Frank John William FANE

FANE, Frank John William, M.C., E.D.

Parliamentary Career

March 31, 1958 - April 19, 1962
PC
  Vegreville (Alberta)
June 18, 1962 - February 6, 1963
PC
  Vegreville (Alberta)
April 8, 1963 - September 8, 1965
PC
  Vegreville (Alberta)
November 8, 1965 - April 23, 1968
PC
  Vegreville (Alberta)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 39)


March 27, 1968

Mr. Fane:

You have all the breaks, Bob.

Topic:   WHEAT-FINAL PAYMENT FOR 1966-67 CROP
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March 20, 1968

Mr. Fane:

You would do better than a lot of them.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE PRODUCTION
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March 11, 1968

Mr. Fane:

Thank you, Mr. Minister. Mr. Chairman, I was under the impression that the Woods report had been presented to the minister and that he was in possession of it. I apologize to him for having made a statement which I apparently made out of turn.

The veterans have waited a very long time and feel that this government throughout its

[Mr. MacEachen.l

whole life has not given them proper consideration. Their pensions have been graded according to the lowest category of civil servant. They have not received increases comparable with the increases granted to civil servants. Therefore their pensions perhaps should be again reviewed so that they might be brought more in line with the wages and salaries of the same class of civil servants.

[DOT] (4:40 p.m.)

It is unfortunate that veterans pensions are tied to the lowest paid class of civil servants, because our veterans are Canadian citizens who volunteered for the armed services that were brought into being when necessity faced our nation. Not all the people who enlisted were in that low category of civil servant. Some very able men served in the ranks as private soldiers. I have spoken about two of the men who served with me. They were both killed beside me. One was a very noted lawyer-he was a private soldier-and the other was a minister of the Presbyterian church. They were both university graduates and could certainly not be considered as those in the lowest paid class of the civil service. I am not saying anything against the lower categories of civil servants, but I believe that veterans are entitled to more consideration than being tied, so far as their pensions are concerned, to the lowest paid class of civil servant in the government of Canada.

I do not want to belabour the point, Mr. Chairman, and take up too much time because I know other hon. members wish to speak on these estimates. I think it is a very good thing that we have an opportunity to discuss the estimates of the Department of Veterans Affairs this afternoon, and the sooner this item is passed the sooner our veterans will receive the increases in their pensions.

Topic:   INSURANCE
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March 11, 1968

Mr. Fane:

Mr. Chairman, I am very glad that we are dealing with the estimates of the Department of Veterans Affairs this afternoon. The veterans of this country have waited a long time for the 15 per cent increase that was promised them by the minister last fall. It certainly is high time this matter was brought before the house. It is too bad that the Woods report on veterans affairs has not been presented. The minister says this is because of the difficulties in translation from one language to the other. I wonder, however, whether that really is the situation. I wonder whether Mr. Justice Woods may perhaps have said something in that report that the government does not like and is afraid to bring before the house.

Topic:   INSURANCE
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March 5, 1968

Mr. Fane:

Mr. Chairman, it is a long time since we have had an opportunity to speak on the subject of agriculture as much as we have done in the last couple of days. The big reason is that last year when the main estimates were before us there was only time for the minister to make a speech, and then the agricultural estimates were withdrawn. In fact I believe time ran out entirely for discussing estimates. This makes one wonder why it is that the government does not provide opportunities for us to discuss agriculture. Are the members of the government scared of what the farmer members of parliament will say, or are they scared to face the farming element of this country? I think that must be the case, Mr. Chairman, for the simple reason that they know that their agricultural program, if they have one, is not worth a darn in assisting agriculture, notwithstanding the wonderful speech that the

March 5, 1968

Supply-Agriculture

Minister of Agriculture made last night, or I should say the wonderful speech he thought he made. It won't be so wonderful when the farmers read it, because this Liberal government will probably lose the only two or three members it has from agricultural areas when the next election occurs.

I would like to commend the Leader of the Opposition on the most reasonable and factual speech that he made last night. He showed the farming element throughout Canada that he has a full grasp of agricultural problems and that he will be able to represent the farming industry as well as every other industry there is when the time comes. He certainly showed up well on agriculture.

[DOT] (8:20 p.m.)

