SARM delegates aim at wrong target

The Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities has called on the federal government to expand the legal justification for self-defence.

In March, 93 percent of delegates at SARM’s annual convention voted in favour of a resolution indicating they believe rural residents do not have adequate rights to protect themselves or their property.

It is frustrating when we have to get used to taking keys out of vehicles, locking doors and fuel tanks and being ever-mindful of possible theft.

However, what SARM is asking for does not represent much wisdom.

The National Farmers Union is not alone in rejecting SARM’s resolution. Our position is shared by Canada’s minister of public safety, Ralph Goodale, and Gordon Wyant, Saskatchewan’s minister of justice.

Thank goodness we live in Canada, where common sense and a reliable justice system usually prevail.

While it is important to protect property owners from crime, it is equally important to protect them from fear-based tendencies that lead to vigilantism and justifications of their own violence.

We also find it disconcerting that SARM is vocal about protecting the property of rural dwellers yet seems to forget about the biggest robbery in history that has taken place over the span of several decades.

ADVERTISMENT

SARM’s voice has not been loud when it came to defending farmers against federal governments, the railways and the grain companies as they restructured the rural economic framework.

Do today’s SARM delegates recall the impact on rural incomes when the Crow Benefit was eliminated, or how railway rationalization led to lower costs for railroads and grain companies, but left farmers to pay the extra costs those changes meant and left municipalities to pay for the increased road damage?

The people who lost their jobs moved away and their wages are now spent elsewhere.

Surely SARM delegates remember what was cut by the Harper government: agriculture research stations, community pastures, the Indian Head Tree Farm.

Important as these were, the destruction of the Canadian Wheat Board overshadows them all.

The CWB sold farmers’ wheat and barley and returned all but the cost of sales to farmers every year. With the CWB gone, more than $3 billion a year no longer ends up in farmers’ pockets.

All these changes were designed to consolidate profits and power for those at the top, at the expense of farmers and the rural economy. The resulting losses for rural Sask-atchewan are staggering and readily visible in our towns and communities.

ADVERTISMENT

It does not have to be this way.

We can look to the example of Henry A. Wallace, the United States secretary of agriculture during the 1930s, whose measures helped pull the country out of the Great De-pression. Every dollar of profit a farmer makes generates another $7 of economic activity in their nearby communities due to the multiplier effect.

By bringing in parity pricing, which guarantees farmers a minimum percentage of the consumer price of farm products, Wallace revitalized the American rural economy.

Agriculture is the sustainable economic base for Saskatchewan and it can become prosperous again.

We do not need guns to prevent the grain robbery. We just need to re-tool the economy for on-farm profit making.

By taking steps to prevent absentee ownership and by discarding the bigger-is-better philosophy, rural towns will be able to thrive, as they did in the past when farmers co-operated and forced governments to implement essential public policy.

Most people understand the difficulties facing RM councillors. But if they want to steer away from perpetual economic demise, they must educate themselves about the bigger picture of what creates and maintains rural grassroots economic prosperity.

ADVERTISMENT

Jan Slomp is National Farmers Union president.


  • Stephen Daniels

    Good article would of been better if you didn’t dig up fossils like the CWB and the Crow rate that didn’t help your position at all .

  • Bruce

    So Jan Slomp president of the NFU is saying. In the five years without the single desk Canadian Wheat Board. Prairie grain farmers have lost about $15,000,000,000.00 with most of lost revenue going to the grain companies and the railways.

    • Stephen Daniels

      Hey hey sounds silly the way you say it ,wait sounds silly the way anybody says it.Farmers have been fairly prosperous the last five years which also points to the fallacy of his claim.

      • Bruce

        I guess I should have wrote. In your dreams when it comes to any real prosperity with the grain wheat in the last five years.

        • Stephen Daniels

          Corn ,soybeans etc farmers were moving away from fusarium susceptible wheat anyways CWB elimination just sped up the inevitable Math is wrong on the billions lost when it’s ignored that wheat was replaced by a more profitable crop.

