Ritz unfazed by pork complaints

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Federal and provincial risk management talks drag on with no end in sight

photo: Gerry Ritz


“We always put farmers first,” He makes it sound like someone actually cares.........but in reality it means farmers (pork farmers in this case) get pushed off the cliff first. Don't count on this bunch of procrastinators for any help.

Ritz is building a legacy of a do nothing minister. His farm background is showing no insight and serves him no credibility at all. As a farmer that talks about bank-ability, timeliness and predictability he should stick to words he can actually understand.

He was right, the program offered up was poor, but as a leader what did he submit that would address the nation wide crisis of agriculture he has abandon?

With springs agricultural activities only a few weeks away he sees no rush to "work" on his file while parliament is parogued, still thinking July is timely.

To our farmer brothers in the west.... find something else on the bench there that can lead please. This guy is not Olympic, parliamentary, material at all. We would be better with a "business man representing agriculture" than a "farmer trying to do business" he does not understand.

That only 120 hog producers across Canada have been eligible for a loan under this program, is a vivid demonstration of the "greater-fool" theory, meaning that it's hard to tell if 120 producers are the greater fools for borrowing money under this program, or the lenders for lending the money.

My industry sources tell me lending institutions, particularly the Credit Unions, have avoided this program like the plague because under present economic conditions, there's no way borrowers can ever repay the loans. In addition, my industry sources tell me the only reason Farm Credit is even visible at all, is because of political jawboning.

Recently Ritz dropped $1.22 million onto the dairy genetics industry to increase the exports of dairy genetics - this money would have had a lot more impact if spent helping hog farmers.

Ontario farm organizations have worked together to create a program that is beneficial to all non-supply managed commodities yet they are pretty much ignored. The costs of this program are probabaly far less than the money wasted everytime a new government gets elected and decides to "create" a new program. Every new aid program seems to only serve as a job protection program for ministry staff instead of benefitting those it is supposed to assist.

It appears obvious to me that the new hog programs came out of the same Ag Policy Factory that invented that program formerly known as CAIS. Underlying fundimentals are the same. That Ag Policy Factory is obviously extremely resistant to helping farmers in the way we all know is necessary. Policy makers obviously think the type of support we need is the wrong thing to do. Until we can change this wrong headed Ag Policy idea held by those policy makers, we will never get the BRM programs we need. Instead of being honest with farmers Ritz will just discuss the RMP idea to death.

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