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Ken Grey's Commentary

As usual with special long weekends, my commentary is a day late.  This is the holiday where we celebrate the hard work and dedication to building Saskatchewan by workers across this province.  We are an industrious society who have never shied away from hard work or innovation.  We hope the day will come when there will be no work force fatalities in our province.  We have much to be thankful for here and therefore we should celebrate the toil and sweat and perseverance of all those that make it happen. 

It was great to celebrate another Rider victory over the Bombers, it has been good harvest weather and for those that wanted that final trip to the lake or their favourite campground, Mother Nature was pretty cooperative.  On the Swenson farm, we wrapped our lentil harvest up on Saturday and I wish I could say it went well but between hail in early July, prolonged drought and late growing difficult weeds, this was the worst lentil crop we have ever grown.  I was sorely tempted to use glysophate as my desiccant this year because of the heavy weed pressure but I was warned by many of the potential buyers that this might be a real detriment in the marketplace this year alongside very low lentil prices. 

There is much turmoil in the international marketplace over the use of glysophate as a dry-down product for many crops.  It is used because it is a very good means of weed control for the following year and therefore can be a huge money saver down the road.  The whole issue of what is safe in the food that we eat and export must be based on good science and well-respected forms of due diligence. 

This issue must be solved in the near future as the world's population continues to grow by the hundreds of millions each and every year.  The prospect of mass starvation is not a pretty picture and the inability of farm families to make a living growing the necessary food is also a huge issue that must be addressed particularly here in Saskatchewan where we have so much of our economy tied to the production, processing and exporting of food.

I used the normal desiccants which didn't work very well and so will have to find a way to clean the green weed seeds out of my lentils before I can sell them.  That is the nature of the business and you always hope that you don't have the same problem next year. 

On another topic...I took the time to watch some of the funeral service for Senator John McCain in Washington DC on Saturday morning.  It was a true testament to Senator McCain's love of his country, to see past Presidents like Bush and Obama who represented different political parties and a very wide difference of opinion in the political spectrum joined together to praise the life of a true American patriot.  I was especially moved by the eulogy of Senator McCain's daughter, Meghan, who contrasted the life of her Father with some of the current politicians in America today who think only of themselves and their political success tomorrow. 

I know that Canada needs a trade agreement with the other countries on the North American continent.  I know when the first agreement was signed in 1988 the Americans were desperate to have access to our oil and gas reserves at world prices rather than the two-priced system then in place.  They also wanted many other Canadian resources like uranium.  Today the United States is basically self-sufficient in oil and some of their current politicians have very short memories or are simply looking after their own political hides in the upcoming mid-term elections. 

In my view, Canada should not pander to the short-term whims of sometimes untrustworthy politicians.  We need a deal that is long-term, a deal that you can bank on and a deal that has a dispute settling mechanism more reliable than an American courtroom.  Canada walked away from the table in 1988 to get that article written in the original agreement. 

Politicians like Donald Trump come and go.  We cannot run our farms, our businesses or our government based on the whims of such people.  We should take our time, in my view, and get this right even if Mr. Trump and his friends inflict some short-term pain on all Canadians but we will remember who our friends are.

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These issues must be debated for “The Right Reasons”.