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I can barely feel my own pulse, so it is no wonder that I lost track of the ongoing class action lawsuit by producers regarding losses due to the BSE crisis that started in 2003.

According to a recent press release, Alberta producers are being asked to attend a noon meeting in Red Deer, March 31 at the Stockmen’s Pavilion at Westerner Park (there could be 1,500 producers there) for an update on the legal process. Class action lawyer Cameron Pallett will be speaking.

The meeting is just part of the process of combining different class action lawsuits into just one lawsuit, before the issue goes before the courts in Toronto, at some point.

The claims allege negligence on the part of the federal government caused the BSE crisis in Canada, and the corresponding loss of income to Canadian cattle producers.

The original actions in Alberta and Saskatchewan have since been joined to the Ontario action. And lawyers behind the two remaining class-action suits will go to court in April to ask for a final merger of the Quebec action with the Ontario action. The trial pitting about 135,000 Canadian cattle producers against Ottawa over losses due to BSE will take place in Toronto.

“The support from cattle producers all across Canada has been tremendous,” says Pallett. “Now that we are heading to trial, we feel it is necessary to hold information sessions across Canada to let producers know where they stand. Response from Alberta beef producers has been strong and we expect over 1,500 to rally with us at the March 31st session in Red Deer.”

More information on the BSE Class Action can be found at

Lee Hart Editor

ABOUT VOICE AND DOLLARS

I am writing in response to your earlier question about our beef industry organizations and checkoff issues. I am responding specifically to Alberta’s situation.

First of all it is of utmost importance that we have a single, strong, united voice that can speak for us provincially, nationally, and potentially internationally. We absolutely do not need a bunch of self-serving whiners fragmenting the industry and adversely affecting everyone’s potential.

Has Alberta Beef Producers (ABP) been perfect and always been successful in achieving what producers want? No, but no other organization can answer positively to the question either. I do believe for too many years we as producers have been too complacent and that complacency transferred to our organization. Now, with things as dismal

About the author

Field Editor

Lee Hart

Lee Hart is editor of Cattleman’s Corner based in Calgary.

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