Sahl says : Crow proposals worse

April 8, 2019

Was there ever a time when farmers did not struggle to make ends meet?

Probably not. That is why the Crow rates were certainly a hot topic in the 1980s when I was writing articles for the Gravelbourg Gazette.

The less expensive rates to ship grain were, the more money for the farmer to pay endless bills and maybe even a little to pocket.

If the opposite turned out to be true, then things went from bad to worse for the farmer.

Gravelbourg Gazette

February 9, 1983

Sahl says Crow proposals worse

by Tanya Lester

Transportation Minister Jean-Luc Pepin’s recent proposed changes to the Crow Rate are “worse in some areas” than the Gilson Proposal which the Saskatchewan Wheat Poop opposed for the most part according to Avery Sahl, the Pool’s second vice-president.

“We’ve rejected the whole thing (Mr. Pepin’s proposal) as being unrealistic and unreasonable to grain producers, Mr. Sahl said.

Prior to Mr. Pepin’s announcement, the Pool’s policy had stated a preference to Senator Hazen Argue’s alternate proposal on transportation rates while mostly condemning the Gilson Report.

But on February 1, Mr. Pepin said. “It should be no surprise that we’re going essentially the Gilson way.” Before this announcement was made, many Pool members had hoped its delay meant the federal cabinet was seriously thinking of opting for the Argue proposal.

Mr. Sahl said the Pepin proposal is worse than the Gilson proposal in at least two areas. The Gilson Report stated the government would pick up the difference if inflation pushed transportation rates over a 4.5 per cent increase. Mr. Pepin is proposing an increase of 6 percent for the farmers before the government would subsidize the rates.

Also, the Pepin proposal does not allow freight rate adjustments in relation to fluctuating grain prices. “In the eyes of the farmers, this is absolutely essential,” Mr. Sahl said.

In addition, Mr. Sahl believes the Pepin proposal , if implemented, would be ” a threat to branch lines and rural communities.” For this reason, he feels mayors, town councils, and others interested in maintaining these smaller communities will be joining farm organizations and university professors in lobbying against Mr. Pepin’s proposal for changes in rates.

Rural communities would be “losing large amounts of rural purchasing power” if railway branch lines to their towns are discontinued as the result of Mr. Pepin’s transportation rate wishes, Mr. Sahl said.

Mr. Sahl indicated Mr. Pepin’s proposal would have to be drafted and be passed through three readings in the House of Commons before it would become law.

The Pool second vice-president said the grain company’s delegates will be called together in the near future to discuss the Pool’s plan to action for protesting the Pepin proposal.

“As far as I’m concerned the game isn’t over until the last ball is thrown,” he said.

Mr. Sahl is also District 7 representative to the Advisory Committee of the Canadian Wheat Board.


To read more posts on this blog of varied stories and other writings on many topics, go to and

Tanya’s books are: Confessions of a Tea Leaf Reader, Friends I Never Knew, Dreams and Tricksters as well as Women Rights/Writes. This books are available in some public library systems especially in Canada. The first two titles can be purchased from the author or from  The last two are in the Legislative Library of Manitoba.

Tanya Lester, BA and master tea leaf reader, has been working as a psychic counsellor specializing in tea leaf reading, tarot, psychic channelling, mediumship and gypsy cards for the last couple of decades. She is also a reiki master and a housesitter. To find out more about her unusual career, go to her web:  To book a reading or to arrange a housesit, text/call 250-538-0086 or email:







$25,000 grant for program

February 5, 2019

I don’t think it was until the 1989s that disabled Canadian children and teenagers started to be integrated into the ‘mainstream’ classrooms.

Prior to this they were dumped together into classrooms where one teacher basically tried to teach students with a variety of disabilities which often needed one-on-one teaching attention.

Even prior to that, young people with disabilities never went to school at all.

Having all students, regardless of their disabilities, ‘rub shoulders’ with others in one classroom was definitely viewed as an improvement in going to school for all involved.

Terms, such as ‘differently abled’, began to educate people with the fact that we all have different abilities and disabilities.

The following is a story about the beginning of this kind of integration:

Gravelbourg Gazette

February 9, 1983

$25,000 grant for program

by Tanya Lester

The Shared Services Program taking in four area school divisions have received $25,000 from the former Guiding Light School to purchase materials for handicapped students. It was announced at the Gravelbourg School Board meeting January 31.

