Thursday, August 4, 2011
Two letters to the editor in this week’s edition of the Western Producer look very similar.
Vic Althouse from Kelvington, SK, apparently wrote, in part:
Under the open market ... producers will price their grain through possibly one of three companies and in some areas only one company.
Kyle Korneychuk, from Pelly, SK (and also a CWB director), apparently wrote, in part:
Under the open market, they won’t be marketing their grain, but essentially only pricing it through possibly one of three companies and in some areas only one.
Coincidence? I don’t think so. Perhaps Vic wrote his and shared it with Kyle, allowing Kyle to copy bits of it. Or, the other way around. More likely though, the CWB has ramped up its rhetoric machine to the point of writing letters for others to submit. I can see the CWB’s PR department writing for one of its directors (although even that is a bit shady when he doesn’t identify himself as a director), but it seems they could be writing for others who submit the letter as if it’s their own – which, if true, is really shady.
When you submit a letter to the Western Producer, they call to confirm that it was indeed you who wrote and submitted the letter. I wonder what Vic and Kyle said when asked “did you write and submit this letter”? Makes you wonder how many of these letters in support of the single desk were really written by those that submitted them and how many were “edited” by someone else.
Not only is the CWB spending farmers money on a useless plebiscite, on “town hall conference calls”, regional meetings, and an ad campaign, it now seems to be using its salaried employees to write letters for others to submit as their own.
In this week’s edition of the Producer, there are only five letters to the editor; one from David Anderson, MP, in support of the removal of the single desk and four others – all arguing against the government plan. And even though the Producer has told me they print everything they receive, I know of at least one letter (mine) that would be in support of the government’s plan, still not printed after two weeks. It becomes hard to see the media as taking a balanced approach on the CWB when they print two very similar letters and don’t print a clearly different viewpoint.
Welcome to the CWB debate, where much from the CWB is not as it appears and voices of dissention are muffled by a media that gets spoon-fed by the CWB and has the appearance of favouring one side of the debate. To see the main stakeholders (farmers) of an industry that is reliant on sound, timely information, treated like mushrooms by the very institution meant to serve them, is disheartening to say the least. The irony is that the CWB does such a good job at it, many farmers continue to fight blindly to allow it to continue to mislead them.
Posted by John De Pape at 4:59 PM