March 14, 1975 (30th Parliament, 1st Session)


Florian Côté


Mr. Cote:

I do not know, Mr. Speaker, if you consider it a question of privilege. So he just said $143 million, but he is completely wrong again. I will not tell him the exact amount, I shall let him search so that he will remember it. I do not want to criticize hon. members in any way. I just want to know what they tried to tell the House. They claim that with respect to administration the government introduced no reasonable policy. Everything is criticized. I just want to let them understand that they should at least back their criticisms with figures, to have something real at least. Then we shall have to confess that the government is wrong. But right now their criticism is unfounded.
I guess the hon. member for Timiskaming might listen to me. I am going to ask him another question, and he may refer to the official transcript of last week's debates. He was then blaming the government for introducing quotas, and he said that it had resulted in dismal failure for the dairy industry. Quotas were not imposed by the government, but by us farmers. I was a member of the Farmers Union then. We asked the government to fix quotas for the dairy industry in order to match production with consumption.
Mr. Speaker, this is what I had to say. A question was raised by an opposition member, the hon. member for Lisgar (Mr. Murta), and I appreciated that. If we had had on the bill such remarks as those made by the hon. member for Lisgar, I believe we would not have strolled about so long, and probably we could have referred the bill to the committee last week. I support his suggestions, and I would like to discuss them with him, because they apparently make a lot of sense.
Instead of being criticized for roaming across the country, the minister should be encouraged to continue his travels. Instead of hearing speeches, we could have gone through 5 or 6 bills, now before the House, to help the farm industry. Those 6 bills could be voted and the minister could go and inform the people, which the opposition will not do because they are not interested in explaining legislative items.
This bill deserves our support. It may need improvements from year to year, and I hope that in committee opposition members will not take all the time. I have noticed that opposition members have control over the time of the House, while we on the government side control only legislation. Time is controlled by the opposition. This prevents us from getting the bills into the book. Therefore, next week or the week after, when the bill is deferred to committee, I would ask opposition members if they would agree that two or three representatives from each party state their views, vote on amendments and carry the bill through as fast as possible.

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