Herbert Thomas (Bert) HARGRAVE

HARGRAVE, Herbert Thomas (Bert), M.B.E., B.Sc., P.Eng., P.Ag.

Personal Data

Party
Progressive Conservative
Constituency
Medicine Hat (Alberta)
Birth Date
March 30, 1917
Deceased Date
September 24, 1996
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bert_Hargrave
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=074c5f79-285c-48cd-b661-069bf3c4d46f&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
rancher

Parliamentary Career

October 30, 1972 - May 9, 1974
PC
  Medicine Hat (Alberta)
July 8, 1974 - March 26, 1979
PC
  Medicine Hat (Alberta)
May 22, 1979 - December 14, 1979
PC
  Medicine Hat (Alberta)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture (October 1, 1979 - December 14, 1979)
February 18, 1980 - July 9, 1984
PC
  Medicine Hat (Alberta)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 78)


June 29, 1984

Mr. Hargrave:

Mr. Speaker, I want to be absolutely clear. Does what the Hon. Parliamentary Secretary said imply that it will go through third reading as well, or will there be a request for unanimous consent for third reading?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM PRODUCTS MARKETING AGENCIES ACT
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June 29, 1984

Mr. Hargrave:

Is that absolutely understood, Mr. Speaker?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM PRODUCTS MARKETING AGENCIES ACT
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June 28, 1984

Mr. Bert Hargrave (Medicine Hat):

Mr. Speaker, this adjournment debate concerns the question of railway freight rates for alfalfa products shipped by railway containers, specifically by Tirol Dehydrators of Tilley and Rolling Hills in southern Alberta. The reference is my question to the Minister of Transport (Mr. Axworthy) on May 29, 1984, as reported at page 4181. This is the second occasion on which I have brought the matter to the attention of the Minister of Transport.

I should like to give a brief review of the developments in this issue involving the shipment of dehydrated alfalfa cubes in containers to Japan. As a result of a favourable recommendation emerging from Bill C-155 last year, that is the Crow debate, alfalfa products were recognized as a specialty crop and became eligible for the new so-called Crow rate, effective January 1, 1984. Prior to this date all such alfalfa products paid full commercial freight rates for railway hopper cars, boxcars or containers. The Minister of Transport personally supported recognition of alfalfa as a specialty crop. Regardless of this new recognition, railways continued to charge commercial rates because the product was being moved in containers rather than in boxcars or hopper cars.

Following my first question last January, the Minister requested the CTC to instruct railways to use the authorized, lower new Crow rate for container shipments, and apparently the railways complied. However, in May the railways applied to the CTC for additional surcharges of $400 for 40-foot containers and $241 for 20-foot containers, retroactive to January 1, 1984. The CTC rejected these surcharges on May 23.

During June, this month, the railways persisted and informed Tirol that they intended to charge a lower $230 surcharge for containers effective August 1, 1984, when the new crop year begins. At this stage railways were still trying to increase their freight charges, even though they were told twice not to do so by the CTC.

Also this month the railway indicated that they will go to court, probably next October, for authority to charge demurrage fees on alfalfa and all other new specialty crops included in the Western Grain Transportation Act. We should note that original Crow crops did not have demurrage charges since they were protected by Order in Council. It would seem that the new specialty crops were never added to that Order in Council list. There is also an additional "positioning charge" now being

Adjournment Debate

imposed by the railways. If the shipping customer fails to pay the positioning charge of $253 and $127, for the two sizes of containers, a shortage of containers develops-one pays or goes short. The only positive development in this alfalfa saga is that satisfactory minimum tonnage limits have now been resolved for both west and east container movements.

In my question of May 29 to the Minister of Transport, I made the blunt statement that "The railways are obviously playing games here". The Minister concurred with my comments. Surely it is now appropriate for the CTC to rule that alfalfa products as a new specialty crop come under the authority of the Western Grain Transportation Act, not under the Railway Act. It seems so obvious that the railways are deliberately going out of their way to circumvent not only the details of the new Crow agreement but, perhaps more importantly, the spirit of this new commodity approach that had such positive and enthusiastic support during the Crow debate last year by all on the standing committee, especially by the Minister of Transport (Mr. Axworthy).

