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 6 of 18)


December 28, 1971

Mr. Cote (Richelieu):

Mr. Speaker, I believe that I must abide by your decision that the second question should not be answered. However, I wish I could have answered it.

As for the first question about the family farm, it was not raised by myself but by the hon. member for Timis-kaming (Mr. Peters). Besides, I had explained myself the gradual elimination of small producers, and a phenomenon which is of concern to him. In fact, on Quebec farms, there remain very few broiler producers. The lack of a national legislation accounts for the breaking up of the family farm and the taking over of big producers. The family farm producers were unable to put up with the ups and downs of production.

Farm Products Marketing Agencies Bill

The small producers who were unable to support production costs were automatically absorbed by the big producers. The purpose of the bill now under study is to prevent such things in the future.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM PRODUCTS MARKETING AGENCIES BILL
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December 28, 1971

Mr. Cote (Richelieu):

Mr. Speaker, it will be my pleasure when my time is expired to reply to the honourable member for Richmond, and probably enlighten him.

This afternoon, I noted the concern of the member for Lanark-Renfrew-Carleton (Mr. McBride) who stated that last March, we wasted time discussing with Quebec and Ontario, and you see that I do not mention western Canada. I also believe that the member for Saint-Hyacin-

Farm Products Marketing Agencies Bill

the (Mr. Ricard) and the member for Charlevoix (Mr. Asselin) will do their utmost to convince their colleagues to participate in the discussion. And yet thousands of dollars have been wasted because we had no national marketing agency while the farm production in certain regions was out of all proportion with the consumption of neighbouring cities. We, of the federal government, could admit to ourselves that we are to blame, but I have the privilege of stating that we cannot do that. The opposition could say it because this bill would have been passed two years or at least one and a half years ago had we not been prevented from so doing.

It is now thought that this bill would benefit the production of eggs, broilers and poultry meat. How is it possible that a bill can be said to be beneficial in regard to a farm product produced in one region of the country and not to another produced in another region?

The hon. member who spoke before me wished that a more equitable bill could have been introduced.

This bill, which is national in scope, is actually fairer. It is not an eastern or a western bill because it affects the whole range of farm products and I would not like my hon. colleagues, be they of the opposition or otherwise, to try to exclude a particular product alleging that the farmer does not want it. It is not true.

People from eastern and western Canada have asked us why he have delayed passage of the bill. Representatives of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture-which is a national agency-came to us last year, requesting that this bill be passed as quickly as possible. This Federation which groups all agricultural organizations did not request that the bill exclude beef and veal and include only broilers and eggs. It asked that all farm products be included. There are presently two acts and two programs governing these two specific products.

The Canadian Dairy Commission aims at distributing milk at the same price everywhere in the country.

The previous speaker would like Bill C-176 to be similar to the legislation governing the Canadian Wheat Board. Mr. Speaker, I shall reply in the negative. I do not want it. I should even ask this government to withdraw this bill since I do not wish it to have a limited range. I want that bill to apply all across Canada because I am a Canadian.

As a farmer, I am ready to abide by some quotas as concerns some products as eggs and broilers. Therefore, it would be false to say that this bill is to be effective in eastern Canada and not in other parts of Canada. If beef, veal, or pork production is no longer profitable, quotas shall be established not by the government but by the producers, as they recognize that overproduction results in lower prices. If we want a normal price to be maintained, we should be able to abide by some quotas at the consumption level. If we accept to abide by some quotas as concerns eggs and broilers, we should be ready to abide by some quotas also as concerns other commodities. To act otherwise would be very harmful; a second balkanization would occur if this government accepted to have only part of the products under quotas. Then, I would resign, I would oppose the government, whatever its political denomination, because I want the passage of a national legislation.

December 28, 1971

Farm. Products Marketing Agencies Bill

Last year, Mr. Speaker, ,1 learned just to what extent this bill could be beneficial, because the hon. member for Crowfoot (Mr. Horner) and the hon. member for Mackenzie (Mr. Korchinski) recognized its efficiency during informal conversations in between the meetings of the committee on agriculture. They said that this bill seemed to "smell good" for the farmer. Strangely enough, we do not feel that it will smell good simply for election purposes; we know that this bill will be good for a sector of the Canadian economy. In fact, agriculture represents 35 per cent of the Canadian economy.

We were told that this bill should not be passed, that it would be too advantageous from an electoral point of view. Now, if it were as bad as it was depicted a while ago, I feel a good number of members of the opposition would want it passed, as it would be an excellent means of leading eventually to the downfall of the government. I am convinced that is how things would happen if this bill were really that bad.

