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Letters, Feb. 28, 2013

We welcome readers’ comments on issues that have been covered in the Manitoba Co-operator. In most cases we cannot accept “open” letters or copies of letters which have been sent to several publications. Letters are subject to editing for length or taste. We suggest a maximum of about 300 words.

Please forward letters to Manitoba Co-operator, 1666 Dublin Ave., Winnipeg, R3H 0H1 or Fax: 204-954-1422 or email: [email protected] (subject: To the editor)

Supreme Court ruling shuns farmers

It is a clear blow to farmers and Canadian democracy that the Supreme Court decided not to hear the farmers’ appeal on whether the Conservative government had followed the law in abolishing the farmers’ single-desk marketing system.

The Supreme Court usually hears cases which are of national importance. But look at the amazing number of farmer-related issues the Supreme Court apparently thought were not important.

The farmers’ right to vote, enshrined in law, was taken away.

Over $200 million of assets that farmers paid for were confiscated by the Conservatives without compensation.

The federal minister defied a court decision, but then hypocritically appealed that decision at the same time.

There is a question of whether or not the minister of the day in fact had to follow the CWB Act.

And finally what about the integrity of a minister who promised a vote by farmers before any move would be made on the single desk while he was campaigning and then changed his mind after the federal election?

Apparently none of these things are of national significance. I would wonder what would happen if the Conservative government confiscated $200 million of Canadians’ RRSPs?

Would that be of national importance and deserve a Supreme Court hearing?

Susan Korneychuk

Emerald Park, Sask.

How to destroy a community

First, the NDP government tried to bully smaller municipalities into amalgamating. If bullying doesn’t work, the NDP will then resort to changing legislation to force the mergers of smaller municipalities.

It would appear the NDP seems intent on destroying communitiesthroughout Manitoba. The NDP has labelled smaller municipalities as “dysfunctional.” They proudly use the example of merging regional health authorities from 11 into five as an example of efficiency and cost cutting.

Perhaps the NDP is embarrassed that local governments balance their books each and every year, something the province has been unable to do. Perhaps, through forced amalgamations, the province has discovered yet another way to download even more costs to remaining local governments and ratepayers. Policing costs come to mind.

Local governments and ratepayers have always been astute to changing local dynamics. When mergers are proposed by local governments, it is the duty of the province to assist, not the other way around. Bullying by the province is not acceptable and changing legislation to achieve their goal of forcing amalgamations will destroy many communities across the province.

The NDP government needs to show respect for hard-working local governments and their ratepayers. They need to show respect for the value of communities across Manitoba. Bullying is never acceptable.

Blaine Pedersen

MLA Midland

When gospel becomes reality

Throughout history belief has often trumped truth. Galileo, the father of modern science, proved by observing the nearby planets that the earth revolved around the sun. The church would hear none of it. Proof was irrelevant, or worse, blasphemous if it upset man’s central place in the universe. In 1633, Galileo was forced to recant and the evidence was suppressed.

I worry that we haven’t come so very far since the end of the Dark Ages. One has to go no further than the CWB debate to find half-truths and opinions vigorously defended as ‘gospel.’

Some blamed the CWB for not being able to ship the whole harvest right off the combine. But a glance at a map will soon show that that is just not possible. CP officials actually laughed when the notion was brought up at a Canada Grains Council meeting.

The CWB and its supporters have been disproving many of the same spurious arguments for years. For some people it seems veracity is irrelevant; they just shut their eyes and believe.

Many ‘believers’ will hold to an unproven but rational sounding assertion or anecdote or some statistical anomaly and ignore the bulk of provable truth.

At times the American price for wheat was higher than ours, but in a recent U.S. Department of Commerce study CWB wheat delivered to northern U.S. points was higher priced than the local stuff 59 out of 60 months.

Some farmers may have been underpaid slightly for protein, but now the protein and grade premiums are just a fraction of what they used to be. Now we are all underpaid. We also have to expensively reinvent all the marketing and development work the old CWB used to do for us.

It’s long past time for rationality. The earth really revolves around the sun. Elvis died in 1977. There’s no nicotine in Tim’s coffee. And on the whole the CWB, the CGC, and the PFRA did just what they were supposed to do on behalf of the farmer. They increased knowledge and power.

Glenn Tait

Meota, Sask.

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