Letters to the editor – December 20, 2018

Why honour Ritz for CWB’s demise?

Regarding the inducting of former federal agriculture minister Gerry Ritz into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame, I have long been of the opinion that people such as Ritz, who promote the idea of self-determination in the marketplace of commerce, are a direct threat to my self-interest.

It is the long lesson of history that describes how the growers are always at the mercy of the buyers. The most obvious truth in this statement is that we farmers are engaged with life, not money. 

That’s where I’m coming from: the idea that my happiness, which is my self-interest, is found within the community I live in; my responsibility, you might say.

I grow seeds for a living and to have had an organization such as the former Canadian Wheat Board at the helm was to know that things were being done with a sense of common purpose, with the idea of common good.

In the history of working people, the CWB was a win for the working family. While it existed it did so as part of Canada’s global identity, right up there along side of peacekeeping. And now it’s gone, swept into the dustbin of history by a man who I am given to understand is being honoured for having orchestrated its demise. 

Gerry Ritz has done more than his fair share in shaping present and future politics: he is part of the global shift in agriculture. This, in itself, is noteworthy, alongside of the fact that farming is now a corporate enterprise, controlled by an ever-diminishing number of people.

From my perspective, the former minister of agriculture’s achievement supports the idea of money’s right to control the marketplace, which means, by those who know what they are doing.

Fair enough, I suppose. However, this raises a problem for me. Money’s interest is not in the farmer; its interest is dollars, and too much interest in money is detrimental to life, the farmer’s life blood. 

Wayne James 
Beausejour, Man. 

Rural crime remains major issue in alberta

Re: “Rural crime rate drops in Alberta,” (WP, Nov. 29) 

I truly believe this is more politically driven than the actual real situation.

There has been a significant crime rash in the Elk Point, Alta., area in recent weeks. Multiple break-ins into farm buildings, residences and recreational properties have people extremely concerned for their safety.  

I personally have had my seasonal farm property near Heinsburg, Alta., broken into five times in the last 12 months. The culprits are using stolen vehicles to commit the brazen criminal acts, including driving the vehicles into buildings to gain access.

I believe it is important that these violations against hard-working rural people must be communicated to the general public, as few people are aware of how bad the situation is getting.  When rural people are scared to live in their homes, something has to change, and it starts with our justice system. 

The police are doing their best, but the justice system is failing the general population, as the culprits go to court and are released within days.  

A meeting was held in the region recently (I was not in attendance) with the RCMP to update the concerned citizens of progress on stopping this crime spree.

An investigative report to communicate the issues to the general public would be appreciated.

John A. Gavinchuk,
Fort Saskatchewan, Alta.

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