Florian CÔTÉ

CÔTÉ, Florian

Personal Data

Richelieu (Quebec)
Birth Date
May 17, 1929
Deceased Date
January 29, 2002

Parliamentary Career

September 19, 1966 - April 23, 1968
  Nicolet--Yamaska (Quebec)
June 25, 1968 - September 1, 1972
  Richelieu (Quebec)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture (August 30, 1968 - September 30, 1970)
October 30, 1972 - May 9, 1974
  Richelieu (Quebec)
July 8, 1974 - March 26, 1979
  Richelieu (Quebec)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 17 of 18)

October 15, 1968

Mr. Florian Cote (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Agriculture):

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Regina East (Mr. Burton) will perhaps allow me to answer and to offer a few suggestions with regard to the problem he raises in the absence of the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Olson) who is now on his way to Winnipeg in order to attend the first meeting of the National Grains Council. The minister will try solve problems.

Here, there is a slight difference between speech and deed. I feel the Minister of

DEBATES October 15, 1968

Agriculture understands quite well the problem set forth by the member for Regina East, and I should like to point out to him that last Friday, the Minister of Agriculture answered a similar question put by the hon. member for Qu'Appelle-Moose Mountain (Mr. Southam). I shall quote the answer given by the minister to that hon. member:

Mr. Speaker, there is a possible or a potential serious loss to the farmers of western Canada, but I think the hon. member will realize that until the harvest season is completed it would be difficult to ascertain what the loss will be.

That is before the harvesting is over.

There are several days, perhaps even weeks, left this fall when much of this harvesting could be done, providing the weather turns better.

I feel it would be premature-and this is the gist of my reply-to attempt to determine losses at this time.

The hon. member must also be aware that western farmers have purchased for about $115 million worth of crop insurance and that the government's share amounts to 50 per cent of administrative costs and 25 per cent of premiums costs. Many other measures have been introduced in the advanced payments legislation, which is now before the house, as the hon. member has just said.

As regards other programs, all will depend on the circumstances and the hon. member will perhaps understand that the minister fairly tries to solve farm problems. He will also understand that, in conjunction with the provinces-

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March 4, 1968

Mr. Cote (Nicolet-Yamaska):

Mr. Chairman, before the committee adjourned, I was trying to explain to the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Greene) that some deficiencies exist in the administration of the Canadian Dairy Commission, especially with regard to quotas.

I have not dealt specifically with the price of milk. I said that it reached almost $5 per hundredweight in some areas, but not in the country as a whole. I could have asked, like some opposition members, an increase of 25 cents per hundredweight. I would then have expressed the same wish as the minister. He would have liked to comply with that request, but even had I asked him for such an increase, it would have been to little avail. When the price of milk is raised by one cent per hundredweight, it costs $1 mil-

Supp ly-A griculture

lion to the country. If a further increase of 25 cents is requested, then the Minister of Agriculture would have to ask the Minister of Finance (Mr. Sharp) for $25 million more.

Every time that members of the opposition or of third parties ask for higher milk prices, the Minister of Finance must set up a new fiscal policy to get the money. He would then be defeated by the opposition, and that is why it is useless to ask for it. I would rather stick to the present quotas.

I would like to see all those who have abandoned fluid milk production for industrial milk production be recognized by the Canadian Dairy Commission as industrial milk producers in order to benefit from a quota for 1968-69.

Another problem which I want to bring to the attention of the minister and which involves many people is that of the milk producers who sell a few quarts of fluid milk in villages or rural areas. Because they sell 2, 3, 4 or 5 per cent of their production, or 5 to 10 quarts of fluid milk, these farmers are recognized as fluid milk producers and are ineligible for subsidies paid by the dairy commission.