Gordon Toth, the Shared Services Program educational psychologist, in a telephone interview, explained the Guiding Light School for handicapped children in Assiniboia had closed its doors due to the trend towards mainstreaming these children into regular schools in the Gravelbourg, Wood River, Borderland, and Assiniboia school divisions. The school was closed with $25,000 left in its board’s bank account.

Mr. Toth said, after approaching the Guiding Light board, it was agreed the money could be used to purchase materials for parent and teacher use in the four school divisions.

The materials which will include special language programs for students with speaking disabilities, aids for children who have slow thinking and learning processes and mathematics programs will be housed in a resource room at the Assiniboia School Division office, Mr. Toth said.

The materials can be borrowed from the resource room by parents and teachers for up to a year at a time, Mr. Toth explained. They will aid children with learning disabilities from a pre-school to teenage level.

On February 18, representatives knowledgeable in the area of special education from the four school divisions will be meeting with Mr. Toth to prepare a “massive” list of the materials to be recommended for ordering. The representatives will include Pat Prefontaine from Gravelbourg, Georgette Gregoire from Wood River, Lynn Lindsay from Assiniboia, and Linda Balyski from Borderland.

After the group decides which materials should be ordered, the list will be presented to the Guiding Light board for approval. Mr. Toth expects all of the $25,000 will be used for purchases as some of the materials will be ordered from the United States, therefore, shipping costs and exchange on the dollar will increase the expenses.

The Shared Services Program for children with handicaps and learning disabilities in the four school divisions was established in September, 1982. At the recent Gravelbourg School Board meeting it was brought to the board’s attention that $7,497 is this school division’s expected contribution to the program for 1983. In 1982, the school division charge for the Shared Services Program was $4,054.


Tanya has worked as a psychic counsellor for over 2 decades now using tea leaf reading, tarot, psychic channelling, mediumship and gypsy card reading as her tools. She is also a reiki master and a fulltime housesitter. For more on her unusual careers, go to her web: and/or her pages on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Align and Google. To book a reading or arrange a housesit, text/call 250-538-0086 or email:

Tanya’s books are: Confessions of a Tea Leaf Reader, Friends I Never Knew, Dreams and Tricksters as well as Women Rights/Writes. These books are available in some public library systems or for purchase from the author or from

To read more posts in this blog of wide-ranging genres and themes, go to and/or




Gustafson involved in MP’s anti-metric gas station

February 1, 2019

Canadians started to go metric when I was in high school, I believe, in the late 1970’s. To this day, I am only semi-literate in the metric system.

Interesting how I manage to get by quite well without knowing that much about it. It seldom matters at all to me.

But when the metric system was replacing the imperial system (ie inches, miles, pounds etc.) some people got quite radical in their opposition to its introduction into our country.

The following is an article about what a Conservative member of parliament opposed it for political reasons:

Gravelbourg Gazette

February 8, 1983

Gustafson involved in MP’s anti-metric gas station

by Tanya Lester

Len Gustafson, Member of Parliament (MP) for Assiniboia, is one of 32  Conservative MPs involved in running an Ottawa station which serves gas in gallons rather than litres.

Operating the gas station on the imperial measurement system is a Conservative protest against the Liberal government’s method of enforcing metric conversion. “What we are opposed to is the fact that the government is forcing people to change to metric,” Mr. Gustafson said.

Mr. Gustafson said the Conservative MPs are not advocating a “roll back to gallons” although he pointed out there is some move away from litres and back to gallons in the United States.

The MP believes the government should “let those changes who want to” and allow the country to operate under both measurement methods. He cited a case where a gas station owner in Tribune, Saskatchewan had to close his station, the only one in town, because he could not afford to pay the $2500 to convert the gas pumps. A government inspector had told him it was mandatory to make the change.

Mr. Gustafson felt the Liberal government has reversed its original decision to allow people to make the change to metric on a voluntary basis without bringing their intentions to Parliament where the issue could have been debated.

To operate on both measurement systems in the world market does not pose a problem for large international dealers as to make the conversion between what a number of bushels would work out to in tonnes, for example, can be simply done with a chart, Mr. Gustafson said.

