We've Turned Off The Yard Light

November 23, 1998
By: Edwin Wallace

Took the light emitting device and the photoelectric switch out and off our farm yard's flood light the other day. It was "hard wired", right back to the breaker panel; turned the breaker off too. Somebody suggested I should rewire the light so it could be turned on if needed. Said I might be over doing it, just a little, to make a point. A Good suggestion, and perhaps, a reasonable observation. But it flies right in the face of my protest.

Yes protest. For years now, especially in the cold, dark nights of winter when the moon is elsewhere, and the star's twinkle has been extinguished by an overcast sky, I have thought of our yard light as a beacon. Perhaps a guiding light for some lost traveler; a little candle showing light in this small corner. But a lot more. Our yard light declared, "We are here" No matter how dark the night or times,"We are here." It declared we have faith in our country, our system, in our own abilities and faith in the future.

But we have turned out our yard light. Should have done it a long time ago I guess. Back when we really lost trust in our governments and our leaders. In the whole scheme of things I guess that was not long ago.

You will easily remember. Roy "Pretty Boy" Romanow , made the word Cooperation into an empty, meaningless mantra, or worse; a code word for getting along with, and doing for, big business. He made fighting the deficit a cover for cut backs that mainly served his business and corporate friends (You can hardly find a Tory that doesn't like him). At that time, Pretty Boy, used slight of hand to pass the results of bad management off to local government. He established a smoke screen; setting health boards up as fall-guys for his basic lack of commitment to universal medicine. The light should have gone out when we realized Romanow, never has had an agriculture policy for this province. Well, other than hog corporations! We should have doused the light to protest Roy's increase on farm utility rates. And, when the federal and provincial governments ganged up to steal farmer's money out of GRIP, we should have taken the pole down too.

But the light is out now. Its out, because this federal government has done more to destroy the family farm than any other government, or event, in our history and that includes, drought, hail, grass hoppers and low grain prices. The Liberals have been the supervisors of mayhem to the farm economy, destroying the Crow, establishing safety nets with gigantic rips in the mesh, making plant breeder's rights and patent protection, a Holy Viper, that's only begun to feed on farmer's freedom, and economic well being. They have failed to give protection against rip-off input costs in face of low farm gate prices. And finally, Cretien and crew, have devised the means to destroy the Canadian Wheat Board, by pretending otherwise, via the cherubic face of one Ralph Goodale.

So, we turned out our yard light to say: We don't count! They don't need us! They don't care!

Our yard is dark tonight. So is the future of many of our farmers. I read with disdain, the reports of the province and the feds pretending not to
agree; feigning a fight over the present farm crises. But there IS agreement. There is NO fight. Both governments will that the farm crises take care of its self. It might. But how that process will savage many of us in this great minority of farmers, will, I'm afraid, only be noted on
auction sale bills.

I'm Edwin
On Brendaren Farm