Florian CÔTÉ

CÔTÉ, Florian

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Richelieu (Quebec)
Birth Date
May 17, 1929
Deceased Date
January 29, 2002
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florian_Côté
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=ff46e17c-284f-4404-b9f0-223f67a6addd&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
farmer

Parliamentary Career

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

Most Recent Speeches (Page 4 of 18)


March 22, 1974

Mr. Cote:

-I could send them to him so that he may let his Progressive Conservative colleagues know that the price of milk was set at $2.53. For six years there had been a reduction and, at that time, there was also an increase in production costs. Everybody was moving to the cities. I say to the hon. member who spoke before me and who was complaining about farmers leaving their lands, that he is himself contributed to that as a member of the government of the day which demonstrated what it meant to do with the milk industry in Eastern Canada.

I used to compile figures at the time I was a member of the UCC, figures which I should like the hon. member for Joliette (Mr. La Salle) to explain to the hon. member for Saint-Hyacinthe (Mr. Wagner) who also needs to understand the situation. At the time I compiled these figures in 1963, a Liberal administration was elected in the province of Quebec which had really been had for believing the Conservative government.

At that time, the government invested 75 per cent of the agriculture budget in the three Prairie provinces where there are only 35 per cent of the farmers. This means that British Columbia, Ontario and the Eastern provinces which account for 65 per cent of the farmers shared 25 per cent of the budget.

Let us consider if in 1972 the government was fair towards all farmers in Canada. I have come to the conclusion that net income of Western as well as Eastern farmers has not decreased but rather increased, with nothing being taken from one to be given to the other.

However, if the hon. member for Joliette does not believe it, he only has to refer to La Voix Metropolitaine of March 12 which reports that the hon. member was introduced by the former Minister of Agriculture in the province of Quebec, also formerly in this House, and who, like a pendulum, went from one side to the other and was eventually beaten.

I do not wish anything like that to the member for Joliette, but that is what is going to happen to him. When he was introduced by the former Quebec minister, the member for Joliette said in my own region, in Sorel, that the 56 Liberal members from Quebec are good for nothing, that they have no sense of representation and give everything away to westerners. If that is not true. I ask him to read an article published about this in La Voix Metropolitaine and demand a retraction from the editor; and if it is true, how can he feel at home in a party that blames us and prevented us from passing specific measures for the marketing of farm products, at the very moment when he left that party. And now he joins that party again, perhaps hoping to be appointed minister, something I do

Dairy Policy

not wish him because unfortunately he is not able to fill that position. But he comes to Quebec to make such statements; that is wrong and I resent it; it is fostering separatism to pretend in Quebec that Quebec members give everything away to westerners. How will he go about convincing members of his party of such things?

Unfortunately, Madame Speaker, there were not very many people at the meeting; I should have liked to have seen a better attendance; the criticism would then have been of greater value. But the damage was not really serious because hardly anyone listened to him, which made the representative of the former minister say that he could certainly give a retraining course to the hon. member for Joliette.

Madame Speaker, I do not want either to speak beyond the time allotted me, and although this does not happen to me often, I wish I had had time to express of a few more thoughts. The hon. member for Joliette forgot that some farmers' groups have said publicly that the Liberal party was the only one that understood them to some extent, although not as much as they could have wished perhaps. They said: We will go also to the opposition parties because they too have members in the House who represent the authority. And so they went to see them. But when they came to me last Saturday, they said: Had this been a majority government, we would not have to make representations this year.

In a minority government, you are obliged to "push" a lot, because of the obstruction of the opposition member.

The hon. member for Joliette (Mr. La Salle), Madame Speaker, could really have said something in his speech, and in the first place, he should have made suggestions as all my colleagues who are concerned with agriculture have done. There are many of them on the Liberal side and we all made suggestions in private to the minister.

We know that when this policy is announced, it will be meaningful! We too would like to get a maximum. If we suggest to increase the subsidy on milk, the Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs (Mr. Gray) will be blamed by Progressive Conservative members for increasing the cost of living.

If I ask the Minister of Agriculture to increase the subsidy on butter, the opposition immediately will blame the Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs for allowing costs to increase and they will go and cry on the consumer's shoulder.

As far as we are concerned, we are going to run a risk, not a political one, but a risk that will be announced in due time. The hon. member for Joliette will not understand a thing but I will then give him a retraining course. We are going to run a risk. I wish the government would carefully consider the very important matter the hon. member for Joliette did not think of, namely that portions of money that should be spent on the marketing quota that was not covered previously and which hopefully, will be covered this year. He had not even anticipated this, and I challenge him to tell me what return this would bring to the province of Quebec in terms of millions of dollars, if we followed that course of action.

March 22, 1974

Dairy Policy

As for me, I have all the calculations before me and I gave my views to the minister. My colleagues did it: they expressed their views to the minister. This will result in a series of quite generous ideas but maybe we will be again stopped by the opposition.

