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Editorial: Go ask ALUS

It’s long been a dream of Manitoba farmers for an ecological goods and services program that would pay them for providing environmental benefits for the good of society at large. The concept was first proposed by former KAP president Ian Wishart, now provincial minister of education and training, under the moniker ALUS or Alternative Land […] Read more

Editorial: Long-term fix needed

Canada’s grain handling and transportation system has descended into one of its periodic episodes of chaos and uncertainty. A big crop and some cold weather have met railways cut to the bone in search of profit, observers say, leading to the predictable outcome of grain movement grinding to a near halt. The last time was […] Read more

Editorial: Alone again, naturally

For a brief and shining moment, Canadian agriculture truly was “this year’s model,” to quote singer-songwriter Elvis Costello. Just a year ago, the sector was the belle of the ball during the federal government’s annual budget, having for the first time in living memory, captured the imaginations of the nation’s policy-makers. At that point the […] Read more

Editorial: Burying the hatchet

There’s a long-running list of issues that, over the years, have been sure to spur fast and furious debate between farmers. It’s such a well-worn trope that there’s an old joke that’s been circulating for many years that goes like this: [Insert agriculture policy-maker’s name] was once asked how you could get anything done when […] Read more

Editorial: The ‘free’ market

Over the years a lot of ink has been spilled about the “indefensible” supply-managed system in Canada, to quote just one recent article from the Globe & Mail newspaper. There’s a certain similarity to the arguments against the status quo. Some say the system is nothing but a price-fixing cartel or closed-shop union. Others liken […] Read more

Editorial: Ultimate inside information

One day in my previous life as director of information for the Canadian Wheat Board, a Chinese delegation was in Winnipeg to negotiate a wheat purchase. By that time, Chinese negotiations were down to a few days rather than the few weeks they had taken in the 1960s and 1970s, but there was still a […] Read more

Editorial: Saving playoffs lobster

No, your editor has not suddenly developed a love of free-form beatnik poetry in middle age, producing that seemingly nonsensical headline. It might not look like it, but those unrelated words are conveying critical information that could save lives under the right circumstances. The problem is a familiar one to any rural resident — how […] Read more

Editorial: Divided we fall

A metaphorical bombshell exploded this week over the corner of Portage and Main, the historic heart of Canada’s grain trade. Richardson International, Winnipeg’s largest homegrown grain trader, is pulling its financial support out of the Canola Council of Canada, Soy Canada and the Flax Council of Canada. As a result, the flax council has already […] Read more

Editorial: Meeting season

As this column is being written, Brandon’s Keystone Centre is a flurry of activity, with this being Ag Days week. It’s no small feat, transforming a hockey arena and recreation complex into one of the premier winter agriculture shows in North America. The sheer amount of large farm machinery that will enter (and later exit) […] Read more