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OUR HISTORY: February 11, 1982

Our Feb. 11, 1982 issue reported on Transport Minister Jean-Luc Pepin’s announcement that a process would be established to eliminate the 85-year-old Crowsnest Pass rate agreement. The railways would receive commercial rates and farmers would be compensated by a federal subsidy. University of Manitoba economist Dr. Clay Gilson was appointed to head a negotiating process with farm groups, including on the contentious issue of whether the subsidy would be paid to the railways (therefore meaning it would only go to grain shippers) or to farmers directly (meaning they’d receive it even if they didn’t ship grain). Gilson later recommended splitting the payment, but in the end it was made to the railways. The subsidy was eliminated completely in 1995.

Elsewhere, we reported on a provincial interest rate relief plan for farmers facing foreclosure, and a $43-million relief plan for Co-op Implements, funded by federal and provincial governments and a group of member-owners. The plan was unsuccessful, and the company ceased operation in the 1990s.

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