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Friday, June 18, 2010 

Western Farmers Being GOUGED To Ship Grain By Rail - As Was Predicted!

"Prairie farmers are being overcharged $200 million a year by the railways, and Ottawa needs to do something about it, say farm groups that include the Canadian Wheat Board, Canadian Federation of Agriculture, National Farmers Union and three provincial farm organizations. At a news conference at the Western Canada Farm Progress Show here Wednesday, the farm groups released a study indicating that farmers recently paid an average of $6.87 per tonne more to ship their grain by rail than was considered "fair.''
Regina Leader-Post

In the late 1800's, the Canadian Pacific Railway was provided with $millions$ by the Federal government to complete the transcontinental rail line, In return, the CPR agreed to the implementation of the 'Crow Rate' to subsidize the movement of western grain from remote prairie farms in perpetuity. The CPR benefited hugely because it received a huge amount of federal land and money while western grain farmers had an means of moving tons or grain to Ports for shipping.

However, in the 1980's & '90's, Right Wing farm groups and political parties called for an end end to Crow Rate subsidy claiming that increased 'competition' would lower grain transportation costs. Yeah, right!

In 1995, while looking for ways to balance the federal budget, the Chretien Liberal government bowed to the loud right wing voices and the Crow Rate subsidy was ended with a one time cash payment to farmers. As usual, the Right wing Reform Party, Conservative Party and Saskatchewan Party were completely WRONG!

Over the years, the CPR has worked steadily to end movement of grain by rail wherever possible and transportation has heavily moved to large grain trucks which daily pound the crap out of provincial highways.

The only voices that fought the demise of the Crow Rate were the National Farmers Union and the New Democratic Party. History has now proven that they were correct and individuals like Reform's Preston Manning and former Saskatchewan Party leader, Elwin Hermanson were dead WRONG!

Told ya!!

Actually, it would be a very interesting exercise to dig up the Hansard and clippings from that time, because I remember Lorne Nystrom, Dick Proctor, John Solomon and others working like demons to fight that, and being fought at every turn by the Reformers, and now Conservative and Sask Party types.

The Right gets things WRONG so often it is ridiculous .. and yet they white knuckle their failed ideological ideas no matter what. We told them that if they got rid of the Crow (whereby grain was moved by rail on tracks PAID FOR BY ALL CANADIANS) .. then the Rail Co's would move to stop moving grain .. thereby moving it to trucks that pound the snot out of Saskatchewan highways .. that have to be maintained by a small group of taxpayers. But OH NO! The Conservatives and the Reformers all yelled in harmony that the CPR should be 'unfettered' by way of Right Wing 'voodoo economics' all kinds of competition would spring up and reduce rates. What a load of crap. They were WRONG and will never admit it ..

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