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: Jan. 8, 1942
Efforts continued at a feverish pace in the Saskatchewan countryside as the Jan. 10 deadline loomed for signing petitions that demanded a better deal for prairie farmers from the dominion government.
The most recent count put the number of collected signatures at 140,000, and plans were now being made to send a delegation to Ottawa to deliver the petitions.
1941 was declared an emergency year in Alberta under the Prairie Farm Assistance Act.
The move meant that $6 million in payments would immediately be made to the province’s farmers.
50 years ago: Jan. 13, 1967
Canadian National Railway applied to the Board of Transport Commissioners for permission to abandon 304 kilometres of branch lines in Saskatchewan.
The federal government declared Jan. 11 as a day to honour Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first prime minister. However, the proclamation did not make the day a public holiday.
Instead, it stipulated that it was to be marked only in 1967. That decision did not sit well with opposition leader John Diefenbaker, who called it “a half-hearted gesture on the part of the government.”
25 years ago: Jan. 9, 1992
The U.S. government considered the Canadian Wheat Board’s durum pool deficit to be an illegal subsidy and was contemplating a free trade agreement challenge to Canadian wheat exporting practices.
“It’s hardly a position that a Cairns group free trading country should be in,” Nelson Denlanger of U.S. Wheat Associates said sarcastically.
Lenders in Saskatchewan agreed to not foreclose on farmland for the next three months while discussions on farm debt solutions were underway. Premier Roy Romanow praised the lenders for “a totally co-operative and voluntary action.”
10 years ago: Jan. 11, 2007
The Canadian government said it would challenge U.S. corn subsidies, export credits and total spending on agricultural support programs at the World Trade Organization. Ottawa said U.S. government payments to corn growers totaled US$18 billion over the previous two marketing years.
Strong crop prices were expected to reduce the number of summerfallow acres in 2007. Glenn Lennox, a wheat analyst with Agriculture Canada, expected summerfallow acres to fall to a record low 8.5 million, down from the previous 10-year average of 11.36 million acres.