From the Archives: Income stabilization program raises fears

The Western Producer takes a weekly look at some of the stories that made headlines in issues of the paper from 75, 50, 25 and 10 years ago.

75 years ago: March 20, 1941

The prairie wheat pools’ response to the federal government’s new wheat policy prompted a large red headline at the top of the front page.

The pools said reducing wheat production by nine million acres was too drastic a move for one year, and the proposed 70 cent wheat price was too low.

Holstein breeders were donating 75 to 100 calves for a War Effort Calf Auction to raise money to help the British Empire fight the war.

50 years ago: March 17, 1966

Farmers were told they would have to contribute to the Canada Pension Plan if their income was more than $800. However, each individual would receive a $600 exemption.

Manitoba vegetable growers met in East St. Paul to form Vegetable Producers of Manitoba, which was dedicated to abolishing all compulsory aspects of the Manitoba Vegetable Marketing Commission.

25 years ago: March 21, 1991

Farmers received mixed signals from the federal government about how much financial help they could expect.

Finance minister Michael Wilson said the expected $750 to $900 million Canadian Wheat Board deficit would have to come out of the $1.3 billion increase in agricultural spending, as would the final grain stabilization payment and federal contributions to farm safety net programs. However, agriculture minister Don Mazankowski, who was to become finance minister later that year, said it still wasn’t clear what the CWB deficit would be.

Alberta and Manitoba announced what farmers would pay in premiums for the new Gross Revenue Insurance Plan, but the program was far from accepted on the Prairies. A government official said GRIP was changing farmers’ attitudes and putting a new face on their pessimism.

Farmers used to worry that prices wouldn’t improve, the official said, but now they worried prices would improve and they would be stuck paying premiums on a program that didn’t pay out.

10 years ago: March 16, 2006

Criticism was mounting over how the Canadian Agriculture Income Stabilization program served livestock producers. Critics said the flawed program was now jeopardizing many small prairie farms.

A British Columbia teenager was nominated for a governor general’s award for bravery for fighting off a 2,300 pound bull that was attacking her father. Fifteen-year-old Danielle Walker was helping her father, Carroll Walker, treat a bull for foot rot on their farm near Vanderhoof the previous summer when the incident occurred.

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