My name is Dakota Sorensen. I am 26 years old. My partner Kaitlin and I moved to Eddystone in June 2019, looking to build a ranch and raise a family in Manitoba.
I put up everything I had to buy a ranch, composed largely of Crown lease land.
Now, on top of large farm payments, I have a lease bill that increased by 300 per cent.
Changes to billing, results in a combined 2020 cost in the six-figure mark.
It’s a hard bill to overcome, but the hardest pill to swallow is the loss of unit transfer.
Our ranch is made up of two places. The first one had the lease transferred before the freeze, and we were looking at the second place, which did not.
In October 2019 Minister Eichler announced there would be a one-time unit transfer. Crown land staff even made presentations as to how that would roll out.
So I bought the second ranch on this announcement. Fast-forward to October 2020. I made a huge business decision based on lies!
Minister Pedersen removed the promised transfer, it seems, to pursue his own personal agenda against Crown land leaseholders.
I would like the minister to meet with us young producers and listen to us on how to make Crown lands youth friendly instead of just deciding for us.
Had these changes been in effect prior to me purchasing my land, I don’t know how — or why — I would have, as will be the case with most future young producers.