From the Archives: European Common Market move worried grain official

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: May 14, 1942

The U.S. government banned grain shipments on Great Lakes freighters that were capable of carrying iron ore unless they had a permit from the office of defence transportation. The order was similar to action already taken by the Canadian government.

Alberta Wheat Pool planned to pay $600,000 in patronage dividends to its members.

50 years ago: May 18, 1967

The federal government said it was forming a task force to examine problems in the agriculture industry, determine where the industry should be going and make recommendations on how to get there.

The task force had been promised earlier in the month in the speech from the throne.

Canadian farmers were warned that they would soon face tougher competition in world wheat markets. G.N. Irvine of the Board of Grain Commissioners said Canada was assured of maintaining record wheat exports for the next two years, “but after that we will have to scratch.” The United States and Australia were expected to provide the most competition, but Irvine was also worried that Canada’s exports to Great Britain might suffer if that country joined the European Common Market.

25 years ago: May 14, 1992

Federal Agriculture Minister Bill McKnight lashed out at Sask-atchewan for not participating in talks to change how the Crow Benefit was paid, saying the province would be unable to derail the process by refusing to discuss the issue. “I don’t think any province has a veto in the process,” he said.

However, a farm leader in Quebec, which was also not at the talks, warned Ottawa not to consider changing the policy without compliance from Saskatchewan and Quebec.

The federal government promised to defend Canada’s stabilization payments to cattle producers, which were prompting threats of retaliation in the U.S. Some Canadian politicians were suggesting phasing out the program because of the U.S. threats.

10 years ago: May 17, 2007

Saskatchewan Wheat Pool won the bidding war with James Richardson International over Agricore United.

The purchase would cost the pool $1.8 billion and result in a new name for the new company, although one hadn’t yet been announced.

The new name, of course, would be Viterra.

Former Reform party leader Preston Manning and former Ont-ario Progressive Conservative Premier Mike Harris called on the federal Conservative government to get rid of supply management. They made their comments in a report written for the Fraser Institute.

Contact bruce.dyck@producer.com

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