Letters to the editor – June 1, 2017

Heartless budget

The recent provincial budget is brutal and heartless with total disregard for the citizens of Saskatchewan.

Cuts to educational funding, cuts to programs and services for autistic children. Cuts to libraries. The incentive program to keep doctors in rural areas has been cut. People on social assistance will no longer have their funeral costs paid for. The dissolution of the Saskatchewan Hearing Aid Plan. The elimination of the Saskatchewan Transportation Company. The list goes on and on.

The Saskatchewan Transportation Co. was established in 1946 by Tommy Douglas as a service for the people. Douglas believed that his mandate was to make life better for his people. The Saskatchewan Party, under the leadership of Brad Wall, is the complete antithesis of this mentality. STC was never expected to produce revenue. It is a service that helps to alleviate the isolation of many of our small towns.

The buses are not always full, but they are being used. Consider the single mother sending children to visit their father on a regular basis, the cancer patient travelling for treatment, students travelling between home and school, the elderly with appointments in the major cities, and people who don’t drive because of financial or physical reasons. The money they are saving by denying these people their rights, is one tenth of one-percent of their budget. This is outrageous considering the Saskatchewan Party election platform promised never to sell the crown corporations.

How is it possible to sell something that doesn’t belong to you? The crowns belong to the people of this province. If you pay attention to the news, you can see that SGI is next. 

As the mother of a deaf daughter, I can assure you that the Saskatchewan Hearing Aid Plan is an invaluable service. Hearing aids can be purchased at the more reasonable price and paid by installments with no interest. 

Are you beginning to see a pattern here? The budget is a major step backwards for a society known for protecting the rights and dignity of all its citizens, not just the chosen few. This budget has targeted the financially and physically vulnerable in our society. If your family has not been personally affected by this budget, then consider you are one of the lucky few.

But we can’t just stand by and watch everything that makes our province and our country so remarkable slip away. Once these services are gone, we will never get them back. Phone your MLA. Hand out flyers. Sign a petition. Contact any of the above mentioned and donate an hour of your time. 

If you wish to find more information on what is happening in our province, Google “Stop the Cuts SK” to find petitions and events happening around you. 

Together, we can make a difference. As the late, great John Lennon once said—Power to the people!

Susan Eva,
Saskatoon, Sask.

Wheat grading unique

Recently, there has been a public push by the Western Canadian Wheat Growers to change the Canadian varietal registration and grading system to allow American grown wheat full access into our export system. As usual, their simplistic approach ignores the economic pitfalls that Canadian farmers will face should this occur.

Canada’s grading system is unique in the world, with all of the wheat varieties that are accepted into our system assigned to a specific class that is based upon their characteristics. These characteristics include such things as protein content, and ensure uniformity within the class so that our customers are assured of a product that meets their end needs. 

The Americans, however, simply accept any variety that is put forward, and it is up to customers to test each and every shipment to determine if it meets their specifications. As well, it is up to every farmer to decide if a variety meets both their own agronomic needs, and the end-use needs of potential customers. 

Canada’s unsurpassed reputation for the world’s best quality wheat will be put at risk if we allow inferior quality American varieties unfettered access to our handling system. Our customers will no longer be assured that the grain they purchase meets the exacting standards and uniformity that has been Canada’s hallmark of a superior product.

This most recent lobby by the WCWG threatens to debase Canadian farmers’ quality system, and endangers our ability to provide a superior product to our customers. 

Canadian farmers have to stand up for our world-class system. We can’t afford to let our standards be degraded by relinquishing the advantages we have developed over the last century.

Cam Goff,
National Farmers Union board member,

Hanley, Sask.

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