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Snipers Are Commonly Used as "False Flag" Terrorists Washington's Blog

Snipers Are Commonly Used as “False Flag” Terrorists Washington’s Blog.

A Common Tactic to Discredit Opponents Or to Create Momentum for “Regime Change”

The powers-that-be often use agent provocateurs to disrupt protests and paint protesters as violent and unlikeable.

For example, violent provocateurs were deployed:

There is a related type of false flag operation commonly used to create chaos and discredit regimes or protesters:  snipers.

For example:

  • Unknown snipers reportedly killed both Venezuelan government and opposition protesters in the attempted 2002 coup
  • Unknown snipers allegedly have created bedlam in Syria
  • A Russian general alleges that – during Yeltsin’s protest in front of the Russian parliament – sniper fire came from the roof of the American Embassy
  • And the Estonian foreign minister claims that the new Ukranian coalition deployed snipers to discredit the former government of Ukraine

Brutal … but effective and cheap.

Because it doesn’t cost much to hire one or a handful of snipers to access rooftops or bridge overpasses, create chaos, and then quietly disappear.

Snipers Are Commonly Used as “False Flag” Terrorists Washington’s Blog

Snipers Are Commonly Used as “False Flag” Terrorists Washington’s Blog.

A Common Tactic to Discredit Opponents Or to Create Momentum for “Regime Change”

The powers-that-be often use agent provocateurs to disrupt protests and paint protesters as violent and unlikeable.

For example, violent provocateurs were deployed:

There is a related type of false flag operation commonly used to create chaos and discredit regimes or protesters:  snipers.

For example:

  • Unknown snipers reportedly killed both Venezuelan government and opposition protesters in the attempted 2002 coup
  • Unknown snipers allegedly have created bedlam in Syria
  • A Russian general alleges that – during Yeltsin’s protest in front of the Russian parliament – sniper fire came from the roof of the American Embassy
  • And the Estonian foreign minister claims that the new Ukranian coalition deployed snipers to discredit the former government of Ukraine

Brutal … but effective and cheap.

Because it doesn’t cost much to hire one or a handful of snipers to access rooftops or bridge overpasses, create chaos, and then quietly disappear.

Energy East pipeline a potential CO2 traffic jam, report says – Politics – CBC News

Energy East pipeline a potential CO2 traffic jam, report says – Politics – CBC News.

TransCanada CEO Russ Girling announces the company is moving forward with the 1.1 million barrel-per-day Energy East Pipeline project, at a news conference in Calgary, Aug. 1, 2013. A new report from environmental think-tank Pembina Institute believes Energy East would add 30 to 32 million tonnes of CO2 a year into the atmosphere.TransCanada CEO Russ Girling announces the company is moving forward with the 1.1 million barrel-per-day Energy East Pipeline project, at a news conference in Calgary, Aug. 1, 2013. A new report from environmental think-tank Pembina Institute believes Energy East would add 30 to 32 million tonnes of CO2 a year into the atmosphere. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

The greenhouse gas emissions from oil flowing through TransCanada Pipelines’ proposed Energy East project would be equivalent to putting seven million new cars a year on Canadian roads, according to a report from an environmental think-tank released today.

The Pembina Institute’s study looked at the potential upstream carbon pollution — that is, from the well to the refinery gate — from oil flowing through the pipeline and found that it could add anywhere from 30 to 32 million tonnes of CO2 a year to the atmosphere.

“For a single piece of infrastructure, that’s huge. It’s more than the emissions of five provinces,” explained Clare Demerse, Pembina’s federal policy director and co-author of the report.

“The single most effective climate policy today [in Canada] is Ontario’s decision to phase out coal [for generating electricity]. The emissions associated with building Energy East could effectively wipe out the gains of our single most effective climate policy by far,” she told CBC News.

Tune in to The National on CBC-TV tonight to hear how pipeline companies and environmentalists are changing their tactics in Canada’s energy infrastructure debate.

Energy East is planned to take both conventional and oilsands oil from Alberta to the deep-water port in Saint John. The project would convert an existing natural gas pipeline that runs to the Ontario-Quebec border to carry oil, then build a new pipeline the rest of the way. When running at full capacity, Energy East would eventually carry 1.1-million barrels of crude a day.

TransCanada has yet to file an application with the National Energy Board, but it is expected to do so in the middle of this year.

Demerse admits that this is a preliminary report and that it is hard to comment accurately on Energy East because so little detail is known about the project. Still, she said, Pembina wanted to start the conversation about it as soon as possible.

