Mr. Speaker, I am happy to have the opportunity to pose a couple of question to the hon. member for Palliser.
The member said that Reformers are against the board. That is blatantly false. Let us look at the amendments I have proposed to protect the board. One of the amendments would provide farmers with the opportunity to opt out of the board, if they so chose, for a period of five years and to serve two years notice if they want to opt back in.
That would protect the board from court cases, even those court cases going on right now involving property rights. It would also protect the board against international agreements that would destroy the board. The present position the minister has put forth with Bill C-4 and with the board will destroy the board.
Would the member for Palliser comment on the opt out clause that would allow farmers not to sell their barley or wheat or both to the board, if they do not wish to? Does he see that as dual marketing?
In relation to that question, if farmers want that option what would he then say? The reason I ask is that I went back to my constituency, a constituency that used to have an NDP representing it but no longer does because of this concern. My constituents gave me a very clear indication of where they stand on the issue. We had from 83% to 87% support for the amendment, the compromise between dual marketing and the monopoly that presently exists.
For the member for Palliser to say that we are against the board is blatantly false. We are representing farmers. This is what farmers want. It is false for the government to have the arrogant attitude that it knows what is best, that it will protect farmers and so on. That member is lining up with the government with regard to this and that is wrong. What does he say when 83% to 87% of farmers want that option? Is the government not obligated to carry that out?
Also I want to refer to property rights. The hon. member made comments about the National Citizens' Coalition and so did the minister. The minister said that the National Citizens' Coalition indicated that the issue of Japanese internment, the confiscation of Japanese property and so on, was a very similar issue. The Canadian Wheat Board minister indicated that issue was raised by the NCC. That was false. The government used the argument that the confiscation of Japanese property was justified during the war and so is the Canadian Wheat Board confiscation of farmers' property.
Does the member believe that farmers should turn over their wheat and barley and then buy it back in order to gain control over it? Does he feel that property rights in Canada should be strengthened? Does he feel it is right for the board to take the property farmers have worked for, sweated over and took all the risk for and simply give it to the government to do anything with or to buy it back from the government? Does he agree with either of those two statements.