These comments are direct quotations from the Hansard documents.

CWB Operates Illegally

Mr. David Anderson (Cypress Hills—Grasslands, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, seven days ago the government was eager to lock up prairie farmers because they sold their own grain. They are still in jail. Yet the minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board has been aware for some time that the board is operating illegally by charging the cost of export licences to prairie farmers.

Could he tell us why he locks up prairie farmers but takes no action against the Wheat Board when it breaks the law?

Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I would remind the hon. member and all hon. members that any conduct inconsistent with a statute of Canada or a regulation of Canada is subject to prosecution. Quite frankly, if the gentleman has any information that ought to be brought to the attention of the law officers of the Crown, rather than grandstanding, I invite him to do it.

Mr. David Anderson (Cypress Hills—Grasslands, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, the minister received the information two weeks ago. He created the law that jailed these farmers. He insisted that the farmers go to jail. He has kept farmers in jail for the last week. Why is he so eager to jail farmers and so reluctant to enforce the law when it applies to his own department?

Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the correspondence that was first referred to in the House by the member for Yorkton—Melville has in fact been referred to officials and law officers to determine if there is any fact there that merits any further inquiry.

I would also point out to the hon. gentleman, in respect of the farmers who were protesting by means of the conduct which he has referred to, that they had options and alternatives. They themselves have said that they chose this option.