The season caught up

The season caught up is an expression I have heard a few times this year. It seems as though crops and gardens were late getting started. The local flower show was delayed this year by a week as there were fears that plants wouldn’t be in bloom in time for the regular date. 
The flowers bloomed for the show and for the earlier Lily Festival. Crops meanwhile, have been coming on very fast.
It’s a bit late for harvesting already and the corn crops are causing some worry as to maturity. No fear on yields though, the corn crops look fabulous.
But it’s already Sept. 10 – as this is being written – and the harvest is usually a bit earlier. Many seasons, farmers push to get wheat off in August as September can be a rainy difficult harvest month. It has been said, “Harvest in August or wait until October.” If the weather holds, there won’t be much left to harvest in October except maybe corn and sunflowers.
I heard this week that wheat yields are hitting as high as 70 bushels per acre and the monitors are hitting as high as 90. That means that the grain monitors that measure yield on an ongoing basis are sensing yields on a field spot basis as high as 90 bushels per acre. That seems almost unimaginable for someone who used to think 40 bushels to the acre was a good crop. 
Farmers have had to be satisfied with, and survive with, yields in the 20 to 30 bushels to the acre some years and not too long ago.
One season that hasn’t caught up yet is the provincial political season. The legislature is still sitting. There has been no summer holidays for the MLAs as the Progressive Conservative opposition party has held up passing of legislation all summer. There was a deal finally struck that will see most of the bills go through this week, except the most important – the budget and the PST referendum bill.
The province has been operating outside their own laws since July 1. They have collected millions in PST revenue but the last percentage point from seven up to eight per cent has been illegal. It’s still not law yet and theoretically can’t become law until there is a referendum or until the referendum law is repealed. That won’t happen until the November sitting.
The PC opposition has managed to harness a lot of public discontent with the NDP government.
The discontent is the kind that comes whenever a government has been in power for 14 years. Governments tend to lose elections rather than opposition parties winning elections and it’s usually over discontent or the public’s hunger for change.
While there’s the usual discontent with this government, I maintain there is, or there should be, a deeper discontent with how we have done politics in Manitoba for more years than this government has been in power. 
There is about to be major debate and depending on how that goes, there could be a major shift in how we finance Manitoba. Currently, about 40 per cent of our provincial budget comes from Ottawa. A big chunk of that comes from other provinces. We are a ‘have-not’ province, while others like BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan  are ‘have’ provinces. If it wasn’t for handouts from our neighbours, Manitoba would starve to death financially.
The debate that’s coming is that the ‘have’ provinces are looking down their noses at us and asking why should they subsidize Manitoba when we sell our own Hydro to Manitobans (and others) for far less than it costs to produce? In the bluntest of terms, if we in Manitoba paid what it cost to produce Hydro, we wouldn’t need as much money from other provinces.
The same debate goes for Quebec, but the thorny topic there is the highly subsidized day care. It’s argued that if Quebecers paid what day care costs, then they would need far less subsidy from the other provinces.
In both cases, the argument is that a province’s policy to subsidize is costing taxpayers in other provinces.
We need a major shift in how we do things in Manitoba and if we continue to insist on subsidizing our Hydro rates, then we will have to cut costs or grow income somewhere else. 
Otherwise our neighbours are going to stop sending us the care packages that we have become so dependent upon.

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