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Canadian Wheat Board Under Attack
Ottawa's destruction of the CWB demonstrates flagrant disregard for farmers, the communities they support, the Canadian west, sustainable public policy, ethical governance and democracy...
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ARCHIVED: The Canadian Wheat Board under attack...
Why YOU should care...
Wendy R. Holm, P.Ag.
HELP STOP THE MURDER OF THE CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD
As an Agrologist, I believe this to be an urgent public policy priority for Canada. Wrapping their actions in words like "marketing choice" and "freedom to choose", the Government of Canada has said it will act in contravention of the Canadian Wheat Board Act to destroy the single desk selling authority of the Board, transferring $800 million a year from the pockets of Canadian farmers and rural communities to large transnational grain companies and their shareholders.
This fall, in the face of public and farmer opposition to the dismantling of the CWB, the Government stripped 16,000+ farmers of their voting rights and muzzled the CWB Board of Directors.
It is time for Canadians to come together in support of our farmers. Section 47.1 of the CWB Act says no Minister may amend the Act to change the marketing system for wheat and barley without a producer plebscite in support of same. Any changes to the marketing of grains covered by the CWB MUST FIRST BE APPROVED by farmer vote.
The wording of the question must be fair (determined by farmers, not bureaucrats; agreed to by CWB), and prior to any such vote, the 16,000+ prairie grain farmers who had their right to vote in CWB elections taken away by Order in Council in October 2006 must first be restored to the voters list.
Wendy Holm, P.Ag.
IN THE MEDIA
FARMERS PROTEST ABUSE BY CANADIAN GOVERNMENT
- Winnipeg Free Press: Hundreds rally around CWB, Tory tactics take heavy heat from protesters on Main Street
- Letter from Adrian Measner to Strahl
G&M Dec 15 Don't fire wheat board boss, farmers tell Ottawa
Prairie growers gather in Winnipeg in last-ditch show of support for CEO
DION AND LAYTON VOW TO REVERSE ANY DAMAGE DONE TO CWB
CWB FILES COURT ACTION AGAINST CANADIAN GOVERNMENT
- Dec 4: CWB files court case against government "gag order"
AGRICULTURE MINISTER FIRES RESPECTED CWB CEO
Dec 5: Harper responds in the House to questions from Atamanenko on the firing of Adrian Measner
- Dec 1: STATEMENT FROM THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD
Dec 1: Harper Government Gives Termination Notice to CWB CEO in Move to Eliminate
Democratic Farmer Control and to dismantle the Farmers Marketing Agency, Pro CWB Campaign News release
AGRICULTURE MINISTER APPOINTS ANOTHER PRO DUAL DESK DIRECTOR TO CWB
HARPER GOVERNMENT ACTIVELY INTERFERES IN CWB ELECTIONS
- Nov 16 Attack on Wheat Board Exposes Authoritarian Predisposition of Harper Government, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
HARPER GOVERNMENT GIVES BLESSING TO AGRICORE-SASK POOL MERGER
HARPER WILL LET CONSULTANT TAKE THE HEAT ON WORDING OF BARLEY QUESTION, VOTERS LIST
PRO-CWB CAMPAIGN SENDS 2 QUESTIONS TO STRAHL
- Nov 14 A few simple questions for the Strahl Horner Tag Team at their Nov 15 Edmonton News Conference
TORY BREAKS RANKS WITH HARPER GOV'T OVER CWB
SASK POOL POISED TO TAKE OVER AGRICORE
CWB RESPONDS TO AG MINISTER STRAHL'S TASK FORCE ON THE CWB
WHAT AGRICORE'S CEO IS SAYING ABOUT CWB (Yahoo Asia)
WHAT THE AMERICANS ARE SAYING
HOUSE OF COMMONS
- Witness testimony before the Standing Committee on Agriculture
Questions in the House (Hansard)
- September 25 (Atamanenko)
- September 27 (Easter)
- October 5 (Atamanenko)
- October 18 (Graham, Easter)
- October 20 (Atamanenko)
- October 23 (Easter, Goodale)
- October 25 (Layton, Simard(
- October 26 (Easter)
- October 30 (Easter, Atamanenko)
- October 31 (Jack Layton, Stephen Harper)
- November 1 André Bellavance, Chuck Strahl
- November 2 Wayne Easter, Chuck Strahl
- November 9 Alex Atamanenko, Chuck Strahl
WHEAT BOARD GAGGED, FARMERS DENIED THE RIGHT TO VOTE, VOICE OF HOUSE OF COMMONS IGNORED
- Nov 6. Pro-CWB Campaign, Strahl’s partisan appointments blatant attempt to undermine single desk selling
- Nov 3: Farmers democratic rights must be protected - all farmers should have a say in CWB future. Alex Atanamenko
Nov 1 Recommendations of Government Task Force will Favour American Grain Giants and
Remove Democratic Decisions From Canadian Farmers, Pro-CWB Campaign, News Release
- Oct 31: Task Force Report on the Future of the CWB a "Waste of Human Energy". Atamanenko
- Oct 23: Pro-CWB Director Election Campaign, News Release: Close to 50% of Farmers eligible to vote in Wheat Board elections in District One purged by dictate of Harper Government
- Oct 17: Pro-CWB Director lection Campaign, News Release: Harper government throws a wrench in wheat board elections.