  • Harold

    Claiming to be of sound reason and wisdom, this article it is more at the height of stupidity. In the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms : ALL Canadians have the right to life, liberty, and SECURITY OF PERSON and the RIGHT NOT TO BE DEPRIVED THEREOF except in accordance with the principals of FUNDAMENTAL justice. (Not extra ordinary justice; fundamental – Basic; SARM concern)
    The intellectual fools at the NFU have displayed that they have no knowledge of this Canadian fact. Nowhere written into these RIGHTS are found the rhetoric of the NFU. At the height of the NFU hypocrisy they say “thank goodness we live in Canada, where common sense and a reliable justice system usually prevail” when clearly they have no concept or idea of what they are speaking of. These Rights are written into the Constitution of Canada. (First document) The NFU, Canada’s minister of public safety, Ralph Goodale, and Gordon Wyant, Saskatchewan’s minister of justice, should put their ego in check and remain within the realms of which they can be the most mindful instead of trying to control the conversations of the SARM and the public. Both Ralph and Gordon only citizen’s we have hired, are not the “be all” and “end all” for the many who are wiser and the many do not serve in government. Again, in hypocrisy, NFU use these citizens as a higher weight to their argument when in fact they are no weight at all. wisedumb indeed.

    • Harold,

      You understand this “article” is, in fact, an opinion piece, right?

      It is neither “the height of stupidity,” nor “the height of brilliance.” It is, simply, the opinion of the writer.

      All too often in this forum I see disagreement equated with “wrong” or, in this case, “stupid.”

      It’s ok to disagree, but it’s never ok, in this forum at the least, to label someone’s sincerely-held “opinion” as stupid.

      Respectfully,

      Paul – WP web editor

      • Harold

        To answer your question; yes I do realize that this article was an opinion piece and as well I do realize that all of the WP content is an opinion piece. Can you claim otherwise? What you choose to feed us with is by your opinion only. Law is where opinions cease and restart thereafter in the Courts. First, let us agree that all opinions are written in sincerity because I view them in no other way. Even to what you may view as frivolous I view as one seriously looking for answer.
        Secondly, a conversation is not for the purpose of agreement or non agreement it is for the purpose of clarity only; in clarity, agreements look after “themselves”. “it’s ok to disagree” is moot.
        Thirdly, I don’t know what has happened to the English language but stupid is descriptive observation and only means looking down and not able to see what is ahead. (Stooped) The proper response to being called stupid is “what am I not seeing”? It is the opening of a debate or a dialogue. By not considering yourself to be stupid, is the belief that you are the all knowing. Those who understand emotions know that emotions are for discovery and they are not for conversation control. Without emotions you become a vegetable which is exactly what social emotion pandering engineering is trying to create. (a society of vegetables making government seem more important) The word stupid has been bastardized by emotions to a point where emotions outweigh any fact or clarity. Freedom of Speech that our founding forefathers placed into the Constitution was put there for the purpose of protecting the speaker from the emotional acts of others who would otherwise silence the speaker. Anyone who speaks is subject to criticism because the speaker is the source. (Even the word criticism has been bastardized with an emotional connotation implied) The WP has opted to pander the emotional snowflakes and to ignore our forefathers but that doesn’t mean that I will do the same. As I have said in the past; the WP does not have to pander to my emotions but in fact you have tied your own hands by your own policy and have to protect my poor little emotions. I suppose this is where I come and sit on your lap for your protection. Those acting like adults seem to enrage the emotional snowflakes of today. Am I allowed in speech to use a snowflake to characterize one who melts from the heat of one little emotion? To say coward would likely be too offensive for today’s ears and therefore winter would vanish.
        Fourthly, this opinion in question was placed as a headliner. When people of a title are used in a “headliner” to gain the weight to an opinion held, am I to ignore the people cited and just accept a title? If I did this, anyone can call me stupid because in fact – I am. (looking down) Was the author in fact looking down? True to form, the WP in a bid to save the author from the state of her emotions have ignored and not upheld the facts that I have presented. The “bad man” being “mean” was the most important to comment on. In the past, people nurtured the Baby and the dirty water expressed how clean the baby truly was.
        Fifthly, the height of stupidity is the same as the height of brilliance in an opinion piece. They are not separate when the focus is upon one individual. One who does not understand history for example, is at the height of one’s own stupidity and at their height of brilliance at the same time, before the topic of history is discussed. The facts you hear determine whether you have been looking down all along. (stupid)
        In protecting emotions perhaps the WP and others can give out gold stars for attendance and move it into the next higher class; I think not. We would be better off like the forefathers intended in that we put our emotions in check, and stick to the facts as presented by any speaker. The Law has never protected a liar like it does today all due to the watering down of the freedom of speech.
        Are you of no witness to anything that I have written? So be it.