The MP pointed out although the government has compelled grain elevators in the West to change the metric system, when the grain reaches the Lakehead it is still referred to in bushels.

The MPs gas station is located in Carleton, 20 miles from Ottawa, and Mr. Gustafson said they already received $10,000 in donations which would be used in the event that the Liberal government takes them to court for breaking the law. One Winnipeg man who is opposed to the effects the metric switch would have on his lumber business contributed a $1,000 cheque, Mr. Gustafson said.

The treasurer for the MPs court fund is Doug Nell, MP for Moose Jaw riding. In the event that the funds are not needed , the money will be returned to the donor, Mr. Gustafson said.

— END–

To read more posts in this blog of eclectic writings in many themes and topics, go to or

Tanya’s books are: Confessions of a Tea Leaf Reader, Friends I Never Knew. Dreams and Tricksters as well as Women Rights/Writes.  These books are available from the author and the first two titles are on sale through

Tanya has worked as a psychic counsellor for over two decades doing tea leaf reading, tarot, psychic channelling, gypsy card reading, psychic channelling and mediumship. She is also a reiki master, who instills this energy into her work, and a fulltime housesitter. To book a reading or to arrange a housesit,  text/call 250-538-0086 or email:  Her web is at and her pages are on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google and Align.




Kitchen appliances that can’t find a home?

January 31, 2019

I remember my admiration for Hugh Henry when, back from art school in Regina, Saskatchewan, in the early 1980’s, he set up an ordinary fridge, stove, kitchen table, dining room table with one flap down, garbage can, etc. in a prairie field next to his home village of Shamrock, Saskatchewan.

He was definitely thinking outside ‘the box’ in a way that no doubt shocked some of the locals who thought art could only be a ‘pretty picture’.

The caption I wrote under the photo I took of the kitchen furniture grouping read:

Kitchen appliances that can’t find a home? No. “I suppose you could call it sculpture although I hesitate to put a label on it,” Hugh Henry said. Mr. Henry set up the attention getter in a field just north of Shamrock as part of an Arts and Crafts Exhibit which he co-ordinated in Shamrock… About 30 artists within the RM of Shamrock displayed pottery, ceramics, photographs, collages and other artwork at the Exhibit. The ‘sculpture’ will be on display in the field for the duration of the week.

— END–

Tanya’s books are: Confessions of a Tea Leaf Reader, Friends I Never Knew, Dreams and Tricksters as well as Women Rights/Writes. The books with the first two titles can be bought from and the first three titles can be bought from the author. The third title is in the Legislative Library of Manitoba. All four books can be found in some public libraries.

To read more posts in this blog of eclectic genres and topics, go to and

Tanya has worked as a psychic counsellor for many years now. She does tea leaf reading, tarot, psychic channelling, gypsy card reading and mediumship. She is also a reiki master– and uses the energy to strengthen her readings– and a housesitter. To book a reading or to arrange a housesit, contact her by text/phone at 250-538-0086 or email:

Gifts of the wise bestowed on island at gathering in May

January 29, 2019

I had never thought that people could gather to discuss wisdom before I lived on Salt Spring Island, BC.

My consciousness was expanded while I lived on the island and the wisdom gathering gave me yet another thing to write about:

Gulf Islands Driftwood

Wednesday, January 26, 2000

Gifts of the wise bestowed on island at gathering in May

by Tanya Lester

A word to the wise: Salt Spring Island will be the site of an international wisdom exchange in May and we have out island’s beauty to think for it.

It was United Church minister Rohana Laing and Janet Wachmann who convinced World Wisdom Project (WWP) organizers in Hawaii last year that Salt Spring is the best place for this year’s annual Community Wisdom Gathering (CWG).

They did so with the help of photographs featuring the island.

“It’s really a community place,” said local CWG planner Bruce Elkin, explaining why the island appealed to WWP members. “It’s not just out in the bush or in the concrete jungle.”

The focal point for the four-day CWG will be the Harbour House Hotel, where there is a “meeting tree” that was traditionally used by First Nations bands in this area.

Chief  Leonard George, one of the three keynote speakers, will introduce guidelines for the approximately 80 people in attendance on how to meet in small groups for talking circles.

“It’s about people trying to figure out how to act more wisely,” Elkin said. “What do we value? How do we reclaim the right to think about that and also act on it? Leaders don’t necessarily act in ways that are wise.”

