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Letters: Changes requested

Our provincial government listened to producers when they said they wanted to see changes to the Crown Lands Act. Unlike previous governments, we don’t take the agricultural sector for granted, and were excited to phase in new rules for Crown land leases. The first auctions took place over November and December of 2019, and saw many successful young farmers bid on land.

That is why I was troubled to read the letter from Shelley Dyck dated January 7, 2020 challenging the new Crown Land Lease auctions. Especially considering that changes to Crown land leases have been requested from producers since I was on the Manitoba Cattle Producers Association back in the 1970s. Finally a government listened and took decisive action.

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I am not sure if Ms. Dyck attended any of the successful auctions that were held, but if she had, she would have seen all of the young Manitoba producers bidding on leases. In fact, 42 per cent of the new leases have been awarded to producers under 40, with all leases being awarded to Manitoba producers.

On top of being the huge success it was, in achieving the goal of helping young producers access leases, it was land that had been expired for months.

I really hope Ms. Dyck decides to come to a Crown lands auction in the future. She could bid for a Crown land lease herself, and witness how successful our government’s changes have been for Manitoba producers.

Blaine Pedersen
Manitoba agriculture and resource development minister

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