Prairie farmers should support CN rail workers

Calls to force CN rail workers back to work bring into question Alberta’s “ethical oil” stance and the reputation of prairie grain (November 20, 2019)  Both the government of Alberta and the usual suspects in the Astroturf Prairie agricultural groups are telling Ottawa to legislate an end to the CN rail workers’ strike.  Most people may not know the strike is over some exceedingly...

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Chinese canola embargo about quality assurance

(March 23, 2019)  This morning CBC is reporting that China stopped all purchases of canola from Canadian sources.  In spite of what Harper era diplomats with short memories and some other commentators may say, this is about the customer, in this case China, not getting the product they want. The canola issue is rooted in concerns about dockage and trust that go back almost three years.  As...

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Will farmers share in Dreyfus win over railway?

(February 4, 2019)  A couple of weeks ago there was a small news story about Louis Dreyfus successfully suing CN rail for failing to provide enough grain cars to its elevators. CN trotted out the usual excuses for being tardy:  it gets cold in the winter, there was a lot of grain to ship, and they have other customers.  It must be easy being a railway lawyer when it is just cut and paste from...

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Food Genetics – Carlier supports farmers

– will other prairie Ag Ministers follow his lead? (January 29, 2019)  For months prairie farmers have been pushing back against a so-called Seed Value/Seed Synergy proposal to effectively privatize Canada’s cereals genetics and give it to some of the largest agro-chemical-seed companies in the world. So it was good to see Alberta Minister of Agriculture Oneil Carlier quoted in the...

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Food Genetics – More Talking Points

(December 5, 2018)  In the previous article I went through some of the talking points advanced by supporters of privatization under the “Seed Value Creation/Seed Synergy” consultations.  I also posted a useful background article by a friend and colleague. In order to frighten farmers much has been made of the fact the Harper government went on a destructive rampage at Agriculture and...

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Food Genetics – Seed companies’ talking points

(November 30, 2018)  By now most grain farmers are aware that (by 2017) just three giant agro-chemical-seed companies dominate the global agrochemical and seed market.  These giants are certainly interested in taking control of the Canadian cereals genome away from farmers and the public interest.  Their friends and sympathisers are using a vehicle called “Seed Synergy” under the umbrella...

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