October 13, 1949

CCF

Wilbert Ross Thatcher

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Thaicher:

Hon. members may laugh if they will, but this is a pretty serious matter for my constituency and my province. If we are going to have to pay one-half or one-quarter or some proportion of the cost of the south Saskatchewan irrigation project, the financial position of the province is such that we may have to wait fifty years for its completion. The minister knows that very well.

Topic:   FISH INSPECTION ACT
Subtopic:   FISH AND FISH CONTAINERS
Sub-subtopic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT REGULATIONS
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

If we have a C.C.F. government.

Topic:   FISH INSPECTION ACT
Subtopic:   FISH AND FISH CONTAINERS
Sub-subtopic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT REGULATIONS
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CCF

Wilbert Ross Thatcher

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Thaicher:

I think Alberta is in precisely the same position. What the minister is telling us tonight is that the federal government, a government that had a surplus of a billion dollars three years ago, a billion dollars or more two years ago, and about a billion dollars this year, a government that has had those huge revenues, is now calling upon the provincial governments to help pay for major irrigation works. I think that is shameful. I think this committee should hold up these estimates indefinitely if he is going to continue along those lines. I do not know whether that is possible, but I shall do my best. I sat in this parliament during 1945 and 1946 when hundreds of millions of dollars were voted as gifts and loans to countries overseas. Probably a good deal of that was justified but surely-

Topic:   FISH INSPECTION ACT
Subtopic:   FISH AND FISH CONTAINERS
Sub-subtopic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT REGULATIONS
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LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. Mitchell:

My hon. friend voted for it.

Topic:   FISH INSPECTION ACT
Subtopic:   FISH AND FISH CONTAINERS
Sub-subtopic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT REGULATIONS
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CCF

Wilbert Ross Thatcher

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Thatcher:

That is not correct. If this government can be so generous with other nations, why should it find so much trouble in providing money for projects at home that are needed so badly? The minister and this

Supply-Agriculture

parliament know the advantages of irrigation. I assure the minister that if this is a new policy he has enunciated tonight it will not receive wide acceptance in western Canada.

Topic:   FISH INSPECTION ACT
Subtopic:   FISH AND FISH CONTAINERS
Sub-subtopic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT REGULATIONS
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

This is not a new policy being enunciated tonight; it has been enunciated every time I have spoken on the question in the House of Commons.

Topic:   FISH INSPECTION ACT
Subtopic:   FISH AND FISH CONTAINERS
Sub-subtopic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT REGULATIONS
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CCF

Wilbert Ross Thatcher

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Thatcher:

Oh.

Topic:   FISH INSPECTION ACT
Subtopic:   FISH AND FISH CONTAINERS
Sub-subtopic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT REGULATIONS
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

It has been enunciated every time I spoke on the question in western Canada.

Topic:   FISH INSPECTION ACT
Subtopic:   FISH AND FISH CONTAINERS
Sub-subtopic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT REGULATIONS
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CCF

Wilbert Ross Thatcher

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Thatcher:

Oh my.

Topic:   FISH INSPECTION ACT
Subtopic:   FISH AND FISH CONTAINERS
Sub-subtopic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT REGULATIONS
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

My hon. friend does not come to my meetings. He usually has to read the C.C.F. press to find out what I have said. Coming back to this question of whether the south Saskatchewan river project should be built with the assistance of the provincial government, may I say that, when the present government of Saskatchewan took over, the revenues of the province were about $32 million. According to the statement made a few* moments ago those revenues are now about $53 million.

Topic:   FISH INSPECTION ACT
Subtopic:   FISH AND FISH CONTAINERS
Sub-subtopic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT REGULATIONS
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CCF

Wilbert Ross Thatcher

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Thatcher:

We are building roads and giving some social services.

Topic:   FISH INSPECTION ACT
Subtopic:   FISH AND FISH CONTAINERS
Sub-subtopic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT REGULATIONS
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

If the south Saskatchewan river project was built under conditions that existed some three or four years ago it would cost in the neighbourhood of $60 million.