TransCanada said it wants to take a closer look at the numbers before it comments on the report. The pipeline company has already held information sessions about the project in communities along the route.

Ontario Could Save Billions By Buying Quebec’s Hydro Power | DeSmog Canada

Ontario Could Save Billions By Buying Quebec’s Hydro Power | DeSmog Canada.

Ontario could avoid refurbishing aging nuclear stations and save over $1 billion annually on electricity bills if the province imported water power from Quebec, says the Ontario Clean Air Alliance, a coalition of 90 organizations that promote renewable energy.

“This one is really a no-brainer,” Jack Gibbons, chair of the alliance, told DeSmog Canada. The alliance was largely responsible for Ontario agreeing to phase out all coal-fire power plants by December 31, 2014.

Quebec is the fourth largest producer of hydroelectricity in the world (behind China, Brazil and the U.S.) and has a large hydro surplus the province usually sells to the U.S. Existing power lines between Ontario and Quebec can transport nearly as much power as Ontario’s Darlington nuclear station produces. This amounts to more than 10 per cent of Ontario’s peak demand on a hot summer’s day.

“Importing hydro from Quebec is technically feasible. The only barrier is lack of political will,” Mark Winfield, associate professor of environmental studies at York University, says.

Successive Ontario governments have insisted on the province producing all of its own electricity despite the fact it sits between two provinces with massive hydroelectric generating capacities — Quebec and Manitoba. Transmission lines from Ontario to both of these provinces have existed for decades. Ontario-based water and nuclear power provide the province with most of its electricity.

Ontario’s electricity supply mix in 2013. Source: Long Term Energy Plan 2013

“Ontario imports natural gas from outside the province, and uranium for its nuclear plants from Saskatchewan, and used to buy its coal from the American Midwest,” Winfield told DeSmog Canada.

“Why would importing electricity from Quebec be any different?” he says.

Ontario’s long-term energy plan, released last December, projects home power bills will rise 42 per cent by 2018. The plan calls for energy conservation and refurbishing old nuclear reactors to prevent rates from increasing even more.

Importing water power is mentioned in the province’s energy plan as a possibility if the price is right:

“Ontario will consider opportunities for clean imports [i.e. renewable energy such as water power] from other jurisdictions when such imports would have system benefits and are cost effective for Ontario ratepayers.”

Transmission power lines from Ontario to other provinces and states. Source: Long Term Energy Plan 2013

The Ontario Clean Air Alliance estimates the savings for Ontario will be at least $1.2 billion annually between 2020 and 2050 if the province cancels the refurbishment of Darlington’s nuclear reactors and signs a long-term power contract with Quebec instead. The cost of the refurbishment will be 8.6 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) according to Darlington’s operator,Ontario Power GenerationQuebec exports power at 4.1 cents/kWh on average.

The savings could be even more.

“Nuclear projects in Ontario usually run 2.5 times over budget. We are concerned that the actual cost of the Darlington re-build will be between 19-37 cents/kWh,” Gibbons told DeSmog Canada.

Ontario Power Generation, a provincially owned power company, has asked the Ontario Energy Board to approve a 30 per cent rate increase on what the company is paid for nuclear power. A big chunk of the rate increase is expected to go to extending the lives of Ontario Power Generation’s nuclear reactors at Darlington by an additional 30 years.

“As we see it, energy conservation and importing hydro from Quebec is the only way Ontario can reduce electricity bills for consumers,” Gibbons says.

Quebec stands to benefit from a power contract with Ontario as well since the U.S. export market is collapsing. The U.S. shale gas boom has dropped the price of natural gas so low that American states are burning more gas for their power than before, creating less economic incentive to buy electricity from Quebec.

Ontario could reap further economic benefits beyond being a consumer of Quebec’s cheap hydro. Winfield points out that Quebec’s electrical demand is the highest in winter when Ontario’s demand is low and wind power is at its strongest. Ontario could sell its power back to Quebec as part of the deal.

Cheaper electricity rates could provide some relief for Ontario declining manufacturing industry by reducing the cost of doing business and making manufacturers in Ontario more competitive.

“Although there would be some job loss in Ontario’s power generating sector, there would be a net-gain for the province’s economy,” Gibbons says.

Image Credit: DeborahCoyne.ca, Government of Ontario

Canada Job Grant ads cost $2.5M for non-existent program – Politics – CBC News

Canada Job Grant ads cost $2.5M for non-existent program – Politics – CBC News.

