As Each Day Ends Hope Begins Once More

FTLComm - Melfort - Saturday, May 11, 2002

In the image above you can just make out a farmer putting in the crop of 2002, just East of Melfort at sunset Friday night.

The light from the sky gives the ground a green hue when the real colour is varying shades of brown. It has been brown in Saskatchewan for more than three years and now after a brown winter the promise of the setting sky is that rain may once again descend upon the dusty plains.

This past week there was considerable gnashing of teeth as the American government much in need of rural votes to put Republicans into the Congress this fall passed a bill to move American subsidies to agriculture back to the levels they were before Free Trade and NAFTA. A Wisconsin elected

politician explained to CBC's Sheila Cole that they realise that Free Trade is not working and have decided just to do what they did before as they know they have to support agriculture because America needs to have inexpensive food in order to sustain itself.

Good grief the Snow and Blue geese in the picture above understand that reality one wonders why it is something beyond the politicians from Ontario and Quebec who run this country.

Free Trade doesn't work, the Americans know that and have set their clocks back to 1996. We Canadians can not afford to match the American subsidies to agriculture and so it is no longer economically viable to farm in this country. Realising that Canada is now an urban country and farm voters mean nothing our government has decided to "let them perish".

The less than charitable situation is one that will be anguish to all who live here but this is the reality. But as this cold May creeps onward the seed is being put in the ground and the fertilizer is being applied, chemicals sprayed and eyes raised to the sky. The reliance now is on hope.

If Free Trade is history then now is the time to even things up, tariffs and duties on things they need to pay for subsidies for the industries in trouble because of their subsidies.

Scattered showers possible over the next few days. Good luck.

Timothy W. Shire