William Arnold PETERS

PETERS, William Arnold

Personal Data

Party
New Democratic Party
Constituency
Timiskaming (Ontario)
Birth Date
May 14, 1922
Deceased Date
September 17, 1996
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnold_Peters
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=451d41d6-6f60-40ef-87f1-bd1aea75e8c2&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
miner, representative

Parliamentary Career

June 10, 1957 - February 1, 1958
CCF
  Timiskaming (Ontario)
  • Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (January 1, 1958 - January 1, 1962)
March 31, 1958 - April 19, 1962
CCF
  Timiskaming (Ontario)
  • Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (January 1, 1958 - January 1, 1962)
August 3, 1961 - April 19, 1962
NDP
  Timiskaming (Ontario)
  • Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (January 1, 1958 - January 1, 1962)
June 18, 1962 - February 6, 1963
NDP
  Timiskaming (Ontario)
April 8, 1963 - September 8, 1965
NDP
  Timiskaming (Ontario)
November 8, 1965 - April 23, 1968
NDP
  Timiskaming (Ontario)
June 25, 1968 - September 1, 1972
NDP
  Timiskaming (Ontario)
October 30, 1972 - May 9, 1974
NDP
  Timiskaming (Ontario)
July 8, 1974 - March 26, 1979
NDP
  Timiskaming (Ontario)
May 22, 1979 - December 14, 1979
NDP
  Timiskaming (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 5 of 1221)


November 19, 1979

Mr. Peters:

Mr. Chairman, I would like to thank the parliamentary secretary for his comments on averaging because I certainly do not want to ask about each specific category. Taking asparagus as an example, I gather from his explanation that it will now be numbered 2701-1 instead of 8702-2. That is not to put asparagus in a different category, but probably to put it in the new tariff with the restricted period, and it has been raised from 3.5 cents to 9.6. I suppose 3.5 cents was 9.6 per cent and the proposed rate is 12.1 per cent. I presume this me^ns that when the Canadian Horticultural Society and the Department of Agriculture have triggered the designated period, the duty will be considerably higher thereafter. 1 presume that it would amount to approximately three-quarters of one per cent, taking the difference between 5.4 per cent and 6.1 per cent. It may not be possible to use the average figure on anything except the specified commodity, but it is probably within that range.

I am not satisfied that the triggering mechanism is sufficient to meet the needs of producers. The agriculture department has always been plagued by the argument, which we have heard from the Bing cherry, grape and soft fruit producers and from the horticultural industry, that the date of applying the tariff may not always be the same and that when it is decided that the tariff should be applied it is not applied quickly enough. By the time the matter has been discussed by the Department of Agriculture and the horticultural society, it is too late. It has always been suggested that the Department of Agriculture have a much closer relationship with the tariff board so that the tariff can be triggered to meet the climatic conditions of the day or the conditions which govern the season of that particular product. This complaint has been brought up by all the agencies which I have mentioned.

The strawberry industry in southern Ontario has been plagued because of this indecision to the extent that most of the strawberries are plowed under. Most of our fresh strawberries come from outside Canada. Obviously the duty has not been triggered at the proper time.

Referring to my example of asparagus, is this eight-week period long enough? I do not know much about growing asparagus. I planted some at one time and some of it is still coming up, but it certainly is not a commercial crop. 1 am

wondering if the eight-week period is sufficient protection for our producers and whether or not it takes into consideration the varying conditions between the Elolland Marsh and the Niagara Peninsula. If eight weeks is enough, the horticultural society will be hard pressed to make all the decisions on the various crops and to get the eight-week period in the proper place for such places as the Holland Marsh, the Bruce Peninsula, Niagara Falls-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF
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November 19, 1979

Mr. Peters:

Mr. Chairman, the last time we discussed this bill was on November 5. At that time I was concerned about the manner in which Bill C-18 was presented, in that it does not allow for comparison between the proposals now being made, even if one looks at the schedules, and what already was in effect.

I have some questions to ask. How much money has been made on tariffs? Have they been increased? Is this a way of raising money? Tariffs raise money. At one time it was the main way of raising money for the general treasury. In those days there was no income tax, so money was raised out of tariffs. Since that time I would think that tariffs have changed.

