Topic: Minister Ritz... always a target by the left/NDP
posted Jul 26, 2012 10:38
Maybe it had something to do with the unseasonably large media presence, but on Tuesday NDP critic Malcolm Allen was especially critical of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz’s recent performance.
Eastern farmers — particularly those in Ontario — are struggling through a drought that will all but kill some crops and the Minister is missing in action, Allen charged.
Yes, he has met with some of them, he clarified, but that was just about future risk management programs. And the Harper government is only planning on cutting those.
Unlike when Saskatchewan’s producers were overwhelmed with floods last summer, he said, Ontario’s farmers have been given second-class treatment.
The minister won’t even answer their letters.
“You mentioned that some groups had written to the minister and didn’t get a response. Which groups would those be?” the Canadian Press’ Steve Rennie asked Allen at the Tuesday press conference.
“We’re looking at the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, which is the largest one in the country,” Allen answered.
It turns out that wasn’t exactly right.
Yes, they are the largest farmers’ organization in the country, but they didn’t send a letter to the Minister’s Office.
In an email, the CFA chalked it up to “confusion”, and said they hadn’t “spoken with him recently”. Allen that is.
He made a mistake, NDP press secretary Lynne Robichaud explained on Wednesday; Allen meant the National Farmers Union’s Ontario chapter.
She provided their letter, which you can see here.
In it they lay out the myriad problems they’re facing: tree fruit crops will be almost entirely wiped out, corn and soybean crops have little chance of pollinating because of a lack of moisture, and winter hay reserves are already being used with little hope of replacing them.
And no, for the record, Minister Ritz hasn’t responded to that letter.
But then again, it wasn’t addressed to him. It was addressed to the Ontario Agriculture Minister, Ted McMeekin.
Minister Ritz was only CC’d, which is why, according to his office, he hasn’t responded.
posted Jul 26, 2012 12:18
I wonder how well insured they are out
east compared to us. I am not worried
about them in the least. and the thing
is out here, we have had year after year
of too wet to even seed: 4 of them to be
exact. You can not cover yourself for
that with regular insurance. Had the wet
areas even got a crop seeded, they would
have had coverage, just as these ontario
and particularly Quebec farmer would
have. Don't lose sleep over them
Wilagro, they will be fine. I would
however, lose sleep for guys with 4 out
of six years, having no crop in the
ground, and this is why Ritz responded:
It was a real issue. This one year
drought, after years of great crops in
the east, is hardly a pressing matter.
posted Jul 26, 2012 15:56
Hey burnt, i mean no harm, other than it
is a one year thing for you guys so far...
We all hope it stays a one year thing. I
think you missed my point entirely, sorry
I seemed callous, and not that clear. I
feel badly, cuz I've been there way too
much! I just sure would have been better
to have seeded and been covered than not.
No hard feelings?
posted Jul 26, 2012 18:16
WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!! everybody. I don't particularly care for Minister Ritz, but that is immaterial. Once again its farmers against farmers, east versus west. Just the way the governments of all stripes want. Divided they conquer, they don't have to do anything of any consequence. Other farmers aren't the enemy!!!!
posted Jul 26, 2012 23:00
IMHO, the whole farming thing would be best left to its own devices and farmers rise and fall on their own merits, not by how much they get out of the government in tough times.
While most producers around me take advantage of all the Risk Management "tools", I have opted out of most of them, using only AgriInvest because it encourages the responsible approach of putting away in the good times to offset the tough times.
Let the government look after trade issues and enforce good, regulatory policy that ensures safety, justice and fairness within our own borders.
Again, IMHO, safety nets of any sort only encourage irresponsible business decisions. They provide the greedy with incentives to take risks that they would not embark upon if they knew they would be personally liable for any failures.
I do not think that the federal or provincial governments own farmers anything in any circumstance. If you wanna be a big boy at the farm show, then you be a big boy when the going gets tough, too.
I also think that farmers usually vote Conservative but live Liberal.
Freewheat, perhaps I over-reacted to your comments and withdraw my remarks.
posted Jul 27, 2012 19:50
Ontario's farm groups really pushed for
the rev ins path but from what i
understand the provincial gov only bought
in. So why wouldn't you take advantage of
all the programs? Doesn't that leave you
in an unfair competitive position?