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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 5, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta iO LETHBRIDGE HERALD Tuesday, March 5, 1974 Sam Uskiw battles agriculture conflict WINNIPEG (CP) To is supporters, Sam Uskiw 5 a friend of Prairie armers, outspoken efender of their interests nd staunch advocate of heir rural life-style. To his opponents, he is nthinkingly partisan, out f touch with agricultural ealities and determined to mpose his views on lanitobans. These contradictory pinions are expressed of he man who has become a eading figure in the of Premier Ed ;chreyer and a leading .pokesman for the farmer n Western Canada. Sitting in his office, the 10-year-old agriculture ninister is relaxed and :motionally detached from he controversy as he juietly expounds a phi- osophy developed through of experience in 'arming and farm organizations, -the trade union movement and politics. "I start from the position that people who are not or- ganized, whether in agriculture or otherwise, could never achieve for themselves the same standards of living as those groups in society who are he said. "To have equal rights, you must have equal power." Set up boards Mr. Uskiw's general ap- proach to the business of fanning is based on his concept o.f "orderly a system that involves marketing agencies with broad powers over the sale of agricultural products. The marketing boards guarantee producers relatively stable prices for their products regardless of the day-to-day vagaries of the marketplace. The minister, a former potato farmer, remembers how prices used to drop, even during shortages, if too many farmers showed up at the market. "The farmer usually was manipulated by the trade to the extent that he was really a slave to the marketing system, predetermined by the buyer, not by the producer." Since the New Democratic Party came to power in Manitoba in 1969, Mr. Uskiw has extended the concept to new commodities and has been drawn into battle with the opposition in the Legislature as a result. He sees provincial marketing legislation as a prime way of giving FRED KROKOSH and STAFF Welcome you to AG-EXPO Till Hone of NEW HOLLAND BALERS and BALE WAGONS and VERSATILE TRACTORS and SWATHERS BRIDGE FARM CENTRE Sales Backed by Service 3605 5th Avenue N., Lethbridge Phone 328-8041 or 328-7071 Tin Larttst Bilir nd Bill Wigon dtiltr in tin Grwliri iN Htyniktr Gantry farmers the bargaining power they need in 'a society that is increasingly controlled by urban interests. His opponents, such as Progressive Conservative house leader Warner Jorgenson, say the minister's efforts encour- age "disorderly marketing" and that he seeks to have even the simplest farm decisions made by the government. "I think the most disastrous thing that can happen to agricultire is to have a supply management system imposed by Mr. Jorgen- son says, with the emphasis on the last three words. "This minister obviously doesn't want to listen to anybody unless they reflect his own personal point of view." Outside the legislature, Mr. Uskiw has had numerous other skirmishes on agricultural policy. He has gone to bat for farmers against the packing houses and private grain companies, which he views not so much as "enemies" but as businesses whose interests conflict with those of farmers. Clashes putes, however, have been with the federal government. Last fall, for example, when Ottawa announced plans for removing domestic oats and barley trading from the control of the Canadian wheat board, he delivered a series of blistering attacks on Otto Lang, the minister respon- sible for the board. Continued Page 11 SAM USKIW Specialists in all types of ENGINE REBUILDING CYLINDER BORING AND RESLEEVING CRANKSHAFT REGRINDING Ask about our Guarantee ENGINES WISCONSIN ENGINE Sales and Service Centre Custom Engine Parts Ltd. 1605 3rd Avenue South Phone 328-8181 ;