Mr. Mac T. McCutcheon (Lambton-Kent):
Mr. Speaker, I shall take part in the debate briefly because the area that I represent feels that it has been disadvantaged by the application of the DREE legislation. In this area we feel that we suffer from unfair competition, with many other parts of the country, because of this government's transportation policy. Our railroad costs are high, and now we feel our problem has been compounded by the DREE program.
Many of the points I wish to make have been covered, some of them very well, by the hon. member for Kenora-Rainy River (Mr. Reid). In his forthright manner he has a habit of hitting the nail on the head. It was refreshing to have him come out with the honest statement that the DREE legislation was drafted in an effort to discriminate against wealthy areas. As I have said, the people in the area I represent feel that DREE discriminates against them. I think this is completely wrong, Mr. Speaker. Abraham Lincoln was right when he said over a hundred years ago, and I paraphrase him, "You don't necessarily help the poor by tearing down the rich". I would point out to this government that tearing down the "have" parts of the country does not necessarily build the "have-not" parts in view of the conflicts that take place and the wasted effort.
A few nights ago, during private members' hour, the hon. member for Lanark-Renfrew-Carleton (Mr. McBride) introduced a bill. He told us that in Carleton Place, which is a non-designated area, the Findlay Foundry has shut down completely, with a loss of 200 jobs. It transferred its production to the province of Quebec, in a designated area. Ostensibly, 200 jobs have been created in Quebec
but of course there are 200 less in Ontario, so the net gain to the nation as a whole is nil. Indeed, the net loss to the nation as a whole, in my humble opinion, would be the amount of the DREE grant.
I read in a newspaper recently of a $685,000 grant to Catelli Foods, a subsidiary of the American firm, General Foods. This grant was to enable them to build a plant to produce tomato paste from tomatoes imported from Portugal, Spain and Yugoslavia. Mr. Speaker, the area I come from is one of the prime tomato producing areas in Canada, but there it is impossible for a farmer to get a contract to grow tomatoes. However, the government is now subsidizing a company in Montreal to process imported tomatoes.
Farmers from my area have been coming to Ottawa to meet with officials of the Department of Industry, Trade and Commerce and the Department of Agriculture in an effort to re-establish the sugar beet industry. So far they have not been successful. But there is some discussion of a new sugar refinery to be built at Cornwall, Ontario, which is a designated area, in order to process imported cane sugar. That mill might have gone to Oshawa, Ontario, except that Oshawa is not a designated area. These are the things, Mr. Speaker, that lead the people in my area to feel that we have been discriminated against and, as the hon. member for Kenora-Rainy River pointed out tonight, perhaps this was the purpose behind the legislation.
In the 30 seconds remaining to me I should like to ask some questions about the Opportunities for Youth program and the Local Initiatives Program. What is their purpose? Are they make-work programs? Are they to be permanent? I do not criticize them except to say that I am afraid in many instances they do not encourage positive production. If we had a booming economy, perhaps then we could enjoy that luxury.
May I call it ten o'clock, Mr. Speaker?
Topic: GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic: BUSINESS OF SUPPLY