Elkin said Salt Spring residents who might choose to register for the entire event or pay to attend individual events or speakers will find it beneficial.

“Salt Spring is an evolving community around land use,” he said. “We face the possibility of incorporation. The population of children is growing… We can choose to make these decisions wisely or not so wisely.”

Among the keynote speakers will be local wise woman Linda Kavelin Popov, co-founder of  The Virtues Project, who recently appeared on the Oprah television program and appears in a series called Virtues: A Family Affair now running on Vision TV.

CWG board member George Wachmann added that it is wisdom from grassroots people that

will be sought at the….event which will attract people from Australia, Hawaii, Boston and points in between. There is a CWG somewhere in the world each year.

Included in the event this year will be an ecological art installation on the Salt Spring United Church grounds where an outdoor meditation area will be created and stream restoration will take place. Elkin said this will occur in part because often “most of the good stuff at these gatherings doesn’t happen in formal settings.”

There will be hiking, sailing and island tours, as well as physical and spiritual exercise opportunities.

Dr. Reynold Feldman, rounds out the list of keynote speakers. He will give a free lecture, entitled, “What is Wisdom?”…

Feldman will address the CWG at the official opening ceremony on the Friday of the event.

“We are blessed and cursed to be living in most interesting times,” writes Feldman. “I am convinced that the world we know is dying and being reborn under our very noses. And each one of us, willy nilly, is part of this process. Our only choice is whether to be part of the dying or part of the birthing.”

Besides Feldman, Australian cultural anthropologist Salamah Pope will conduct two workshops. They are titled “An Ancient Cosmology for the New Millennium” and “What does it mean to be ‘Human’?”.

Elkin will conduct an interaction called “The Wisdom of Creating: From Vision into Reality” on Sunday during the CWG…

— END–

To read more posts in this blog of varied genres, themes and subjects, go to and

Tanya’s books are: Confessions of a Tea Leaf Reader, Friends I Never Knew, Dreams and Tricksters as well as Women Rights/ Writes.

Tanya has worked as a psychic counsellor for over two decades. She does tea leaf reading, tarot, psychic channelling, gypsy card reading and mediumship. She is also a reiki master and a fulltime housesitter. Find out more about her unusual career at her web: and/or her pages at Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google and Align. To book a reading or arrange a housesit, contact Tanya by text/phone at 250-538-0086 or email:




Josephine and the Pomegranate…final installment

January 15, 2019

I hope you have been enjoying the reading of this short story as much as I have.  A writer, over time, often forgets what s/he has written.

Here are the final pages:

Josephine and the Pomegranate continued…

…”Either do I.”

… Anyway, so Josephine announced, “That supper was delicious. Now for your next task: you will be given two weeks this time and what you must do is make every woman and child in this co-op a new summer cloak.”

The men groaned.

“Do you want to call it quits?” Josephine asked.

“No way,” Joe said. He had started to miss Josephine an awful lot by then. “Don’t listen to those groans. It was just our stomachs grumbling. With all the cooking we just didn’t seem to have time to eat.”

Without even stopping to nap, the men went back to the village and started trying to figure out how to make clothes. Two weeks later, their hands raw and bleeding from spindle and needle pricks, the men managed to make it back to the co-op gates with the clothes.

The women and children tried them all on. “Not bad, not bad at all,” the women nodded at each other. “They fit quite well and look quite nice. Just the kind of clothes for travelling.”

“I take it I should go tell them about task number three,” Josephine said and went back to the castle gates.

The men were all sleeping on the grass outside the castle walls. Josephine clapped her hands to wake them. “Okay, men, good job with the cloaks. We are now going to let you into the co-op.”

The men rose to their feet and looked like they were going to stampede into the castle.

“Just hold on,” Josephine raised her hand. “Remember our deal. We said three tasks. Just sit down for a moment and I’ll explain to you what your last task is.”

The men groaned.

“O, do you want to call it quits now?”

“No,” Joe said quickly. “We were only yawning. Still waking up from the twenty winks we just had.”

“Alright. Just checking. So this is the plan: we women decided it’s time to take a holiday. We’ve been working really hard setting up this co-op and all. We’ll be going to the mountains for some rest and relaxation so your final task will be to look after the children and tend the gardens while we’re away. Give us a few hours to get ready for our trip and then we’ll let you in on our way out.”

