From the Archives: 50 years ago federal ag minister vowed PFRA here to stay

Workers prepared beef for boxing at the Cargill Foods plant in High River, Alta., in 1990.  |  File photo

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. 10, 1942

In a front page article in The Western Producer, H.H. Bloom, farm machinery administrator with the Wartime Prices and Trade Board, defended the agency’s restrictions on the manufacture and sale of new farm equipment, saying it wasn’t the fault of manufacturers, dealers or the board but of Berlin, Rome and Tokyo. The Producer devoted the entire edition to the issue of farm machinery and how farmers could make do with the equipment they already had.

50 years ago: Dec. 14, 1967

A farm leader called on farmers to take control of all areas of production, marketing and pricing. Marketing boards wouldn’t be enough, said Manitoba Farmers’ Union president K.J. Singleton. Instead, they would need control of all production, including that of integrated farms promoted by retail organizations.

Federal Agriculture Minister J.J. Greene said the government had no intention of getting rid of the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration. He was responding to a question in the House of Commons from Saskatchewan MP Stanley Korchinski.

25 years ago: Dec. 10, 1992

Ottawa announced plans to cut its annual grain transportation subsidy to the railways by 10 percent. It was estimated that if the proposed cut had been in effect in 1992, farmers’ freight rates would have been 14 percent higher.

Prairie Pools Inc. was going to have its unity tested over seaway pooling, which was a method of sharing grain transportation costs to the St. Lawrence Seaway. Proposed changes could end up costing Manitoba farmers more money, and Alberta Wheat Pool president Ray Schmitt said his members empathized with them. “But we feel we have been putting in more than our share over the years,” he said. “The extra charges that are added to the transport costs, it’s not really fair to Alberta farmers.”

10 years ago: Dec. 13, 2007

James Bezan, Conservative chair of the House of Commons agriculture committee, wanted the government to slap duties on subsidized European Union pork entering Canada, but industry and political sources doubted if the EU subsidy program could be directly challenged.

The PFRA said it was going to stop operating and administering irrigation projects in Saskatchewan after 2008 and expected that it wouldn’t own any of them by 2016.

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