Larry Hill and CWB CEO Adrian Measner


Open letter to Larry Hill, Director, CWB Board of Directors, District three.

Brendaren Farms - Wednesday, February 11, 2004 - by: Edwin Wallace
Dear Larry,
Please find enclosed, a cheque in the amount of $76. You will notice that I have left the Payee line blank.  The reason for sending you the cheque will become obvious to you, I hope, as you read the rest of this letter.
I learned from a recent Western Producer front page item that the "CWB trims costs, cuts staff" If the information in the article is accurate, cutting 135 staff positions in the Canadian Wheat Board will save the average permit book holder about 3/4 of a cent per bushel. This amounts to $76 dollars average per year for the 73,000 Canadian Wheat Board participants.
I am a long time permit book holder in the Canadian Wheat Board. I have understood the great advantage of single desk selling and through a week long visit to the Canadian Wheat Board and the Canadian Grains Commission, I saw first hand the great job the staff of the Canadian Wheat Board was doing on behalf of Western grain producers.
I am totally disappointed to now learn that Canadian Wheat Board staff is being hurt.
I am also disappointed that Adrian Measner, CEO, and the rest of you, have adopted the slash and burn tactics of the corporate world in an effort to appease those in chronic and perpetual opposition to the operation of the Canadian Wheat Board. Albert Wagner, you know, of the Western Barley Growers Association, is quoted in the Weatern Producer article as follows: "It's (Staff cuts) definitely a step in the right direction but it's overdue and not enough." You see Larry, I am convinced, and you should be too, that nothing will stop the detractors of the Canadian Wheat Board until it is completely destroyed. It is almost laughable when Wagner is quoted as saying, "The board needs to take an overall look at its functions and get back to basics."
Isn't all that, a lot like the weasel telling the chicken, "Come just a little bit closer!"
"Down Sizing' of the last decade or so, as it is affectionately called by the corporate elite, has not helped anyone . . . but the corporate elite. Executive salaries have sky rocketed (What is Measner's pay by the way?) while workers have suffered pay cuts, layoffs, terminations and diluted labour laws. As a farmer, my costs have continually risen while the value of my production has declined. But here is the smiling face of one CEO, Adrian Measner, depicted on the Weatern Producer's front page, while the same corporate nonsense proceeds in the Canadian Wheat Board.
Larry, are our executives; are you; now, so far removed from reality that you expect me and other farmers to believe that saving us $76 dollars a year is worth the devastation you are imposing on wage earners in the Canadian Wheat Board?  Sure, if I believed for a moment the staff was just sitting around waiting for pay day, I would support this reduction in a heartbeat. But I don't believe this for one moment. As I said, I saw, first hand, how the staff was looking out for my interests as a producer - they know their stuff! Whenever I call the Canadian Wheat Board for information I get the most positive, friendly and informed response from the staff. Further more, what signals did I miss that the staff was causing great problems in the Canadian Wheat Board. I was convinced that world market conditions and low prices were causing the problems. Is that not what we were told?
But what I say doesn't really matter does it. That is yet another negative characteristic of this corporate lead or driven world we live in, what we care about as individuals counts as nothing.  So, the cheque I am sending to you is, I'm afraid, simply symbolic; of my wishes that all farmers would do the same and we could keep our good staff in place; of the fact that $76 dollars means nothing to me in the whole scheme of what is really good for me and my society; and finally, that it be an embarrassment to you, Measner and others who choose this pathetic form of appeasement to the enemies of the wheat board.
As I stated earlier the "Payee" line of the cheque is not filled in. I know you, as a Director, don't need the money, so please give it to the Canadian Wheat Board Staff Association with my best wishes and a suggestion that it be contributed to the association's favorite charity.

I'm Edwin Wallace

Ewins, Adrian, CWB trims costs, cuts staff, February 5, 2004, The Western Producer
Hill, Larry, Larry Hill District Three, CWB election web site, November 2002
Ritter, Ken, Letters from the Chair, February 4, 2004, Canadian Wheat Board


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