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Public inquiry warranted

So, one Peak of the Market insider claims the article on Peak is “a one-sided scathing review” (letters Manitoba Co-operator Jan. 28).

Please, if one-sided, might the letter writer begin by explaining why neither the manager could not be made available for an indepth interview nor any alternate? Not even one among the structurally heavy-weighted board members, the letter writer included?

When I read the article, based on an informed view of how another provincially mandated farm organization is being allowed to run without proper government enforcement of basic minimum democratic and civil standards of fair play, my sense was this story was but a very small tip of the iceberg.

As a public service, if the stories of those aggrieved were brought before the court of public opinion, the public would be better served than leaving those aggrieved to pony up to the court system.

I therefore, along with the basic questions begging answer in David Neufeld’s letter, also applaud the Co-operator, editorial and reporter for these beginnings of a much warranted investigative public accounting.

However a public inquiry ought not be limited to Peak, but include the very government agencies themselves. From what I have seen personally, at the very least, from the two or more government certification agencies and their subpanels, to the Corporations Branch, and perhaps as well the department of Agriculture and the premier who all allow the boards to walk off with quasi-dictatorial powers while being blind to, and leaving the democratic “farmer-run” part nearly toothless, except for having to pay the bills, or on their own dime appeal to the courts, while the boards make do with the farmers’ cookie jar as if their own.

And the Peak board is not the only bad apple, only the most blatant as to what so far has met the public eye.

Democracy is not a spectator sport. Nor is the community served by free riders. An attack against one is truly an attack against all. May you be encouraged to not allow your neighbour to stand alone in correcting the abuses of your organization’s board.

Eduard Hiebert St. Francois Xavier, Man. grocery stores handle these small gourmet potatoes, but they are now grown in the U. S. because Manitoba farmers are not allowed to make a living that way.

Go figure. Nicholas Hogeveen Winnipeg unforced and therefore moral.

But this Peak of the Market monstrosity will persecute you “by government law” if you choose to sell outside of their tentacles. This is, of course, reprehensible.

Furthermore, why are my tax dollars being used to fund marketing operations for businessmen (a. k. a. farmers)? I’m not a farmer! I’m also not a furniture salesman. Why would my money be used to market their products? The only reasonable thing to do here is:

1) Get rid of laws that limit how farmers can sell produce

2) Sell off Peak of the Market so it can operate as a private marketing board that is funded by voluntary members. Brian Bagnall

Winnipeg

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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