Mr. Bert Cadieu (Meadow Lake):
Mr. Speaker, I had hoped that during the two years when I was absent from this House the government, in view of the situation it was facing, would change its thinking. I can see by what has been presented in the budget, and from what has gone on in the House during the present session, that it has not. I had especially hoped that after election night this country would be governed by a new government, and I am disap-
The Budget-Mr. Cadieu
pointed that the wisdom of the voters of the Meadow Lake constituency was not reflected in the election results in the majority of the constituencies in Canada, especially in the constituency of Ottawa-Carleton. If those voters had voted differently, the people of Canada might have been spared the disappointment of this budget.
Be that as it may, I am sure most people in Canada hoped that the Minister of Finance (Mr. Turner) would show leadership and bring forward good ideas. Instead, he has simply added sugar to the same old stew-and with sugar being expensive, he did not add much. If he bought the meat right from the producer, he bought it dirt cheap. One can only say that the Minister of Finance is doing as his fellow ministers are doing, falling flat when faced with his "big moment".
It is difficult to move a truck which is stuck in a rut when a tire is flat. Well, the government is not even trying to move that truck. It thinks that if it leaves the truck there for the winter, the ground will freeze and it can drive the truck away, smiling. Let me tell you that many farmers who own trucks are not smiling, especially if there is livestock in the truck.
It appears that the Minister of Finance has forgotten that it was actually the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Whelan) who won the election for the government and enabled the minister to keep his job; yet the Minister of Finance, in the budget, hardly mentions anything in which the agricultural industry can show great interest. Certainly that omission does not speak of gratitude.
The Minister of Finance calls for restraint, yet it is evident from the budget figures, to an ordinary farmer or rancher like myself, that the government is suffering from diarrhoea of the purse and intends to cure it with a laxative.
I have seen many of the end results of this ailment, resulting from the way the government has spent so much of the taxpayers' money in a few areas. It is nothing short of deplorable that one quarter of the people in my area do not have television reception; for many the only method of transportation is by air. Unfortunately, most of the residents of my area do not have friends of the sort the Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Lalonde) has, Madam Speaker.
I have been told recently that television will not be available to the people of a vast area in the northwestern part of Saskatchewan comprising Canoe Narrows, Beau-val, Pinehouse, lie a la Crosse, Buffalo Narrows, Patuanak, Dillon, Portage la Loche and Tumor Lake, until 1976. In 1972 I was told it would be available in 1974. I wonder what I will be told in 1976.
We should bear in mind that lie a la Crosse is one of the oldest settlements in Saskatchewan. It was this government that destroyed the people's chance to have television reception in this area as long as nine years ago. The radar towers and equipment which were put there at no cost to this government were destroyed. The CBC has showed interest in this equipment. It was an asset with regard to bringing television to this vast area. The radar tower at Fort Black was reduced to scrap for no reason whatsoever.
November 22, 1974
The Budget-Mr. Cadieu
We realize what television would do for the people in this vast area during the long winter, particularly school children and senior citizens. Do I have to tell the people of that area that the government wants to forget them for another two years? This is going to be very bad news for the people in this part of my constituency.
It was this government that discontinued the Roads to Resources program. Large portions of this area, going into the Athabasca region and the great mining country around Uranium City, are as far away from an all-weather road as they were 10 years ago. This government dropped the Roads to Resources program which was set up by the Diefenbaker government. The area around Uranium City has created enough wealth that it should have had an all-weather road leading into it long ago.
I could go on at great length about the shortcomings of the government with regard to the north country. Unless some changes are made, this budget will be pretty slim picking for the people of that area.
There is a terrible problem in western Canada with regard to agriculture. We saw what happened a few years ago to the pork producers in the west. They were put out of business. Today the beef producers are in a deplorable situation. A lot of this has been caused by government meddling.
Only a few months ago the government was advocating that farmers diversify and go into beef cattle. I do not know where the government researchers were, but I know the predicament in which the western farmers find themselves today. We know what the beef producers are doing in eastern Canada. We saw an example of that not too long ago.
There have been many farm starts in my constituency. People were encouraged to go into beef cattle. In order to do this they borrowed money at a high rate of interest. Many who bought breeding stock last spring cannot get back one quarter of what they paid.
Are we to look forward to the same kind of situation for our grain producers? Just recently the minister in charge of the wheat board introduced a two-price system for wheat. Our party has advocated that for many years. We worked hard for a two-price system. However, today the government wants a two-price system with a maximum price for wheat consumed locally. It did not call in the producers or the farm organizations to discuss setting a price for a period of seven years. At the rate inflation is going in this country, I wonder whether $3.25 a bushel will be adequate in seven years. Who knows? Why would the government force through such a bill without first consulting those who are very much concerned? It is very injust. I think the opposition has forced the government to take another look at this. I think it will now call in the producers and farm organizations to discuss this bill. There are many such situations in western Canada. The people there will certainly not be happy with this budget.
We hear a lot today about rail line abandonment. In my area many lines have never been completed. If some of these lines had been completed, they would be on a paying basis. How can a rail line that has not been completed, pay? There is still a gap in the line, and now the government is talking about abandonment. This makes me think
of our forefathers who pioneered this country. They advocated the. .ail lines. However, even at this late state the lines have not been completed and, as I say, now the government is talking about abandonment.
Everyone in western Canada knows that grain can be moved much cheaper by rail than by truck. Therefore I do not know why the government is determined to go hog-wild into rail line abandonment. The people concerned should have some say about this.
There are many other items I could deal with, especially northern development. The government should take a close look at the Roads to Resources program. It should also provide television for these people I have mentioned. They are entitled to it. These people have spent the greatest part of their lives in that area. Surely they should have the right to television.
I took notice of what the minister had to say in his budget about housing. For years we have been asking for the removal of the sales tax on building materials and at a time when so many young people are in need of homes I do not understand why it should be retained, even in part. It is true the Minister of Finance has agreed to reduce it, but when one considers the expense of maintaining the bureaucracy needed to collect the tax at 5 per cent, it might have been far better to have abolished it altogether.
The whole budget is ill-conceived as far as I am concerned, speaking for the constituency of Meadow Lake.
Topic: GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic: THE BUDGET