Barbara Hamlin of Olds, Alberta passed away peacefully at the Olds Hospital on Thursday, March 15, 2012. Members of her loving family were by her side. A Celebration of Barbara’s Life was held Monday, March 19 in Olds, Alberta. Barbara was predeceased by her mother Emily, father Roger and sister Anne. She is survived by her husband of 60 years Tom; her children Tom (Debra), Patricia and Robert (Sharon); grandchildren Sarah, Brianna (Aaron), Emily, Michael, Latham and Atley; great-grandson River;brother Fred and many nieces, nephews and cousins. Barbara was a kind and generous person who will be greatly missed by those fortunate enough to know her. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Canadian Diabetes Foundation or a charity of your choice, would be appreciated. Heartland Funeral Services Ltd., Olds entrusted with arrangements. Phone 403-507-8610 or email www.heartlandfuneralservices.com.
Archive for March 20, 2012
1920 – 2012
Janet M. Crawford passed away March 9, 2012 at the age of 91 with her family at her side. Janet was born on Sept. 30, 1920 and grew up on a farm in the Kenaston area. On May 30, 1944, Janet married Harold Schatz and lived in the Horseshoe District. They adopted a daughter Heather in 1948. Harold passed away in 1959 and Janet and Heather moved to Kenaston where Janet worked for Hamre’s store. Janet then met George Crawford in 1959 and they were married in 1960. She became a farmer’s wife until George’s passing in 1980. Holly and Janet then moved to Davidson. Janet worked at the local restaurant in Davidson as a cook for a few years until retirement. Janet moved to Medicine Hat in 2006 where she resided until her passing. Janet was always helping out at the farm whether it be in the field or cooking meals for the crew. She always had lots of food and made sure no one left the table hungry. In her retirement years she loved to go for coffee and her and her sister Audrey were always at “coffee row” in the morning. Audrey and Janet would hop on a bus tour and see different places as well as hop in the car and go out to Medicine Hat to visit Janet’s daughter Holly. They would drive over to Simpson and check out the crops and make sure Jim was doing everything right. Janet loved being with her grandchildren and always took time out to visit with them. Janet was predeceased by her first husband Harold Schatz in 1959 and her second husband George Crawford in 1980, plus one son Murray, her parents Jim and Eliza Firby, one infant sister Greta, sisters Nellie, Mickey (Delia) and Shirley and brother Fred. She is survived by her children: Heather Schatz, Jim (Holly), Holly (James), Louise (Ray), Linty (Veronica), Hughie (Janet), Ressa (Kris) and Owen as well as numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She is also survived by sister Audrey, brother Ron and sister-in-law Lorraine and brother-in-law Ray. A graveside service was held at Simpson, Sask. on March 13, 2012 with funeral arrangements in care of Hanson’s Funeral Home. Memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s society or to the charity of one’s choice.
DAVIDSON—The Viterra grain-handling terminal in Davidson is one of 19 country elevators that Richardson International will buy as part of a $6.1 billion deal to sell Viterra to Glencore International, a Swiss commodities conglomerate.
Last Tuesday, Richardson International, a Winnipeg-based grain company, announced it will buy in excess of $900 million worth of Viterra assets, including grain handling, crop input and processing facilities, that Glencore plans to divest.
In a news release, Richardson stated that after the successful acquisition of “these assets, current employees at the selected locations will be offered the opportunity to join the Richardson team.”
In cases such as Davidson where there are both Viterra and Richardson grain elevators, the company encourages people to continue working with existing contacts.
Until the deal goes through, Richardson has not determined what’s going to happen in communities where there is a duplication of assets, a company spokesperson said.
Richardson International’s announcement came just after Glencore International and Viterra ended a week’s worth of speculation by announcing that Glencore International would purchase Viterra for $16.25 per share.
Also in the news release, Glencore stated it had agreed to sell Viterra assets to Agrium and Richardson International, which the company expected “to result in the creation of a more robust competitive landscape for Canadian farmers.”