Jobs plan or ad campaign?

Jobs plan or ad campaign? 4:13

Canada Job Grant ad

Canada Job Grant ad 0:34

The federal government blanketed the internet with ads and bought pricey TV spots during playoff hockey as part a $2.5-million publicity blitz to promote a skills training program that doesn’t yet exist, CBC News has learned.

 

TV commercials for the Canada Job Grant often ran twice per game last May during the widely watched Hockey Night in Canada NHL playoff broadcasts on CBC. There were ads on radio, as well.

 

“The Canada Job Grant will result in one important thing – a new or better job,” said the reassuring voice-over in the TV ads.

 

The problem: The program was never launched and is still on hold. The job grants were announced in the 2013 federal budget, but it called for an agreement with the provinces, which have so far refused to buy in.

 

Employment and Social Development Canada spent between $2.5 million and $2.6 million on the ad campaign. That figure excludes radio ads funded by the Finance Department.

“Spending millions of dollars to advertise a program that doesn’t even exist is like flushing tax dollars down the toilet,” Liberal finance critic Scott Brison said.

 

$11-million publicity push

 

CBC News has also learned that that advertising cash came from an $11-million fund set aside last year for Employment and Social Development Canada to promote the government as a job creator.

Before the Canada Job Grant TV ad went to air, the government paidEnvironics Research Group almost $70,000 to conduct market research. Focus groups saw a near-final version of the commercial.

 

Environics concluded: “The main message was consistently seen as positive and one that inspired hope…. In light of seeing the new ad for the Canada Job Grant, most now believe the Government of Canada is on the right track regarding skills training and the job market in Canada.”

“Their own research suggests that people get a positive impression of the ads,” Queens University political science professor, Jonathan Rose said. “Whether that means they convey accurate information is another story.”

 

A government commissioned survey done post-campaign showed only two per cent of the 292 people polled who saw or heard the ad also caught the disclaimer that the program didn’t yet exist. It also found only 18 per cent of viewers understood tax dollars paid for the advertising.

 

Ads ruled misleading

 

After receiving numerous viewer complaints, Advertising Standards Canada, the advertising industry’s self-regulating body, ruled the TV commercial was misleading because the job grant program hadn’t been approved.

 

“The commercial omitted relevant information,” ASC concluded in a report. The report didn’t name the government because the ad campaign was already over.

Economic Action Plan adsThe federal government has spent millions on advertisements about its economic programs. (Government of Canada)

 

The proposed job grants would give workers $15,000 each for training, with the provinces kicking in one-third of the cost. But provinces have yet to sign on, complaining the proposed program claws back $300 million in federal funds now used to help disadvantaged workers.

 

“We do not believe, the way the program is designed, that it will work,” Ontario’s Kathleen Wynne said at a premiers meeting last July.

 

Quebec threatened to opt out. There’s no word yet on when an agreement might be reached.

Asked to comment on the ad campaign, a spokesperson for Employment and Social Development Canada said, “The government of Canada’s top priorities are creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity.”

 

Harper blasted Liberals over ads

 

In his first question as opposition leader, in 2002, Stephen Harper took the then Liberal government to task over their advertising spending and the emerging sponsorship scandal.

 

“Will the prime minister stop the waste and abuse right now and order a freeze of all discretionary government advertising?” he asked in the House of Commons on May 21, 2002.

 

During its peak, the Liberal government spent $111 million on advertising, in 2002-2003. Harper’s current Conservatives doled out $136.3 million in 2009-2010, their biggest advertising budget yet on record.

If you have more information about this story or any other tips, please email investigations@cbc.ca.

 

The secret to fixing a pollution problem: Do something about it | – Environmental Defence

The secret to fixing a pollution problem: Do something about it | – Environmental Defence.

Canada has a problem. Our greenhouse gas pollution is soaring. With climate impacts hitting harder and closer to home (ice storms, polar vortexesfloods…), our country is recklessly racking up a huge carbon bill that will saddle future generations with a debt impossible to pay off.

In a new report prepared for the United Nations, for the first time Environment Canada did the number crunching all the way to 2030. We’ve known for awhile that our 2020 target has become a mission impossible. But this report also paints a sorry picture of 2030, where Canada still doesn’t have its act together and climate pollution, specifically from the tar sands, continues to skyrocket (check out this detailed analysis by the Pembina Institute).

