From the Archives: Supply management sector rallied during trade talks

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. 9, 1941

Senior officials of the three prairie wheat pools met in Winnipeg to support the four-point agriculture program that their organizations had submitted to the dominion government in August. The plan called for an increase in the initial payment for wheat and the declaration of the 1941-42 crop year as an emergency year.

Federal agriculture minister J.G. Gardiner admitted that the payment of wheat acreage reduction bonus payments had experienced a “slight bogging down” but promised the process would be speeded up. Gardiner was in Saskatchewan to present wings to a graduating class of air force pilots in Yorkton, which included his son, Sgt. Edwin John Gardiner.

50 years ago: Oct. 6, 1966

The countries of Eastern Europe wanted to continue buying wheat from Canada but also wanted to export more goods to Canada to balance the trade, trade minister Robert Winters said following a trip to Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Hungary. Winters said tight credit would not affect current wheat contracts with those countries.

A strike at Canada Packers Ltd. that started in July was finally settled. Approximately 6,300 workers left their jobs in Toronto, Montreal, Hull, Que., Charlottetown, St. Boniface, Man., Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver over production cuts and a demand for a 30 percent wage increase.

25 years ago: Oct. 10, 1991

The supply management sector held eight rallies across the country to pressure the government not to negotiate away marketing boards at world trade talks. The rallies were held in Red Deer, Alta., Oak Bluff, Man., Saskatoon, Abbotsford, B.C., Mississauga, Ont., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Quebec.

Meanwhile, 2,500 people attended a farm rally in Stavely, Alta., to listen as farmers talked about debt, low grain prices and the bitterness they felt toward a system they didn’t believe in anymore. Prime Minister Brian Mulroney hinted help was on the way, but agriculture minister Bill McKnight and grains minister Charlie Mayer said the government couldn’t afford the $1.3 billion that farmers said they needed.

10 years ago: Oct. 5, 2006

The devastation of wheat midge damage was being seen as harvest samples were collected from the 2006 crop. Twenty-five percent of the 2,000 samples of red spring wheat would be downgraded to No. 2, and half of that was because of wheat midge. Another seven to eight percent of the crop would be reduced to No. 3 — half because of midge.

The Canadian Wheat Board refused to join a federal task force charged with designing an open market system for wheat and barley. The board said farmers rather than the government should decide its future. Meanwhile, the Founders of Real Voice for Change was formed to pressure the government to hold a farmer vote on the board’s future. “The Canadian Wheat Board Act clearly gives farmers the right to choose whether or not we have a dual market,” said group co-chair Earl Mickelson of Hagen, Sask.

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