Letters to the editor – April 18, 2019

Grants and taxes not helping farmers

It seems the Saskatchewan government doesn’t care if the family farm exists, it’s all about the big or corporate farms.

Nowadays to qualify for grants for wells, pipelines and dugouts you have to gross $50,000 from the farm so small farms, in order to qualify you would have to have a 60 cow-calf herd, otherwise you would not qualify for the grant, and you can’t use the income from rented land. If you gross $50,000 off your farm, you shouldn’t need the grant as you should be able to pay.

This grant CAD program — corral relocations, well decommissioning and more — and water, should be prioritized as it is important on a farm.

When a family farm has a few cows and is self-sufficient, and has enough hay and pasture of their own (they don’t have) to rent pasture and buy hay, there goes your profit.

Another issue is in order to qualify for AgriInvest, you have to make $25,000 to pay your amount and get the grant match. These programs are run by the Saskatchewan government — it seems they have set up double standards.

The election is coming up and you would hope the candidates would be going from door to door instead of having town meetings as some people don’t feel comfortable getting up and speaking out. Maybe the candidates are afraid — if they went from door to door they don’t want to hear the truth. But if they want your vote, they should be doing that, as we are in very difficult times: economy, taxes, fuel prices and weather.

I’m wondering what next the government will think. The PST is a little ridiculous on everything, and now a carbon tax. What’s the PST being used for? I don’t see where it has done Saskatchewan any good. What’s the next tax?

Elaine Cozart
Brownlee, Alta.

Churchill rail line was always viable

It took stupidity to close the rail to Churchill, both Liberal and Progressive Conservative parties. I shipped grain from Tisdale to Churchill at $30 per ton less than grain to B.C. from North Battleford.

The tracks to B.C. are loaded.

My uncle flew to Churchill — Flying Farmers. Everything was a lie. The railroad said the rail was too small. The same one goes to Montreal, but they still wanted to use boxcars. They would have to rebuild to unload hopper cars. They are scrapping lightweight hopper cars that could be used there.

The terminal was owned by the federal government, the taxpayer. They load one side of ships, tug it out and then load other side. They could have rebuilt to load both sides. They seem to find billions of dollars for other dairy farmers.

My uncle talked to one of the ships’ captains, a Russian. He said their icebreakers could extend the shipping season by two months. We could triple the grain movement and make this line viable.

Thankfully it’s running. We have to export our grain, hopefully they will see its value and promote it fully.

George Ferguson
Cochin, Sask.

Laws not working on wayward hunters

There was an item recently regarding the hunters association having a meeting and stating that they did not like the new provincial trespassing laws.

I understand their position. I will relay to you here one of a plethora of incidents I have had to endure.

My land is signed, “no hunting or trespassing.” It was November and hunting season. The sun had been down three-quarters of an hour. A hunter was driving along the highway a third of a mile from my yard. He stopped, rolled down the window and stuck the gun out, aiming into my yard. He started firing. I was walking across my yard at that time, past a building. From his angle there was two feet between me and that building. A shot went between me and the building.

A second later another shot went past me on the other side of me. The sound of a bullet whizzing past you in your yard is definitely not appreciated.

Working on my house exterior two years ago I discovered six bullet holes in the house. One was four inches away from the glass windowpane.

Quite frankly, I firmly feel that law has not gone far enough. A big problem may not be the main group of the hunter’s organization. However, it would be the fringe hunters.

Like everything else, laws have to be set to stop them and, in the workings, catches a larger net. I have hurt enough from the lack of respect and dignity from signing my land. Others can have more non-life-threatening pain.

Delwyn Jansen,
Humboldt, Sask.

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