But as they know the farmers want this legislation, because it will be truly efficient, they will not let it be passed. And how do they go about it? This afternoon, the hon. member for Crowfoot (Mr. Horner) probably remembered what he did last summer, and that disappointed me. Last summer, the principle of democracy-that the majority decides, and that at times the minority has to accept the decision of the majority-was not recognized. So, at the time when we were sitting in committee to discuss section 2-a section that they would change through an amendment concerning natural products- after a tremendous amount of verbiage, nothing remained to be said. Opposition members saw that they could no longer face the majority of the Committee on Agriculture which stuck to its guns. So, two members, the hon. member for Crowfoot and the hon. member for Mackenzie must remember the two members of the committee on agriculture who retired to the rear of the room and said: You no longer have quorum, and this simply in order to prevent the committee from sitting.

That was deplorable, because members of farm associations had come to Ottawa. There were some from the West, from Quebec and Ontario, and they treated us as children. We were even told: Back home, if we acted like that, we would be taken for ridiculous characters. We were even told that democracy was next to anarchy. What happened in the committee last year seems to be starting all over again here.

I do not want to hold the House foo long, so I ask all hon. members to make sure that agriculture will be in a better position tomorrow. Let us not forget that thousands of dollars were lost each week, last fall, in egg production. The same thing might happen with regard to pork or beef. We do not know the future. Production might exceed consumption and then, prices would drop. But some hon. members might not be here after the next election because I imagine they will be defeated if they vote against the legislation. They might have to admit that at the end of 1971, they had the opportunity to solve the real problem, that is the marketing of farm products.

I have been told, before taking part in this debate, that perhaps Bill C-176 would be misunderstood in eastern [Mr. Cote (Riehelieu).J

Canada. This may amuse those who are not from the East, while helping them to understand better the problems of eastern Canada. It has been suggested to me that there might be someone inside the slaughter-houses to take over the overproduction or do something so that this bill will not cure all ills.

I don't believe that by passing this bill we will solve all problems relating to agriculture, but we will at least put in the hands of the producers, who want to control themselves, the marketing of their products, and not have it done by the state, marketing agencies of their own. Afterwards, if conditions are worse, we could perhaps exchange views with producers, but up to now, as politicians, if we can so call ourselves, and as farmers, it is the fijTSt such legislation introduced in the House since I have been a member that I urge hon. members to pass.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM PRODUCTS MARKETING AGENCIES BILL
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December 28, 1971

Mr. Florian Cote (Richelieu):

Mr. Speaker, I am not rising on a point of order but simply to express my opinion on this bill which seems to me to be very poorly understood by hon. members opposite. For the last two years I have been wanting to express my opinion in this House on one of the most important pieces of legislation which many seem to consider to be a matter of feelings rather than Serious legislation.

Since I seldom rise in this House because I have always considered the Commons as a place where we would try and pass legislation to fulfil our mandates as efficiently as possible, I was very disappointed to hear speeches which seemed to me to have separatist overtones.

There is an aspect of this legislation which does not seem to be understood. A few years ago, the Canadian farmer-I did not say from Quebec or Western Canada or the Maritime Provinces-was asked to try and provide consumers with products at the best possible prices, so that consumers-wherever commodities might be pro-

December 28, 1971

duced or consumed-may pay a normal price. I believe the farmer responded very efficiently with such a production increase that for two years now this government, knowing that the real problem was not a production but a marketing problem, introduced the famous bill C-196.

It may be said that I am not dealing directly with the motion presented by the hon. member for Crowfoot (Mr. Homer) whom I would have preferred to see in his seat, for that same amendment was discussed on many occasions during the debate on second reading as well as in the standing committee on agriculture. As I was saying, farmers do recognize marketing as being probably the most effective tool that can be had. When some hon. members suggested this afternoon that we were going to destroy family farming they were merely playing on words for the benefit of the House. I do not think that the hon. member for Timiskaming (Mr. Peters) was serious, any more than other hon. members who made suggestions which to me seemed highly illogical. He may have used the wrong expression, for the one means through which family farms can be established or preserved is precisely this marketing board, which will prevent large producers in Eastern as well as Western Canada from preserving a monopoly. The farmers concerned are not producers tied-up with a co-operative, as someone said this afternoon, but producers who live from their farms and who were clever enough to settle close to a big co-operative-and mention was made of the Granby co-operative.

Those same producers should be allowed to take advantage of bill C-176 so that they themselves-not the government, as the hon. member who spoke before me was saying-would establish marketing agencies. It is the farmers themselves who are asking for them and who are voting for this bill designed to establish marketing boards in their province.

There is no point in exaggerating the way It was done during the 38 committee meetings. There was talk of separatism, of Quebec and the West. I dc not think this will lead anywhere.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM PRODUCTS MARKETING AGENCIES BILL
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December 2, 1971

Mr. Florian Cote (Richelieu):

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege.

I know that the question of privilege of the hon. member for Peace River is not debatable, but I cannot ignore certain assertions. In fact, I have counted-I declare this on my oath of office-six members who entered from the other side of the House.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. BALDWIN-CONDUCT OF MEMBERS DURING PUTTING OF QUESTION IN COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE
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June 10, 1970

Mr. Florian Cote (Richelieu):

Mr. Speaker, on a point of order.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FARM PRODUCTS MARKETING AGENCIES BILL
Full View Permalink