Demonstrating once again that they are driven by right wing ideology, the Harper government is preparing to kill the Canadian Wheat Board. Prairie farmers have benefited from the single desk marketing of the CWB for decades. It is farmers who should decide the fate of the Board, not the Federal Tories.
The Harper government is using crafty language to outline their position. They will tell you that they do not want to kill the CWB, they merely want to give farmers more ‘choice’ by adopting a dual marketing system. They are hoping that for the Canadian public, a ‘dual’ system, where farmers can opt in or out of the Board, will sound reasonable. The only problem is that since the CWB itself does not have facilities to move, hold and store grain, the large multinationals will be the sole buyers and sellers of grain commodities produced in the West.
The Canadian Wheat Board sells grain to more than 70 countries and returns all sales revenue, minus the cost of marketing, to Prairie producers.
Recent studies on the issue of a dual market system, especially one recently
commissioned by the Government of Alberta, consistently indicate that the Canadian Wheat Board would not survive in a dual marketing situation.
Farmers want to vote on the future of the Board. Stephen Harper’s response has been to hold private, ‘by invitation only’ meetings to create the impression that they are consulting with producers. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Holding meetings to determine the future of the CWB where only the dual marketing point of view is represented is an insult to both farmers and the democratic process. (I thought, as a Westerner, Harper would at least hold farmers in higher regard). However, it appears the decision has been made and nothing is going to get in the way of the Federal Conservative’s ideology. They want the Canadian Wheat Board to be gone and that is that.
The future of the Canadian Wheat Board must be decided in a vote by all farmers, not just by Stephen Harper.Read story