The Hamilton Spectator wrote in "CanGro’s shock waves" (Jun.28, 2008):
“Kate Steifelmeyer, a research associate at the George Morris Centre, an independent think tank, conducted a comparative study of the U.S. and Canadian agri-food processing sector and found the Canadian sector needs an overhaul.
She said the Canadian tender fruit processing sector is suffering from regulatory, and to some extent, taxation issues. They’re also just not keeping up in terms of capital investment and automation.”
Sounds like she got that one down pat.
Interesting to see what Greenbelt Liberals such as Kim Craitor and Jim Bradley will do about lowering tax rates and regulatory burdens on the industry… probably nothing. (see: Good things USED to grow, in On - ta - ri - o!) Who cares about the mounting impact of Liberal greenbelt, taxation, and agricultural policies upon the farmer? They’re not designed for farmers…they’re designed to capture the Liberal urban vote! (see: Stealth MPP Jim Bradley's cloaking device - it's not science fiction anymore!) To Liberals, the farmer is secondary to the greenbelt, in the very same way that the patient is secondary to their health-care system. (see: Greenbelt vassals pay tithe to Liberal Lord Bradley)
As Craitor said in the Legislature (Mar.3, 2005): “Last week, this assembly passed the important greenbelt legislation to preserve the farmlands of Ontario. In my riding, the farmlands are primarily the finest grape and tender fruit lands in North America. With the greenbelt legislation, our government made an important first step to preserve the land, but now we have to take another step to preserve the farmer; for what good is one without the other?”
Of course, the Liberals didn’t think that far ahead when they enacted the greenbelt in the first place – so there are now more steps for busy little Liberal central-planners and social-engineers to ‘save the farmer’. Priceless … this flicking Liberal government’s interventions just don’t end. Just take their farms away and make them wards of the state, already – isn’t that McGuinty’s plan, anyway? This is all collectivization in slow motion.
The fallout from the closure of Cangro should have been anticipated a long time ago; one of the main problems was that it was a monopoly in that industry, there was no competition. Why was that? Shouldn’t the Liberal Jims and the Kims have been working diligently to create an Ontario economy which encourages competition, in all sectors?? (see: Trouble ahead for Niagara's fruit industry? )
Leaving the tender fruit sector to put all their peaches in one basket, to rely on only one processor, the only game in town, was an obvious hint of the potential problems to come should this one player close down. Whether it’s a health-care monopoly run by government, or a private-sector monopoly in a niche agricultural sector, the challenge is to create competition (not corporate welfare).
I wonder how the farmers are going to sell their crops largely as fresh market … one can only eat so much summer fruit. The whole point is to preserve this abundance of summer, canned or frozen, so it can be stored and shipped as a commodity during the rest of the year until the next year’s crop comes in. Fresh market can only take you so far.
This “buy local” fad is a crock, as well – you want to buy local, fine, but to what extent - will you then also give up your right to sell your product in other areas??? Come on!! ‘Buy local’ is quite meaningless. Will you whine when others deny you the privilege of exporting your produce to their market? You’ll have to limit all your exports, and live in some utopian commune, each with its own vehicle assembly plants, and canning plants and tractor factories…why, it’s socialist’s dream come true! OOPS – you had a good year, with an abundance of nice peaches, way too many for your closed village to eat, well, you'll just have to bury them! Exporting is forbidden!! And in the next village, which had a poor harvest, well, they'll just have to starve, because importing peaches from another village would be illegal! Sudbury would just have to grow its own peaches, and St. Catharines would have to mine and smelt its own nickel. This is the bizzarro protectionist world of the Greensheviks. (see: Liberal Jim "Aw, shucks" Bradley: Greenshevik Idol)
The Spectator story also wrote about Donald Ziraldo, (a member of the Greenbelt-creation task force, and co-founder of Inniskillin Wines):
“Ziraldo said the challenge before the fruit growers is much like that experienced by the grape growers in 1989, just after Ottawa signed the North America Free Trade Agreement.
“We were wiped out. We were told we were going to keep the beer industry and throw away the wine industry and give it to Ernst and Gallo. In 1990, we were given a grant to tear out old vineyards,” he said. “There are now about 120 wineries.””
But nowhere in this story is it mentioned who was making all these dire predictions about the wine industry, as much as there was of it in 1989.
Ziraldo doesn’t mention who was saying these things!
But we all know, don’t we, that it was MPP Jim Bradley’s Ontario Liberals, under David Peterson, along with their accord-buddies, Bob Rae's NDP] who were whining about free trade!
We know it was federal Liberals under John Turner who were whining about free trade! To them this was the end of the world! Protectionist Liberals everywhere whined and whined about the wine industry being somehow ‘sold-out’. (see: Free trade a "bust"? Not for Niagara wines)
Now, as Ziraldo says, there are some 120 wineries – and that is with no thanks to Liberal rhetoric, Liberal fear-mongering, Liberal protectionism, and Liberal jingoism. Free trade wasn't the enemy, it was Liberal protectionism. (see: Obama blames Canada and NAFTA for Ohio job losses )
To mark the upcoming twentieth anniversary of their political-pandering against the wine industry, Liberals such as Jim Bradley should be awarded a token bottle of 1989 Niagara Chagrin - this ruddy vintage, from a bitter harvest of sour grapes, has subtle hints of hypocrisy, with overtones of duplicity and a touch of irony, all with a bouquet reminiscent of an overwhelming stench of bad gas.
It nicely complements the eating of crow.
[update: it's interesting to now hear (on Steve Paikin's TVO show, Apr.8,2011) Robin Sears (former Ontario NDP'er Bob Rae's chief of staff in the late 1980's) actually admit that he personally believed in free trade, yet, nevertheless, actively helped the socialists continue with their anti-free-trade idiocy - all of course, geared to smear conservatives, at any cost, no matter how wrong the socialists' own dogma was!!]