Friday, April 04, 2008

Up in smoke

I know we Liberals can use all the votes we can get, but I for one think we could do without this kind of publicity:

SIMCOE, ONT. — Tobacco farmers upset over the lack of a buyout strategy brought their frustrations to Tory MP Diane Finley's office in Simcoe, Ont., Thursday.

Ms. Finley told Simcoe radio station CHCD that some of the 150 farmers who gathered outside barged into her office, tore up signs and intimidated staff.

Some growers then walked to the office of Eric Hoskins, a Liberal candidate in the next federal election, and took out party memberships.

Tobacco farmers in southwestern Ontario have long sought a $1-billion buyout package to help them switch to other crops.

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Robert said...

Why not? The government represents them too. Lord knows they pay their share of taxes.

Why shouldn't we look at ways where the government can assist in transforming the livelihoods of those who have (and still do?) depend on the tobacco industry to ake a living?

It's one angel that will need to be addressed as our society moves towards the long overdue elimination of smoking/chewing.

Robert said...

... that should be an angle, not an angel. :-P

Oxford County Liberals said...

No excuses for their behaviour... but there is a lot of frustration down here (I say down here because I'm on the northern fringe of the traditional tobacco growing area). Ms. Finley might be in a bit of trouble come next election in Haldimand-Norfolk.

JimBobby said...

Whooee! Diane ain't gonna be in for a little trouble come election time. She's in fer a lotta trouble. The race in H-N will not be between the Cons and Grits. It will be between the Grits and the Greens.

The Brantford Suppositor had a huge headline quote from Diane: "I never guaranteed anything." It was accompanied by a photo of Diane doing her best John Baird imitation.

Diane has been absent on big issues of local importance like the Caledonia land claim/occupation. Yes, it's still going on 2 years later. She rode in on a wave of tobacco farmer discontent with former Lib MP Bob Speller's inaction on the buyout.

Locals in this rural riding have found that having a cabinet minister representing you means that you don't get much representation. Local issues were ignored by Minister of Agriculture Speller when he was dealing with the mad cow crisis. Minister of Immigration Diane is the wife of an Ottawa insider and her connection with H-N pretty much ended when she graduated high school. (My wife was a classmate, btw.)

Eric Hoskins has the same sort of liabilities. He left H-N when he got out of high school and has lived all over the world. His ties here are tenuous. He was handpicked by Ottawa, where he resides full time. He should be thankful for the tobacka votes.

Us Greens'll hafta settle fer the pot-smoker votes, I reckon. There's more pot smokers around here than tobacka farmers, anyways.


Jeff said...

If they want to vote for us, power to them. But I don't think we should embrace them, and I don't think we should promise them anything. Taxpayer dollars shouldn't be used to bail-out wealthy tobacco farmers.

JimBobby said...

Right as rain, JeffMan.

I gotta say, though, I've softened slightly since then. I hear-tell there's about 200 tobacka farmers who's in real trouble. I got some sympathy fer them but not fer the 1300 other fatcats.

Even the opium farmers in Afstan is gettin' a billion dollar free ride with us protectin' their crop for 'em. I was just readin' where a opium farmer had to sell his daughter to pay his crop loan. The cotton farmers in India got it dang rough, too. Hundred of Indian cotton farmers have committed suicide in the past couplathree years.

There's a certain amount of brothers-in-arms mentality among farmers and rural dwellers, in general. These tobacka farmers signin' up fer Hoskins is real good news fer yer guys here in Norfolk. I only wish us Greens had an office across the road.


dontfollowleaderswatchyourparkingmeters said...

wealthy tobacco farmers? are you kidding? do your homework!