From the Archives: Pulse shipments victim of 2007 rail strike

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: Feb. 19, 1942

The dominion government placed tight controls on the price of used and retreaded tires.

Prices were restricted to what was charged between Sept. 15 and Oct. 11 of the previous year and could not exceed 75 percent of new tire prices.

Ontario Premier Mitchell Hepburn told the Ontario Agricultural Council he believed it was possible that Japan would invade Canada in three months. “They will come down the prairie side and not the Pacific,” he predicted without elaboration.

50 years ago: Feb. 23, 1967

The farmers unions in Saskatchewan and Manitoba said more than 95 percent of the farmers in those provinces who responded to a buyers’ strike survey said they were in favour of holding back on purchases of new machinery, automobiles and major appliances. The surveys were part of a larger movement in Canada to draw attention to deteriorating farm income.

It was looking increasingly likely that wheat importing countries would agree to a 40 cent increase in initial wheat prices. The prospects of reaching a new deal to replace the International Wheat Agreement was described as “fairly good.”

25 years ago: Feb. 20, 1992

A group of farmers trying to obtain a higher initial price for spring wheat and durum threatened to block rail lines with pickets unless the railways voluntarily stopped moving grain.

The farmers were part of a breakaway group of the Concerned Farmers of Saskatchewan organization.

Brazil was becoming a major buyer of Canadian wheat. Lorne Hehn, chief commissioner of the Canadian Wheat Board, said the country had bought one million tonnes so far that year.

10 years ago: Feb. 22, 2007

A strike at Canadian National Railway ground the movement of special crops to a halt.

“Our companies are reporting zero percent allocation right now,” said Greg Cherewyk, director of market development at Pulse Canada. “There are no rail cars for pulse and special crop shippers.”

Petroleum executives argued that a grain-based ethanol industry would be short-lived because it didn’t make economic sense.

No “viable, meaningful business proposition” existed for ethanol production, Stuart McGill, senior vice-president of Exxon Mobil Corp., told investors.

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