NFU president not allowed in meeting with Calkins

The federal government’s proposal to amend some agricultural acts in being met with opposition.

The federal government’s proposal to amend some agricultural acts in being met with opposition.

First reading of Bill C-18 was passed Dec. 9 and is now in rotation to be discussed by MPs, including Wetaskiwin MP Blaine Calkins. The bill is not popular on all fronts though and Calkins faced angry farmers March 12 at his constituency office in Ponoka.

Among them was Jan Slomp, president of the National Farmers Union (NFU) and Doug Hart, NDP candidate in the last provincial election. Slomp’s presence was met with a cold shoulder however and he was not allowed in the closed meeting. Calkins said Slomp had abused his privileges of attending the office on other issues.

Slomp said he could not understand why he was not allowed in the office. He recently received a letter congratulating him on being elected president of the NFU. “I’ve had six phone calls in six days to his secretaries here asking for a meeting to discuss this important bill that my organization has thoroughly analyzed.”

An audience with Slomp was not forthcoming. Hart and five other farmers were granted a meeting with the MP, who initially stated there was only time for a 30 minute, but it lasted more than an hour.