Calgary-based Agrium will acquire the majority of Viterra’s retail agri-products business for $1.8 billion.
Each of the deals requires regulatory approval to proceed.
Perhaps to head-off any concerns in Saskatchewan about the loss of head office jobs in Regina, Glencore stated it will consolidate Viterra’s executive offices in Saskatchewan, making the Regina head office its platform for Glencore’s North American agricultural operations and for expansion into the United States.
DAVIDSON—Thanks to population growth, many Saskatchewan municipalities learned last week they would receive increases in their revenue sharing grants from the provincial government.
The unconditional grants from the province are distributed on a per capita basis and are based on the most recent Canada Census population figures. The 2011 Census shows that Saskatchewan grew by 65,224 people between 2006 and 2011, so municipalities’ funding is growing too.
This year, the Town of Davidson will receive $207,017 from Municipal Affairs, an increase of $15,547 from the $191,470 it received in 2011-12. The increase is largely due to the fact Davidson’s population rose by 67 people, according to the 2011 Canada Census.
The revenue sharing grants are unconditional, meaning they may be spent however a municipality sees fit, said town administrator Gary Edom.
Last year’s grant of $191,470 was distributed by a formula comprised of a basic grant of $2,025 plus a per capita grant of $197.75 per person based on Davidson’s 2006 census population of 958.
With the exception of using the most recent census figures, this year’s funding formula has stayed about the same, said Jeff Welke, spokesman for Municipal Affairs.
In the 2012-13 provincial budget, released Wednesday, the government pointed out that Saskatchewan municipalities would receive record revenue sharing of $237.4 million, a 9.5 per cent increase from the previous year.
Most municipalities within The Davidson Leader’s coverage area saw their revenue sharing grants rise, provided their population increased.
Thursday, Municipal Affairs launched a website where people can check out revenue sharing totals for individual municipalities, whether it be a town, village, resort village, city, or a rural municipality.
The website boldly highlights the fact that in the past five years most municipalities have received substantial increases in their unconditional revenue sharing grants.
In 2007-08, Davidson received $99,329 and received healthy increases in funding from 2008 to 2011 when the 2006 Census population figure of 958 was used.
Over the last five years Davidson’s revenue sharing grant has gone up 108 per cent to $207,017 for 2012-23.
Most municipalities have seen increases in their revenue sharing grants.
However, some municipalities such as Aylesbury, saw a significant reduction in their revenue sharing grants due to the 2011 Census. Aylesbury this year will receive $4,025 because the 2011 Census population figures have the village’s population pegged at 10 people, a steep decline from the 35 people recorded in the 2006 Census.
Bladworth’s grant also declined, down to $14,0125 this year from $15,868 in 2011.
DAVIDSON—Curbside recycling has arrived in Davidson.
Effective April 1, the Town of Davidson is implementing a curbside recycling program for residents, which means the green recycling bins on Railway Avenue will be removed.
As a result, town council, at its meeting last Tuesday, decided to stop accepting recyclable materials, including cardboard, paper, newsprint, catalogues/magazines, tin cans and plastic at its landfill, effective April 1.
“Since we made all Davidson residents go to recycling for cardboard, we should ban cardboard from the dump,” Coun. Cliff Cross said. “I don’t know how the residents of Davidson can be expected to keep building pits.”
The town has sent a letter to the rural municipalities that use the landfill, notifying them of this change. In the letter, the town states: “We further advise them to notify their ratepayers of this change, as any form of verbal abuse towards the waste disposal site custodian or any town employee(s)
will not be tolerated.”
In the letter, town council invites members of R.M. councils to an April 2 meeting to discuss the waste disposal site.
Lorne Willner, Reeve of the R.M. of Arm River, said Thursday he hadn’t yet seen the letter.
“This is the first I’ve heard of it,” Willner said.
He said the R.M. will have to look at the options and see what comes from the April 2 meeting.
