It is the time for Premier Greg Selinger to show his leadership concerning the ever-expanding flood waters of the Shoal Lakes and Vestfold Ducks Unlimited Project.
As of September 1 there are over 90,000 acres of farmland under the lake. Large sections of Provincial Roads 415 and 518 are under water resulting in them being permanently closed to all traffic. Farm families have been suffering extreme financial loss and stress over the past 10 years as the water rises more every year.
We have tried to survive on the land we have left but with so much land lost it is no longer possible. The provincial government agreed something had to be done in 2006 and they hired an engineering firm to do a study as to the best route to build a drain to Lake Manitoba.
At a meeting with provincial bureaucrats on the 27th of August we were told that the report is still not finished and more study is needed. The provincial government ministers responsible for dealing with the Shoal Lakes issue continue to dither and stonewall farmers. The Shoal Lakes farmers desperately need Premier Greg Selinger to show the leadership he promised to deliver to all Manitobans.
Get the report finished. Get the decision made on a drain. Get the provincial roads open. The premier has until 6:30 p. m. on the 29th of September to straighten out the mess in his cabinet and show results. On that date he will have to face the farmers and their families at a public meeting in Woodlands. We are not going to accept the current situation.
Howard Hilstrom Chairman, Shoal Lakes Action Group – they were saying the same thing during the price rally of 2007.
And what happened in 2007? A farmer selling No. 1, 12.5 per cent protein, Hard Red Spring wheat through the CWB in August 2007 received about C$8.53 per bushel at the farm gate.
And what was the price where there was no wheat board and only the open market to sell into? Well, farmers in the United States were selling Hard Red Spring wheat in August 2007 for US$5.53 per bushel.
The reality is that all farmers who are selling grain through the CWB during price rallies are fully participating in that rally. Over and over again, through the auditor general’s report and 14 international trade tribunals, the CWB has been found to be making good use of its single-desk marketing advantages.
If the Western Canadian Wheat Growers want to undercut their neighbours and sell all their wheat in August and September for almost $3 per bushel less than the CWB, that’s fine, but I don’t think they should be able to drag all other farmers down with them.
Stewart Wells Swift Current, Sask.
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