Tirol Dehydrators are presently in a serious quandary, resulting from an improper surcharge bill that totalled $336,000, and have found it prudent to drastically reduce their Japanese shipments from around 11,000 tonnes to about 500 tonnes per month, and the competition in the United States is picking up the difference. Tirol Dehydrators in southern Alberta are experienced and competent, with over eight years of trading with Japan. Their management team of Alex Chrumka and Ike Schroder deserve something much better than this railway runaround.

[ Translation]

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   RAILWAYS-ALFALFA PRODUCTS FREIGHT RATES. (fl) REQUEST THAT MINISTER CONDUCT INVESTIGATION
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June 26, 1984

Mr. Bert Hargrave (Medicine Hat):

Mr. Speaker, the Hon. Member for Prince Albert (Mr. Hovdebo) has put forward a Private Members' Motion in two parts. The first part is to change the name of the Canadian Wheat Board. Let me quickly and simply say that I cannot support that, primarily because of the implications that flow from the second part of his motion. That is what I propose to comment on briefly.

The second part of the motion proposes to expand the board's responsibilities by placing the major grains; barley, corn, flax, oats, rapeseed, rye, soybeans and wheat under its jurisdiction and by giving the board full responsibility for marketing all feed grains delivered to primary elevators in Canada. Of course, by implication, that is primarily in western Canada.

Let me say that I cannot support this proposal that would put our domestic feed grains delivered to our western country elevators completely under the authority of the Wheat Board as the Wheat Board's total responsibility.

June 26, 1984

This proposal quite properly invites comment on our so-called domestic feed grain policy. This most important issue, especially for western Canada, was deliberately and skilfully avoided during the six-month Crow debate last year. It is an issue that should the debated publicly and here in Parliament, along with the so-called Canadian Livestock Feed Board, when an appropriate occasion should develop.

All domestic feed grains may now be delivered to our western country elevators by producers with the appropriate permit book. But for livestock feeders to get that feed grain out of the elevators for local livestock feeding is quite another matter.

Of course, the Board's policy is to eventually ship all or nearly all of the feed grains for export. It can be purchased from the country elevators after the necessary permit is obtained from the Wheat Board, but at substantially higher prices than is available for deliveries of that same feed grain, even after allowing for a modest elevator charge.

It must surely be obvious that our domestic feed grain policy must be thoroughly reviewed and changed significantly to serve its biggest total market for that feed grain. Surely that is our total livestock feeding industry, essentially cattle and hogs, especially in western Canada.

It should be obvious to all of us that the greatest potential value-added industry for our grain sector in western Canada is not our flour milling, our meat packing and processing industry or even the oil seed crushing industry. It is by far the total livestock feeding industry for cattle and hogs and utilizing huge amounts of western barley and oats right in western Canada. That is by far our most important value-added industry in agriculture in western Canada.

If we are going to change our feed grains policy in the West, let us allow our country elevators to serve this industry by taking it in for local storage and also selling it locally on an open market, right out of the same elevator.

The well known and outdated corn competitive pricing formula should be scrapped. If a new feed grain pricing formula is necessary it could be related to the barley export price worked back to the country elevators.

The proposal by the Hon. Member for Prince Albert would be the kiss of death for this tremendous potential for a total livestock feeding industry all across western Canada. Let us make some changes in our feed grain policy, but let us make those changes work for our western agricultural future, where the feed grains are produced and where the value-added industries are logical and can be done most efficiently.

Topic:   MOTIONS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD
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May 29, 1984

Mr. Bert Hargrave (Medicine Hat):

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Transport. It relates to another chapter in what I could call the alfalfa products freight rate issue in southern Alberta. I hope the Minister recalls my question of last January regarding this matter. At that time he responded very positively that alfalfa products were indeed entitled to the new freight rate schedule.

The Minister should now be aware that the railways, specially the CPR, are charging Tirol Dehydraters of Tilley, Alberta, an extra $400 per container. They are attempting to make this surcharge retroactive to the first of the year. Would the Minister indicate how the railways can ignore the direct instructions which the Minister personally gave to the CTC western division and the railways on this alfalfa freight rate issue?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   RAILWAYS
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