUGGESTED ESTABLISHMENT OF RESEARCH STATION ON COLONY FARM IN BRITISH COLUMBIA
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NATIONAL SECURITY

PC

Donald W. Munro

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Donald W. Munro (Esquimalt-Saanich):

Mr. Speaker,

I have a number of questions to ask. Why is the Government blocking questions regarding Hugh Hambleton, the Canadian spy who worked in the NATO Secretariat in Paris, in Peru and Haiti ostensibly for CIDA, but in reality on behalf of the KGB? Who is being protected? Why is the Government attempting to prevent all of the truth from coming out?

The Minister of Justice (Mr. MacGuigan) tells me that the case is closed as far as he is concerned. The Deputy Prime Minister (Mr. MacEachen) tells me that he is in no position to comment on the matter. How can the case be closed when we do not yet know who in the Government granted Hambleton immunity although he was known to be a spy? We do not know who warned him not to go to Britain where, as he was told, he was certain to be tried on charges of espionage. Who tipped him off in Britain before he went through the immigration line by suggesting that it would be in his interest to return to Canada? Who is covering up these traces of espionage?

November 25, 1983

Who recommended Mr. Hambleton for a ranking position in CIDA as soon as he had joined that organization and had been sent off to Peru? Perhaps most important of all, given all of the things that were known by early 1982 about his work on behalf of the KGB, why was he not brought to trial in Canada? Was he delivered up to the British authorities because a trial in Canada would have brought out some unpleasant home truths?

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S.O. 21
Subtopic:   NATIONAL SECURITY
Sub-subtopic:   THE CASE OF HUGH HAMBLETON-EMPLOYMENT WITH CIDA- REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION
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AGRICULTURE

PC

Walter Leland Rutherford (Lee) Clark

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Lee Clark (Brandon-Souris):

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Government cannot begin to make up for all of the damage it has caused Canadian farmers through its ridiculous policies. However, it has a responsibility at the very least to remove the federal tax on farm fuels and fertilizers.

Let us look at the Government's record on agriculture. It has refused to provide the Farm Credit Corporation with enough money to keep Canadian farmers afloat. It has forced the Western Grain Transportation Act through without regard for those who must bear the financial burden, namely, the western Canadian farmers. The Government agreed to consider changes in the Western Grain Stabilization Act only after many farmers had gone bankrupt waiting for long overdue changes to be implemented. Those changes have not even occurred as yet.

New statistics show that 390 Canadian farmers went bankrupt between January and October 31 of this year. In my home Province of Manitoba, nearly twice as many farmers have gone bankrupt so far this year as compared to the same period last year. That is absolutely unacceptable.

It should be reasonable to expect the Government at least to aid farmers by dropping the federal tax on farm fuels and fertilizers. This gesture could be the first step toward loosening the financial stranglehold in which the Liberal Government has placed thousands of Canadian farmers.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S.O. 21
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURE
Sub-subtopic:   CALL FOR REMOVAL OF TAX ON FARM FUELS AND FERTILIZERS
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THE DISABLED AND THE HANDICAPPED

NDP

Rodney Edward Murphy

New Democratic Party

Mr. Rod Murphy (Churchill):

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak about the handicapped in Canada. As the Government knows, corporate profits in the third quarter of this year have gone up over 90 per cent as compared to the same period last year. Yet at the same time, unemployment has increased, especially for the handicapped. It is estimated that the unemployment rate for the handicapped is in excess of 50 per cent.

In the 1981 Report to the House of the Special Committee on the Disabled and the Handicapped, entitled "Obstacles", it was recommended that the Canadian Government take a number of steps to increase employment opportunities for the

November 25, 1983

handicapped in Canada. Among the steps recommended was that wheelchairs be provided for the handicapped right across the nation. At this time it is possible in the Province of Manitoba to have wheelchairs paid for by the Government of that Province. However, the same thing is not possible in the Province of Nova Scotia.

In addition, it is important that the Government give a high profile to the concerns and problems faced by the handicapped. I would urge the Government, in the Speech from the Throne which we expect in two weeks time, to set up a senior secretariat for the handicapped. 1 would encourage the Government to get all-Party agreement and have a special committee of this House as an ongoing pressure group to work on behalf of the handicapped and to make certain their concerns are expressed to the Government and to the House.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S.O. 21
Subtopic:   THE DISABLED AND THE HANDICAPPED
Sub-subtopic:   PROVISION OF WHEEL CHAIRS
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ORAL QUESTION PERIOD

CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD

PC

Ramon John Hnatyshyn

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Ray Hnatyshyn (Saskatoon West):

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce, who is also Minister of Regional Economic Expansion. This is a follow-up to the questions posed yesterday by my colleague, the Hon. Member for Elgin. At that time the Minister was not familiar with the pronouncements being made by the Minister of State responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board.

Last night on television we were able to see Senator Hazen Argue, in the flesh so to speak, addressing the Alberta Wheat Pool. At that time he was advising Canadians to buy Soviet bloc automobiles and farm equipment, specifically Lada automobiles and Belarus farm equipment. Was the Minister of State responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board stating government policy?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD
Sub-subtopic:   ADVICE GIVEN BY MINISTER OF STATE TO BUY SOVIET-MADE CARS AND COMBINES
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LIB

Edward C. Lumley (Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce; Minister of Regional Economic Expansion)

Liberal

Hon. Ed Lumley (Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce and Minister of Regional Economic Expansion):

Mr. Speaker, 1 have not yet seen the specific statement made by my colleague, the Minister of State responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board. I think he was speaking in his capacity as Minister responsible for selling Canadian grain products abroad, and it is not Government policy.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD
Sub-subtopic:   ADVICE GIVEN BY MINISTER OF STATE TO BUY SOVIET-MADE CARS AND COMBINES
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November 25, 1983