“We’ll see what Davidson’s proposal is and react to what they are telling us to do,” Willner said.
Digging their own garbage pit or looking at a bulk bin program could be possibilities the R.M. will have to look at.
He said what he doesn’t want to happen is people in the R.M. throwing garbage on their and or in ditches, which is why the R.M. contributed to the costs of operating Davidson’s landfill so that ratepayers would have a place to dispose of their garbage.
Viterra Inc. confirmed that it has opened its books to potential buyers.
The grain company issued a brief statement on Thursday confirming, that in response to “expressions of interest from third parties to acquire the company, a process has been established,” by its board of directors to do with a possible takeover.
The company also stated that it has hired financial and legal advisors for the process, which includes entering into confidentiality agreements and the provision of due diligence.
The company made the statement at the request of Market Surveillance on behalf of the Toronto Stock Exchange, which halted the trading of Viterra shares briefly Thursday morning, before the TSX opened, pending the company’s announcement.
Viterra shares have gone up nearly 40 per cent in the past two weeks. On March 9, the company acknowledged it had “received expressions of interest fromthird parties.”
Viterra shares closed Thursday at $16.09, up 9.83 per cent over the previous day’s close.
In its statement, the company cautioned investors.
“Viterra is aware of press reports speculating about, among other things, the process, parties involved and third parties expressions of interest of at least $16 (Cdn) per Viterra common share. Viterra cautions investors not to rely on these press reports as there can be no assurance that a transaction will occur and that if one does occur, there can be no assurance at what price it will be completed.”
Viterra is Canada’s largest grain company. It was created in 2007 when the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool merged with Agricore United.
It is a major player in Davidson’s grain industry, operating a large terminal on the southern edge of town. Cargill owns the grain terminal at the north end of town, a facility that was once an Agricore United terminal. In the centre of Davidson, Richardson Pioneer handles grain out of the bright orange, wooden elevator.
One company rumoured to be interested in buying Viterra is Glencore, a Swiss company that is the world’s largest commodities trader. Reuters Canada reported Friday that the company was planning to buy Viterra and then split the company up three ways, selling the fertilizer business to Agrium, and the food processing to Winnipeg-based Richardson International.
The news that Viterra is a takeover target of much larger grain and food companies, held little surprise for Bladworth farmer Ian McCreary, a former director of the Canadian Wheat Board.
He predicted this would happen once the Wheat Board lost its monopoly over the sale of Western Canadian wheat and barley.
Although there are court cases against the federal government’s legislation to do away with the Wheat Board’s monopoly, unless one of these challenges is successful, the monopoly is set to end Aug. 1, 2012.
“I said last summer that this would be one of the implications,” McCreary said Wednesday. “Relatively small international companies (like Viterra) don’t get as big of returns.”
He said as soon as the market has no buffer like the Wheat Board, it creates a new business environment, one in which the core business becomes grain trading.
“Viterra may be the largest grain company in Canada, but compared to the world, it is very small,” McCreary said.
Even if this current Viterra takeover fails to pan out, McCreary said if the Wheat Board loses the single desk, it will be very difficult for Canadian grain companies to withstand foreign takeover attempts.
He added, the impact of further consolidation of Canada’s grain handling and the possibility of it being in the hands of a few major companies is a “discussion that should have taken place last fall” before the government passed Bill C-18.
The talk of takeovers has some speculating whether the provincial and federal governments will get involved such as when Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall spoke out against Australian miner BHP Billiton’s $40-billion hostile takeover attempt of Potash Corp.
Ottawa rejected that attempt.
“We are monitoring the situation. When an actual bid comes in, we’ll have a team look at it,” Greg Brkich, the MLA for Arm River-Watrous said. “There would have to be a net benefit to the people of Saskatchewan and to farmers.”
He added, “It’s hard to make comments without knowing the bid and how much.”
Headquartered in Regina, Viterra has operations across Canada, the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and China.