February 6, 1985

STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S.O. 21

AGRICULTURE

LIB

Maurice Brydon Foster

Liberal

Mr. Maurice Foster (Algoma):

Mr. Speaker, as if Canadian farmers are not worried enough about increasing farm costs, they now have an additional worry, the announcement by the Conservative Government that ad hoc disaster relief agreements with the provinces will end.

Instead of special disaster relief funds involving the federal Government and provincial Governments, farmers will be forced to absorb extraordinary disaster relief through higher crop insurance premiums.

While disaster could strike any part of Canada, the impact of this new Conservative Government approach, which amounts to disaster relief for the provinces, not farmers, will have its greatest impact in western Canada.

Presently, crop insurance programs are not comprehensive. Although efforts are being made to extend crop insurance programs to all crops, the special needs of feed producers and of livestock producers have yet to be met.

More than just damage to crops, disasters such as drought or floods damage the land itself through erosion and other problems which affect not just crops in the ground but crops yet to be planted.

Major disasters such as spring flooding in Manitoba, drought in Saskatchewan, and late flooding in northern Saskatchewan, have required extraordinary relief needs, which were provided in conjunction with the provinces by previous Liberal administrations.

This amounts to disaster relief for the mostly Tory provincial Governments and higher costs for farmers, particularly farmers in western Canada. It is unacceptable. The Government is abandoning the farmers of this country.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S.O. 21
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURE
Sub-subtopic:   DISASTER RELIEF FUNDS
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RAILWAYS

PC

John Kenneth Gormley

Progressive Conservative

Mr. John Gormley (The Battlefords-Meadow Lake):

Mr. Speaker, I rise to address an issue of serious concern to thousands of Saskatchewan farmers and their families. CN Rail and two grain companies have applied to allow special, lower freight rates at certain times in my home town of North Battleford and two other western communities.

On the face of it, this appears to be an incentive to farmers. However, Mr. Speaker, I am suspicious and gravely concerned that this is merely the first step toward variable freight rates. Lower rates being used at certain locations will have a drastic effect on smaller communities, farmers, and grain movement. Variable rates will sound the death knell for many of the small towns and farmers who use local shipping points. I ask that the Canadian Transport Commission hold extensive, full, and open hearings to let producers voice their opinions on this application. We don't want variable rates.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S.O. 21
Subtopic:   RAILWAYS
Sub-subtopic:   VARIABLE FREIGHT RATES
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FISHERIES

NDP

Raymond John Skelly

New Democratic Party

Mr. Ray Skelly (Comox-Powell River):

Mr. Speaker, recently the Vancouver Sun newspaper reported that the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans (Mr. Fraser) had reached an agreement with sports fishermen in the Province of British Columbia.

This agreement indicates that he is prepared to allow them a catch limit of 20 fish per year. For 400,000 sports fishermen this amounts to 8 million fish. Assuming they fish with children under the age of 16, we could expect to double that figure to 16 million Chinook. Since the Americans are only going to allow us, under the treaty the Minister signed, 275,000 Chinook in total in the Gulf of Georgia, would the Minister please present to this House a plan on how he intends to allocate those sportsfish between the sports fishers, the Gulf trollers, and the incidental net catch fishers?

A suggestion from this side of the House would be that the Minister either explain the plan, take remedial arithmetic, or present to the House a piece of legislation that would indicate, one, that he is able to allocate the salmon resources of British Columbia and, two, how he intends to do that, before he imposes the treaty?

February 6, 1985

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S.O. 21
Subtopic:   FISHERIES
Sub-subtopic:   WEST COAST SALMON SPORTS FISHING LIMITS
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CROWN LANDS

PC

Geoff Wilson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Geoff Wilson (Swift Current-Maple Creek):

Mr. Speaker, Duncairn Dam was constructed by PFRA in the early 1940s. The reservoir thus created is located in southwestern Saskatchewan, some 20 miles upstream from the city of Swift Current. Some 30 years ago a number of local individuals placed summer cottages on Crown land on the shore of the reservoir. These Duncairn cottage owners were left alone, and no serious attempt made to remove them until the Department of Justice, at the request of the PFRA, began court action in 1981 to reclaim possession of the land on which the cottages are located. The cottages do not cause the Crown any problem in terms of water quality or supply. I am advised the cottages cannot be flooded because they are situated at levels higher than the top of the dam.

The PFRA apparently fears that setting up such resort areas would be an open invitation to other potential cottagers to do likewise around other reservoirs. PFRA also says there is no jurisdiction in the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Act to permit such developments.

These cottagers are causing no harm to the Crown. They pose no risk. It appears that the public good could be well served if the cottagers were left alone. It should be noted that recreational shoreline in southwestern Saskatchewan is scarce indeed and, considering the lack of water recreation in the area, it might well be advantageous if additional development were permitted.

It is time to seek an amicable solution to this long-standing problem.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S.O. 21
Subtopic:   CROWN LANDS
Sub-subtopic:   DUNCAIRN COTTAGE OWNERS, SASK.
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CONSUMER AFFAIRS

LIB

Bill Rompkey

Liberal

Hon. William Rompkey (Grand Falls-White Bay-Labrador):

Mr. Speaker, we know that at this time of year ice hogs emerge from their holes in the Canal in Ottawa during Win-terlude. But all across Canada a certain species of shark also emerges, the kind that preys on the economically disadvantaged. These sharks charge a fee to provide cash advances for tax rebates. If you annualize the fee of 15 per cent they charge, it comes to as high as 90 per cent. Sixty-five per cent of those who use these services have incomes of less than $8,000. Forty-two per cent are women receiving the Child Tax Credit. Fifty per cent to sixty-five per cent of the clients are unemployed or on welfare. This year close to one-half million Canadians will pay out $43 million to these people.

