Second harvest

National Post
June 17, 2002

Letters to the Editor

Re: Record Harvest of Profits All Came From Subsidies, by Lawrence Solomon, June 13.

It seems inconceivable that farming in Canada generates barely enough income to cover the subsidies it receives from federal and provincial governments. Of course, if you got your news from the CBC, that sobering fact would never be mentioned. Instead, you would see Peter Mansbridge announcing “trouble down on the farm” and showing hapless farmers surveying their stunted crops.

I propose a sunset law for farmers. Each farmer, and each piece of land, would be eligible for a subsidy three times. The third subsidy would have to be used for wrapping up the operation and retraining in another field. Three strikes and you’re out.

As the army officer exclaimed after watching British soldiers blow up a bridge that British POWs had just built in the film Bridge Across The River Kwai – “Madness!”

Larry Lloyd, Sooke, B.C.

Read Larry Solomon’s article, “Record Harvest of Profits All Came From Subsidies.” 

Lawrence Solomon’s theories on what should be done about our cities mirror what I’ve been saying for some time, especially his recommendation about what to do with the provinces (Advice to Cities: Take Control of Your Province, June 7).

Cities, which provide all the services that are most important to people and have the most immediate effect on their daily lives, are by far the most important of all levels of government. How ironic that they have virtually no power.

The only other really important level of government is federal, since it provides the big overall stuff like defence and foreign relations.

The provinces, set up for a rural economy, have become like all those bloated layers of middle management that were swept away through the 1990s – and they should suffer the same fate.

Imagine what Ontario’s cities could do with the vast amounts of money that are wasted on our provincial bureaucracy.

The only provincial governments that still make any sense are those in the north, where populations are primarily rural, and make their living from the land.

What this highlights, of course, is the need for true democratic representation, and an end to the rural bias in representation. How do we make this a political issue, and what needs to be done to correct this endless gerrymandering?

Thank you for an excellent article. I hope a few other people are listening.

Michael Visser, Toronto

Read Larry Solomon’s article, “Advice to Cities: Take Control of Your Province.”

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