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Letters – for Nov. 18, 2010

Dogs in a truck offence – offensive

Just when a person is thinking that the urban-rural gap cannot get any wider– Dr. Terry Whiting is quoted in a Manitoba Co-operatorarticle concerning Manitoba’s new animal rights and welfare rules. In the specific quote of concern “Sheriff” Whiting informs us that driving a pickup truck with a loose dog in the back would be an offence under the new rules.

He goes on, “I don’t think the RCMP really cares about dogs in the back of trucks,” he said. “But that gives them cause to stop a truck, and the kinds of hillbillies that have loose dogs in the back of their truck also have big bales of marijuana on the floor and a box of handgun ammunition on the dashboard.”

What would ever possess a sane person to make a statement such as this? In one fell swoop you and your department along with the provincial government has alienated every cattle producer in this province.

I have seen this happen only once before – the name Rosann come to mind?

Out here, in the real world where the work gets done, most cattlemen and women work with dogs – or have in the past – and most of us hillbillies have them trained to jump in the back of the truck. Flexing your muscle and displaying your authoritarian badge and telling us that you and your deputies are going to scout the rural pasture land looking for pickups, dogs, dope and guns – well, the optics are not that good.

I once read that a person’s true character will be revealed when they are given some power, some authority. Put the handcuffs away. This revelation is not a pretty sight. Brian Sterling Tilston, Man. cause to stop a truck and the kinds of hillbillies that have loose dogs in the back of their trucks also have big bales of marijuana on the floor and a box of handgun ammunition on the dashboard.”

I have to stop for a moment in disbelief that somebody with this much power can have this kind of stereotypical beliefs, actually put it into print and still be employed by the provincial government.

I am a small cattle farmer with a couple of working collie- blue heeler cattle dogs and we also have a few horses that we use to work the cattle. Yes, sometimes my two dogs do ride in the back of the truck, for the simple reason they have been working and are covered in mud and manure and I don’t think that the 75 per cent of the population that lives within 50 km of Winnipeg would put them in their fancy SUVs either.

Whiting also states that we have a lack of trust between rural and urban people. I’m sure he can figure out why when he is printing statements like this in the farm publications.

Minister Struthers, I don’t think you would have to look too hard to find a replacement for this man, and in my opinion, that’s exactly what you should do.

Henry Hales Rapid City, Man.

Candidates need to declare their views

A recentManitoba Co-operatorreported on interviews with candidates for CWB director in District 9 – the position being vacated by Bill Nicholson, a longtime farmer advocate who is not allowed to run for a fourth term.

Director candidate Ernie Sirski refused to say whether he supported the single-desk system of grain marketing under the CWB or an “open market.” He avoided the question by saying that “the mandate of the CWB will be determined by Parliament not the CWB directors.”

It would appear from Sirski’s comment that he has no understanding of why the CWB Act was changed in 1998 from the old commissioner structure to a majority farmer-elected board of directors. The reason was so that it would now be up to farmers rather than MPs – be it Conservative, Liberal or NDP – to determine the CWB’s future. It is up to Prairie farmers to determine the kind of marketing system they have for their wheat and barley, not Parliament.

But the question remains, Ernie Sirski: Do you, or do you not support single-desk marketing under the CWB? If your answer is “no,” you have an obligation to tell the voters in District 9 that, if elected, you intend to work from inside with the Harper-appointed directors to destroy the CWB. Without the single desk, the wheat board cannot exist.

I think it is a good thing that the farmers in District 9 have two other excellent candidates to vote for.

Wilfred (Butch) Harder

Lowe Farm, Man.

Tight-lipped candidates no friend of the CWB

Some candidates in the CWB directors’ election are clearly communicating their position regarding the CWB, while others are not. It is important to know each candidate’s views and see they have the courage to publicly voice their convictions. Candidates who use rhetoric such as “moving forward, new direction, momentum, etc.” without clearly stating what that direction is, are essentially proposing the open-market system and will be instrumental in the demise of the CWB.

After years of debate, it is clear to most voters there are only two choices in grain marketing: “single desk” or “open market.” It must be assumed that a candidate, who does not openly disclose their stance, is essentially trying to confuse the voter. Voting for the tight-lipped candidate could result in a detrimental change in the CWB mandate.

Some candidates have a history of wanting to eliminate the CWB’s single desk. As history has demonstrated, it is easy to connect the dots to the end result if the single-desk mandate is destroyed. Entities such as UGG and Agricore United had individuals who did not support the co-operative role. These entities have ceased to exist and are now under one large American-controlled company. The Australian Wheat Board is presently dwindling to nothing since it lost its singledesk marketing advantage. Perhaps those who do not publicly support the single-desk mandate wish the same for the Canadian Wheat Board.

If you don’t believe in the single-desk mandate, why would you propose yourself as director of the CWB, a singledesk marketing agency? Those who do can be viewed as having the potential to undermine and sabotage the CWB single-desk mandate.

Finally, the single-desk supporter is providing agricultural producers assurance and marketing power simultaneously. Let’s pick five single-desk supporters this time and send the non-supporters packing. Our board of directors could operate much more effectively.

Rob Cowan Swan River, Man.

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)

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Sometimesmytwodogsdorideinthebackof thetruck,forthesimplereasontheyhavebeen workingandarecoveredinmudandmanure.”

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