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Letters – for Oct. 6, 2011

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 ManitobaCo-operator, 1666DublinAve.,Winnipeg, R3H0H1 or Fax:204-954-1422 or email: [email protected] (subject: To the editor)

Not To Be Trusted

I am a farmer from Beausejour and I would just like to warn Manitobans about Hugh McFadyen s stance on Manitoba Hydro by using what is currently happening to the Canadian Wheat Board in order to make my point.

Before the federal election, Gerry Ritz, our minister of agriculture, when questioned on whether he would unilaterally remove the CWB single desk, stated: Until farmers make that change, I m not prepared to work arbitrarily. They are absolutely right to believe in democracy. I do, too. After the election, Ritz said he now has his mandate to remove the CWB s single-desk advantage.

McFadyen says he will not sell off Manitoba Hydro. Don t worry, he says, there is legislation that states a referendum has to be held with Manitobans before it can be sold.

Guess what? There is also legislation that states a farmer plebiscite must be held before the government can make changes to the CWB. Ritz is now changing that legislation in order to circumvent the farmer s right to vote on the future of the CWB.

McFadyen is in complete agreement with Ritz s handling of the CWB.

Don t believe McFadyen for a minute when he says he will not sell Manitoba Hydro if he forms the next government.

Ritz is changing the CWB to improve the bottom line of big corporations on the backs of farmers. McFadyen will sell Manitoba Hydro to improve the bottom line of big corporations on the backs of Manitobans just as he did with MTS.

Concerns remain unanswered

Producer Car Shippers of Canada Inc. (PCSC) represents producers who shipped 12,840 producer cars in the 2010-11 crop year, which was the second-highest number in recent years.

PCSC was formed to raise concerns producers had in moving their grain to market. We have a concern now, in that PCSC has been ignored by the federal government with regards to the elimination of the single desk and the move to an open market.

One would have thought the PCSC would have more at stake in these changes than the canola growers association or the pulse growers association, which shipped virtually no producer cars last year.

In a letter to Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz in August, we raised our concerns and to date he or his office have not even acknowledged receiving our letter. It was our understanding that all correspondence to a government MP would be at least acknowledged.

We as PCSC are disappointed with the office of the federal agriculture minister which has chosen to ignore us and the issues we have raised.

Tim Coulter President Producer Car Shippers of Canada Inc.

It s About Choice

I grew up on an 80-acre farm in central Alberta. I don t think I knew much about farming until I moved to my husband s 8,000-acre farm in southeast Saskatchewan. Since moving here, I ve learned how to drive a combine and bring in the harvest, and I ve learned enough about the CWB to make an informed decision.

You can t compare the plebiscite that just occurred with a federal or provincial election. In a federal election every vote is equal. The same goes for this plebiscite, however, that means that my father s vote has the same weight as my husband s. My husband is a full-time farmer. It s his business and his life. My dad is an electrician and a farmer on the side who raises cattle and rents out his cropland, but he is entitled to vote. If this survey wanted accuracy, some weight should have been given to production, not just one permit book, one vote.

My husband and I are expecting a baby in January and we re both very excited to know that this child will grow up in a country where it s not a crime for his parents to sell their own wheat and barley as of August 1, 2012, because it s not about getting rid of the CWB, it s about having a choice.

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