I was a little surprised at the minister making the speech he made because it was just a rerun of the speech he gave us on the main estimates last fall,-exactly the same speech. But of course this government is prone to having reruns of things, so that should not surprise anybody. When he told us in so many words that the farmers had never had it so good, I was reminded of the time 11 years ago-the second time I was a candidate for election to parliament-when the then minister of agriculture, the right hon. gentleman who chose to be known as "Mr. Agriculture" in Canada, visited my constituency. As a matter of fact he arrived there the day after I was nominated as a candidate. I believe I would be generous if I said that he spoke to 300 people for three and a half hours, using three million words, and never said anything except that the farmers never had it so good. I believe that was one reason I was elected as a member of parliament. Therefore, I might suggest to the minister that when he tells the farmers they never had it so good he is probably alienating what little affection they have left for the party which he hopes to lead next month. May I say that if he realizes his ambition, which may be a vain one, I hope he will do something more to help the farmers when he holds the top position than he has done as Minister of Agriculture.

My hon. friend from Provencher the other day said that the farmers do not wonder what the minister has done for them. They just wonder what this government has done to them. They know very well of course. The minister's speech also reminded me of the small boy who runs through a cemetery at midnight and hollers as loud as he can in

order to have the courage to do it. I wonder whether the minister really realizes what the situation in the farm industry in Canada is. His speech certainly did not give the true picture, because the farmers of this country are not as well off as he would have everybody believe. As I said, when the news of his speech goes out through the country the farmers will have a big laugh about how well off they are.

It seems strange that the minister appears to be the only person interested in farming who does not know what the situation is. Perhaps he just will not believe the truth. There's none so blind as him who will not see. I find it difficult to believe that the information the minister receives from his high priced and well educated advisers could be so incorrect. Surely the members of his staff are aware of what is going on. Surely the minister himself must be aware of what is going on, especially when he sees 23,000 farmers from the provinces of Ontario and Quebec come down here, as they did last summer, to complain about the situation. Delegations representing the dairy farmers, the farm unions, the National Farm Union and the Federation of Agriculture have also come to Ottawa. In any event the minister has many people facing him in this house who can tell him what it is all about. We do not speak merely for the sake of speaking, and surely he might listen to some of us.

I realize the minister does not have very much farm support behind him, but surely the members of his party who do represent farming areas could tell him in caucus or in his office what the facts really are. There is no doubt that he hears straight talk on the matter of agriculture from members of all the opposition parties. The trouble is that the members of the government do not realize that they do not have an agricultural policy, and that what little dribs and drabs they are attempting to get by with simply are not adequate in providing the necessary help to the farming element of this country.

Very often in the house we hear about wheat. Ever since I came to Ottawa 10 years ago, wheat has appeared to be the main subject discussed by the western members. At the present time the price of wheat is down 22 cents a bushel. I believe this is a direct result of the action of the Minister of Trade and Commerce in allowing the international wheat agreement to lapse for about a year. This has had a drastic effect on the primary industry of this country.

March 5, 1968

Even though there are other industries which at times provide more wealth to the country I can assure you that they are not as important to the welfare of Canada as the agricultural industry, for the simple reason that if we did not have an agricultural industry we would not have food for our table. That is the situation. The price of wheat is down this year because the government relaxed its efforts in the selling of our grain. Everywhere out west there are low quotas. Some farmers may be able to deliver four or five bushels of grain per cultivated acre, but that is all. The final payments have been delayed and this year they probably will be lower than usual.

Ever since this government came into power the farmers have not been receiving their interim payments, and his has had a severe effect on the economic welfare of the farming industry. Not once in the last five years when this government has been running things have the farmers had an interim payment of ten cents per bushel.

[DOT] (8:30 p.m.)

The price of cattle is down. The price of hogs is down. The premium on first grade hogs has been removed, except for $1 per hundredweight, and the premium on first grade lambs has been removed. The premium on cheese has been removed. By the removal of these premiums on top quality produce the government has penalized those farmers who produced top quality. As a result it does not matter now whether or not the farmer raises first or second class products. They receive no premium for producing first grade.

Hon. members just heard my colleague, the hon. member for Wetaskiwin, speak about the appalling situation in dairy production. The government makes a new dairy policy every year, and none of them has been worth a hoot. Dairy farmers are becoming so unhappy about the situation they are leaving the industry. Approximately half of our large dairies are either out of existence, or on the way out. These farmers are selling their cows. Perhaps it will not be too many years before we will all be drinking synthetic milk and eating synthetic beefsteak. I do not know where we will find a substitute for the products made from wheat.

