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Letters, Jan. 3, 2013

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

Insensitive cartoon

We are appalled at the insensitivity of the “cartoon” on the editorial page of the Dec. 20 edition, given the recent events in Connecticut.

Rudy and Sandra Ammeter Headingley, Man.

Non-farming community needs educating

Regarding the Dec. 6 article “End of cheap energy,” I ask how did Cuba increase farmers and decrease per unit of production? Your farmer readers would see this as ballywag. This letter addresses my concerns as a farmer who would like to see more headlines for possible farming practices, especially if government infrastructure could promote energy savings or alternate energy sources. Natural gas can power equipment, perhaps someday research could give us cereals that fix nitrogen. However, must I pay all the costs of such measures if society or the world is to benefit? Shouldn’t everyone share the carbon footprint? I grow food because I want to, but I need the money it brings to buy what the rest of the world wants and desires. Since I started farming, I’ve doubled the production on my farm. The diesel use for my tractors is one-quarter of the pre-no-till days; fertilizer has doubled due to continuous cropping. It must be good for the environment if the carb credit payers are right. My point is that if such authors as Andrew Nikiforuk have more audience than a farmer, many will go hungry. If journalists and farm writers devote as much passion to educating the non-farming community as I see in an attempt to bring innovations to the modern farmer, society would gain. Knowledge is power. If we are to bring a new generation to our farm, the technology will cost a bunch. The new farmers must be paid.

Bruce Wilmot Carnduff, Sask.

New rail bill strengthens the economy

The Harper government has tabled the Fair Rail Freight Service Act in the House of Commons to improve the efficiency, predictability and reliability of rail freight service in Canada. This legislation is part of our government’s plan to strengthen the economy. We are working to ensure that Canada’s rail freight system is better positioned to support long-term growth, resource development, and our ambitious domestic and international trade agenda. After a comprehensive study, the Rail Freight Service Review Panel in 2011 determined that there was an imbalance in the shipper-railway relationship. They recommended the use of service agreements to improve the performance of the system overall. In support of these recommendations, this legislation will give all companies that ship goods by rail the right to a service contract with railways, and establish an arbitration process for shippers to get a service contract if the parties cannot negotiate one together. This process will be fast and inexpensive. Our government believes that commercial negotiations are the best way to achieve results, and the goal of this legislation is to encourage railways and shippers to work together to reach agreements. Since the Rail Freight Service Review was launched in 2008, we have seen notable improvements in rail service in Canada. We are taking action to solidify those important gains so that our rail transportation system is well positioned for future growth. The act will help shippers to manage and expand their businesses, while ensuring that railways can operate an efficient network for the benefit of all users. A strong railway-shipper relationship is vital to Canada’s economy as a whole. This legislation is vital to maintaining a competitive rail network in Canada. In these challenging global economic times, all sectors of the economy must work together to drive economic growth, job creation and long-term prosperity.

Robert Sopuck, MP Dauphin-Swan River-Marquette Letters

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