Huge Beef Rally Held In Provost
Approximately 1600 Supporters Attend

Hundreds of ranchers, farmers, merchants and others signed their names to be attached to the side of a cattle liner that will make its way across Canada and wind up on Parliament Hill. This scene was at Friday afternoon’s beef rally organized by the Town of Provost and M.D. Provost 52. Photo bottom is of 37 year old “trail boss” of the cattle liner, Timothy Wishewan who told The News that Provost’s gathering is ‘phenomenal for a community of this size . . . it’s one of the biggest (rallies) I have been to.” ©Provost News Photo
More photos in August 27 edition of The Provost News.
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An estimated 1600 ranchers, farmers, businessmen and others came out to show their support for the cattle industry in this area—and across Canada at a special beef rally on Friday afternoon, August 22 at the Provost Recreation and Culture grounds.

That same day the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, Shirley McClellan announced a market adjustment program designed to stimulate Alberta’s marketplace. The new program kicked in on Monday, August 25 (other story on this program elsewhere in this paper).

At the Provost rally, free hamburgers and refreshments were served for about two hours.

The event was co-organized by the Town of Provost and the M.D. Provost No. 52.

The event began at 5 p.m. and featured a special cattle liner that will soon be making its way across Canada carrying signatures of people who want Ottawa to recognize the plight of the cattle industry.

Several people spoke to the crowd at the event as they ate their hamburgers, including M.D. reeve Fritz Crone and deputy mayor Tom Ward (who also was master of ceremonies). Mayor Ken Knox had been recently released from hospital and did not attend.

Reeve of the County of Beaver, Chuck McBurney said that this is the biggest beef rally that he has attended in Alberta. “It’s very exciting to be here” he said and pointed out that Viking will host a rally in October.

Other speakers included MLA Doug Griffiths, MP Kevin Sorenson, MLA for Battleford-Cut Knife, Wally Lorenz, a speaker from the Alberta Beef Producers Association and also leader of the Liberal Party of Alberta, Ken Nicol. The Lethbridge MLA commended the scientists who had been working on the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) issue and also the agriculture minister to keep this issue in the spotlight. “We want this settled.” Nicol praised the Alberta Government for helping to keep public awareness in the fore-front.

The man who is organizing a cattle drive to Parliament Hill, Timothy Wishewan invited those present to sign their names on signs that will be fixed to the side of a cattle liner that he had on the grounds. The liner, he said will leave Vancouver on September 2 and arrive in Canada’s capital on September 17. He later said that he expects to have three million signatures on the sides of the liner—and wants 10 other trailer units with him in a convoy. Each truck will carry a flag from each province or territory. Part of his mission is to publicize that Canada is seen as having safe cattle for consumption. He also plans to carry 20 head of live cattle to Ottawa in the liner—and put them to pasture on Parliament Hill where the signs filled with signatures will also be laid out for all MPs and the world to see.

“This is not a protest” Wishewan told The News in an interview “it’s a sign of support for our country and the world.” He said of the size of the Provost rally on Friday that “it’s phenomenal” and one of the biggest he has been to.

“We're doing this for the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker,” said Wishewan. “This is far bigger than just Alberta ranchers.”

Print version of story in August 27 edition of The Provost News.
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