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Government must help farmers more than corporations
"On a glorious fall morning in the nation's capital, I made my way to Parliament Hill, along with representatives from the Canadian Cattlemen's Association (CCA) and the Ontario Cattlemen's Association (OCA), and a grass-roots beef farmer from Algoma to meet with a group of MPs and then later participate in a press conference. Jack Tindal, the Algoma farmer, had been to Parliament Hill five years previously to talk about the financial situation of beef farmers. Five years later he was back to meet with the NDP caucus because farmers have worked through all of their savings and their equity, and are facing government programs that do little, if anything, to help Canada's farmers.
One of the things the Cattlemen's Association was asking politicians to do was to level the playing field with American farmers. In Canada we have taken the precaution of removing what is called specified risk material. SRM removal covers all the areas in a beef animal that could conceivably cause illness. This action costs the Canadian industry about $37.10 per animal. This is a cost that is not borne by any of Canada's competitors on the world stage. The Cattlemen's Associations were in Ottawa to call upon government to help cover the costs of SRM removal. The NFU certainly agrees with this call in the short term. In the long term though the NFU believes it would be far more cost effective to simply test every animal for BSE. This action would not only have the ironic effect of being cheaper than SRM removal, (something that critics have used as a reason not to test), but also open up markets around the world for Canadian beef. The recommendation to test was a part of the NFU's 16 point solution to the beef crisis contained in our November, 2008 report, The Farm Crisis and the Cattle Sector: Toward a New Analysis and New Solutions."
Grant's a super writer - easy to read and understand the issue. Great NDP plug too!
We need people like this official with the Canadian Farmer's Union in parliament - to ensure food security and viable farming practices that help those earn a living wage in Canada.
Thanks webgear, going to forward this to the local paper...
Remind, no problem.
Janfromthebruce, yes Grant is excellent writer.