So while the women are bathing in the hot springs and giving each other massages with olive oil and generally enjoying themselves, the men learned about child care and gardening.

At the end of three weeks, the women reluctantly return…

“Petey looks after us sometimes,” Rosalind says. “We can do what we want because he’s in the bedroom with Merilee most of the time.”

“You weren’t supposed to tell about that,”Aurora says.

“He said, ‘Don’t tell Mom’ “.

… As I was saying, the women reluctantly returned home from their holidays and find their children, the men and their gardens were still all in one piece. So they figured if the men are able to come out alive from this final task then they’ve earned their place in the co-op.

“But remember, you start abusing us and lazing around and you’re out,” Josephine warned.

Now, you remember Josephine’s father, the king, don’t you? Well, because the king is so out of touch with the people it took awhile for the news to reach him about the co-op.

When he did find out about it, he sent his government civil servants to discover what it was that was going on up there. They got into the castle under the guise that they were tourists dropping by to purchase some pottery and vege…

“Tyeanne, how come Josephine didn’t get a castle just for herself?”

“Because she’s a nic epersona dns he would be too lonely in a big castle and what would she do with all those rooms?”

“Tyeanne, if Ted ever wins a million dollars and takes us to live in the castle, you can come stay with us.”


“And that guy can come, too.”

“Oh, you mean Mick.”

“Yeah, if you really want him to.”

… In due course, the civil servants reported back to the king on triplicate forms and after setting up a task force on it, the king decided to go visit the co-op castle himself.

So one day, the king got all dressed up in his best brocade gowns and ordered a royal procession together to truck on down to the co-op castle. He made a big commotion with the horn. Josephine responded to the noise by coming out to the castle gate.

“Daughter, is it you?” the king’s mouth dropped open in surprise, for his bureaucrats, not being too bright, hadn’t found out it was the king’s own daughter behind this whole co-op idea.

“Yes, it’s me,” said Josephine, who was not one bit surprised as she had noticed the king’s civil servants snooping around a few days prior. “And quit with the horn blowing. The kids are having their afternoon naps.”

“Well, I want to see what’s going on in your co-op.”

“Fine, but only you,” she said firmly. “You’ll have to leave your procession outside.”

The king entered and his daughter gave hum a tour of the place. “I’m impressed,” he said at last. “I always thought the peasants would revolt if they had enough food in their bellies and were happy with the work they were doing but — although this is hard for me to admit — you have proved me wrong, daughter.”

“Ah, but that’s where you’re wrong, father.” Josephine said. “This has been a revolt but a peaceful one. Would you like to be part of our revolution?”

“Like the peace march?” Rosalind doesn’t bother to open her eyes.

— END–

Tanya’s books are: Confessions of a Tea Leaf Reader, Friends I Never Knew, Dreams and Tricksters and Women Rights/Writes.

Tanya has worked as a psychic counsellor for over two decades now. Her website is:

To read more posts on this blog, go to and


Josephine and the Pomegranate continued…

January 13, 2019

This is the fourth post of my continued short story titled Josephine and the Pomegranate:



“Ted told us that if he won a million dollars he would take us to live in a castle in France,” Aurora says.

“Oh, he did, did he. Would you like living with Ted?”

“Mom says that’s up to her to decide. Not us.”

… Anyway, it took a while for the men to clue into what was going on but it finally dawned on them when they woke up one morning and noticed there was no coffee boiling over the fire and no women and no kids around. For on that day, the women got up before dawn, roused their children and moved into the co-op castle on a permanent basis.

Later in the day, when the men met to gamble in the big tent on the edge of the desert, none of them felt much like playing because they were all hungry and felt rejected by the women. They figured maybe the women were making this co-op castle idea work after all and they thought they better get in on it or they wouldn’t survive.

So they elected Joe Manure, I mean, Mustard as the president and appointed three vice-presidents, a treasurer and a secretary and decided to send a delegation to talk with the women.

“I want to speak with your president,” Joe demanded at the castle gate.

“We don’t have a president,” said Josephine who just happened to have opened the castle gate. “This is a co-op. We all do things together here.”

