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: Sept. 18, 1941
Farmers’ smoldering resentment against the federal government burst into open antagonism at protest meetings across Saskatchewan. Producers were angry with 50 cent a bushel wheat and greatly reduced incomes. Thousands of farmers attended the meetings at Melville, Shaunavon, Semans, Gravelbourg, Assiniboia and Saskatoon.
A dominion-provincial conference about the country’s feed grain problems proposed reducing freight rates on feed grain moved from Western Canada to Eastern Canada. The issue was important because of the role feed grains played in Canada’s efforts to keep up livestock product shipments to Britain as part of the war effort.
50 years ago: Sept. 15, 1966
A wary opposition agreed to pass second reading of a massive bill to revamp Canadian transportation policy after the minority federal government promised it wouldn’t affect the Crow’s Nest Pass rates on grain shipments. The legislation would set up a new super regulatory body called the Canadian Transport Commission to administer all transport policy.
The Saskatchewan Wheat Pool introduced a four-point plan to expand Canadian wheat and flour exports. It included special assistance to flour mills in developing countries to introduce them to the benefits of using Canadian wheat and research to develop special wheat products for overseas markets where ordinary forms of bread were not in common use.
25 years ago: Sept. 19, 1991
A conversation over morning coffee turned into one of the largest farm rallies ever held in Manitoba as more than 1,200 farmers packed into the community hall in Miami while latecomers listened to the proceedings over speakers set up in the parking lot. John Froese and Rob Wiebe organized the rally because of concerns over the federal civil service strike, but the real problem plaguing farmers that fall was a lack of cash.
The federal government introduced legislation ordering striking federal employees back to work, but farmers were already dumping their grain on the ground because their bins were full and country elevators were plugged.
Grain companies were told there would be no rail car allocation for the week of Sept. 15-21 because of the strike, which was targeting grain exports.
10 years ago: Sept. 14, 2006
JRI International and Louis Dreyfus Canada announced plans within hours of each other to build canola crushing plants near Yorkton, Sask. The plants were expected to be operating by early 2009.
The federal government published a proposed regulation that would give the Canadian Food Inspection Agency the authority to establish an organic regime. There was a sense of urgency with this because Canada had until Dec. 31 to get on the European Union’s approved third parties equivalency list.