Friday, October 16, 2015

Ritz disagrees with professor’s findings

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz is disagreeing with a study by University of Saskatchewan professor Richard Gray who says grain-handling bottlenecks cost farmers between $6.2 and $8.4 billion for the harvests of 2013 and 2014.

Ritz says farmers’ net incomes actually increased and says if they had, in fact, lost billions, AgriStability would have been drained of funds to compensate them.

Gray counters that those were excellent grain-harvest years and his findings remain solid. Their incomes would have been even higher had the grain handling and transportation system been able to deliver the harvests promptly to willing customers.

In fact Ritz and his cabinet colleagues did step in to order the railways to move more grain to markets.

It is far from the first time the Harper government has clashed with academics and their research findings. It has also muzzled scientists and researchers who are on federal government payrolls.