From The Archives: Farm labour shortage major concern in 1966

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: April 17, 1941

Federal agriculture minister James Gardiner appealed to prairie farmers’ sense of wartime patriotism as he took to the air waves to ask them to support the government’s new wheat policy, which would reduce wheat acreage and prices.

“There is no use sugaring the pills to convince you we are trying to do something for you,” he told farmers. “We are trying to do something for Canada and Britain and for the democratic way of living. It is not my intention to try to convince you that what we are asking you to do will help you financially.”

The Manitoba Federation of Agriculture protested a National Dairy Council recommendation to the Dominion Dairy Products Board to set the minimum price for butter at 31 cents a pound. The Canadian Dairy Farmers’ Federation had recommended 34 cents, which the Manitoba federation supported.

50 years ago: April 14, 1966

Saskatchewan Wheat Pool was taken aback by the bids for construction of its proposed grain terminal in Vancouver.

Second vice-president E.A. Boden said the lowest bid was so much higher than the engineering estimates that the board had asked that the project be re-examined.

The Manitoba Farm Bureau ex-pressed “serious concern” over the shortage of farm labour and asked the provincial government to help by providing more reasonable rates for unemployment insurance and workmen’s compensation.

Open air transport was provided during a field day at the Termuende Livestock Farm near Lanigan, Sask., in April 1983. | file photo
Open air transport was provided during a field day at the Termuende Livestock Farm near Lanigan, Sask., in April 1983. | file photo

25 years ago: April 18, 1991

The United States outraged prime minister Brian Mulroney by appealing a ruling against a countervail duty on Canadian pork imports. “The Americans chose to abuse the process by taking it the extra step,” he said.

Ottawa planned to deliver close to $500 million in spring aid to farmers, but recipients would have to enroll in the new Gross Revenue Insurance Plan.

10 years ago: April 13, 2006

The Red River was spilling its banks in Manitoba and flooding was expected to be bad, but no one was anticipating that it would get as bad as it did in 1997. A rapid spring melt was also causing flooding in parts of Saskatchewan.

Prime minister Stephen Harper promised that his government would be farmer friendly, offering more cash, better programs and a sympathetic ear.

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