(Ontario farmers donate hay for starving Alberta cattle
...while gov't stands by doing nothing)

It's great that the farmers of Ontario are helping feed the starving cattle of Alberta, but shouldn't the government be paying them for their hay and transporting it on the national railway "toot sweet" as they say up here in french-run Canada?

As we drove across British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario this summer I was expecting to see drought in the prairies and, sure enough, it was there. But what I WASN'T expecting was the lushness of Manitoba and Ontario.

In the western prairies there was no hay to be seen, while in the eastern prairies there were bales rotting on the side of the road. We saw two rotting haystacks that were so massive we stopped to ask the locals why they weren't being used. We were told that those particular bales were supposed to have been used to make particle board but the deal had fallen through. Dow Chemical had recently bought out the previous owner and planned to start up again but in the meantime the hay was a fire disaster waiting to happen and a haven for rats. I suggested the town submit an entry to the Guiness Book of Records and erect a sign saying WELCOME TO OUR TOWN - HOME OF THE WORLDS' BIGGEST HAY STACKS.

So too did we witness long stretches of railcars sitting idle and empty. We were disgusted that the government wasn't using the empty trains to transport excess hay from the abundant provinces to the needy provinces. Upon declaring Alberta's harvest a national disaster, the government instead threw dollars - millions of them - at farmers and hoped that would shut everyone up. At no time has the government ever focused on the true disaster, that being loss of food and land ownership. This is proof to me that the government is not working in the best interests of Canadians who fund it but instead in the interests of the massive agri-businesses which ALSO fund it.

We checked out the Factory Farm situation on our travels as well and were somewhat surprised at the ignorance of the normal person regarding this issue. In Saskatchewan the CBC radio (Communist Broadcasting Corporation) was reporting that it was a fait accompli that 55-million hogs would be raised in the province that year and people "may as well get used to it". When we went to a Travellers' Information Bureau to ask the location of the nearest Factory Farm the bored employees pretended to have never heard of such a thing, even though the news that day interviewed nearby family-farmers who'd been sickened by the air and water pollution from barns housing 15,000 hogs.

The only healthy fields we saw in some parts of western Saskatchewan and Alberta were government sanctioned research stations promoting sterile seed that had been injected with pesticide courtesy of Monsanto. We wandered around their canola, corn and pea fields reading the chemicals listed and wondered how any farmer could be seduced into using their poison, or how any government could encourage it. One thing is for sure, we'll all be the poorer for it, and I'm not talking financial, although we will be that too. ~ Jackie Jura



GIs to go 5 days without food (using cocktail of 'neutraceuticals' to squeeze last ounce of strength). Wired, Feb 17, 2004. Go to 14.Experimentation & 15.Life in Oceania & TAKE NOT OUR DAILY BREAD

Canada approves nuking food (to kill cow manure e-coli that seeps from factory farms). National Post, Jan 24, 2003. Go to 15.Life In Oceania

Giant hog farms in Canada (animal waste polluting waterways). CBC News, Nov 10, 2002

"Sending hay makes no economic sense" (tell that to a starving cow). Edmonton Journal, Aug 21, 2002. Go to FEEDLOTS INSTEAD OF FARMS

Gov't funds food giants (working against family farms). National Post, Aug 12, 2002.
As Western farmers struggle to save their farms, Canada's Minister of Agriculture, Lyle Vanclief, has awarded more than $180,000 to a lobby group representing the giants of the food and beverage industry - such as Coca-Cola, Kraft and Labbatt Breweries - including contributions to the cost of hotels and meals for CEOs. ... Food giants are getting tax dollars to lobby government ... this puts the Ministry of Agriculture in a conflict of interest, because it must represent both farmers and food manufacturers. Farmers want better prices for their goods, while manufacturers want a better deal from farmers... Agri-food responsibilities should be transferred to the industry department. "This just confirms that in fact the primary producer (the farmer) is secondary in this government's handling of agriculture", said the agri critic for Canadian Alliance, the opposition party. ...The Minister of Agriculture has also given agri-food reps $55,000 to learn how to communicate with the government...

Order to the Government: LOAD THOSE TRAINS WITH HAY and GET THEM MOVING 24-7. Sing to the tune of "RAWHIDE" at LOAD 'EM UP, MOVE 'EM OUT

Horses will starve to death (while gov't stands by doing nothing). Edmonton Journal, Aug 7, 2002. Go to 9.Keeping Masses Down and HORSE DEATH IN ANIMAL FARM

Gov't won't help deliver hay (fumigation and welfare is all they'll do). Edmonton Journal, Aug 7, 2002. Go to 9.Keeping Masses Down

Hay for only 50 of 3,600 farms (have to win lottery to receive). Edmonton Journal, Aug 6, 2002
Hay personally donated by concerned eastern farmers with 3X their normal crop arrives in 3 rail cars to be given to 50 Alberta farmers out of 3,600. Besides fumigating the hay and running the lottery the Canadian government is providing no help. Breeding stock it has taken decades to build are dying of starvation.

FACTORY FARMS STRIVE FOR STEALTH AND SECRECY (paying politicians to cover-up). Rense.com, Aug 6, 2002. Go to 9.Keeping Masses Down

Western ranchers need help feeding cattle (Canadian gov't needs to step in). Globe & Mail, Aug 4, 2002
Charity by citizens taking it upon themselves to help the farmers through hay donations that are doled out by lottery is the only help ranchers are getting.

Other stories this week reported:
The federal government does nothing but throw money - ie crop insurance and farm-aid. Last week they hindered more than helped by insisting the hay be fumigated before they'd allow it to be sent out. That arouses suspicion as to whose agenda they're advancing - the farmers or the chemical companies, among others.~ Jackie Jura

BIG HELPING OF HAY TO GO WEST (Transportation costs block more bales from reaching
Alberta cattle farmers). The Ottawa Citizen, July 25, 2002
The West is in trouble and the East is answering the call... to help Western Canadian cattle farmers cope with a drought that had become so bad cattle farmers could either sell for a loss, or watch their herd die... Farmers from all over Eastern Ontario and parts of Quebec loaded up their excess hay yesterday and, at their own cost, drove it to Brockville where a CN railyard has become a makeshift depot for hay going west...They say the generosity can't last... Transportation remains the single biggest obstacle preventing more hay from going west... "We just need some money to help cut the costs"... For a 540-kilogram bale of hay, farmers say it costs about $4 to bale and another $4 to truck to Brockville from the surrounding area. Farmers who have shipped up to 100 bales so far say they can easily spare several more trailer loads of hay, but they can't afford to cover the costs of transporting it...

Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~

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