Now the men were pretty puzzled by this. It took them a few days to figure out just what the women meant by this idea of doing things together. But hunger soon drove Joe and delegation back to the co-op castle door.

“We want to make a deal,” Joe said, “If you let us be part of your co-op, we’ll protect you from thieves and enemy warriors.”

“We don’t need your protection from thieves and enemy warriors,” Josephine replied. “Many women here are trained in self-defense.”

“Weeeeeewell,” Joe stammered. “You must need us for something.”

“We’ll have to think about that,” said Josephine. “Come back in a week and we’ll let you know.”

A few days later, the women had their regular gathering to talk over problems that have surfaced in the co-op.

“The men want to move in with us,” Josephine told the others. “I told them they could come back in a week and we’d let them know if we needed them.”

“Typical,” Lois said. “As soon as we do something that works well then the men want to be in on it. They’re like a bunch of drones. Who needs them?”

“Oh, I don’t know,” said another one. “I sort of miss my Alfonzo. “He’s not a bad sort.”

“Yeah,” said the several others. “It’s crazy but we know what you mean.”

“Well, I could use David as a co-parent so I could get a break from the kids in the evenings once in awhile,” said yet another. “But I don’t want him living in our compartment. Gladys and I are doing just fine together…”

“That’s like Gerald,” Rosalind says. “He has two mothers.”

“Oh, yeah.”

“What about do any of them have no fathers at all like us?” Aurora asks.


“Well, sure, some of the kids had no fathers and they did alright. There are all kinds of ways for families to be set up. In the co-op castle, they were like a huge family.”

… So, let’s see, then Josephine said, “You just game me an idea. If we look at them as extra pairs of hands they could help out around here and each of us could get two days off a week instead of only one.”

So it was decided if the men could carry out three tasks to the women’s satisfaction then they would be allowed into the co-op castle.

“Joe,” Josephine said, when the men’s procession arrived back at the gate in a week’s time. “If you can perform three tasks for us, you will be allowed into the co-op on a trial basis. Then, if you pitch in when it comes to work and don’t try to run things and put us down like you’ve always done before, you will be able to stay.”

“Okay,” Joe said rather grudgingly. “What’s the first task?”

“Next Sunday, you must get here by 6:00 o’clock in the evening with a three-course dinner large enough to feed everyone in this co-op. And, remember you’ll need to prepare special food for some of us. Like Mary, who is recovering from a difficult childbirth, will need something rich in iron…”

“Why, Tyeanne?”

“Why what?”

“Why iron?”

“Because women lose blood after having a baby. It’s because they haven’t had their period for nine months.”


… And Josephine says, “The one-year-olds need soft food as many of them have just been weaned off their mothers’ milk. I suggest you start practising for this supper right away for I know most of you would burn water if you tried to boil it.”

And burn the men did. They went through five days of eating charred kibbe meat paddies and half-raw grape leaf rolls before getting it right. On Sunday, they nervously hauled large steaming platters up to the co-op castle gate.

“I hate to admit it,” the women said, over hot cups of tea after they’ve devoured the feast. “But this meal wasn’t half bad, not half bad at all. I think they passed the first test.”

So Josephine went to the castle gate and couldn’t help but smile because the men looked so haggard– worn out from all the work they put into preparing the meal…

“But cooking’s easy,” Aurora says.

“Yeah, I think it’s easy, too. But a lot of men don’t know how to cook.”

“That’s dumb. I don’t get it.”



Tanya now has worked for many years as a psychic counsellor. She does tea leaf reading and tarot with psychic channelling and, to a lesser degree mediumship and gypsy card reading. She is also a reiki master (and instills this energy into her readings) as well as a fulltime housesitter.  For more information on her unusual career, go to web: and/or to her pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google and Align. To book a reading or to arrange a housesit, text/call 250-538-0086 or email:

To read more posts in this blog of eclectic themes, subject matter and genres, go to and to

Tanya’s books are: Confessions of a Tea Leaf Reader, Friends I Never Knew, Dreams and Tricksters as well as Women Rights/Writes.  Her books are available in some public library systems in Canada. The first two titles can be purchased from the author or from  The third book listed here has a copy in the Legislative Library of Manitoba.



This is blog of the many articles published by and about me over several decades as a freelance writer and a tealeafreader/tarot reader/psychic.