Smoky farmers join to harvest federal funding
Grain and oilseed producers have just a couple of days to petition the federal government for financial assistance.
Falher was one of the final scheduled stops last week for farmer Nick Parsons of Dawson Creek, B.C., traveling to Ottawa and back to lobby the federal government for farming subsidies and gathering support along the route.
“Farmers are joining Canadian farm groups and the agriculture and food industry in calling on the federal government for an immediate cash payment to compensate grain and oilseed producers for the $1.3 billion trade injury resulting from the U.S.A. and foreign subsidies,” states a release from Parsons.
Farmers in the Peace River region are urged to join their Canadian counterparts in the campaign, with a May 17 deadline for petitioning the federal government.
“Ottawa is saying ‘no noise – no crisis'”, said the press released submitted to the Express last week by Donnelly farmer Frank Cote.
“We’re promoting this on his behalf,” said Cote, who has been operating his family farm since 1989.
Over the next 10 years, the USA government has committed $180 billion dollars, which Cote said would allocate $300 per acre per year.
He said it’s imperative the federal government help finance farmers in this essential industry.
“If they want us to be here in 10 years, they’re going to have to support us,” said Cote. “We’re trying to get the message out.”
Without this financial commitment, small rural farms will suffer the most competing in the world market, he said, where farmers in many countries receive government subsidies.
Parsons and Cote urge that letters be sent no later than May 17 to Prime Minister Jean Chretien, Finance Minister Paul Martin, Agri-Food Minister Lyle Vanclief, and Leader of the Opposition Stephen Harper at House of Commons, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A6. No postage is required.
Farmers are encouraged to view four letters on the campaign website at (www.aroundhere.ca/grassroots).
“Take time to read, print out, sign, and submit each one individually,” stated Parsons.
Simply supply four envelopes and place each signed letter in an appropriately-addressed envelope.