Monday, April 24, 2006


Chickens, or lack there of, coming home to roost

It seems that Farmers and many in rural Canada are upset with the current federal government. Funny, this group couldn't magically solve some long-standing entrenched domestic and international problems.

Ag. Minister Chuck Strahl has hinted at additional assistance in the upcoming federal budget. Strahl's hint of cash however is likely to fall on deaf ears since the *fiscal imbalance* is perceived to be quite large. The farmers are calling for an additional $2 billion per year over the next three to compete with international subsidies. This is a familar refrain that has been ringing in the halls of legislatures over the past two decades and has fallen on deaf ears.

It is also a little humourous that their 5 prioroties - read them with me - don't include a single word about the farm or rural Canada. Ok, maybe the *child care bribe* does, but really who wouldn't want $1,200 free dollars except maybe those low-income earners who will see their tax status changed and actual experience significant clawbacks since the income is taxable.

That may have been one of the most value-loaded posts you have ever put up- how dare you slag the 5 priorities? Its soooo accurate, concise and compartmentalized!!

So what do *you* propose the feds do for the farmers?
Ahhhhh. The farmers. As someone that has the pleasure of living in Saskatchewan, I get my fill of farm protests. I am sympathetic to the plight of the farmers, as my family was and still is involved in farming and agriculture. That said, we see so many farm protests, that most people have become numb and apathetic. Everyday there is another crisis, every spring they cant pay there crop insurance premiums, every summer it doesnt rain enough, every fall the grain isnt worth enough, and every winter it's too cold to curl.

So where do we go from here?
The family farm is dead, the sooner we realize that, the better. Therefore, the NFU and the dozens of other 1940's mindset producer groups need to vanish. On the other hand, the large scale corporate farm is alive and surviving. These progressive large scale producers need to find a unified voice to articulately bring there issues to the forefront. The govenment needs to decide if we want to continue to enjoy safe and homegrown food source, or import milk from India.

If we cant get the other countries to reduce agricultural subsidies, then we will be faced with the choice of letting our industry wither or importing cheap and potentially unsafe food from India and Mexico.

I truly believe that most Canadians would not appose paying a little more for a safe food source.

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