November 19, 1979 (31st Parliament, 1st Session)


George H. Whittaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Whittaker:

Mr. Chairman, the hon. member who just spoke brought my name into this although I had not planned to speak today. I might say that the percentage basis is what the industry has been asking for. The previous system was a rather antiquated one based on cents per pound, which did not mean too much in this day and age with the increase in prices.
We are, of course, very interested in the cost of production but I think the hon. member for Mission-Port Moody was skating around the edge of this. I do not know whether he understands it. We are asking for a surcharge that can be put in place when the sort of things happen that he spoke of, such as when an already low price goes down and the produce is coming into the Canadian market at the bottom of the scale.
I might say that just the other day the Minister of Agriculture issued a press release and announced in committee that he was going to impose a surcharge. This is something that is much better and much faster than the measures which were in place before. The industry is very encouraged and very happy with the announcement. The surcharge would be based to some degree on the cost of production in Canada and we in the industry know that this is a difficult procedure. For the first time, however, we are going to get some kind of formula that we believe, and which the industry believes, will go a long way toward solving the problem.

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