April 28, 1971 (28th Parliament, 3rd Session)

LIB

Horace Andrew (Bud) Olson (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Olson:

-and at the present time all provinces have acts that provide for this. Dealing with the amendments before us now, in motions Nos. 1, 5 and 22 there are no exemptions from provincial legislation of any specific commodity whether it be beef, pork, apples, potatoes or anything else. Another point I want to make, Mr. Speaker, concerns the statement in this ad that "government appointees shall set prices of farm products without negotiations with farmers." The bill provides that the make-up of the agency will be as set out in the plan; thus, it could be by farmer election or any other method that is accepted in the plan. Indeed, there are other places where the committee did in fact strengthen it. We knew it was going to be that way without it being articulated, but the committee spelled out that there must be a majority of producers both on national council and in the marketing agencies.
The next point I wish to deal with is where the ad asks: "Why are there no import controls in C-176? Because imports are the regulator of the farmer's price..." Mr. Speaker, import controls are not provided in Bill C-176 because ample authority exists in other legislation. There are other matters I could deal with in this respect, Mr. Speaker, but I shall not take up any more time on it. I hope that my remarks convey to some degree how inaccurate the assertions in this ad have been and the extent to which they have misled farmers all across the country. I hope these people will realize that they have done a very great disservice to the farming community.
The amendment before us would place in jeopardy the meaning of an agricultural product since it proposes to delete all the words after "agriculture". I do not believe I can accept this amendment because it would remove those words which are used to clarify but not to restrict the term "farm product".
Amendment No. 5 which is also before us would delete paragraph (ii) of subclause (g) of clause 2. If this were accepted, in effect it would allow an agency authorized to operate within seven provinces to exercise its power in all ten provinces. We made it very clear that we do not intend to impose this and indeed I am not even sure that we could if a province did not agree. This paragraph was introduced to ensure that the agency could only exercise its powers, (a) with respect to production produced within the area of its jurisdiction, and (b) within its area respecting production produced elsewhere in Canada outside its jurisdiction. I think there is need for the latter power because it is only with respect to entry into the region, and only then should circumstances arise which would make it evident that there was an attempt to circumvent the purpose of the agency within the designated region. There has been argument about this with respect to amendment No. 5. I suggest that it would completely frustrate the purpose, and that is one of the main reasons why provincial legislation by itself has been insufficient to cope with the situation.
When the marketing orders and the application of that legislation is confined to a very small area or a restricted area, then of course there are ways of circumventing and therefore frustrating the purpose of the provincial government. We want to make sure this does not happen. The argument that some provinces other than those which have joined in a marketing plan ought to have open, complete and free access to the market that is being regulated under a plan agreed to by other provinces completely negates the purpose or some of the solutions which Bill C-176 is designed to correct.
In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, since I suspect that there will be several other opportunities to speak on the amendments before the House may I say a word or two about the other amendments included in the group which we are discussing. The amendments contained in paragraphs (a) and (b) of motion No. 22 seek to inhibit the successful operation of an agency. They propose that an agency may not be given authority to protect its opera-

April 28, 1971

tion from those who are outside the designated area and operating in a manner that is designed to circumvent that scheme.
I think it must be appreciated that this subparagraph of clause 18 is written in such a manner as to provide authority to the Governor in Council to set out in a proclamation whether or not an agency shall have authority to deal with products from outside the designated region. Written in this fashion, it allows the Governor in Council to give or to withhold such power. Furthermore, it gives the Governor in Council the opportunity to indicate to what extent such authority may be given respecting products produced outside the designated area. So, Mr. Speaker, we must be vigilant.
In bringing forward a plan that will work for the orderly marketing of the particular product of a majority of farmers, we must be vigilant in case we leave loopholes by which other farmers may benefit as a result of circumventing the purposes of the act or its administration, thereby being put in a favourable position because they are able to do their marketing in isolation from conditions which the overwhelming majority of farmers have approved. Having made these comments may I say that so far as I am concerned I do not think we should accept the amendments in the group now under discussion.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   FARM PRODUCTS MARKETING AGENCIES BILL
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