February 5, 1985

GOVERNMENT ORDERS

BUSINESS OF SUPPLY

PC

Martial Asselin (Speaker pro tempore)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

Pursuant to Standing Order 62(4), I must make a decision as there are two motions on the Order Paper. I choose the motion standing in the name of the Right Hon. Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Turner).

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Permalink

ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-SUPPORT FOR AGRICULTURE

LIB

John Napier Turner (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Right Hon. John N. Turner (Leader of the Opposition) moved:

That this House condemns the Government for its inadequate response to the growing financial crisis in the agriculture sector and for its failure to provide sufficient support and services to farmers who face severe economic difficulties in all regions of the country.

He said: Mr. Speaker, the motion which you have just read to the House underlines a very acute problem for our farmers right across Canada. Of the 300,000 farms in Canada, thousands are in deep trouble. This is an industry which should claim the attention of the House. There is over $187 billion in growth production in agriculture and those industries related to agriculture in Canada. One in six jobs in this country is related to agriculture. It is the most important sector in the country.

We not only have the duty to boost our economy by farm production, but I am sure, Mr. Speaker, you will not reject the proposition that we have the potential in Canada to feed a hungry world. We have the duty to ensure that our agricultural production is mustered and marshalled so that we feed our neighbours throughout the globe who are starving.

This is the most productive industry in the country. Eugene Whelan, who was a great Minister of Agriculture for 12 years, never failed to remind Canadians, when addressing either an urban or rural audience, that when it came to productivity and efficiency the farmers in Canada were the most efficient in the world and the farming industry in Canada was the most efficient in the country.

I bring the motion to the attention of the House and Canadians because, despite that potential, farmers today face all kinds of uncertainties. Not only do they face the traditional unpredictable weather but in parts of western Canada they

face floods, drought and an economic climate which is uncertain. Farmers have struggled through three or four years of inflation and recession, price fluctuation and uncertainty of markets.

The farming community in this country includes the best of our entrepreneurs, the best of the free market spirit. They are the real risk takers in Canada. They need our support and encouragement. Most of all, the farmers of Canada want their Governments, federal and provincial, to treat them fairly. They do not want handouts or something for nothing. They want fairness.

The purpose of this debate is to draw to the attention of the House and the country the fact that the Government is not keeping its solemn commitment to treat the farmers in this country with fairness or understanding. Instead, since coming into office the Government has undertaken almost a systematic campaign to renege on those promises it made during the election campaign.

Farming is important in every province of the country but I would say particularly in western Canada. As I travelled in western Canada since the election, the question I heard throughout the West was why the Government, with its overwhelming majority of Members from western Canada, has been treating farmers in such a callous and off-handed matter.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-SUPPORT FOR AGRICULTURE
Permalink
?

Some Hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-SUPPORT FOR AGRICULTURE
Permalink
LIB

John Napier Turner (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. Turner (Vancouver Quadra):

I see that the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Wise) has come into the House. He has the honour to represent a great Ontario riding. I suggest that he do a little travelling and go to western Canada. I think he will learn what the situation is out there.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-SUPPORT FOR AGRICULTURE
Permalink
?

Some Hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-SUPPORT FOR AGRICULTURE
Permalink
LIB

John Napier Turner (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. Turner (Vancouver Quadra):

We have finally woken them up! They do not do anything for most of their time here but sit quietly, flapping their fins when the seal master brings them forward. I consider one of my duties in this House is to wake them up and get a response from them.

[DOT] (mo)

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-SUPPORT FOR AGRICULTURE
Permalink
?

Some Hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-SUPPORT FOR AGRICULTURE
Permalink
LIB

John Napier Turner (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. Turner (Vancouver Quadra):

For a Friday morning, Mr. Speaker, those Conservatives are not bad.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-SUPPORT FOR AGRICULTURE
Permalink
PC

Charles James Mayer (Minister of State (Canadian Wheat Board))

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Mayer:

It is Tuesday morning.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-SUPPORT FOR AGRICULTURE
Permalink
?

Some Hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

February 5, 1985

Supply

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-SUPPORT FOR AGRICULTURE
Permalink
LIB

John Napier Turner (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. Turner (Vancouver Quadra):

It is Tuesday. As a matter of fact, this House is so empty, I thought it was a Friday morning, Mr. Speaker.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-SUPPORT FOR AGRICULTURE
Permalink
?

Some Hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-SUPPORT FOR AGRICULTURE
Permalink
LIB

Jean-Robert Gauthier (Chief Opposition Whip; Whip of the Liberal Party)

Liberal

Mr. Gauthier:

Where are all your 211 Members? There are less than 10 per cent here.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-SUPPORT FOR AGRICULTURE
Permalink
LIB

John Napier Turner (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. Turner (Vancouver Quadra):

I invite the Minister to re-read that Prince Albert Charter. He has it right there. I am glad that it is loose-leaf because it can be torn off page by

page.

In Prince Albert, the Prime Minister (Mr. Mulroney) during the campaign laid forth his undertaking and commitment to the farmers of the country. The Minister of Agriculture has the list of commitments in his hand. The list was long and impressive, but the list of commitments kept is short and disgraceful.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-SUPPORT FOR AGRICULTURE
Permalink
?

Some Hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-SUPPORT FOR AGRICULTURE
Permalink
LIB

John Napier Turner (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. Turner (Vancouver Quadra):

I have this great document as well, Mr. Speaker. As I say, it is in loose-leaf form and it is replaceable, expendable and disposable. The Tories promised to abolish capital gains on farm land. Here is the commitment and it is in a letter dated July 17, 1984 to the President of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture. Item No. 8 of those promises, signed in the Prime Minister's own hand, reads:

We will abolish the imposition of capital gains tax on the sale of farm property for continued agricultural purposes.

In the same letter, part of the Charter, under item No. 2 we read:

A Progressive Conservative Government will establish an Agribond Program to provide loans at reduced interest rates to agricultural producers. A tax exemption for earned income on these bonds would be provided to attract investment capital to this program.

Take a look at item No. 7, Mr. Speaker, from the same letter. It reads:

We will change Section 31 of the Income Tax Act, as it applies to farmers, to reflect the principles of equity, neutrality, simplicity and certainty. In addition, the strong-arm and confrontationist tactics presently practised by the Department of Revenue will be immediately abolished and a practice whereby the taxpayers treated openly and honestly will be instituted.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-SUPPORT FOR AGRICULTURE
Permalink
LIB

Royce Herbert Frith (Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Frith:

Does it sound like a sacred trust?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-SUPPORT FOR AGRICULTURE
Permalink

February 5, 1985