Friday, 15 June 2012 10:44

Harper is being cruel to farmers

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Editor:
The contemptuous treatment of Canadian farmers/citizens by the Harper Conservatives is unbelievable. It should make most who voted Tory cringe in shame.

Stephen Harper, Gerry Ritz and David Anderson destroyed the Canadian Wheat Board which was operated by a board of farmers elected by farmers, paid for by farmers and worked on the behalf of all farmers.
They reduced the role of the Canadian Grain Commission, which protected farmers from unscrupulous grading by grain companies.
They eliminated the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s role in protecting consumers from unsafe drugs and food products, false advertising, and enforcing food labelling, all for the benefit of consumers.
More recently they cut the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration which operates 85 Community Pastures, water management, grants for wells and dugouts and provides trees for farms, community development, municipal governments etc. These pastures continually moved their bulls around, thus elimination the need for farmers/ ranchers buying expensive breeding bulls every few years.
Ritz had the gall to announce the government was setting up a $25 million grant (All taxpayer money) to boost the amount of grain shipped through the Port of Churchill. Who will get this money? Certainly not the farmers. It will go to the likes of Pioneer Grain (Richardson’s) with terminal at Vancouver, Thunder Bay and Prince Rupert: Alliance Grain Terminal (Vancouver and Thunder Bay); Parrish & Heimbecker (Vancouver and Thunder Bay); Cargill (Vancouver, Thunder Bay and Prince Rupert); Viterra ( Vancouver, Thunder Bay and Prince Rupert); ADM (Thunder Bay) and OmniTrax Rail.
Is anyone naïve enough to think these corporations will utilize Churchill when they already own terminals at other ports?
Add to this the thousands of people they have fired, the changes to the Employment Insurance, and increased eligibility for OAS from 65 to 67, they have proven, without a doubt their loyalty lies with the corporate sector of the world and not the Canadian citizen. At the same time, they have reduced the corporate tax rate from 21 per cent (2007) to 15 per cent (2012). Small wonder they have deficit budgets.
Joyce Neufeld, Waldeck, Sask.

 

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Ryan Dahlman

Managing Editor