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Tuesday, October 10, 2006 

Tory Farmers At Odds With Harper over Wheat Board

Many prairie farmers who voted Conservative in the last Federal election are at odds over the Harper governments plan to neuter the Canadian Wheat Board.

The Canadian Wheat Board Act states:

Canadian Wheat Board Act - C-24
An Act to provide for the constitution and powers of The Canadian Wheat Board

47.1 The Minister shall not cause to be introduced in Parliament a bill that would exclude any kind, type, class or grade of wheat or barley, or wheat or barley produced in any area in Canada, from the provisions of Part IV, either in whole or in part, or generally, or for any period, or that would extend the application of Part III or Part IV or both Parts III and IV to any other grain, unless

1. ) the Minister has consulted with the board about the exclusion or extension; and
2. ) the producers of the grain have voted in favour of the exclusion or extention, the voting process having been determined by the Minister.
1998, c. 17, s. 25.

Prime Minister Harper appears to be doing the bidding of his American Republican cousins. The Wheat Board has been subjected to 11 separate U.S. trade attacks. The cry has been 'unfair subsidies'. The U.S. wants to eliminate a formidable competitor on the world wheat market for its multinational agribusiness. It wants American agribusiness to capture the price advantage enjoyed by superior Canadian wheat.

Despite polls showing that 73 per cent of western wheat farmers support the board, the Harper government is preparing to do the Americans' dirty work. It has began the process to abolish the board's monopoly.

All that is stopping it is the fact it lacks a majority and couldn't amend the current CWB Act. It requires a farmer plebiscite for any changes to the board's status.

Members of Parliament from the Liberal Caucus, Bloc Quebecois Caucus and New Democratic Caucus MUST challenge Harper's uniltateral changes at every opportunity!!

The Harper government DOES NOT have a mandate from the farmers of Western Canada to pursue radical change to the Canadian Wheat Board WITHOUT the consent of farmers!

Globe and Mail

Camrose Alberta Canadian

Glad to see this being discussed. I must say, the Martin gov't ran ads warning of this very thing (part of the we're not making this up campaign) here in the west. Too bad many voters didn't heed this but instead derided the ads as scare tactics. Just as Martin said many times, Harper's Canada is not our Canada. We were warned. But too many voters bought the Mr. Dithers routine. It turns out that 'Mr. Dithers' was a good decision maker and right about alot of things. Harper, otoh, hates our Canada.


Harper and the Conservatives are NOT being pragmatic on this issue, they are driven totally by ideology on this one.

The CWB brings hundreds of millions of dollars annually into the pockets of prairie farmers and the Americans hate the Board because of the sheer volume of grain it markets.

Harper is attempting to make this unilateral change to the Board because it fits his narrow ultra capitalist world view.

Opponents of Harper's undemocratic changes will make a LOT of noise before this is all over.

I hope you are right. I have said many times, as a westerner with farm roots and two kids who won't farm because the roots are rotten - the Liberal party will make inroads in the west (and Rural east) if they start listening to the farmers and defend things like the CWB

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