The report reaffirms that the growth in pollution from the tar sands – if the tar sands are allowed to continue expanding as projected – will wipe out any progress made to reduce emissions in any other sector, including Ontario’s coal phase-out, B.C.’s carbon tax, or other provinces’ energy efficiency and carbon reduction measures.

The result is while some pull up their bootstraps and clean up their acts, soaring pollution from the tar sands will cancel out everyone else’s hard work. And this means if Canada is to meet a national goal to cut emissions, some regions and sectors will need to do more than their fair share because one sector – oil – is getting off scott-free.

We hear a lot of talk these days about pipelines as “nation building projects” and being in the “national interest.” But if tar sands expansion is allowed, made possible by big new pipelines, this is a recipe for dividing our country, not uniting it.

Here’s why: At some point, Canada will need to get serious about reducing emissions, and how the carbon pie is divided between regions will become important. We can expect regions to speak up loudly if they’re asked to do more than their fare share to reduce carbon emissions because the oil industry is being irresponsible.

All provinces have a stake in major pipeline proposals like Enbridge’s Northern Gateway and TransCanada’s Energy East. There’s the tangible danger that these pipelines could spill tar sands oil into forests, farmland and drinking water sources. And then there’s the less tangible – but critical – impact they would have on the amount of carbon the country is pumping into the atmosphere and the impacts of climate change.

Will Ontario, British Columbia or Quebec be keen to do more than their fair share to cut carbon to make up for the impact of these pipelines? Doubtful. And they should not be asked to. All sectors and regions will need to reduce emissions. For the oil sector, that means keeping production at current levels and cleaning up existing operations – not expanding. It also means seeing the government put in place robust regulations on the oil sector that will see emissions go down, rather than up. Even the weak regulationsunder discussion now have just been punted  ‘a couple of years’ further down the road by the Prime Minister.

The idea that Canada may fail to rein in soaring emissions by 2030 may not seem like the brightest news to kick off the New Year, but there is an important caveat to this story. It can only come true if industry and government get their way when it comes to rapid and reckless tar sands expansion.

The good news is that new pipelines and oil projects aren’t getting a free ride these days. With ever-growing public concern about moving oil (by tanker, rail, or pipeline), a world feeling the early impacts (and paying the price) of a changing climate, and new conversations in the financial sector about the risks of investing in high-carbon fuels, the tar sands are facing a serious uphill battle.

The world is waking up to climate change and the environmental devastation of projects like the tar sands, and while our current government chooses to leave their head in the sand, Canadians are also standing up to demand the safe, smart, clean energy future we deserve.

Environment Canada Researchers Find High Mercury Levels Around Alberta Oilsands | DeSmog Canada

Environment Canada Researchers Find High Mercury Levels Around Alberta Oilsands | DeSmog Canada.

Tar Sands, Alberta, oilsands

Mercury levels have risen to 16 times the regional “background” levels in an area around oilsands developments in northeastern Alberta, according to Environment Canada researchers.

Environment Canada researcher Jane Kirk, who presented the as-yet unpublished report at a Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) conference in Nashville last November, told Postmedia News the affected area encompasses 19,000 square kilometres around oilsands operations.

Margaret Munro of Postmedia News reports that Kirk told the conference the area is “currently impacted by airborne Hg (mercury) emissions originating from oilsands developments.”

The mercury levels fall off gradually with increasing distance from the oilsands “like a bull’s eye,” said co-researcher Derek Muir, head of Environment Canada’s ecosystem contaminants dynamics section. The highest mercury loadings, which reached up to 1,000 nanograms per square metre, were found in the “middle of the bull’s eye,” covering around 10 percent of the impacted area.

In October, Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq signed a global treaty pledging to decrease mercury emissions.

The federal researchers stressed that the findings were still lower than mercury levels found in southern Ontario and southern Quebec, where toxins from incinerators and coal-burning power plants are affecting the environment.

But the scientists said that mercury is “the number one concern” when looking at toxins released by oilsands production, with “indications that the toxin is building up in some of the region’s wildlife.” The contamination is further worrying to environmental groups and First Nations concerned about the oilsands’ impact on fishing, hunting and wildlife.

Environment Canada wildlife scientist Craig Herbert told the toxicology conference that the eggs of several species of waterbirds downstream of the oilsands have been showing increasing levels of mercury, with levels found in the majority of Caspian Tern eggs in 2012 exceeding “the lower toxicity threshold.”

