The prairie wheat marketing system is a mess that prime minister Stephen Harper and the Conservative government created.
Harper, while he was head of the National Citizens Coalition, stated that the old Canadian Wheat Board had to go.
The multinationals must have reached him, as he never raised a kernel of wheat and tried to transport it or sell it.
There are several points to look at in his handling of the former CWB.
The dismantling of the CWB without a plan for something to take over the function that the former CWB performed. A) a strong entity to work with the railroad companies; B) a system whereby the right grade of wheat was ordered to be hauled to match sales; c) a fair system where the money from sales went back to the farmers.
Harper thought the free market would look after the sales of crops, but he forgot the greed ethic of free marketers — they all wanted to get their own grain to market and we saw the result of that in 2013-14, and again in 2014-15, whereby the bases were so high that it resulted in the biggest transfer of wealth from the Prairies to the multinationals so far. The original date for shutting down the CWB was supposed to be 2017. What happened? (Nov 10, 2014 WP). The new CWB’s Dayna Spiring stated that CWB isn’t for sale, they are just looking for a partner to take the government’s place, but they are giving it away for a promise that the new owners will invest $250 million in new facilities. Will it happen? And how come so little? The former CWB was worth a lot more than that.
They also have been giving farmers a $500 share for every tonne of wheat delivered, but the farm sector is to have only 49 percent of the equity and shares. That gives them no say.
We have been told that the new owners will decided down the road what to do with the farmer equity. It looks like the government is trying to get another large lump of money from the prairie agriculture sector.
It looks like Harper called the election so early so that the other parties couldn’t get contributions after the dropping of the writ, whereas the Conservative party had been able to call in a lot of money from the multinationals in recognition for what the government had done for them.
A letter was published (Aug. 13, 2015 WP) with a quote that the loss to the prairie economy from wheat sales in 2013-14 was $3 billion and the 2014-15 loss was more than $2 billion. This is due to the bungling of the free marketers. The system needs regulation.
Harper is trying to get re-elected by creating an atmosphere of fear of what would happen if any other party came to power. For what he and agriculture minister Gerry Ritz have done for the prairie economy, the prairie agricultural sector should vote A.B.C.
Bernard Von Tettenborn;
Round Hill, Alta.
Where are role models?
Of late the federal Conservative Party has been advertising malicious commercials on television against the other federal party leaders.
I find such tactics extremely degrading to those who have been elected to represent their party as leaders.
Nor is it a sign for good co-operation in the House of Commons. A sense of being on a battlefield comes to mind instead of working for the good of our country.
The four people elected to represent their parties were chosen for qualities they demonstrated with abilities as leaders. They are people to be recognized with honourable intent and to be respected.
This method of backstabbing, mudslinging and name calling during an election campaign, to me, shows very poor taste and only discourages some people to stay away from the polls on election day. This behaviour is not proper.
Why are such devious techniques brought out during an election campaign?
Even in the House of Commons certain individuals heckle members of opposite parties. Why? I don’t understand and appreciate such behaviour.
If we want our whole country, and in the end, the whole world to get along, such behaviour is not conducive to improving or bringing change for the good of everyone.
We all want our children to behave properly and not put other people down. Why should it be any different with political parties? What kind of role model is being projected? Not very honourable at all.
In the last year the issue of bullying has been prominent in the news and in schools. Yet,that same likeness is being projected now.
What has happened to adult role-models?
We need funding to restore and replace schools in the little towns and villages in the farming and ranching communities.
The closure of these schools are literally driving families out of farming.
Farmers are critical to our society and economy. With the eliminations of these schools, it makes staying in these communities nearly impossible.
Farming is not for the faint of heart. In the vast majority of cases, new farmers are raised by old farmers. By eliminating the schooling options available, the government is changing the landscape’and not in a good way.
These changes may be permanent. If you are not raised in the farming/ranching lifestyle, you will not grow up to be a one. It is far too difficult, the risks too high, and the hours too long.
The cost of operating these little schools are nothing compared to what it will cost Canada to lose these industrious families.
Never gamble what you cannot afford to lose.
Lori (Pears) Briggs,