Manitoba dust storm of 1999, and a “gang of seven” gears up for a fight

Our History: May 1999

In a scene similar to one April 15 this year, this photo taken near Eden in our May 6, 1999 issue showed dust blowing from the previous week’s windstorm. Winds at times topped 80 km/h. The worst-affected area was around Grosse Isle, where visibility was below one km in blowing dust.

In other news, Agriculture Minister Harry Enns was gearing up for a fight against the “gang of seven” other provinces over crop insurance. In opposition to Manitoba and Saskatchewan, they wanted crop insurance to be based on income rather than risk.

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Cheques were being mailed under the Agricultural Income Disaster Assistance program (AIDA) but there was dissatisfaction with the program. At a KAP general council meeting in April, delegates passed a resolution calling the program “excessively complicated, administratively prohibitive and difficult to qualify for.”

At a journalists’ meeting in Washington, Norman Borlaug, the Nobel-winning scientist behind the Green Revolution, said biotechnology offers no quick fixes for Third World food security. “The Third World should not even try to use it,” he said. “I don’t think in the short term it will benefit it. That’s why I insist in the developing world we have good public sector research and training programs, including education.”

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