Letters to the editor – December 19, 2019

Cost of food has many factors

“Food prices bear no relation to farmers’ prices.” 

Someone spoke these words at a local farm meeting recently. It is an appropriate response to the article The Western Producer published some time ago, early August, I believe. That writer suggested food prices were inflated as a result of some products being produced under Canada’s supply management regulatory system.  

I leaf through the bundle of advertising flyers we receive each week and see reams of grocery (and other) items discounted by 20 percent, 30 percent or 60 percent off regular prices. 

There are many factors beyond the farmgate price that determines the posted price for any particular food item, including the discount, which may often be more than the farmgate price, I suspect.

None of my farm’s produce is under supply management regulation. It puzzles me how a bushel of wheat that brings its grower $6 morphs into 50 loaves of bread selling for $2.50 each. If farmers gave their wheat away, how much would the store price come down?

Ed Pridhan

Stayner, Ont.

Firearms aren’t source of problems

Whenever we have a Liberal government in Ottawa the subject of gun control rears its ugly head. I’ve been following Liberal gun control policies since the early 1990s.

I’ve come to the conclusion that Liberals in Canada will not be happy until every civilian firearm is banned or confiscated. 

The new Liberal minority throne speech did not address the country’s division, the worst November job loss numbers since the great recession, the sinking economy or the alienation of Western Canada, but did put front and centre the banning of so called assault weapons and handguns. This appears to be Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s priority.

The Liberal party leader reminds me of Trump, who doesn’t believe in real facts, statistics, science or expert witnesses, but bases his decisions on pure emotion and political gain. What happened to the common good principle of a democracy?

These are the facts. Canada has one of the most strict firearm laws in the world. If you don’t believe this statement, go to a gun store and you’ll find out how many hoops you must jump through before you’re cleared to purchase a firearm. There are approximately 2.2 million firearm owners in Canada possessing 10 to 20 million firearms.

Almost all of these lawful firearm owners will never commit a crime with their firearms. They are farmers, ranchers, hunters, sports shooters, collectors and Indigenous hunters.

The current wave of violence in the large cities is strictly caused by gangs and drug dealers using illegal firearms smuggled from the United States. Toronto experiences shootings or knifings on a daily basis. This is a fact. The lawful firearm owner has nothing to do with the gang and drug violence, yet the Liberals keep preaching the message that all assault weapons and handguns need to be banned. 

Liberals can’t even agree on the definition of an assault rifle other than its looks. In Canada, only the military has assault rifles (full auto capability). Liberals want to ban all evil-looking rifles with pistol grips and black in colour. The fact is, all civilian-owned AR15s in Canada are semi auto rifles. These AR15s are all in the restricted category and can only be used on a government-licensed and approved range. Hunting with an AR15 is illegal.

So how does confiscating these AR15s from lawful owners prevent violence perpetrated by gangs and drug dealers in big cities? In Canada no AR15 has ever been used in a crime.

What’s most disturbing is Trudeau and the Liberals refuse to accept advice from the experts in law enforcement, like the many chiefs of police and the RCMP commissioner. They advised the PM that gun bans do not work. The legitimate firearm owners are not the problem. The problem is the illegal use of firearms by the gangs and drug dealers. The judicial catch-and-release practices just don’t work to make Canada safe.

The Supreme Court of Canada rejected mandatory jail time for offences with a firearm.

Until governments deal with the real root causes of crime, confiscating all the firearms in the country will have no effect on gang and drug dealer violence. If the banning or confiscation of firearms is done through an order in council, this is proof we are living under a Liberal dictatorship.

Inky Mark,

Dauphin, Man.

Inky Mark is a former Reform Party and Conservative Party MP representing Dauphin-Swan River-Marquette.


Stories from our other publications