        Respectfully.

      • Harold

        To answer your question; yes I do realize that this article was an opinion piece and as well I do realize that all of the WP content is an opinion piece. Can you claim otherwise? What you choose to feed us with is by your opinion only. Law is where opinions cease and restart thereafter in the Courts. First, let us agree that all opinions are written in sincerity because I view them in no other way. Even to what you may view as frivolous I view as one seriously looking for answer. Secondly, a conversation is not for the purpose of agreement or non agreement it is for the purpose of clarity only; in clarity, agreements look after “themselves”. “it’s ok to disagree” is moot. Thirdly, I don’t know what has happened to the English language but stupid is descriptive observation and only means looking down and not able to see what is ahead. (Stooped) The proper response to being called stupid is “what am I not seeing”? It is the opening of a debate or a dialogue. By not considering yourself to be stupid, is the belief that you are the all knowing. Those who understand emotions know that emotions are for discovery and they are not for conversation control. Without emotions you become a vegetable which is exactly what social emotion pandering engineering is trying to create. (a society of vegetables making government seem more important) The word stupid has been bastardized by emotions to a point where emotions outweigh any fact or clarity. Freedom of Speech that our founding forefathers placed into the Constitution was put there for the purpose of protecting the speaker from the emotional acts of others who would otherwise silence the speaker. Anyone who speaks is subject to criticism because the speaker is the source. (Even the word criticism has been bastardized with an emotional connotation implied) The WP has opted to pander the emotional snowflakes and to ignore our forefathers but that doesn’t mean that I will do the same. As I have said in the past; the WP does not have to pander to my emotions but in fact you have tied your own hands by your own policy and have to protect my poor little emotions. I suppose this is where I come and sit on your lap for your protection. Those acting like adults seem to enrage the emotional snowflakes of today. Am I allowed in speech to use a snowflake to characterize one who melts from the heat of one little emotion? To say coward would likely be too offensive for today’s ears and therefore winter would vanish. Fourthly, this opinion in question was placed as a headliner. When people of a title are used in a “headliner” to gain the weight to an opinion held, am I to ignore the people cited and just accept a title? If I did this, anyone can call me stupid because in fact – I am. (looking down) Was the author in fact looking down? True to form, the WP in a bid to save the author from the state of her emotions have ignored and not upheld the facts that I have presented. The “bad man” being “mean” was the most important to comment on. In the past, people nurtured the Baby and the dirty water expressed how clean the baby truly was. Fifthly, the height of stupidity is the same as the height of brilliance in an opinion piece. They are not separate when the focus is upon one individual. One who does not understand history for example, is at the height of one’s own stupidity and at their height of brilliance at the same time, before the topic of history is discussed. The facts you hear determine whether you have been looking down all along. (stupid) In protecting emotions perhaps the WP and others can give out gold stars for attendance and move it into the next higher class; I think not. We would be better off like the forefathers intended in that we put our emotions in check, and stick to the facts as presented by any speaker. The Law has never protected a liar like it does today all due to the watering down of the freedom of speech. Are you of no witness to anything that I have written? So be it.

