May 3, 1972 (28th Parliament, 4th Session)


Alfred Pullen Gleave

New Democratic Party

Mr. Gleave:

Mr. Speaker, I want this government to do something about the income factor. I have mentioned that there has been a severe drop in the acreage of rapeseed this year. This is a major concern, and if something was being done about it we might have a little more confidence in the credit policy. If something was being done to stabilize prices, we might have a little more confidence and if something was being done about the cost we might have a little more confidence.
The fertilizer companies have been holding the farmers of western Canada to ransom for two years, and we cannot get the responsible department to do anything about it. I was amazed this afternoon, when the minister was asked about fertilizer prices, and he replied "If you will send me something other than rumours, I will be glad to look at it." Mr. Speaker, it is blazoned all over the front page of the "Union Farmer". A letter came into my hands almost a week ago which shows that fertilizer costs $19 or $20 a ton more in Manitoba and Saskatchewan than on the other side of the border. Some of that fertilizer comes from the minister's own riding of Medicine Hat, and some of it comes from Kimberley in the mountains, so I cannot understand why the minister is not aware of this.
Another thing that I cannot understand, Mr. Speaker, is why the government allows a cartel to rook the farmers of western Canada when they are trying to reach some efficiency of production, nor can I understand why the government allowed a cartel to rook the farmers of Ontario last year. Last year fertilizer cost $97 a ton in Biggar, but this year the same thing will cost at least $15 a ton more. I cannot understand the government's indifference to the real plight of the farmer.
We had a voluminous report on farm machinery and spent a lot of money on it but with what result? Some hon. members jest about Roumanian tractors. That may be a joke for some people.

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