Manitoba Cooperator, Feb. 28, 2013

Glenn Tait
Meota, Sask.

Throughout history belief has often trumped truth.  Galileo, the father of modern science, proved by observing the nearby planets that the earth revolved around the sun.  The church would hear none of it.  Proof was irrelevant, or worse, blasphemous if it upset man’s central place in the universe.  In 1633, Galileo was forced to recant and the evidence was suppressed.

I worry that we haven’t come so very far since the end of the Dark Ages.  One has to go no further than the CWB debate to find half-truths and opinions vigorously defended as ‘gospel.’  Some blamed the CWB for not being able to ship the whole harvest right off the combine.  But a glance at a map will soon show that that is just not possible.  CP officials actually laughed when the notion was brought up at a Canada Grains Council meeting.

The CWB and its supporters have been disproving many of the same spurious arguments for years.  For some people it seems veracity is irrelevant; they just shut their eyes and believe.  Many ‘believers’ will hold to an unproven but rational sounding assertion or anecdote or some statistical anomaly and ignore the bulk of provable truth.

At times the American price for wheat was higher than ours, but in a recent U.S. Department of Commerce study CWB wheat delivered to northern U.S. points was higher priced than the local stuff 59 out of 60 months.  Some farmers may have been underpaid slightly for protein, but now the protein and grade premiums are just a fraction of what they used to be.  Now we are all underpaid.

We also have to expensively reinvent all the marketing and development work the old CWB used to do for us. It’s long past time for rationality.  The earth really revolves around the sun. Elvis died in 1977. There’s no nicotine in Tim’s coffee.  And on the whole the CWB, the CGC, and the PFRA did just what they were supposed to do on behalf of the farmer. They increased knowledge and power.

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