Why go on and on about the Canadian Wheat Board?

FTLComm - Tisdale - Friday, March 2, 2007

No doubt, if you are a regular visitor to this site, you have noticed over this past year, and indeed in years before, that we have really posted a lot of stories about the concerns farmers have, about the Canadian Wheat Board and recently the attempts by the Federal government to destroy this marketing institution. As a non-farmer one might wonder just what has this have to do with me and why should I become emotionally involved in what apparently is a very political and emotion issue?

As is so often the case, people need to become aware of not what is happening so much as, how something is happening.

This is precisely the case with the Canadian Wheat Board. It was originally established during the great depression to give marketing assistance to the farmers of Western Canada by a Conservative government. It was not some socialist plot but in time it has, just as its equivalent marketing board in Australia, become an enormously important marketing tool and had dramatically put grain producers in the United States in a difficult position as they have do their marketing individually and at the mercy of the massive grain merchants in their country. To deal with this problem the United States has had to fork over year after year substantial subsidies to their grain producers. Though Western Canadian farmers have traditionally complained about this practice they have not received similar support in Canada. The Canadian Wheat Board has largely shielded Canadian taxpayers from the need to provide grain farmers with annual hand outs.


The United States, both its farmers and business interests, are totally aware of the effectiveness of the Canadian Western grain marketing system and for that reason want it destroyed. Time after time, the US department of Commerce and Agriculture have mounted serious attacks through trade agreements to claim that the Canadian Wheat Board is an unfair marketing institution and time after time they have been ruled down by the World Trade Organisation but at the basic level the Wheat Board is effective and if you were an American grain producer, you too would consider its operation unfair.


This web site has presented countless stories by farmers and non-farmers alike, discussing the Wheat Board and it is likely to continue until the Wheat Board is eventually crushed. Should the Harper government be re-elected the Wheat Board will be gone by this time next year.

As a Canadian taxpayer it is in my best interest to see the Wheat Board maintained as it is. One of the main reasons is that we Canadians do not have to pay similar subsidies to our grain farmers that are paid out in the United States.


As a person who firmly believes in the importance of Canadian sovereignty, Canadian agricultural policy should not, under any circumstances, be dictated by the government of the United States.

As a matter of fairness and the whole business of honest government is concerned, we should be very concerned about the conduct of the government with regard to the Canadian Wheat Board because the actions we have seen taken by the Harper government are not in the best interest of Canadians and betray the forthright and honest operation of government.

The latest issue with the Wheat Board has been the decision to hold a plebiscite by barley producers to determine if they wanted the Wheat Board to continue to handle their product. Though that was the initial plan, the unfairness of the process is complete confusion. Of some 80,000 producers of barley who already have the option of selling feed barley on the open market and malt barley through the Wheat Board, only 26,000 were given ballots. The ballots were numbered and identified, this was not a secret ballot vote and some producers got several ballots. Instead of a simple yes or no question about keeping things as they are, or changing, the ballot had three questions. Then most amazingly, the ballots when counted showed 14% of those voting wanted to end the Wheat Board's monopoly and the minister added up the other answers on the ballot and announced that 62% voted for discontinuance.


Let's face it, this is not what democracy is all about and this is exactly what the Harper government is all about.

The Harper government are merely acting on behalf of the United States government and no matter what, will destroy the Canadian Wheat Board. It is even possible that the Prime Minister has made promises or given his word to the US president to this end and in return other considerations will be given to Canada for their loyalty to the Republican cause.


With the mandate of 14% the minister of Agriculture has announced barley will be marketed by the farmer as of this summer, though wheat will be handled by the Wheat Board for this year only.

Canadians, farmers, non-farmers alike must look this situation over closely. Barley is not the issue, perhaps even wheat is not the issue. Sovereignty and fair play, that is the issue and that is what you need to be concerned about.



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This page is a story posted in Ensign a daily web site offering a variety of material from scenic images, political commentary, information and news. This publication is the work of Faster Than Light Communications . If you would like to comment on this story or you wish to contact the editor of these sites please send us email.

Editor : Timothy W. Shire
Faster Than Light Communication
Box 1776, Tisdale, Saskatchewan, Canada, S0E 1T0
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