(Oct. 15/15) The Manitoba Cooperator is carrying a story (Grain backlog no impact on farm incomes: Ritz) quoting Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz ridiculing the latest independent academic study showing farmers would have been billions of dollars better off if they still had the single-desk Canadian Wheat Board.
Astoundingly, Ritz claims farmers never lost money. Wasn’t it just last year that he was touting his “Fairy Dust for Grain Farmers Act” which he then claimed would fix the problem of, wait for it, lost farm income?
Ritz now claims if farmers had really lost money, there would have been Ag-Stability payouts. That would be the program which he changed so farmers would have less chance of getting a payout.
Not to get too inside baseball, but those payouts would be triggered in a falling market, and as Professor Gray observed
“Yes, (western) farmers had a good year, but that doesn’t take away from the fact they could’ve been several billion dollars better off.”
Gray went on to say: “It’s unfortunate the minister isn’t better briefed.”
Indeed it is. This is a Minister who will do anything and say anything rather than deal with the facts. He has shown complete disrespect to independent farm groups and academics not on his government funded gravy train, who point out his beliefs and ideology do not work in reality.
His bungling of food safety issues, the customer complaints rolling in from around the world, the critical academic studies, and grain cheques that are half what they should be speak for themselves. Hopefully the Minister will soon lose his bully pulpit and can move on to other things while the grownups try to pick up the pieces of the mess he has created.