Kirk’s team measured contaminants in cores of the snowpack collected from over 100 sites near the oilsands every March, to calculate how much pollution enters the ecosystem at spring melt after gathering in snow over winter.

The team’s 2011 results confirmed that “aerial loadings” of 13 priority pollutant elements including mercury were 13 to 15 times higher at sites within 50 km of the upgraders that convert bitumen into synthetic crude oil, and “highest within 10 km of the upgraders,” according to the presentation abstract.

The results “support earlier findings that the bitumen upgraders and local Oil Sands development are sources of airborne emissions to the Alberta Oil Sands Region.”

The researchers also found up to 19 nanograms of methyl mercury per square metre near oilsands sites, which is 16 times the region’s background level. Postmedia News reports that this is the first finding of this more toxic form of mercury in snow. The finding is significant because, as the abstract explains, “methyl mercury is a neurotoxin that bioaccumulates through foodwebs.”

“Here we have a direct source of methyl mercury being emitted in this region and deposited to the landscapes and water bodies,” Kirk told Postmedia News. “So come snowmelt that methyl mercury is now going to enter lakes and rivers where potentially it could be taken up directly by organisms and then bioaccumulated and biomagnified though food webs.”

Muir said that microbes in the snow could be converting mercury into methyl mercury, or that it could be coming from “dust and land disturbances,” though there is currently no data to support this.

“To our knowledge, emissions data from blowing dusts due to various landscape disturbances (open pit mines, exposed coke piles, new roads, etc.) and volatilization from tailing ponds are not publicly available,” the researchers said.

The research shows that zinc, nickel and vanadium levels in lake sediments peaked in the 1990s following oilsands development, but have fallen off since, which Kirk attributes to “improvements in the air pollution catcher technology at the upgraders.”

But levels of mercury and other “crustal elements” in lake sediments have been “going up more or less continually” with the expansion of the oilsands, said Muir, with open pit mines and coke piles possibly contributing to the pollution.

The fact remains that more research is required on why mercury levels are going up and the impact it’s having on ecosystems.

“Is it affecting fish levels and is it going to result in increasing fish consumption advisories? We don’t know,” said Kirk.

But Environment Canada’s latest results only confirm the need to further study and address the serious impacts of oilsands development.

Ice Storm 2013: Hundreds Of Thousands Still Without Power On Monday

Ice Storm 2013: Hundreds Of Thousands Still Without Power On Monday.

Hundreds of thousands of people are still waiting for their power to be restored after a weekend ice storm wreaked havoc from southwestern Ontario to the Atlantic Coast.

Across Ontario about 350,000 people remained without power early Monday morning, and hydro officials were advising that it could take until Wednesday to get everyone reconnected.

In hardest hit Toronto where the ice splintered a huge number of trees, and turned roads and sidewalks into skating rinks, nearly 250,000 hydro customers were still in the dark by 3 a.m. At a press conference a few hours later, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said crews had brought that number down to 200,000 customers. Some in the city may be in the dark through Christmas, The Toronto Star reported.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne told a Sunday afternoon news conference that the province would provide support to municipal emergency crews as they scramble to do their jobs.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford called it one of the worst storms in the city’s history, but said he was not yet ready to declare a state of emergency.

The Toronto Transit Commission warned to expect delays on all surface routes and shuttle buses were put into use between some subway stations. The Sheppard Line and Scarborough RT Line were both closed due to bad weather and buses are in service instead.

Buses were also operating betweenWoodbine Station and Kennedy Station Monday morning. Subway trains were also bypassing Yorkdale Station and North York Centre Station due to power outages.

GO Trains were operating on an adjusted schedule to cope with the bad weather.

Air travellers, however, were still being frustrated by numerous flight cancellations and delays at Pearson International Airport. The airport is advising travellers to check with their airline about flight status in advance and to give themselves lots of time.

You can reach Air Canada’s automated flight system at 1-888-422-7533.Travellers flying with WestJet can call 1-888-937-8538.

Flying with Porter? You can find out more about your flight at 1-888-619-8622.

The storm system also coated much of southern Quebec in ice, and continues to produce freezing drizzle in parts of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Some 50,000 customers in Quebec and about 6,000 more in New Brunswick were still without power as of late Sunday night.

________________________

A few local photos:

IMG_1990IMG_1987 IMG_1985

 

IMG_1996 IMG_2024 IMG_2006 IMG_2004 IMG_2003 IMG_1997

Soaring farmland prices a crisis in the making: Don Pittis – Canada – CBC News

Soaring farmland prices a crisis in the making: Don Pittis – Canada – CBC News.

