Subsidy troubles run the gamut

Our History: April 1990

This Agricultural Diversification Alliance ad from our April 26, 1990 issue invited farmers to support a plan to lock in the $720-million annual Crow benefit payment by having it converted to a 25-year annuity paid directly to Prairie farmers instead of to the railways. The ADA argued that removing the subsidy on export grain would encourage more livestock and value-added activity on the Prairies, and warned that paying to the railways would be subject to trade action. The debate over which way to pay the benefit ended in 1995 when the cost-cutting Chretien government eliminated it altogether.

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In other subsidy news, Manitoba hog producers were considering a lawsuit claiming up to $50 million against other provinces for losses caused by their subsidy programs.

The overseas grain export subsidy war continued — the U.S. sharply increased its Export Enhancement Program (EEP) subsidies the previous week, allowing the Soviet Union to buy wheat at $132.50 per tonne ($3.60/bu.) with a subsidy of $31.53.

Seeding was reported to be underway, with about five per cent of cereals seeded around Melita.

At a special ceremony, Manitoba Crop Insurance celebrated its 30th anniversary, and special licence plates were issued to 211 producers who had been in the program since its inception.

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