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 7 of 1221)


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:

Mr. Chairman, before we pass clause 1 should like some assurance as to the trigger mechanism. 1 know it has been said by a number of people in this debate that that trigger mechanism is sufficient. It is my guess that if it were sufficient, we would still have a strawberry crop in Niagara and we would still be producing soft fruits in that area in competition with a number of other areas, which we are not.

It seems to me that in the representations that have been made to the agricultural committee it has been stated that the trigger mechanism does not work because the tariff board administers it instead of the Department of Agriculture. It has been the gist of the arguments in the representations made before the committee that if the Minister of Agriculture would triggger the mechanism, it would work. As I understand it,

Customs Tariff

they are not complaining about the times, just about how they apply it and when they apply it. I understood from the parliamentary secretary a little while ago that this might take anywhere from two days to two weeks and that there was some discussion about setting an exact date, but that was waived. Would setting the exact date or period not be much more advantageous if it were inserted in the act and lengthened, rather than having a trigger mechanism which is not very responsive to the needs of producers?

I am raising this question simply because we have a potential in Canada right now in relation to energy and developments that are taking place, and we have had great difficulty with the hot house industry in this country. Now we are going to put some more money into the hot house industry and operate it in conjunction with Ontario Hydro, using heat from nuclear plants and thermal plants to generate that kind of production.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF
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November 15, 1979

Mr. Peters:

Don't bother; he can't read.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
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November 14, 1979

Mr. Arnold Peters (Timiskaming):

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a matter of urgent and pressing necessity to seek the unanimous consent of the House to put forward a motion under the provisions of Standing Order 43.

I believe it is imperative that new regulations to protect the public from accidents caused by the transporting of dangerous, toxic and explosive materials in an unsafe manner be presented immediately. Dozens of accidents on our railways could cause disruption and create extreme danger for members of the public anywhere in Canada, as was the case for 250,000 people in Mississauga last weekend. An inquiry by the Canadian Transport Commission will not be able to ensure more than a public hearing. I would, therefore, move, seconded by the hon. member for Winnipeg North (Mr. Orlikow):

November 14, 1979

That to avoid delay, the Minister of Transport refer to the Standing Committee on Transport and Communications the matter of hot box detectors, the separation of dangerous commodities and the proper identification of all containers as to contents and risk to persons, with instructions to recommend amendments to ensure safe transportation of such dangerous products and prepare legislation for speedy passage at the earliest possible date.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   HAZARDOUS PRODUCTS
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November 5, 1979

Mr. Peters:

It may be in his head. He has just arrived and he can give that information himself. However, I do not think that it is in this bill, and how can we make even small changes to a tariff agreement with another country that was negotiated in 1932 or, for that matter, in 1960, when the government does not give the sections of the act that it is amending? I do not think that it matters one way or another. It has not really made a great deal of difference to anyone as to what happens with regard to tariff adjustments. These adjustments have

[Mr. Peters.)

been made many times, and there are always changes indicated in the ways and means motions.

In the agricultural field, however, there are too many problems which are of an immediate nature and which can have a detrimental and catastrophic effect on farmers of various commodities. The soft fruit industry has almost entirely disappeared from Canada, such fruits as peaches, cherries and strawberries. Most of the fruit industry in Ontario has disappeared simply because it could not compete in world markets. As I understand it, most of us in this House would like to have free trade and believe that it is a wonderful thing, provided it does not affect our commodities. Naturally, we want to protect our commodities, and I suppose that is true of every business from the peach producer to automobile manufacturer.

But what has happened? Certainly you, Mr. Speaker, have had personal contact with this situation and are aware of the inability of the trade board to operate fast enough to provide the kind of protection necessary with regard to agricultural commodities. It is interesting to note that in all these changes the tariff only applies to a specific field when it comes to agricultural products. The tariff is applied in the period when the surplus in another country is at its peak and our system is either beginning or ending, in most cases beginning.

This prevents countries with which Canada does not have anti-dumping laws from dumping in our country during our peak periods. They would normally be in a position to dump their agricultural products in Canada at the beginning of our season when production costs are still very high and the production period has not yet begun. The government is allowed to make these changes. If one were to take any commodity, and I will use cauliflower as an example, free rates shall apply during the months of January, February, March, April and May. I presume that is because our storage facilities will not hold cauliflower over a longer period. During the remaining months, however, in any 12-month period ending March 31, the specific duty or ad valorem duty, as the case may be, shall not be maintained in force in excess of 20 weeks, which may be divided into two separate periods, and the free rate shall apply whenever the specific duty or ad valorem duty is not in effect.

The reason for 20 weeks is that that is our period of production. We have always found, whether it be cauliflower, cherries or any other commodity, that the tariff board never reacts quickly enough to protect the farmer. The farmer is the victim of the improper or slow use of the regulatory tool with regard to applying tariffs. There may be one or two reasons for this. One may be that the government wants to make money, and they may be able to collect more money from the tariff than from their share of the production. I presume that this is true with regard to many of the commodities in Canada.

The Department of Agriculture does not have a say as to when the tariff shall apply. This means that by the time the matter has gone through two or three departments the problem has developed to a stage where the tariff will no longer alleviate the problem. This was found to be the case with imported meats. For a long time offshore meats were imported

November 5, 1979

into Canada at a rate which was considerably below what the Canadian market could stand. Boxed meat was being brought in from Australia and South America, and this constituted unfair competition to the meat producers in Canada, which meant that the price of beef was depressed for a considerable period of time.

When supplies of this offshore meat dried up, Canadian producers could not meet the demand and consequently the price jumped, which was a great detriment to the consumer because of the advantages taken by the importers and those in the wholesale meat business. That situation could have been balanced out to the best advantage of both the consumer and the producer. The producer would not have been subjected to the low prices then and would not have experienced the difficulties created in a market where the price to the consumer was too high.

One of the reasons that we have had so much difficulty with agricultural production is simply that the Department of Agriculture has not had the mechanism to control agricultural structures and has had no way of applying these tariffs at the most opportune moment. 1 am not suggesting that there is anything wrong with these tariffs or the periods which are mentioned in the bill. It may well be that 30 weeks is the right amount of time for cabbage because cabbage keeps a lot longer than cauliflower. It may well be that 20 weeks is long enough for cauliflower.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF
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