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: Dec. 25, 1941
A Saskatchewan petition demanding improvements to federal agricultural policy had collected more than 100,000 signatures, and almost $26,000 had been donated to help send a delegation to Ottawa to deliver it.
However, more than 140 Saskatchewan Wheat Pool delivery stations had not yet reported, so the total number was expected to be higher.
The United Kingdom Cereals Import Board had made significant wheat purchases from Canada with much of the wheat expected to go to its allies, particularly Egypt. Dominion Trade Minister James MacKinnon said the import board had arranged for the shipment of five million bushels of Canadian wheat in a single day.
50 years ago: Dec. 22, 1966
The Prairie Economic Council planned to launch a program to expand shipping operations at Churchill, according to Manitoba Premier Duff Roblin. The prairie governments would co-operate with the federal government to develop port facilities.
Members of the Manitoba Horse Breeders Association decided to ask the Manitoba Winter Fair board to replace halter classes that were discontinued two years earlier. They also wanted the board to change the six-horse driving competition to make the event more pleasing to spectators and a better test of the drivers’ skills.
25 years ago: Dec. 26, 1991
The Western Producer did not publish a Dec. 26 issue in 1991.
10 years ago: Dec. 21, 2006
The federal Conservative government’s battle with the Canadian Wheat Board heated up as Agriculture Minister Chuck Strahl prepared to replace CWB chief executive officer Adrian Measner, who was seen as too supportive of single desk marketing, which Ottawa was attempting to eliminate.
Strahl was particularly critical of Measner’s decision to appear on Parliament Hill with Liberal opposition leader Stephane Dion. He also criticized the political “zoo” that the board and its supporters had created, including a decision to publish letters from international grain buyers who said their faith in the board as a reliable supplier had been shaken by the controversy.
“I just thought that was unconscionable,” Strahl said.
Federal Trade Minister David Emerson told supply managed sectors that their protectionist interests could not continue to limit the ability of Canadian trade negotiators to win stronger concessions.
He said Canada for too long had pulled back from signing trade access agreements if the trade-off was to open sensitive sectors such as dairy, poultry and eggs to greater import competition.
Ten years later, supply management is still alive and kicking.