Letters to the editor – November 5, 2020

Man. betrays crown land leaseholders

Our (Manitoba) minister of agriculture wants you to believe that he generously gave leaseholders what they wanted after there was a huge uproar over proposed crown land modernization changes made by then minister Ralph Eichler.

That is not the case. After huge leaseholder protests, Eichler conceded and agreed to bring back family transfers, ensuring continuity and the survival of the family farm.

He also agreed to allow a one-time transfer of “legacy” leases to allow the orderly sale of ranches bought by newcomers who now want to leave Manitoba and its draconian, non-conservative lease changes.

It would also allow for the sale of ranches by Manitobans, without family to transfer to, who have lived within the transfer parameters their whole lives.

Those were the promises, but the one-time transfer has been removed from the regulations under the new minister, Blaine Pedersen.

If this regulation is passed, there will be no unit transfer in Manitoba. Ranches in northern Manitoba become unviable and unsalable. Not a single ranch has sold since the crown land freeze, nor will they sell.

Personally, we would never have come here from Alberta. We would have gone to Saskatchewan where land prices are similar but they have not destroyed their lease-land system and they have a solid agriculture supportive government. All ranches in Canada making use of leased land have a unit transfer process. Why is this government so off track?

Shelley Dyck,

Ste. Rose du Lac, Man.

GM wheat not market-ready

Your story, “An environmental story can be spun for GM wheat,” in The Western Producer of Oct. 22 highlights some important issues.

Argentina has approved a genetically modified wheat but is not going to start selling it unless Brazil, its biggest customer, will accept it.

This is a lesson learned the hard way. We’ve all seen cases where GM products were put on the market without having regulatory  or consumer acceptance.

Nobody should have forgotten Triffid flax or Starlink corn.

The markets are still closed to GM wheat, regardless of the biotech industry’s endless and unfulfilled promises of “environmental” applications or agronomic miracles.

It’s the farmers who pay for these rash decisions.

Arnold Taylor,

Kenaston,

Sask.Organic Agriculture Protection Fund chair

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