Feds’ climate program may be too costly

I recently received a call from a Saskatchewan farmer who said he’d dried grain only twice in 45 years — both times in recent years — so he was now looking to convert from propane to cheaper natural gas.

He had read our Sept. 26 article in which Saskatchewan MP Ralph Goodale advised farmers to access the Climate Incentive Fund if they want to convert to environmentally friendly natural gas. However, my caller pointed me to the Q & A section on the government website — specifically, Question 38: “What scale of project am I expected to undertake to be eligible? Is there a minimum and a maximum for total project costs?”

Turns out that eligible projects must cost at least $80,000, which might not suit smaller operations.

Also, applications opened July 17 — for 90 days.


Four Western Producer writers were recognized at the Canadian Farm Writers Federation awards in Vancouver on Sept. 28.

Robin Booker won gold in the Daily Press Reporting category for “Cracks revealed in contaminated food database,” published in May. Booker had filed a request under the Access to Information and Privacy law for food safety concerns over imports from China and discovered that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is not equipped to perform basic searches of its database to establish trends and follow-ups.

Booker also earned silver in the Press Feature category for “Faking it,” published in November, about the surge of counterfeit honey into global honey supplies.

And he won gold for his photograph “Off the rails,” of a train derailment in January between Saskatoon and Warman that included at least 20 grain cars.

Regina-based reporter Karen Briere won bronze in Weekly Press Reporting for her story in February of 300 cattle seized from a farm near Stoughton, Sask.

William DeKay won gold for his story “Iconic photograph sparks humbling journey,” published in October. The tale told of Bart and Lisa Campbell’s journey to honour the Depression-era Fehr family’s same 1,200-kilometre trip in 1933.

Finally, yours truly earned silver for an editorial published in July 2018 called “Alberta opposition off base on farm safety legislation,” which urged United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney not to repeal Bill 6, but to give it time to measure its effectiveness.

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