Pork Producers Step Up Call for Provincial Assistance

CANADA - Manitoba Pork Council is urging the provincial government to follow the lead of the federal government and several other provinces in providing support for its hog sector, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 20 October 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

Canadian pork producers have been losing money for the past two and a half years.

Last week Keystone Agricultural Producers passed a resolution calling the Manitoba Government to work with the hog industry and provide financial support for hog producers.

Manitoba Pork Council chair Karl Kynoch says he would like an indication of what producers can expect in time district meetings next month.

Karl Kynoch-Manitoba Pork Council

This goes way back top last March April.

We went in and met with the agriculture minister, we were looking for assistance then.

We had put an ask in and we got refused.

We've been back and we met in May with the agriculture minister and the premier.

We asked them to match the Saskatchewan program to at least bring us up to the lowest common denominator of all the provinces, got refused that.

When I went in last week again I asked if that was still on the table and no that's been flat out refused.

They will not match the Saskatchewan program.

In early summer I was told that their staff would look at some other options, come up with some options where they could help the industry.

I was looking forward to seeing what those options were but to a great disappointment the staff hadn't come up with any very good options.

We did lay out a few things that we would like to see.

We'd like to see some sort of assistance in tax relief on barns as a lot of producers right now are facing their tax bills and really don't have the money to pay those tax bills so that's one area they can help.

There's provincial loans that came out quite awhile ago and the interest rates on those are pretty high.

So it would be nice to see them actually lower those interest rates or get rid of them and back those loans off.

There's a couple of items.

There's a few more on the table but again we're waiting to see, probably within a couple of weeks, just where they do come out as we're going to be going into district meetings and we want to give our producers an update.

Mr Kynoch notes the hog industry has generated considerable economic activity but it's in trouble and producers need a little bit of assistance to get to the point where they are making money again.

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