These same farmers are forced to stop delivering milk to the villagers and to go exclusively into the production of industrial milk; even then they are not recognized. As for the villagers, they are forced to buy their milk from city distributors at twice the price they would pay at home. I should like to bring one of these cases to the attention of the minister. In my riding, several farmers have stopped selling a few pints of milk in order to be recognized by the Canadian Dairy Commission, and they have not even been recognized. If possible, I should ask that subsidies be granted to these people in 196869. We should also think of young farmers with financial obligations and whose quotas do not amount to 300,000 lbs. of milk. These younger people should be afforded the opportunity to have their quotas readjusted according to their production for the year 1967-68.

An 18-year old youth who is almost a salaried worker or who does not receive a salary from his father tries to invest, to get a piece of land which he will be able to work one, two or three years later.

But the father is not recognized as having two employees officially and he cannot get a quota exceeding 300,000 pounds of milk. I would like those farmers to receive subsidies and to be recognized by the Canadian Dairy Commission.

been reduced. There is another problem that we must try to examine properly. I know that in my riding and in that of Saint-Hy-acinthe-Bagot-if I often talk about the latter, it is because it is next to my own, where we find the same type of farming and the same problems-but perhaps the hon. member for Saint-Hyacinthe-Bagot is not aware of the conditions of the pork industry-you find pork breeders. Some people go in for integration. Farmers are told: you must produce, you will be provided with piglets and financing and then, you will get $3 per hog. All you have to do is sign the invoice, the cheque, and give them to us. In that case, I feel that the money is taken from the Department of Agriculture but is not handed over to the farmers.

I do not want that subsidy to be discontinued. I would not want anybody to say that the hon. member for Nicolet-Yamaska is against subsidies for farmers. But I want those subsidies to be paid so as to benefit the farmers. Such is the change that I am asking for. Let us say that the subsidy is being discontinued temporarily because of restrictions. The Minister of Agriculture will certainly have to make further restrictions if the opposition refuses to vote the necessary estimates. But if we are to eliminate the farmer's problems all members of the house will have to agree to increased taxes, even if that is bad politically. If we are aware of the problems of that class of society, we must assume our responsibilities, face the electorate and explain that the money we put in the pockets of some members of society must come from society as a whole. It is as plain as that.

Mr. Chairman, I see my time is running out and I would ask a few minutes more.

It must be understood that when we ask for assistance for our farmers-I am speaking to all those who are not familiar with agriculture and who do not live in a farming area -farmers are not pocketing the money or hoarding it in their cellars. However, every dollar invested benefits the whole industrial and commercial sector. Agriculture represents 35 to 40 per cent of the national economy. This includes not only the sale of agricultural products, but everything that has to do with agriculture. Money invested in agriculture is not only invested in farming but in the whole community which is dependent upon agriculture.

I toured the Gaspe and Timiskaming regions and I saw places where there is nothing but rocks for 20 or 25 miles, small villages whose 27053-457


inhabitants depend wholly upon the tourist trade or on fishing for their living. However, if you cross a plain of about 10 or 15 square miles, you see farmlands, a pretty village and all sorts of enterprises which settled there because they depend on agriculture.

Every time the farmer is subsidized, he buys something to improve his operations. We should not get the idea that those subsidies are simply going into the pockets of the farmers.

In order to prove my point, I am going to quote some figures which will show that any investment in agriculture is beneficial to many.

For instance, in 1965, dairy producers shipped products valued at $909,172,000, that is $145,186,000 more than in 1961. Now, that increase of more than $145,000,000 went to organizations related to agriculture. The dairy industry employed 31,866 persons whose salaries amounted to $137,681,000. The cost of supplies and raw material amounted to $721,735,000. The cost of containers and packing material amounted to $47,798,000. The cost of fuel and electricity should also be added. That impetus given to the dairy industry permitted the purchase of supplies in other fields.

I see that my time has expired, and to give an opportunity to others of my colleagues to state their views, I shall resume my seat and ask all who are present here to realize that when the Minister of Agriculture makes special requests to the Minister of Finance, those concern other sectors of the economy.

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January 31, 1968

Mr. Florian Cote (Nicolel-Yamaska):

Mr. Speaker, no doubt my colleagues will allow me to rise and say a few words in order to support the motion presented by the hon. member for Saint-Hyacinthe-Bagot (Mr. Ricard).