November 19, 1979

If asparagus costs 2.5 cents in a favourable period and 10 cents in a non-favourable period from a non-favourable trading partner, does it mean that we are giving less money to the treasury than we did under the previous schedule?

I do not want to relate clause 2 to all the numbers that are in it and ask for an explanation of each one separately, but I do say that when the department brings this before us again it cannot do so in this form. It does not say a damned thing to a member of Parliament who wants to look at it, and it does not say anything to the industry except in respect of those specifics with which that industry is dealing. As far as I know, Bill C-18 does not even indicate whether the Canadian tax structure will enjoy a net gain or suffer a net loss as a result of the passage of Bill C-18. Therefore, I see absolutely no reason why we should be faced with this bill in its present form as members cannot look at it and make a decision.

Certainly when looking at these numbers, as I pointed out before, they are downright confusing. Even if you take them in conjunction with either the annex in the French part or the schedule in the English part, that does not make it much clearer. Most of us would like to know when we are dealing with food products and with seasons which are relatively short-and the length of time that can be selected by the industries is mentioned in the schedule-whether we have corrected the shortcomings in the legislation in the past. We would also like to know whether we have substituted something that will be advantageous in the future.

I do not know whether you can say that the customs and tariff legislation was mainly responsible for our having lost our canning industry, having lost a considerable portion of our hothouse industry, and having lost a considerable portion of our horticultural industry in this country, but it certainly has played a role.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF
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November 19, 1979

Mr. Peters:

It might help. I agree there might not be any point in picking out the ones that have never been used and which were therefore triggered by the budget rather than by special order because many of them were raised, not lowered, and only the lower ones were used. In many of these cases the changes which have been made, I gather the parliamentary secretary is telling us, have involved reductions in tariffs, not increases.

Clause 2 includes all those items in schedule I so really we have lost money. Is the amount shown anywhere in this document? Is an estimate made of the sum which might have been anticipated had the changes not been made? In other words, does this indicate what revenue from duty resulting from these amendments, either raising or lowering the amounts, might have been expected? This presents us with a real problem because there is no way of knowing from what we have before us what the general purpose of these changes is- for example, whether they reflect changes negotiated under GATT. Nor do we know how they are applied. There is no indication that Canada has entered into international agreements with regard to specific commodities and I am not able to tell from the bill whether we have decreased or increased total income from duty. Some items moved up 5 per cent, say, or down 3 per cent, but from the point of view of the workings of the economic system it is impossible to tell where we are going. Maybe I am missing something. I see nothing here enabling us to estimate the results of these changes this year as

November 19, 1979

compared, for example, with last year, and 1 am suggesting we do something about this from now on. As I say, if I am missing the point I should like the parliamentary secretary to tell me. He has been very helpful so far.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF
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November 19, 1979

Mr. Peters:

I was of the opinion that some of the tariffs applied only because we did not increase any of them. It is not easy to pick the commodities out because the former price is not there, but only those which went down were selected. The tariffs which went up, if any, did not apply, and I understand that there were some which did not apply. This is why I feel there should be some kind of accounting for the schedule. We are merely going through a ritual in passing this bill, because we do not know how much it will cost, how much we will get out of it or how it applies in certain areas, although the individuals involved will probably know. I ask whether there will be a later accounting of what this schedule has cost, and although the expense will decrease nobody seems to know. I believe the estimate is $5 million.

When this bill takes effect, schedule V will apply and schedule l will no longer apply. At this point there should be a simple accounting of how much it will cost to put that schedule into effect. There is a lot of other information which I would like to have. Is this schedule helping anybody? Is it keeping some businesses in operation? It is a subsidy to the industry. We are giving out $5 million, and we are entitled to know if it helped and, if so, by how much. How much did it actually cost and where did the money go? Maybe this $5 million did not produce anything, but we will pass it anyway.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF
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November 19, 1979

Mr. Peters:

Mr. Chairman, perhaps the parliamentary secretary could give us an indication of what happens to all these numbers. It refers to "striking out", but does this include the ones we were previously discussing as being amended by schedule IV? Are they replaced by schedule IV?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF
Full View Permalink