      • Harold

        Paul, you’ve asked me a question for which I twice gave you a response. Was my comment respectfully deleted?
        Reminding you of your own words; “all too often in this forum I see disagreement equated with “wrong” or, in this case, “stupid”; was my opinion too wrong and too insincere; perhaps stupid? Further, if you were to reread my original comment you will notice that I did not call the person stupid. I do understand the terms of Libel and I also know what censorship is and the difference between moderation and editing.
        You were not respectfully; you were sincerely, or with regards.

  • John Fefchak

    Canada’s arcane and ‘contradictory’ self-defense laws need to be changed to the benefit of those who are being violated by crime activities,rather than being charged by police, when defending their home, property and family from unwelcome intruders.
    The Harpers ministers office said it intended to re-introduce legislation to re-define self-defence, since the criminal code was written in 1892.
    Let’s get on with it. Criminals have no respect.

  • Hi Harold,

    If you’ve replied I haven’t seen it.

    I’ve reviewed both your “approved” comments and those of yours I’ve deleted and can’t find anything in either group.

    Please feel free to repost whatever you believe is missing.

    Cheers,
    Paul – WP web ed

    • Harold

      To answer your question; yes I do realize that this article was an opinion piece and as well I do realize that all of the WP content is an opinion piece. Can you claim otherwise? What you choose to feed us with is by your opinion only. Law is where opinions cease and restart thereafter in the Courts. First, let us agree that all opinions are written in sincerity because I view them in no other way. Even to what you may view as frivolous I view as one seriously looking for answer. Secondly, a conversation is not for the purpose of agreement or non agreement it is for the purpose of clarity only; in clarity, agreements look after “themselves”. “it’s ok to disagree” is moot. Thirdly, I don’t know what has happened to the English language but stupid is descriptive observation and only means looking down and not able to see what is ahead. (Stooped) The proper response to being called stupid is “what am I not seeing”? It is the opening of a debate or a dialogue. By not considering yourself to be stupid, is the belief that you are the all knowing. Those who understand emotions know that emotions are for discovery and they are not for conversation control. Without emotions you become a vegetable which is exactly what social emotion pandering engineering is trying to create. (a society of vegetables making government seem more important) The word stupid has been bastardized by emotions to a point where emotions outweigh any fact or clarity. Freedom of Speech that our founding forefathers placed into the Constitution was put there for the purpose of protecting the speaker from the emotional acts of others who would otherwise silence the speaker. Anyone who speaks is subject to criticism because the speaker is the source. (Even the word criticism has been bastardized with an emotional connotation implied) The WP has opted to pander the emotional snowflakes and to ignore our forefathers but that doesn’t mean that I will do the same. As I have said in the past; the WP does not have to pander to my emotions but in fact you have tied your own hands by your own policy and have to protect my poor little emotions. I suppose this is where I come and sit on your lap for your protection. Those acting like adults seem to enrage the emotional snowflakes of today. Am I allowed in speech to use a snowflake to characterize one who melts from the heat of one little emotion? To say coward would likely be too offensive for today’s ears and therefore winter would vanish. Fourthly, this opinion in question was placed as a headliner. When people of a title are used in a “headliner” to gain the weight to an opinion held, am I to ignore the people cited and just accept a title? If I did this, anyone can call me stupid because in fact – I am. (looking down) Was the author in fact looking down? True to form, the WP in a bid to save the author from the state of her emotions have ignored and not upheld the facts that I have presented. The “bad man” being “mean” was the most important to comment on. In the past, people nurtured the Baby and the dirty water expressed how clean the baby truly was. Fifthly, the height of stupidity is the same as the height of brilliance in an opinion piece. They are not separate when the focus is upon one individual. One who does not understand history for example, is at the height of one’s own stupidity and at their height of brilliance at the same time, before the topic of history is discussed. The facts you hear determine whether you have been looking down all along. (stupid) In protecting emotions perhaps the WP and others can give out gold stars for attendance and move it into the next higher class; I think not. We would be better off like the forefathers intended in that we put our emotions in check, and stick to the facts as presented by any speaker. The Law has never protected a liar like it does today all due to the watering down of the freedom of speech. Are you of no witness to anything that I have written? So be it.