So as not to overinflate his budget the Minister of Finance (Mr. Turner) will not be able to respond as generously as he wishes because he knows that he has to face a party which states one thing in one area of the country and something else again in another.

There is one thing I would like to mention in concluding and that is the manpower problem referred to by the hon. member for Joliette. But the hon. member forgot to think it over and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Corriveau) made him understand.

I would like him to be able to say that if a certain small meeting should be held in the province of Quebec he should do a bit of campaigning because his plans are about to fail. But to avoid complete failure in his campaign he should at least say that an agreement has been reached between Ottawa and the provinces so that some of the students may work on farms.

And I think the hon. member for Joliette should mention this to the member for Saint-Hyacinthe (Mr. Wagner) who did not seem to understand himself. Madame Speaker, I can see that my time is over and I would like to leave a few minutes to my colleagues. But I would reiterate my offer to the hon. member for Joliette and I am willing to give him and his colleagues a retraining course so that they may understand his motion.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
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March 22, 1974

Mr. Cote:

Good!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
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March 22, 1974

Mr. Cote:

Madame Speaker, it is understandable that no ministers were here to listen to the Minister of Agriculture, because within the party that governs the country the dairy policy and what it will become are common knowledge, while the opposition which does not know what the dairy industry is all about should at least listen to the member for Joliette.

For me, the motion of the hon. member for Joliette is like the oscillating piece of a clock that goes tick-tock. As the clock, the hon. member is making a little bit of noise. There has been no fundamental explanation of the motion nor of the way in which the people should consider the $2 increase that the hon. member has suggested. I thought at

[Mr. MacLean.1

one time that the motion might have been introduced to allow the hon. member for Joliette to make some kind of a stand. He knew government members were in a very good mood for it, knowing the situation and aware that the policy would be announced in the near future. The hon. member had to boost his credit somewhat, as with the motion on the French language which was introduced at the Progressive Conservative convention and put off indefinitely. That was a great disappointment to me because on a subject so important members of his party might have given him some support.

I will now turn to certain criticisms which were made. The hon. member for Joliette says that in the past five years this government failed to understand the needs and demands of farmers. Here again, he should have kept in closer touch with farmers and studied with more depth the explanations given by farm associations. He could also realize through the statistics that in the past five years the situation changed a great deal which I think is not yet enough for the farmer. At least the situation changed. Prices in five years rose from $4.98 to $7.16.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
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March 22, 1974

Mr. Cote:

It is unfortunate. Madame Speaker, that the hon. member tor Joliette was not lucky enough to be in the same position as I was at the time when he was selling tobacco. I was milking cows and I knew what it was like to be faced with understanding governments. And I will give an example. If the hon. member for Joliette wants to understand, because he needs to be informed, I am prepared to give him a refresher course whenever he feels the need for it but for the time being he could listen to me. He might realize that I understand his motion a lot better than he does but he is going to help me as well as his colleagues to try and implement what I ask.

In five years, there has been such an increase but I remember, as I mentioned earlier, that at the time he was selling tobacco and I was milking cows, I was making representations on behalf of the farmers associations, as a member of UCC, as a leader of the UCC confederation of the Nicolet diocese and of the Cooperative federee. I have been a little upset by the fact that the hon. member for Temiscaming (Mr. Peters) did not recognize a few minutes ago the true values of the Cooperative federee du Quebec, the only agency in the world who is "setting" prices. No agency in Canada or in the world can give the farmer a definite price as such and there is no company able to do that. Therefore, I find it a pity that such a thing has been said.

So, Madame Speaker, I was making those recommendations in 1956-57. We no longer live in that period but I gave them for comparison purposes.

I do not merely want to utter words, but I shall confine myself to the philosophy of an individual, of a group or a political party, so that words take on more weight.

I was pointing out that we were selling our milk $3.25 per hundredweight. I also made representations to Quebec. At the same time in the sixties, the Progressive Conservative leader in Quebec, who should have been here today since he represents a dairy area and his constituents have to come and see me to solve their problems, namely the hon. member for Saint-Hyacinthe (Mr. Wagner) was min-

March 22, 1974

ister in a Liberal government and was compelled to pay. It was the only time since Confederation that the province had to pay something because the Conservative government in Ottawa did not understand the dairy policy. Madame Speaker, the price paid is different after six years of a Liberal administration. I sold milk for $3.25 per hundredweight in 1961-62 and I hope that the hon. member for Joliette will accept those figures-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
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December 7, 1973

Mr. Florian Cote (Richelieu):

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the hon. Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources.

On behalf of my constituents, I wish to thank him for his decision to build a nuclear plant in Gentilly.

Can the minister tell us how many employees will be required for its operation?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PROPOSED HEAVY WATER PLANT AT GENTILLY-NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES REQUIRED TO OPERATE
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