Topic:   FISH INSPECTION ACT
Subtopic:   FISH AND FISH CONTAINERS
Sub-subtopic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT REGULATIONS
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CCF

Percy Ellis Wright

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Wright:

What would it cost today?

Topic:   FISH INSPECTION ACT
Subtopic:   FISH AND FISH CONTAINERS
Sub-subtopic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT REGULATIONS
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

If it had to be built under conditions as they are today that amount would be increased by perhaps $10 million or maybe a little more. But it would be absolutely impossible to construct the south Saskatchewan river project in less than ten years. The total expenditure required would be averaged out over that period of time at somewhere between $6 million and $8 million per year. Is my hon. friend telling me that a province that can raise $20 million more- as a matter of fact he told us a while ago that they were not able to raise it-

Topic:   FISH INSPECTION ACT
Subtopic:   FISH AND FISH CONTAINERS
Sub-subtopic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT REGULATIONS
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CCF

Wilbert Ross Thatcher

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Thatcher:

I said nothing of the kind.

Topic:   FISH INSPECTION ACT
Subtopic:   FISH AND FISH CONTAINERS
Sub-subtopic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT REGULATIONS
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

My hon. friend said that they were having difficulty balancing their budget.

Topic:   FISH INSPECTION ACT
Subtopic:   FISH AND FISH CONTAINERS
Sub-subtopic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT REGULATIONS
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CCF

Wilbert Ross Thatcher

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Thatcher:

That is different.

Topic:   FISH INSPECTION ACT
Subtopic:   FISH AND FISH CONTAINERS
Sub-subtopic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT REGULATIONS
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

It is the same thing to me. On two occasions I was provincial treasurer of Saskatchewan and I know how difficult it is to raise money in Saskatchewan. That government undertook this year to spend

$53 million, which is about $20 million more than was spent in the last year before they came into office.

Topic:   FISH INSPECTION ACT
Subtopic:   FISH AND FISH CONTAINERS
Sub-subtopic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT REGULATIONS
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CCF

Wilbert Ross Thatcher

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Thatcher:

The federal government

spent five times as much as they did in the same year.

Topic:   FISH INSPECTION ACT
Subtopic:   FISH AND FISH CONTAINERS
Sub-subtopic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT REGULATIONS
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

The federal government gave this present government $15 million, and that is $10 million more than they gave the previous government. If the government of Saskatchewan can raise $20 million more, I think there is a good argument for saying that they can pay $3 million or $4 million a year in order to have this irrigation project carried out in that period of time.

I am not arguing that that is going to be the final outcome of our discussions, but if that is the outcome of our discussions with regard to the St. Mary river project, it will have to be applied all the way across the board. If the final decision is that we pay two-thirds and the province pays one-third of the cost, that will have to be applied all the way across the board. In other words, we will have to treat one government just the same as we treat any other government.

With regard to that, I should like to say that we are doing a similar thing in the maritime provinces. Down there we are constructing dikes in the marshlands and the undertaking is that they will pay one-third, the farmers will pay one-third and we will pay one-third. The same principle runs through that expenditure as I have enunciated in connection with the irrigation projects. I think under the arrangements that are being made down there the expenditures made by the provincial and by the federal government will be money spent and then the farmers will have to pay the other third in the form of rates charged against their land. That may work out to be the general policy right across Canada. We do not intend to apply it any differently in Saskatchewan from what we do in the other provinces. I expect we will get the same results in Saskatchewan, when we finally come to deal with it there, as we have had in Alberta and elsewhere.

Before I sit down I want to answer the first questions that were asked and which 1 had almost forgotten. The member for Regina City started this discussion, and we have gone all the way round the board. I should like to come back to Regina before we close I should like to say a few words in reply-

Topic:   FISH INSPECTION ACT
Subtopic:   FISH AND FISH CONTAINERS
Sub-subtopic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT REGULATIONS
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October 13, 1949