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Cattlemen discuss disparities

Posted on November 6, 2013 by Maple Creek

A number of resolutions were brought forward during the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association’s District 4 fall meeting.
Held in Piapot on Oct. 25, the meeting was attended by about 50 local producers, who voiced their concerns about issues involving oil and gas well leases, the Wildlife Habitat Protection Act and the check-off.

Following a supper, SCA and the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association provided updates on what they’ve been focused on over the last year. Annemarie Pedersen of Canada Beef was the guest speaker for the evening. She shared information on Canada Beef’s use of social media to promote the beef industry.
When the meeting was opened up to resolutions, it was clear many producers had issues they wanted addressed.
The first brought forward regarded bringing Saskatchewan producers onto a more level playing field with those in Alberta. It was a resolution to ask the provincial government for increased programming that would benefit farmers and ranchers.
“All through BSE (Alberta producers) have gotten more money than Saskatchewan producers towards helping them out,” explained Rick Toney, director of District 4.
The debate also brought into account the problem of Alberta producers having the ability to outbid local producers when it comes to land, bulls or machinery because of the advantages they have, Toney said.
MLA Wayne Elhard was present and stated the Alberta government has the ability to offer its producers more programming because of oil and gas revenue that they have enjoyed for years.
A second resolution presented was in regards to the amount of money producers receive compared to the provincial government when it comes to oil and gas wells on leased Crown land. Toney said the issue is that the province is collecting more of the money for nuisance and loss of land than the farmers and ranchers. It’s a question of who is actually dealing with the nuisance, he stated.
“Producers feel that we’re suffering most of the nuisance,” he said. “When there’s pipeline breaks, who attends them? Who looks after it and makes sure it gets put back to a natural state? Who polices them and looks after the land and puts up with the extra commotion with the oil well being on your land?”
The resolution was passed for SCA to negotiate with the province for fairer compensation.
Another resolution was passed with respect to Crown land that is listed under the Wildlife Habitat Protection Act (WHPA) and PFRA pasture land that has native grasses on it. The issue was brought up by producers who are concerned that when the land is put up for sale by the government, environmental easements put on the land will affect its value.
“At this point the government has said they’re not going to reduce the price of the land,” Toney explained. “They didn’t feel that it would impact the selling price… but we feel it is going to reduce the price of the land.”
He said two professional realtors at the SCA meeting reported when they sell land that has an environmental easement on it, the land always sells at a reduced price.
SCA will be seeking fairer compensation for land that comes with an environmental easement.
The final motion put forward addressed check-off. It was said SCA would investigate a new brand inspection entity in the province as well as investigating having them collect the check-off to see if it would be more efficient than the current method. Toney said it is only natural that they should look into making the system as economical as possible for producers.

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