Like his area, my own is very much advanced as far as the dairy industry is concerned, and the quality of the dairy cattle there is perhaps as good as that of his own area. I know the hon. member for Saint-Hyacinthe-Bagot knows my constituency very well, since he spent about a month there before September 19, 1966. Therefore, he will admit that its dairy industry is flourishing.

Moreover, I am perhaps in a sufficiently good position to support that motion, since I had made that proposal myself when I was a leader of the Catholic Farmers Union in the diocese of Nicolet. Further, last winter I discussed with the minister steps to be taken in order that the farmers may not suffer too great hardship when they are unfortunately the victims of such a calamity.

January 31, 1968


I am speaking of this from personal knowledge, because when I was with the C.F.U., I often had to prepare statements and try to balance the budget of farmers whose herd had suffered from this terrible sickness which is brucellosis. Let me say in passing that losses due to tuberculosis are covered by the Animal Contagious Diseases Act, and it is almost checked in Canada. Furthermore brucellosis is also being checked. Considerable efforts have been made by the government in this direction since nearly 4.5 per cent of the cattle in Canada was affected by brucellosis in 1957 and this percentage has been brought down to 1.5 per cent in 1967. This makes us realize that the situation has greatly improved.

On the other hand, while this percentage was decreasing, the value of the cattle increased threefold. In 1957 the farmers were receiving a sum of $70 when they had to destroy cattle worth $150 to $175. Today the same cattle has increased in value by $250, $300, even $350 but the compensation has remained at the same point.

So, I think it is normal that this compensation should be increased to $200 and to $125. Even if we were to be more generous, if the minister agreed or if his estimates allowed a compensation of $125 for cross-bred cattle, we would be more generous than the C.F.U. requests.

This year, I attended the congress of the C.F.U. and I examined with the utmost interest the demands that were made to increase compensation to $100 for cross-bred cattle and to $200 for pure-bred cattle. This was being asked by Quebec Farmers Association. But I think that in asking $125 the member for Saint-Hyacinthe-Bagot is possibly more generous and I support him, because if the farmers are asking only $100, it is because they are not used to receiving considerable compensation and that they cannot have the act amended.

The Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Greene) is fully aware of the problem and I can tell the member for Saint-Hyacinthe-Bagot that I have discussed this with the minister. I have shown him that the problem is important, because I have met the leaders of the C.F.U. of my area and those of the St. Hyacinthe area. These leaders are colleagues of mine and, furthermore, they are people with whom I have worked on the social level. So, they knew that by speaking to the member for Nicolet-Yamaska, they could possibly exert greater pressures.

[Mr. Cote (Nicolet-Yamaska) .1

That is why, Mr. Speaker, I fully endorse this request and I hope that we will see some change made in the course of the year.

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May 11, 1967

Mr. Cote (Nicolet-Yamaska):

I rise on a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I do not want the house to be induced in error, according to the Farmers Association a proficient farmer should produce from 175,000 to 200,000 pounds of milk-

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May 9, 1967

Mr. Cote (Nicolet-Yamaska):

I should not want to overlook a certain part in the speech from the throne, the one about our relations with foreign countries. In fact, I am happy to note that in the field of diplomacy, Canada will stress its efforts, particularly through the United Nations, to promote world peace. That long-sought peace, we have experienced it, so to speak, on the opening day of Expo 67 when everybody rejoiced.

At the Place des Nations, after the usual speeches and the official opening by His Excellency the Governor General, as every country taking part in this great world event was named, we could see floating in the blue sky the flag symbolizing its pride. All participating countries were named. The last one was ours, and our flag, the flag of all Canadians was raised to the sound of cheers. Then a complete silence ensued. Perhaps everyone present was meditating on his participation in that world event. And this joy through which we have lived, Mr. Speaker, we owe it to a great Canadian, the hon. Prime Minister of Canada.

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