Farmers happy to help

To the volunteers numbering in the hundreds who formed a small army of grain harvesters last Saturday under an overcast sky and an autumn nip in the air to help the needy in Third World Countries.

Bouquet…

To the volunteers numbering in the hundreds who formed a small army of grain harvesters last Saturday under an overcast sky and an autumn nip in the air to help the needy in Third World Countries.

Imagine this: 26 combines, accompanied by numerous grain trucks and swathers, converging on 170 acres of barley and 120 acres of canola — specially seeded this spring to benefit the less fortunate.

It was the annual Central Alberta Growing Project in the Counties of Ponoka and Lacombe for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.

While the money raised is still being tallied, this year’s speedy harvest could total around $150,000 from this area.

The food grains bank is a multidenominational group working with the Canadian International Development Agency on hunger issues worldwide. Every dollar raised through the harvests from 214 similar projects across Canada is matched with $4 from the federal program. Last year, $47.7 million went overseas from Canada to help 2.1 million people.

This year’s Central Alberta effort was particularly touching. Many of the volunteers are farmers — some of whom were hit hard by a lousy growing season and inferior grain and hay crops. Not to mention being kicked by crisis after crisis in Canada’s agricultural industry as a whole.

To put one’s hardships aside and tackle the swaths in the name charity speaks volumes of the generosity of our rural neighbours. They are not quick to forget that such teamwork, compassion and generosity helped their pioneering families blaze a trail to this prime agricultural area.

— Rick Zemanek

Dart…

To Maclean’s magazine, from a month ago, and more recently the Globe and Mail, for whining that Canada, of all places, cannot import the Kindle.

The Kindle is an electronic book that can store up 1,500 titles that you download from Amazon online.

An e-book is cheaper, quicker and more convenient than buying the latest release.

But that hardly makes up for its US$260 price tag — if you could get one here, which you can’t.

The reason benighted Canadians can’t have this latest e-toy is because the distributors have not decided which of Canada’s wireless distributors will get the right to charge you for the service.

Kindle must be the most oversold piece of new technology that never hit the Canadian market.

For US$260, plus a wireless contract, plus the price of any of 35,000 Amazon titles, go to the store and buy a book already.

Canada will be en-Kindled soon enough, and the chief beneficiaries will be students able to buy all the textbooks they need at a fraction of the regular price.

But until then, the whiners should just suck it up.

— Greg Neiman

Dart…

To Winnipeg dentist and former head at the University of Manitoba Dental School, Ronald Boyer, who for 25 years faked working on severely disabled and ill patients.

A panel of inquiry found Boyer accepted patients with mental and physical disabilities, as well as heart and cancer patients, who needed anesthesia to get their teeth fixed.

But all he did was put them to sleep and send them home after they woke up — and then charged the health system for work not done.

He has lost his licence to practice and was ordered to pay $27,000 in fines and costs.

That was the maximum penalty allowed under panel’s rules.

There are no polite words to adequately describe people like this.

— Greg Neiman

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