Here are some Recent comments from readers about Ensign Stories

April 23, 2001
Pool Web Site Refuses to List Ensign
Date: 4/22/01 8:09 AM
Received: 4/22/01 8:15 AM
From: Edwin Wallace,
To: Timothy W. Shire,


You have dealt with the Saskatchewan Wheat Corporation SWC(Formerly the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool.) in a very fair and generous manner. Your policy of continually listing a link to the Producer site speaks very well to that.

I am amused as much as I am angered by Glenn Caleval, Producer Marketing Director - as he calls himself - as he ends his terse note to you with, "Thank you for your interest."

I'm amused that such an obviously puffed up piece of flotsam would, in that short sentence, expose his inability to see that the service of providing a link to your fine publication would enhance the Producer site's overall efficacy. Why? Because one could well assume the Producer and it's site are for the purpose of disseminating information. Thus, logic could then only lead to the conclusion that more information would better serve that purpose. I shake my head in dismay!

My anger stems from the fact that even down to such inconsequential minions as Caleval, there is extant in the Saskatchewan Wheat Corporation, an arrogance that tells the floundering, failing, business-bungling, Debacle, that we still need it and it's propaganda machine. NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH!

Even as I write this I am getting calls from farmers on the Empress Line (CPR) inquiring about our strategy for loading enough producer cars to circumvent not only the Saskatchewan Wheat Corporation but every other grain handling company that thought we would be glad to pay for more (bigger) elevators even as they destroyed perfectly good ones in our back yards.

No, Timothy, I (we farmers) don't need the SWC and its Producer and neither do you.

You have made your point to them. The loss is theirs.

Keep up the excellent work,

I'm Edwin..
The Way of Elections
Letter to Editor

The recent release of the Provincial budget had the Agriculture Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS) front and center as a spokesperson for Saskatchewan farmers. Just how did APAS become my spokesperson? First off, all RM Councils appointed a delegate to represent them at the information meeting. These appointed persons of the participating RM's, then appoint/elected directors in each of six divisions in Saskatchewan. If I am correct, it was these directors who appointed/elected the chairman (Keep the structure of the Saskatchewan Wheat 'Pool' firmly in mind).

To my knowledge, none of the directors ever held a meeting of their RATEPAYERS to discuss these appointments or policies they would promote. Only after ratepayer outrage was heard, did some RM's consent to a vote. Others arbitrarily made the decision for their taxpayers.

How does this stack up against other farm organizations? Manitoba's Keystone agriculture Producers (KAP) is funded by a check-off on grains. This check-off however is refundable (a nightmare to get back, but none-the-less - refundable). KAP has 12 districts. Their directors and policies are developed at district meetings by the general membership.

Alberta's Wild Rose Agriculture Producers (WRAP) is a voluntary membership organization. WRAP has nine board members elected by the general membership. Their policies are also developed by the general membership. Their Executive is then elected by the directors.

The National Farmers Union (NFU) is a National organization. It is a direct farmer-membership and participation organization. Farmers create the policy at the local, district, provincial and national level. It has a voluntary, farm family membership and has a Women's President and Youth Presidents who sit on the National Executive along with the National President, to insure it remains a farm family organization. These officials are all elected at the National Convention.

APAS, on the other hand does not have farmers as members, but rather the Rural Municipalities are the members. Individual farmers, while forced to fund the organization cannot develop policy, cannot revoke their funding, nor can they even channel their ten cents per acre/general revenue tax monies towards the farm organization they feel best represents them. Since APAS's funding is based on ACRES, rather than individual farmers, policy is not geared towards keeping the maximum number of farmers on the land.

To be fair, in a March 21, 2001, Leader Post, Letter to Editor column, Ms Christine Whitaker, A councilor for the RM of South Qu'Appelle states "Membership in APAS is not compulsory. It is not even open to individual producers. Membership is open only to rural municipalities, at a fee of 10 cents per acre of agricultural land within their jurisdiction. Currently, approximately one-third of the RMs in the province have either paid, or pledged to pay, into the organization. Some have taken the fee out of general tax revenue; others have imposed the 10-cents-per-acre levy on individual farmers". Of course, we farmers are so naive as to believe the imposed 10 cents-per-acre levy or the general tax revenue does not come out of our pockets!!!

Joyce Neufeld,
Waldeck, Sask