In the Jan. 10 Western Producer, Kevin Hursh writes about entitlement attitude among farmers.
In response to his article, he is downloading more guilt onto young and older farmers about how they were getting handouts from government programs, whether through rail freight, the Canadian Wheat Board or the NDP government.
I don’t have time or the exact figures to quote you. Let me say to you there is not one farmer that I know of or have talked to that has wanted government assistance in any form, if only we would have gotten a fair price for our product.
Farmers have been manipulated by government, rail companies, CWB and purple gas programs to where it has eliminated a lot of young producing farmers from the land. Over the years from these policies, farmers now depend on the banks and other financial institutes to keep raising cheap food.
I do have an example of feed being too expensive and that is in the hog industry. I don’t know for sure who is to blame — the consumer, management or the access to easy money. For some reason they can’t afford to pay for the feed I gave them.
In ending, I think people in general should be hoping that farms can survive with the high costs of everything that goes with farming.
It would be the best for all if we can keep farming.
John C. McBurney,
MARCHING IN PEACE
I have now attended two marches with Idle No More and have been extremely impressed as to the peaceful nature of the movement.
There is a gentle dedication in INM that recognizes the inherent good that is in most people. INM presents a beautiful recognition of human optimism and potential.
It addresses the underlying frustration of the majority that we are being inhibited from progressing with positive change for the benefit of all present and future life on earth.
INM has given hope to that generally silent majority that we can successfully entertain visions based on sustainable harmony with our natural environment.
Apparently, INM has the attention of most and the hearts of many Canadians.
The only damage the movement has created is to erode the elitist contention that the worship of the almighty dollar is the singular defining measurement of human success.
This measurement devalues lifetimes of conscientious human activity to no greater recognition than quarterly financial reports.
It degrades the gifts of natural resources given to all life through creation to a future of resource domination for immediate financial profit of the few.
It is a measurement that asks the question, what is the value of human qualities and institutions such as love, family, community, health, prayer, peace and prosperity?
The measurement retards the potential of human progress by reducing access to affordable education, health care and the basics of food, shelter and clothing.
The measurement controls societies, countries and most of the present generation through the systematic implementation of consumerism through debt slavery.
The corporate elitists whose figurehead in this country is our prime minister never counted on Idle No More and they are presently confused as to how to deal with it.
Minor condescending concessions can no longer camouflage the menacing corporate agenda. INM has made that very clear.
Violent crackdown is still an option. (Prime minister Stephen) Harper has already built the prisons…. He has already rejected our traditional practices in his contempt for democracy and parliamentary procedure.
To pacify the public by reversal of his inflammatory policies, which created the INM movement in the first place, seems a little too farfetched to expect from Mr. Stephen Harper.
Fort San, Sask.
The Idle No More movement is an ideal opportunity for the rest of Canadians to support the just demands of the Indians and Metis who have patiently waited 150 years for equal treatment under the treaties they were forced to sign.
We, as the rest of Canadians, are just as much to blame as the governments of the day.
If the rest of Canadians feel inconvenienced enough by the demonstrations, they would be working in their own best interests to support the claims fully.
The only trouble will be when business is inconvenienced. The police and courts will be used to break up the demonstrations.
Meanwhile, the government will be trying to demonize them to try to justify their tardy response.
We can only hope the people do not become discouraged and quit because the government will use every means at their disposal to avoid making any worthwhile changes to the existing conditions or the Indian Act.
Jean H. Sloan,
Since the CWB director elections began, pro-board single desk farmers running for the positions of director have won 80 percent of the elections — anti-CWB farmers have won a mere 20 percent of the positions available.
Over a year ago, a poll was taken as to how farmers felt about retaining the CWB and its single desk powers. Sixty-two percent were in favour, 38 percent against.
The federal government knew this and decided not to allow farmers to vote on the matter. Instead, they used the heavy hand of government to destroy the CWB. They acted and performed more like dictators than members of a democratic government.
I have a very important question to ask the honourable Garry Breitkreuz (MP, Yorkton-Melville) and I hope to receive an honest sincere answer.
How does forcing the wills and wants of a minority on a majority translate into a democratic act?
Marketing freedom indeed.
George E. Hickie,