Ralph's latest weekly update:
MR. HARPER TAKES SASKATCHEWAN FOR GRANTED – AGAIN!
Our province is going through a rough patch.
It started when high potash prices didn’t materialize as expected, punching a $2 billion hole in provincial revenues. And then we were drowned in the worst spring seeding conditions in history.
Over 85% of Saskatchewan’s farmland was affected. Some areas got more than three-times normal precipitation. Between a quarter and a third of the land (maybe 15 million acres) was either unseedable or will not produce a harvestable crop.
As a result, farm incomes will be down this year by some $3 billion.
The weird weather also extracted a heavy toll in property and business damages in Maple Creek, Saskatoon, Yorkton, Raymore, North Battleford, several First Nations and other places. The losses are approaching $400 million.
For the provincial economy overall, growth projections are being cut by about one-third.
You’d think the federal government would be sending heartening messages of encouragement. But instead, the Harper Conservatives give Saskatchewan the back of their hand.
On the farm front, the feds have offered only a puny $18 per acre – not to compensate for income losses, but only to defray extra land rehabilitation expenses after the water dries up.
This is hopelessly inadequate for the grain sector. There’s nothing for livestock. And it appears anything a farmer gets from this so-called “recovery” program will be offset against what he/she would have received anyway under the much-criticized “Agri-Stability” program. So it’s not “new” and it’s not much!
To add insult to injury, when municipalities asked Mr. Harper to extend the deadline for finishing flood-delayed infrastructure projects, they were told to get stuffed.
One Conservative M.P. compared Saskatchewan’s Mayors and Reeves to delinquent school kids who couldn’t be trusted to do their homework. That attitude shows how deeply the Harper gang takes this province for granted.