The egg situation in this country is particularly bad. The other day I received a letter, one of many about this situation. This constituent sent 75 dozen eggs to the city of Edmonton for which she received $10.75. Of those

Supply-Agriculture

dozen, 43 dozen were grade A large for which she received 20 cents per dozen. She wondered why the price of eggs to the producer is so frightfully low. I made a few inquiries and found that during the first 11 months of last year we imported 11,059,558 dozen eggs from the United States at a cost of $6,526,000. We imported 264,184 pounds of dried whole yolk and albumen at a cost of $294,000. We also imported dry whole yolk and albumen n.e.s. to the extent of 1,821,560 pounds at a cost of $187,000. These figures are taken from Dominion Bureau of Statistics reports. I have here a poultry marketing report issued on March 1, 1968 by the Canadian Department of Agriculture which indicates that to date this year Canada has imported from the United States 3,260 cases of eggs, each containing 30 dozen. No wonder the price of eggs to the primary producer is so low. We also imported 23,000 pounds of frozen eggs from the United States.

People also wonder why turkeys and chickens bring so little to the producer. This year Canada has already imported 1,359,386 pounds of poultry. Already this year the department has carried out inspections on a total of 489,464 poultry carcasses of various kinds. No wonder the primary producer of poultry receives so little for his produce. The farmers in central Canada, that is Ontario, Quebec and the maritimes are not faced with the difficulty of selling wheat, but they do have difficulties in the marketing of cattle, hogs, lambs, eggs, cheese and dairy products. They are suffering just as much as the western farmers.

Farmers are finding it very difficult to obtain loans under the Farm Improvement Loans Act because banks do not wish to lend money at the approved interest rate of 5 per cent. In light of the situation today farmers cannot afford to pay that interest rate, let alone a higher one. Farmers are also finding difficulty because of the 11 per cent sales tax on building materials. This is having a serious effect on the construction of granaries and other buildings. Machinery prices are increasing each year, and we are beginning to wonder what the government is going to do with the recommendations following the inquiry into farm machine prices. Probably this inquiry will end up just like other inquiries and royal commissions.

The high cost of farm machinery is very serious. A self-propelled combine capable of handling a large crop costs in the neighbourhood of $15,000, or even more if it has a cab.

March 5, 1988

Supply-A griculture

It appears that the price of machinery will continue to increase to the extent that the traffic will bear. Farmers in some areas have boycotted the buying of machinery and the implement companies have really found out the problem they face if they are not able to sell their machinery.

[DOT] (8:40 p.m.)

The minister told us how very wonderful it is that in 1966 the farmers of Canada borrowed $234 million from the Farm Credit Corporation. This may sound to the minister like very good business, but I would point out that when farmers are in debt to this extent it is very, very difficult for them to repay loans. Every time a farmer borrows money in this way he has to repay the loan and the interest thereon. Thanks to the western members in the house in particular, and to the Conservative members in general, the interest was kept as low as possible on these loans.

I ask the minister whether he or anybody else in the house thinks that anybody is able to borrow himself rich. I cannot see it, myself. I was in debt for a great many years on the farm and know how difficult it is to meet even small payments, especially when a Liberal government is in power in Ottawa. That really makes a difference.

The reduction in the assistance provided under the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Act is no help to western farmers in providing dug-outs and water supplies for the summer. In the part of the country from which I come people know that prairie farm assistance act is nearly over because in the last five years the trouble with it has been appalling. I am not laying all this trouble at the minister's feet, but he and I know where some of the trouble occurs. I can assure hon. members that it is not all the fault of the farmers or the act.

ARDA is a very wonderful idea that was brought into being by the minister of agriculture of the Conservative government, the hon. member for Qu'Appelle. The extension of ARDA has proved to be a very wonderful thing in some cases. I know that the program is now handled through the provincial departments of agriculture. There is one ARDA project in my constituency which anybody can be very proud of. I refer to the project on the Saddle Lake Indian reserve where 15,000 acres of wonderful land is about to be broken up and put into cultivation for the benefit of the people who live on the reserve. This project will prove to be of great assistance to

these people in finding their feet. Therefore I commend the idea of ARDA. I know this project will prove of very great help to the Indian population of some 2,000 on this reserve.

My time appears to be up, Mr. Chairman. I do not know if I have been able to tie in my remarks with vote 5c, which reads as follows:

Administration, operation and maintenance-to extend the purposes of vote 5 of the main estimates for 1967-68 to include a contribution of $10,000 to the town of Kapuskasing towards the construction of a road.

One dollar is provided for this vote. As I say, Mr. Chairman, I do not know how well I have related what I have had to say to that vote. Anyway I have said what I think should be said in this regard and hope I have been talking to the subject under consideration by the committee.

Topic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   PROTECTION OF HUNTING RIGHTS UNDER MIGRATORY BIRDS CONVENTION
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