A struggling loonie puts up its dukes, sort of

Our History: May 1999

This cartoon in our May 13, 1999 issue poked fun at the apparent revival of the loonie toward the 70-cent U.S. mark, but it was to struggle some more, reaching an all-time low of 61.70 cents in January 2002.

That issue reported the first in an extended period of drenched fields in the traditionally dry southwest corner of Manitoba. A rain beginning May 4 and continuing through May 6 was followed by more rain and snow until May 10, leaving some areas with as much as 10 inches. The whole season turned out to be a difficult one for the area. Later in May we reported that up to two million acres operated by up to 3,000 farmers would not be planted that year.

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On the front page we reported that the U.S. Department of Commerce had ruled there was not enough evidence to support an anti-dumping case against Canadian cattle. The suit by the the U.S. Ranchers-Cattlemen’s Action Legal Fund (R-CALF) alleged that Canadian producers were selling cattle below the cost of production, which it said constituted a subsidy.

Meanwhile both the U.S. and Canada were pursuing World Trade Organization action against the EU for refusing beef from cattle treated with hormones. Despite several more challenges and favourable WTO ruling since, the ban remains.

We also reported the potential registration of the first two midge-resistant wheat varieties resistant to the orange blossom wheat midge.

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