Letters to the editor – January 10, 2013

BARBARIC PRACTICES

Ever since hog farrowing crates have come into use in hog factory farms, we have only imagined how horrible that must be for the adult female hogs, confined to these crates their entire adult lives.

However, on W-5, which was aired on CTV on Dec. 8 and 9, secret videos set up by an employee at Puratone Hog Farms in Manitoba revealed just how horrible these conditions really are for these animals, and confirmed our worst fears.

To actually witness these video pictures was heartbreaking, to say the least. These hapless animals are confined to crates where they are unable to move or turn around their entire adult lives, except for those who are lucky enough to die or be killed, and end their torment.

The misery visible in the eyes of these animals in the video is unspeakable. They do live in un-speakable misery.

In addition to this, the video revealed piglets being slammed onto the cement floor to kill them, but they didn’t die right away, and were left to writhe in pain until they did.

Lame sows were seen being dragged along on the cement floor with chains, or pulled along by their ears. There were other scenes that were unbelievably disturbing, especially the ones showing how the sick animals were killed.

The entire European Union has banned the use of farrowing crates, so why is Canada continuing this barbaric practice?

In this case, it appears that the almighty dollar is more important than the welfare of animals.

If you are concerned about the welfare of these animals, please contact your member of Parliament and request that immediate legislation be initiated to ban the use of farrowing crates.

We could also boycott the hog factory farming industry by refusing to buy another morsel of pork until all farrowing crates are banned in this country.

Phyllis Shwetz,
Waskatenau, Alta.

STEP FORWARD PLEASE

On the CBC news Dec. 11, Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall said, “protect potash from takeovers, too.”

He was commenting on Harper’s decision to allow foreign takeovers by China and Malaysia in our oil sector. He added, “it makes sense for the federal government to restrict state-owned takeovers.”

He also opposed BHP Billiton taking over PotashCorp two years ago. Mr. Wall also allowed Harper to quash that deal; in fact, I believe he asked him to kill that deal to avoid some heat back home.

Why is Brad Wall purposely rolling over to show his tender underbelly to the feds on Ottawa? Is he so ill-informed that he does not know that control of oil, potash and other re-sources have been under provincial jurisdiction since the 1930s?

Under the constitution, 1982, provincial powers were strengthened to include interprovincial marketing and marketing outside the country. The provinces even have the power of indirect taxation of their natural resources.

In my humble opinion our premier is treading on thin ice. Why? Simply because he and everybody else may seem to trust our prime minister at this juncture in our history, and he may well be doing some good for us westerners now.

But, I am old enough to remember a fella by the name of Pierre who really did not care very much for us out here.

As a matter of fact, there was a REAL leader of a western province who stood up for his people and said, “Let those eastern bas—-s freeze in the dark.” This re-affirmed exactly who was in control of the resources.

Mr. Harper will not be in power forever. His replacement may be worse than Pierre. We simply cannot afford to give that power to some unknown future prime minister.

A future PM elected by Quebec and Ontario. A future PM who dislikes Albertans. A future PM with the same last name as Pierre’s?

Why premier Wall would willingly weaken the west and give up power to Ottawa is beyond me.

Everyday the West is growing stronger. It is becoming an economic powerhouse. We need a strong leader to stand up and protect our rights and the people who generate this wealth.So please, Brad, take a step forward, not a step backward.

David Sawkiw,
Deputy leader, Western
Independence Party,
Preeceville, Sask.

THIRD WORLD ASSISTANCE

One must be absolutely cynical or completely daft to take as partners in helping the poor of the Third World the Canadian mining companies exploiting their resources.

Yet this is the approach revealed recently by the (Stephen) Harper (Conservative) government through its minister of international co-operation, Julian Fantino.

Whether cynical or daft, the Harper government will divert Canadian development assistance for the poor to companies whose interests are opposite — in principle and practice — to the well-being of these people.

There are numerous evidences and testimonies in this regard, which are very embarrassing.

Mr. Harper knows the role played by multinationals in the impoverishment of several Third World countries.

He also knows this new approach is a dangerous right turn in favour of the very rich, whose first victims, in the truest sense, will be the poorest of the world.

I hope pressures from the public, from opposition parties and even from members of their own party will force Harper Conservatives to adopt a much more human approach. Assistance to the poor is fragile and must go to the poor and to nobody else.

Bruno Marquis,
Gatineau, Que.

RESOURCE CONTROL

Do we really know the real Stephen Harper? I thought I did.

Like most arch Conservatives, he has very little respect for common people, who are 99 percent of Canada’s human population and who receive only 67 percent of Canada’s available income.

It could be said that his government literally takes from the poor and gives to the rich — Robin Hood in reverse.

He did not allow farmers to vote on whether or not they wanted to keep the Canadian Wheat Board intact with its single desk powers. He rammed the bill through parliament as if he had dictatorial powers.

Sadly to say, in many different ways his government is gradually destroying democracy in Canada.

Recently the Nexen deal was inked giving China control over a significant portion of our natural energy resources valued at $15.1 billion.

It does not make sense, our arch Conservative prime minister allowing communist China to come to Canada and control a portion of our natural resources, particularly in light of the fact that some time in the future communist China and communist Russia will give Canada trouble and grief because they want control over the rich oil reserves in Canada’s far north.

George E. Hickie,
Waldron, Sask.

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