From the Archives: Fat shortage prompts push for more flax, butter and lard

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: March 19, 1942

The dominion government banned the manufacture of civilian trucks, saying all trucks built in the future would be designed for military purposes. Munitions Minister C.D. Howe said the war effort needed all the trucks that could be built. “To meet these requirements and to conserve raw materials, production of trucks for civilian use must cease,” he said.

The government was urged to encourage increased production of flax, butter and lard. Conservative MP Joseph Harris from Ontario said the move was needed to solve a shortage of fats in Canada.

50 years ago: March 23, 1967

The federal government promised that there would be no toll increase on the Montreal-Lake Ontario section of the St. Lawrence Seaway until at least 1970. Saskatchewan Wheat Pool welcomed the news. However, Transport Minister J.W. Pickersgill also said a lockage fee would be introduced for the Welland Canal.

T.A. Preston, an agricultural engineering professor at the University of Alberta, recommended to a royal commission on farm machinery that farmers be provided with a computer program to offer advice on selecting the appropriate machinery for their individual needs. The commission hearings had moved to Edmonton from Winnipeg and would stop in Saskatoon and Regina next.

25 years ago: March 19, 1992

Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Berny Wiens said he planned to change the Gross Revenue Insurance Plan to address farmer concerns. The federal government said it wouldn’t stand in the province’s way, but Agricultural Minister Bill McKnight made it clear he wasn’t happy.

“We advised against the major changes they are proposing be-cause we believe this will result in reduced program predictability, less bankability and less support for farmers in the event of below-average yields,” he said.

Lynn Biggart of Cut Knife, Sask., was named president of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. He replaced Jim Graham of Alberta.

10 years ago: March 22, 2007

The federal government’s March 19 budget included a $2 billion, seven-year commitment to biofuel development and an increase in the once-in-a-lifetime capital gains exemption for farmers to $750,000 from $500,000.

The Conservative government also announced a “farmer’s saving program” modelled after the Net Income Stabilization Account program.

Saskatchewan was one of only two provinces to lose people be-tween the 2001 and 2006 census. The 1.1 percent drop compared to increases of 10.6 percent in Alberta and 2.6 percent in Manitoba.

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