To the Editor:
The present controversy in Western Canada over the loss of the CWB single desk is extremely divisive. There are well entrenched views on either side. It is simply not possible to have a single desk and not have a single desk at the same time. So in the long run, the views of one side of the other must prevail. We will all have to live with the consequences.
The grains industry and Western Canada have survived many a crisis before. We will survive this one too. Let us remember however, that in spite of what some would have us believe, the removal of the CWB single desk is not long standing Conservative Party policy. It was a Conservative Government that passed the legislation on July 5, 1935 setting the stage for the CWB. The Reform Party must take full credit for the latest turn of events where the single desk became a partisan political issue.
Whatever we end up with, the economic impacts may be easier to accommodate than the bully-boy tactics of Ritz and Harper. This seems to be characteristic of our present federal government. It is particularly apparent in their approach to the CWB.
The best example of this slash and burn (take no prisoners) attitude is their little insider joke, “The train is coming, get off the track before you get run over.” Our forefathers all helped lay the track and pay for the train. Now we have a temporary and newly appointed conductor and brakeman threatening to run over anyone who gets in their way.
• No desire to consult with those most directly affected.
• No respect for any opinion other than their own.
• No willingness to concede that there might just be honest people of good will on both sides of the discussion.
Democracy is built on consultation and compromise. Where compromise is not possible, the greater the need for consultation. In the end, we all have to go along with the decision. Democracy’s greatest weakness is also its greatest strength. We get what we vote for so we all have to put up with it.
Thank goodness, not forever.
Doug Cowling, Yorkton, SK.