If you knew there was a very safe Canadian investment that skyrocketed by 20 per cent last year, you’d probably say that was a good thing.

But when the thing that’s going up in value is farmland, Christie Young says it’s a crisis in the making.

The latest survey by Farm Credit Canada shows the price of farmland in Quebec rose by a staggering 19.4 per cent last year. Nationally, Canadian farmland from coast to coast has risen by an average of 12 per cent a year since 2008. That’s more than five times the rate of inflation.

For people who already own farmland, soaring prices are a windfall.

But Young, executive director of FarmStart, a group trying to help young farmers get into the business of farming, says Canada is facing a sea change that bodes ill for agriculture.

“The average age of farmers is 60 years old across Canada,” says Young.

“According to StatsCan data, about 50 per cent of our land assets will be transferred in the next five years. And of the retiring farmers, 75 per cent of them don’t have successors. It’s a transition we’ve never seen before in agriculture. And it’s one we are wholly and completely unprepared for.”

FarmStart has two incubator farms in southern Ontario to bring new farmers into the business, but at current prices, Young says there is no way those starting out could earn enough from their farms to make a living and pay their mortgage.

Overpriced land

It is a problem that Rejean Girard, who farms southwest of Montreal, understands.

He bought his small plot of land near Saint-Cesaire 20 years ago. But Girard says the return he gets from the sheep he raises would never pay for that land today. By that measure, he says, the land is overpriced by about three-quarters.

StatsCan Crops 20111004Prices of farmland have risen across Canada by an average of 12 per cent a year since 2008. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

The steadily rising price of land has caught the attention of savvy Canadian investors. Global investors have an interest, too, but in most provinces only Canadians are allowed to own farmland.

That has created an opportunity for Canadian farmland investment funds like Bonnefield, Agcapita and Assiniobia, which have been assembling blocks of farmland and selling shares to high net worth Canadians.

The president of Toronto-based Bonnefield, Tom Eisenhaur, says farmland has been one of the most lucrative and secure investments especially when markets are volatile, and “a better hedge against inflation than gold.”

Eisenhaur says he expects the price of land to continue to rise, if not at the same rate as over the past decade.

He quotes a United Nations survey that shows world food production will have to double over the next 20 years.

“While it’s trite to say, no matter how bad or how good things get in the markets, people still have to eat.”

Profits from rising prices

While Eisenhaur is profiting from rising prices, he scoffs at the idea that funds like his are responsible for the land boom.

He says that while farmers buy and sell some $15 billion worth of land each year in Canada, third-party investors like his company trade a mere $100 million worth.

So it seems clear that farmers’ pursuit of more acreage is helping to push up the price of the land.

That seems to be in direct conflict with what Girard, Young and many others say about the difficulty of paying for farmland with a farm income.

That is, until I speak with Gary Brien who farms near Chatham, Ont..

P.E.I. FARM FEATUREThe steadily rising price of farmland has caught the attention of savvy Canadian investors (Canadian Press)

“The way we’ve looked at it is more of a way of life. It just so happens the land has gone up as we accumulated it over our lifetime,” says Brien. “I really don’t think we own it. We’re just using it while we’re here. The value to us may not be in a dollar value.”

Brien says that the last few years, bumper crops have pushed up farm incomes to record levels, so farmers have had cash to spare. And when farmers have money on hand, their non-monetary way of thinking of land, combined with the tax rules, encourages them to put that spare cash into farmland, whatever the price.

“Farmers don’t like paying income tax,” says Brien. “And if they get a bunch of money and have a choice to pay income tax, or buy more land, they buy more land.”

Bigger and bigger

That tends to mean existing farms are getting bigger and bigger, able to take advantage of the efficiencies of expensive modern farm machinery and make the money to buy more land.

But that doesn’t help the farmers who are just starting out small, without inherited family land and little prospect of paying off a mortgage, even if they could get one.

“We have farmers in rural areas paying far over the productive value of the land that they are buying because they have the income or there are such scarce land resources that they’ll pay anything,” says Young.

“For a new entrant looking at that landscape, it is almost impossible to conceive of buying a farm.”

 

Canada University Costs Have Tripled Over Past 20 Years, Study Suggests

Canada University Costs Have Tripled Over Past 20 Years, Study Suggests.

 

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