Wednesday, August 02, 2006

They reap what they sow

While the Cons have tried to loudly declare their support for farmers since taking power, any actual funding apparently hasn't made it onto the priority list. And today, farmers showed their unhappiness with the lack of real backing:
Frustrated farmers blocked traffic at the foot of the Seaway International Bridge early Wednesday.

Twenty tractors slowed traffic to a crawl on the city's main traffic roundabout, which leads to the international bridge. The protest was meant to coincide with the Conservative government's caucus meeting in the city this week...

(Farmer John) Vanderspank said farmers are only now receiving the last bit of $755 million in aid from the previous Liberal government but have yet to see any new money from the Tories.

Despite promises of $750 million in new assistance, Vanderspank said the Tories have yet to hand over any new money to farmers who are struggling to keep pace with subsidized American and European farm imports.

With the United States heading into fall elections, Vanderspank said farmers aren't holding out hope on a breakthrough in trade talks that would ease subsidies.
Naturally, the protest doesn't appear likely to change much in the Cons' pattern of putting form over substance. But the contrast between the Cons' inaction on funding and their determination to prevent farmers from helping themselves shouldn't be soon forgotten - either by the protesters themselves, or by others who may have wrongly expected the Cons to care at least somewhat about their rural base.

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