I have raised this matter with the Government before, and so have groups such as the National Anti-Poverty Organization. Two provinces have outlawed the practice. But across the country this practice is mushrooming, and the ripoff of lower income people and the Canadian taxpayer is enormous, and growing. I call on the Government to implement the recommendations of my former colleague, Judy Erola, and immediately bring in steps to outlaw the practice, or somehow stop this ripoff of lower-income Canadians.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S.O. 21
Subtopic:   CONSUMER AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   PROTECTION SOUGHT AGAINST TAX REBATE DISCOUNTERS
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NDP

Margaret Anne Mitchell

New Democratic Party

Ms. Mitchell:

You were the Minister who did nothing.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S.O. 21
Subtopic:   CONSUMER AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   PROTECTION SOUGHT AGAINST TAX REBATE DISCOUNTERS
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REQUIREMENTS FOR CREATION OF POSITIVE INVESTMENT CLIMATE

PC

Barbara Jane (Bobbie) Sparrow

Progressive Conservative

Mrs. Barbara Sparrow (Calgary South):

Mr. Speaker, Canada's energy sector, if properly stimulated, can provide immediate and long-term employment which will contribute to economic growth throughout Canada without aggravating the current government deficit.

Since the introduction of the disastrous Liberal National Energy Program, the industry has suffered an erosion of internally generated cash flow due to front-end taxation. The energy industry is unique in Canada in that it is taxed on gross revenues rather than on net profits.

The Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources (Miss Carney) is now formulating the new Conservative energy program. It is important in this new program, first, that we move to market pricing for oil and gas; second, that we phase out PGRT; and, third, that we phase out PIP. These three items will create a positive investment climate here in Canada.

I urge the Minister of Energy, along with the Minister of Finance (Mr. Wilson), to treat the resource industry the same as other industries, by moving to a profit-based system of taxation and giving the industry a long-term program to enable management to set realistic goals and budgets for its future operations and investments.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S.O. 21
Subtopic:   REQUIREMENTS FOR CREATION OF POSITIVE INVESTMENT CLIMATE
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CANADA COUNCIL

NDP

Neil Young

New Democratic Party

Mr. Neil Young (Beaches):

Mr. Speaker, during the election campaign the Progressive Conservative Party proposed an increase in funding to the Canada Council which would at least keep up with the rate of inflation.

As deserving as any other industrial sector in Canada, the arts deserve the promised increase. The arts are the eleventh largest of the manufacturing industries in the country, and first in terms of size in employment and labour intensity. Yet its workers form the second lowest income group in Canada, next to pensioners. At a time when everyone acknowledges unemployment as the single greatest domestic problem, it makes good sense to foster an industry which is part of the solution.

February 6, 1985

Aside from the economic importance of the arts, I should like to stress the value of the contribution which the arts play in creating a cultural identity for Canadians. The quality of life in many cities across Canada is immeasurably enriched by the contribution of artists. Public support of the arts is an investment in the cultural lives of all Canadians.

The Canada Council is the only entity which provides direct aid to artists. The recent cuts in funding to the Council should be reconsidered and restored, and the inflation-based increase that was promised should be honoured.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S.O. 21
Subtopic:   CANADA COUNCIL
Sub-subtopic:   RESTORATION OF BUDGET CUTS URGED
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CANADIAN TRANSPORT COMMISSION

PC

Gordon Edward Taylor

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Gordon Taylor (Bow River):

Mr. Speaker, if there is anything that Canadians can't stand, it is bureaucratic red tape. Hundreds of entrepreneurs during the Liberal regime became so frustrated that they either put their money in the bank or invested it in another country. Our Prime Minister (Mr. Mulroney) and our Ministers have told the world that investment under our laws is welcome in Canada.

If our country is to employ the thousands of unemployed, we will have to increase our world trade immensely. For example, western U.S.A. and Pacific Rim countries want our agricultural products, but at the present time there is no Canadian transport dedicated to moving such cargo. Canadians saw this gap, formed a world cargo international company, and already have a potential minimum one-year contract involving 5,000 revenue hours. It is a large agricultural sale, in excess of $15 million.

The application to provide this full-time service was received by CTC early in January, and CTC was asked to move as quickly as possible. When informed that the $15 million contract would be lost if the CTC took too long to consider it, CTC asked: "How many foreign carriers have you checked with in order to send this cargo?" Foreign carriers! We want the jobs for Canadians which will come with the realization of this great potential in world trade. If the bureaucrats can't change, let's change the bureaucrats.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S.O. 21
Subtopic:   CANADIAN TRANSPORT COMMISSION
Sub-subtopic:   TRANSPORTATION OF AGRICULTURAL EXPORTS-TREATMENT OF APPLICATION
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?

Some Hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S.O. 21
Subtopic:   CANADIAN TRANSPORT COMMISSION
Sub-subtopic:   TRANSPORTATION OF AGRICULTURAL EXPORTS-TREATMENT OF APPLICATION
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THE ADMINISTRATION

February 6, 1985