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Candidates Fail To Respond

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Re: Agriculture policy missing in march to premier s chair; editorial Aug. 29). Catchy title and excellent article!

We also found it very frustrating trying to communicate with five of the six candidates for premier. We wrote to all six, asking what their platform was, if they would repeal bills 36, 19, 50, 24, and 10, and what specific benefit they would do for Albertans.

Only two responded at all. Orman s Office asked if I was from the press, and when I said no, I was a mom trying to save Alberta for her kids, there was no further communication. Alison Redford responded, asking what our concerns were, what they could do about them, and organized a town hall meeting in our area (Bawlf) on June 2/11. Our own MLA (Doug Griffiths) never even responded.

Why are five of the six candidates so cavalier in their treatment of Alberta voters? All these candidates focus on is signing up their buddy MLAs to support them, and they ignore all the rest of us as if we don t exist.

That is not the kind of premier this province needs.

Marion Leithead Bawlf, Alberta

CWB Changes Erode Past Relationships

At his farewell dinner, departing Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach observed the Chinese market was a generational opportunity.

It was 48 years ago that another Albertan led the first western trade delegation to what was then a closed Red China. That delegation was actively supported by a prime minister from the West, John Diefenbaker, and his federal agriculture minister. The result was a generational opportunity for western Canadian farmers which they have prospered from ever since.

That far-seeing Albertan was Paul Babey, the leader of the Farmers Union of Alberta, once the province s largest farm organizations. Babey s delegation included representatives of the three Prairie Wheat Pools. Sales people from the Canadian Wheat Board were there as well. Much to the consternation of Americans, Babey s delegation capitalized on Canada s reputation for fairness and our western farmers co-operative enterprises to create a market in a Chinese culture where relationships and trust are the basis for business.

Over the past 48 years China has bought billions of bushels of wheat and barley directly from western farmers using the CWB. Today another western Canadian agriculture minister is in the process of destroying that market with his intention to end the CWB. He wants to replace it with the much less trustworthy private American grain traders who control the rest of the world s grain.

For the Chinese this will represent a betrayal of trust by their Canadian counterparts that they will not soon forget. They will no longer have the guarantee of quality and integrity established by the CWB. The big losers in this will be the grain farmers of Western Canada.

Ken Larsen Sylvan Lake

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