As zone director of Alberta Beef Producers (ABP), I very seriously struggle with replying to Drumheller-Stettler MLA Jack Hayden’s comments regarding bringing choice to beef producers within the province.
My first reaction was to express the regret that a blue party had turned red, that confiscation and control are the order of the day.
However I realize that it makes more sense to go back to the formation of ABP. A well respected Alberta cattleman and Consort resident (Frank Gattey) was the initial chair of the organization then known as the Alberta Cattle Commission. The commission was set up to represent producers both politically and other ways. A check-off was mandated by the government of the day to ensure adequate and equalized funding by cattle producers.
A past agriculture minister, Ernie Isley, stated to me a few weeks ago that making the check-off refundable would definitely weaken the voice of cattle producers within the province.
We have a premier who feels that it is his duty to represent Bernie Kotelko (the subsidy king within our province) and an agriculture minister who feels it his duty to represent Cam Ostercamp, and if these two gentlemen are not impressed with ABP, then ABP should be crippled.
Our own MLA chooses to not only bring forward the confiscation bill but also spread barnyard manure as to the effect of any representation of the average beef producer.
It is a difficult time for beef producers without having politicians on a mission of divide and conquer.
Frank Murphy, Altario, Alta.