Alliance Grain Traders (AGT) recently announced that its plans to build a pasta processing plant in Regina in 2012 is officially on hold at least until next year.
However, AGT’s CEO Murad Al-Katib forgot to mention who will be proceeding with the work on implementation once the time is supposedly right so is there really any realistic, concrete time frame for construction to start?
AGT said they could buy grain cheaper from farmers once the CWB’s single desk was gone. The single desk is gone in a few weeks and AGT has financing in place courtesy of Farm Credit Canada, so, why is their plant suspended?
The original 2011 announcement had the likes of Stephen Harper’s faithful followers, including Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, Sask. Premier Brad Wall, SARM President Dave Merit, Garth Patterson of WGRF and Regina Mayor Pat Fiaco applauding the value added project. It is hard to believe they didn’t know the plant was hopeless. Were they just currying favour with Harper or were they jumping gleefully on the bandwagon to avoid Harper’s wrath and retributions?
Will Harper now acknowledge that value added jobs will not be created once the CWB single desk is scrapped? Will he amend his repeated statements in the House of Commons that pointed specifically to the now non-existent pasta plant as the source of these bountiful jobs?
If he’s a man of his word and has an ounce of integrity, he will. But like the doomed pasta plant, the probability is small.