October 13, 1983 (32nd Parliament, 1st Session)

PC

Gordon Edward Taylor

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Gordon Taylor (Bow River):

Mr. Speaker, after listening to five Members of the NDP speak this morning, I would like to deal with Clause 17(4). The five NDP Members talked all around it and about some other clause, but not about Subclause (4). I want to outline for them exactly why Subclause (4) is in the Bill, why I support it, why it is in the interests of producers and in the interests of the country as a whole.
In the first place, the Hon. Member for New Westminster-Coquitlam (Miss Jewett) spoke of undermining social structures. Where there is a rail line, Mr. Speaker, and you suddenly have a rock fall, sometimes it is hard to get repair equipment in so it might take several days to have the rock fall removed. In the meantime, the elevator is jammed and producers have to get their wheat to market or there is no money coming in for them. Are they to sit and twiddle their thumbs, as the NDP suggests, waiting for the rail line to be fixed? No, Mr. Speaker. The Administrator will make arrangements for trucks to haul the grain.
The Hon. Member for Cowichan-Malahat-The Islands (Mr. Manly) said this subclause is not in the best interests of producers. I can tell him that it is in the best interests of the producers. The sociologist NDP Members had better stay and listen, because if we do what the NDP wants us to do, it would undermine the livelihood of prairie producers and put them out of business. They want their grain moved to market, and whether a Member comes from Toronto or anywhere else, she should know that. The grain must be moved to market and if
there is something which impedes the railway, then it must be moved by other means. That is only common sense.
There are times when the railway lines are hauling canola or coal or something else and are completely jammed. There are times when the rail cannot get into the station. Members to my left from B.C. do not know what they are talking about. I have seen 50 farm trucks in a line, waiting for the elevators to clear and for a train that cannot come. Surely in those circumstances the Administrator should have the right to make arrangements to truck the wheat to the next elevator where there is no blockage. The wheat could then go to market and the farmers would have money in their pockets.
The NDP talk about the social structure being undermined, but the very thing they put forward would undermine the social structure of the prairie farmer. And they talk about subsidizing truckers. There is nothing in the Bill about that. Truckers do not want to be subsidized; they want to haul for a reasonable price. This clause would do nothing to subsidize truckers. Where does the NDP dream all this stuff up? Where do they find it? It is not in the Bill.
If anyone is away off the beam, in the Prairies we have a saying-"You are all haywire". Everyone who spoke for the NDP this morning is haywire. None of them talked about the right Bill. This Bill would help the prairie producer, not hinder him.
In wintertime I have seen the rail lines so blocked that an engine or a snowplow cannot get in. Sometimes the snowplows are busy on the main lines so the branch lines suffer. But what happens on the highways? The snowplows get in next morning. Sometimes the rail lines are blocked for a week and B.C. Members who know all about this should put that in their hat. The trains cannot get in. What is to be done then? Are the farmers to sit there and let their wives go without any money, or their kids have no money to by a school lunch, because they cannot sell their wheat? The Administrator will arrange to hire the trucks and move the wheat on the highway that has been cleared. That would be in the interests of the producers and the truckers would make a dollar. They will not be subsidized.
The Hon. Member for Skeena (Mr. Fulton) spoke of the global effects of this clause. Let him talk to the farmer on the quarter section who needs some money in his pocket about global effects and he will tell you where to go. He will not say you are "haywire" either; he will use the proper language.
Truckers cannot be nationalized so the global effect is adverse to the CCF-or the NDP philosophy. Truckers are independent. They want to work for a living and they want to get a dollar when they earn a dollar, but they do not want to be subsidized. The NDP should know that. It is easy to nationalize a railway. We did it with the CNR and the NDP wants it done with the CPR. That is the global effect the Hon. Member is talking about.
I am talking about the welfare of the individual farmer, the man on the soil, the man who milks ten cows every morning to make a living, the man whose wife has to go out and gather the
October 13, 1983

eggs, whose kids go out and pick the carrots. They are not rich but they have a desire to work and to do things for the country. They want to make their own way but the NDP want to deny them the right to earn their own living by selling their wheat. They say the wheat has to go by train.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   WESTERN GRAIN TRANSPORTATION ACT
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