I would like to address our federal agriculture minister’s continued use of the statement of “putting farmers first.”
First, as a beginning farmer a short while ago, I fell through some cracks in our agriculture programs. I had appealed every decision, right up to your office, with the same outcome each time, and at each level of appeal I was told that I had a valid point.
Although you acknowledged the crack was there, you chose not to help me. So Mr. Ritz, every time you use that statement you are blatantly misleading people. Your decision not to help me put me in a lower AgriStability margin and I was not eligible for the first Agri- Invest payment.
Second, you say it should not be illegal for farmers to market grain where they want. Have you tried selling milk or milk products or poultry products (on a larger scale) without belonging to their respective boards? I believe that it would also be illegal for any farmer to do. There are boards in place for a reason, and that is to protect farmers and make decisions that help those farmers, who belong to those respective boards.
Your recent criticism of the Canadian Wheat Board’s decision to purchase the two lake freighters shows your complete lack of understanding of investments. Investments are made to either make your work easier or make money. An investment usually has a short time frame before it starts returning profit back to the investor. These freighters will do the same, as the decision to purchase our rail cars, and that is to reduce the cost of freight for our grain. You, your Reform friends and the “me first” farmers do not seem to understand the meaning of working together, to return maximum benefits from domestic and world markets.
Michael Draper Lenore, Manitoba
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