Kick'em while they're down

So, while Warren and the boys are playing around with cartoon characters and trying to belittle the rural rump, all hell is breaking loose outside the GTA.

They're more than a little miffed down here on the farm. The province has not only cut funding for municipal drain maintenance, but axed three livestock programs.

Ontario Dairy Herd Improvement (DHI), Ontario Swine Improvement Inc. (OSI) and Beef Improvement Ontario (BIO) had been slated for eventual phase-out but now, with all agriculture sectors struggling, was surely not the time.

BSE (Mad Cow) is not just a problem for cattlemen, but all livestock producers, including dairymen.

"This cut came completely out of left field," said Michael Hall, a dairy farmer from Mountain and chairman of DHI, an organization that serves 74 per cent of the province's dairy farmers. "The timing is particularly disappointing for DHI and agriculture in general. BSE and rising costs of production have already dealt a financial blow to the province's 5,300 producers."

Minister Steve Peters should be hanging his head in shame and to say it's becoming increasing difficult for rural liberals and their elected officials to defend their government would be an understatement.

The Lanark Landowners Association is running full tilt and yet another grass roots organization has emerged in eastern Ontario. Don at Talk Canada has the text of Jamie MacMasters recent address at the Glengarry Landowners inaugural meeting at Green Valley.

Provincial Agriculture Minister Steve Peters will be in Chesterville early next month. I'm guessing it will be a heated and animated meeting but it's invitation only and I think my invite got lost in the mail.

If Warren and the boys are serious about beating the snot out of the conservatives it might be in their best interest not to under-estimate those of us outside the GTA.

We all know what happened in 1995 when the cave dwellers, the farm folk and their rural neighbours stormed the polling booths. Yaba Dabba Doo!!!