CN says ‘thanks’, and Carman rallies in the face of low grain prices

Our History: April 1986

vintage newspaper advertisement

This CN ad from our April 24, 1986 issue thanked producers for attending its meetings across the Prairies that winter.

Stories about low grain prices were prominent in the issue. The U.S. had launched the Bonus Incentive Commodity Export Program (BICEP), later renamed the Export Enhancement Program (EEP). There was speculation that the grain export subsidy program would spark an all-out trade war with the European Union.

A rally in Carman drew more than 600 producers asking for government help to offset low grain prices. A two-price wheat program in place in 1986 required Canadian millers to pay $7 per bushel for wheat for domestic consumption, double the wheat board initial payment of $3.54. We reported that the Grocery Products Manufacturers of Canada was concerned about a Conservative backbencher’s proposal to raise the price by another $3 to $5 per bushel.

At a series of Manitoba Beef Commission meetings around the province, 88 per cent of producers answering a questionnaire favoured the current provincial beef stabilization program over a proposed federal tripartite plan. At the Manitoba Hog Producers Marketing Board annual meeting, chairman Bill Vaags expressed concern that the tripartite program for hogs could lead to even higher duties being imposed on U.S. imports.

Opposition leader Gary Filmon had shuffled his shadow cabinet, moving Jim Downey from agriculture critic to municipal affairs, replacing him with rookie MLA Glenn Findlay.

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