If things seem a little tighter on the farm, it’s with good reason. Late last month, Statistics Canada released their report of 2018 farm income and while most people were expecting a drop, the magnitude of that drop came as a big surprise.
When the income and expenses were tallied, Stats Can found that in 2018, the realized net farm income of Canadian agricultural producers fell to $3.9 billion, a 45.1 percent decrease from 2017. This was the largest decrease since 2006. Realized net income is the difference between a farmer’s cash receipts and operating expenses, minus depreciation, plus income in kind. Total net farm income, which includes an income adjustment for inventories of crops and livestock owned by farmers, also saw a decline. This measure fell from $8.2 billion, to $3 billion.
If you work in media, you’ve heard this phrase. Maybe a lot. In fact, you’ve probably heard it almost every time you’ve contacted media relations, at the provincial government at least. It is this phrase that translates into the commonly referenced “a department official” or “a government spokesperson.”
Newspapers work hard to inform readers about the stories that will impact their lives, but we don’t always do a good job informing our readers about what exactly we do in reporting those stories. At a time when citizens are eager for news they can trust, ensuring readers know just who is being quoted is extremely important. We, the media, are being hamstrung at the highest levels.
Who is responsible for conservation? It’s a question we, as individuals, citizens and governments, need to seriously ask ourselves as we look to the future.
Over the last decade or so, we have seen more and more informal conservation areas lost. We have seen shelterbelts and other bushy areas removed, we have seen land drained and the loss of wetlands. On an individual farm level, there is little impact, but multiplied farm by farm, across the prairies, we see the effects. We see fewer wetlands to hold back the floodwater of spring melt or a heavy rains. We see less snow held in the trees to replenish the water table or moderate vegetation to the extremes of heat or cold or wind, common on the prairies.
NEEPAWA, Man. — This is always an exciting time in Neepawa. Last week, after months of hard work and practice, students at Neepawa Area Collegiate Institute took to the stage for the biennial major production. This week, the students at Hazel M. Kellington elementary school will perform their annual Operetta. Across the region, students are taking to the stages and galleries to perform and showcase the culmination of a year’s worth of hard work.
While I wasn’t able to make it to this year’s major production, I’m sure it was a great show. It always is. I’m always amazed by the students’ talent and I can’t help but think about the extremely valuable skills they are learning, while they probably just think they’re having fun.
NEEPAWA, Man. — What would our communities be like without volunteers? It’s a timely question to ask, especially since last week was National Volunteer Week. How would our lives be worse off without the 12.7 million Canadians who give their time?
Working for a newspaper, I feel like I have a front row seat to just how much work volunteers are doing in our communities. On almost every page of the paper, there’s evidence of those giving their time. Many of the stories we cover are about vital work being undertaken by individual volunteers and volunteer-run boards. Many of our ads are for events and initiatives put on by volunteers. We print thank you messages from those whose family members were helped and those whose lives were made a little more comfortable because of people who went out of their way to give their time. I’m always happy when we can share these stories.
MINNEDOSA, Man. — RCMP Cpl. Graeme Kingdon got a chance Thursday to face the man who shot him during a series of break-and-enters last summer in western Manitoba, and called for the maximum sentence under the law for attempted murder.
“The offender shot me in the back of the head,” Kingdon told the sentencing hearing of Therae Racette-Beaulieu while reading his victim impact statement.
NEEPAWA, Man. — Nothing quite beats the sense of community in rural Canada. I had two reminders of this in the last week.
Like many rural Manitobans, I’m involved in a couple of local organizations and one, in particular, the Roxy Theatre, found itself in need of help on short notice. Our shows are volunteer-run and on this one day, our crew was coming from out of town and it was storming.
NEEPAWA, Man. — The newspaper industry is one in flux. While the various components that make up the industry are often lumped together, the reality isn’t nearly such a homogeneous group. There are dailies and weeklies, rural and urban markets, chains and independents. The problems of one aren’t necessarily the problems of all.
At the national level, there is great concern about the loss of publications, as chains like Postmedia, Glacier and Torstar close papers to either consolidate or leave a market. There’s legitimate concern about what this means for democracy, what it means when there are fewer watchdogs in the corridors of power. Part of the problem is that the daily newspaper business used to be very profitable. People talk of the “good old days,” when daily newspaper owners were flush with cash and owned sports teams. Like almost every other industry, ours was fundamentally changed by the digital revolution. Instead of adapting, to start with, the country’s biggest players thought that maybe if they owned more, they would be protected from this new reality. All that we ended up with was a media landscape heavily concentrated in the hands of a few over-leveraged companies, desperate to make their next loan payment.
Rogers Communications is enhancing wireless service in Manitoba by upgrading infrastructure in eight locations throughout the province.
Areas to see service improvements include South Transcona, Linden Woods, Beliveau, Provencher Boulevard, King Edward Street and Powell Avenue in Winnipeg, as well as Falcon Lake, Woodridge and Neepawa.