The Time To Help Yourself Is Now
I am writing in response to Mr. Stang’s letter in the 2009 calving special.
As he said, the auto industry plays an important role in the Canadian economy, as does the beef industry. What must be recognized are the millions of good-paying jobs that would be lost if the government didn’t help out — not just the auto industry, but all the spin-offs like manufacturing and the oil industry. Imagine if millions of those good-paying jobs were lost and how that would directly affect the consumption of our beef. People on government assistance can’t afford a high-protein diet, not to mention the byproducts of a beef animal that are used to make an automobile.
As for his comment about being strangled by regulations since BSE, I would suggest it was the lack of regulations that got us in this mess in the first place. Once borders were closed, some of those regulations were necessary to reopen borders for business. Yes, harmonization with U. S. regulations would have been more appropriate for a level playing field.
I would also beg to differ with his comment about the money going to where the most people live. Cattle producers all across Canada have been affected since May 2003. Our borders (in the east) closed the same as yours for a disease outbreak that to date has not been found east of Manitoba. Our losses have been the same per head as yours.
Now is the time for something to be done, but don’t look to any government to help. We have been in downward spiral for 50 years, and have failed to do anything to correct it, yet we continue to want to stay in the global race for the bottom line.
As for his final threat of an east-west split, I would challenge him to rethink this thought. The borders to the east were the only ones to remain open to (western) beef since May 2003. You need our population greater than you need a government bailout.
As Albert Einstein said, the signifi cant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them.
MARK GOETZ, PRESIDENT
CAW LOCAL 4207, WINGHAM, ONT. COW-CALF PRODUCER, MILDMAY, ONT.