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Photo of Grain Elevator
1850 to 1914 Exhibit 1914 to 1945 Exhibit 1945 to Present Exhibit
Read the Grain System Evolution Story
Prairie Networks Past & Present: Grain Transportation in Western Canada
Learning Corner

The following questions are great for discussion!

A: Basic Questions relating to Issues
  • What changes have occurred in the grain production and handling system?

  • What social, political, and economic forces have shaped the grain production and handling system?

  • What events have disrupted the efficient flow of grain?
B. Advanced Questions relating to Issues
  • What would the pattern of grain transportation have been after 1875 if Canada was not a separate country?

  • Why was Canadian wheat exported as grain rather than being used in the manufacture of flour, pasta, etc and what was the impact of this on the social and economic make-up of prairie Canada?

  • Why did the grain transportation and handling system become to controversial and why did it develop such a high political profile?

  • Historically has Canadian grain followed the most economic, efficient, and effective routing for export, and what is currently the optimum handling at each of Canada's major ports?

  • Will foreseeable developments (e.g. genetically modified grain) have as great, or greater an impact on Canada's grain production and distribution systems as past technological developments have had? Why?

  • What would the pattern of grain transportation become if the Wheat Board lost its marketing monopoly?

  • What economic and political events will help shape the future distribution pattern of Canadian grain and how will these events differ from historic events?

  • What constraints are there on the transportation and handling companies shaping the future of Canadian grain movements and how many of these constraints are their legacy from past business decisions?

  • Is there any chance that some form of a grain-dependent society will return to the prairies? If so why so; if not why not?
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