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: Dec. 17, 1942
Forcing co-operatives to pay income tax would have dire consequences, said Saskatchewan Wheat Pool president J.H. Wesson. If the company had to pay income tax, he said, it would do so only once. The next year it would inventory its business, estimate crop handlings and costs and reduce its handling and storage charges to the point where there would be no earnings.
This would force private grain companies to follow suit, Wesson said, and within three years 75 percent of the grain trade would be bankrupt.
Farmers attending a meeting in Edmonton said 50 percent of producers in northern Alberta planned to reduce production of milk and hogs because they couldn’t hire workers to maintain these war-vital foods at 1942 production levels.
50 years ago: Dec. 21, 1967
The Farmers’ Union of Alberta joined other farm unions across the country in agreeing to seek collective bargaining for farmers. They agreed to “work through a national organization for the purpose of bargaining collectively for and on behalf of all farmers in Canada.”
The Alberta government was considering applying property taxes to farm homes.
Agriculture Minister Harry Strom said Municipal Affairs Minister Edgar Gerhart had made an argument for such a tax that was hard to argue with.
25 years ago: Dec. 17, 1992
The Alberta Cattle Commission’s mandatory checkoff was being challenged in court on the grounds that the organization did not hold a producer vote to receive a mandate for the levy.
The Saskatchewan government was reviewing its farmland ownership laws.
Agriculture Minister Darrell Cunningham said he wanted to make sure foreign or corporate investors hadn’t found ways to get around the existing regulations.
10 years ago: Dec. 20, 2007
Federal and provincial agriculture ministers rejected the Canadian Pork Council’s request for repayable unsecured loans for hog producers on the grounds that it would trigger a trade challenge from the United States.
The council disagreed with that interpretation.
The federal government introduced changes to the Canadian Grain Commission that would eliminate mandatory inward inspection and weighing and ensure that the commission’s focus was on helping the industry and not just producers.
The Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association praised the proposals and the National Farmers Union condemned them.