From the Archives: Loblaw spices up grocery shopping

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: Oct. 30, 1941

Ottawa increased its acreage bonus for prairie farmers by 75 cents an acre. The bonus would be paid on only half of a farm’s cultivated area and on no more than 200 acres.

Manitoba Pool Elevators reported another successful year. Delegates at the annual meeting heard that 171 local associations would share $204,900 in dividends.

50 years ago: Oct. 27, 1966

Canadian Pacific Railway chair N.R. Crump and president Ian Sinclair told the House of Commons transportation committee that the federal government’s proposed transportation bill would significantly cut into their company’s profits.

R.G. Meech, vice-president of Loblaw Groceterias Co. Ltd., told a joint House-Senate committee investigating the rising cost of living that promotional gimmicks such as trading stamps and give-aways didn’t increase the price of food. Instead, he said that the opportunity to play games and win prizes while buying groceries provided housewives with “excitement and adventure” and relieved the boredom brought on by the “grubbiness of routine household chores.” Responded Ron Basford, co-chair of the committee: “I felt like telling him most of us prefer to get our romance somewhere other than in the supermarkets.”

25 years ago: Oct. 31, 1991

More than 7,000 farmers packed into Regina’s major hockey arena for one of Saskatchewan’s largest farm rallies. Billed as the “solutions rally,” the event focused on finding ways to solve the farm crisis. Organizers collected a box of written suggestions to sift through.

The federal government changed its Food and Drug Act regulations to make it illegal for dairy farmers to sell or give away raw milk. Farmers who defied the new rules would face thousands of dollars in fines and/or jail time.

10 years ago: Oct. 26, 2006

Michael Spence, mayor of Churchill Man., worried about what ending the Canadian Wheat Board’s single desk marketing powers would do to his town. Fast forward 10 years and the big news in Churchill this year was the suspension of grain shipments through the town’s port.

Rogers Sugar executives warned that American proposals to restrict market access for a sugar beet product could close the company’s sugar refinery in Taber, Alta. Fast forward 10 years and the Taber plant is still turning beets into sugar.

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