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Letters – for Aug. 27, 2009

CWB promotion waste of farmers’ money

Having been in the business world for over a decade before entering farming, we found our best advertisement didn’t cost us a cent. Simply, do a better job than your competition, be fair and honest, and business took care of itself.

The Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) does the exact opposite. We’ve been told the CWB spends approximately $2 million a year on self-image. Would promoting their self-image boost their sales, giving them more clout in the marketplace? Absolutely not. The CWB is a closed, unaccountable monopoly with no competition. So this money, farmers’ money, spent on self-image is solely to keep the wheels on the CWB. Unthinkable!

As farmers, we have no say as to how the CWB spends our money. The CWB has no money outside of farmers’ money. So farmers’ money is being spent on promoting an antiquated system of marketing farmers do not support. This is the worst form of propaganda that I can envision.

Would it shock you to know that at least some of the employees at the CWB are not aware of who pays their salary? They have no idea as to why the CWB has all that cash. They know there’s a whole lot of money floating around. As well they know there is a pool account, but they have no idea of its origins. Unthinkable. But I have to pay their salary.

From a farmer who was raised on common sense, and who believes in farmers’ honesty and individual human rights, earn for farmers.

Gertrude Sawatzky

MacGregor, Man.

Hog Farmers Deserve More Support

Manitoba hog producers should not have to go down on their hands and knees begging for provincial and federal assistance.

Gerry Ritz should be shovelling the stimulus cash into Manitoba by the truckload. If Manitoba’s hogs must be culled, they should be slaughtered, the meat frozen and shipped to the Third World. The producers-farmers should be paid the full market price. If we can bail out the Ontario automakers, surely we can help the western farmer.

Ernie Slump Penticton, B. C.

Inquiry Into Hog Industry Debacle Unlikely

Thank you John Morriss. In a recent piece of journalistic wisdom, “What were they thinking?” Page 4 Aug. 20 Manitoba Co-operator you have, in a very condensed and accurate fashion, presented the entire rise and fall of the hog industry empire in Manitoba.

Unfortunate as it may now seem, it is evident that the corporate hog producers and our governments just weren’t thinking or paying attention to the mess they were getting themselves into.

Yet, back in 2000, the following statement included in a public discussion paper on Livestock Stewardship and signed by three cabinet ministers had this to say.

“The Manitoba government has a responsibility to guide this development, and ensure industry growth does not occur at the expense of the environment or our quality of life. To develop a plan for growth that is both viable and sustainable, we must consider the issues from all perspectives – economics, environmental and social. It is a trust and challenge we take very seriously.”

Back then, we know what the Manitoba government was thinking. However, that did not happen.

In fact, in several instances, all perpetrated by the five “P”s – Politics, Pigs, Profit, Poop and Pollution – the very opposite has taken place.

I agree a formal inquiry is in order. But who will do it? It’s like “belling the cat.” A good idea, but nobody will have the fortitude to tackle and accomplish such a nightmare of embarrassment.

Several years ago in a newspaper called the Farmers Independent Weekly, the past chair of the Manitoba Pork Council (MPC) was boasting of the great success of the pork industry in Manitoba and its overall contribution to the province. He even suggested that the sheaf of grain being held by the Golden Boy atop the Manitoba legislature be replaced with a pig.

With the latest financial aid figures to the “hog investment companies” it is evident that the once advertised as being such a successful and prominent industry, is now a liability and has become a burden to the taxpayer.

The Golden Boy still proudly clutches the sheaf of grain, and smilingly, seems to say, “what were they thinking?” John Fefchak. Virden, Man.

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

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