- Oct 12: Globe and Mail. Harper Government muzzles Canadian Wheat Board directors from speaking out in defense of single desk selling authority.
- October 13 - Wayne Easter Calls on The Conservative Government to stop undermining the principles of democracy.
- October 13 - Alex Atamanenko Calls on Prime Minister to repeal his Agriculture Minister’s Gag Order to Stifle the Canadian Wheat Board
- To the Editor, Western Producer, from Stewart Wells, President, National Farmers Union, (published Oct 5, 2006)
- To the Editor, Western Producer, from Cam Ostercamp, Predisent, Beef Initiative Group (submitted Oct 9, 2006).
Letter to Strahl from Bruce County Federation of Agriculture
Letter to the editor, Ontario Farmer from Ontario diary farmer
- Letter to Strahl from Peace River grain farmer.
REAL VOICE FOR CHOICE - Market Empowerment for Prairie Producers (in the words of western Canadian grain farmers, why they support the CWB and what farmers and others can do to help.)
April 13, 2006. Safety Nets, CWB a matter of public trust. Opinion, The Western Producer.
March 9, 2006. Code for disaster, part two. Opinion, The Western Producer.
February 9, 2006. Dual desk is code for disaster. Opinion, The Western Producer.
BRONZE, The Frank Jacobs Award for Press Column, 2006, Canadian Farm Writers' Federation, September 16, 2006
SCHEMATIC - WHERE THE DUAL-DESK PRESSURE IS COMING FROM:
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE...
What is the Canadian Wheat Board?
The Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) is a farmer-controlled organization that markets wheat and barley grown by western Canadian producers. Based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the CWB is the largest single seller of wheat and barley in the world, holding more than 20 per cent of the international market.
As every respected farm economist who has studied it has affirmed, the Canadian Wheat Board is a well-designed and sustainable policy mechanism that delivers price equity to Canadian grain growers - equity that amounts to over $800 million a year in benefits to Prairie communities.It is also overwhelmingly supported by Canada's grain growers.
This fall, Bill C-300, An Act to Amend the Canadian Wheat Board Act, will come before the House of Commons for Second Reading. Under the banner of “freedom of choice”, this Bill, if passed, will destroy the one desk selling structure of the Canadian Wheat Board, the only thing standing between prairie grain farmers and the market power of the highly concentrated transnational grain sector.
American grain interests have been gunning for the CWB for over 20 years. Canada has won every trade challenge. We should be touting the CWB model for farmers in other countries to emulate. Instead, Bill C-300 would wipe it off the table, and with it, the future of Canadian agriculture.
Seemingly innocuous, Bill C-300 purports to simply offer growers “choice” in the marketing of their wheat. When introduced in the House, it will be couched in terms such as “grower choice” and “support for bio-fuels development”. Make no mistake. Bill C-300 will destroy the single desk selling authority of the Canadian Wheat Board, opening the door to take-over of Canada's grain sector by powerful, transnational grain conglomerates.
What this is and isn't about.
This issue is not about debating the merits of the CWB. Surely we must be able to agree that farmers in a given commodity sector know what is working best for their sector.
The Canadian Wheat Board has withstood challenges under both the WTO and NAFTA and has emerged intact. Despite this, Ottawa is poised to destroy it, placing Canada’s grain sector in the hands of US based transnationals...
Ottawa is prepared to act in contravention of CWB Act
Section 47.1 of the Canadian Wheat Board Act expressly forbids the Minister to change the act without a prior referendum in support of such changes by the growers.
Chuck Strahl and his new government says that doesn't matter. It does to farmers. It does to this Agrologist.
Implications for Supply Management
If this can happen to the Canadian Wheat Board, it can happen to supply management.
Destroying the independence and sustainability of Canada’s grain, dairy, poultry and egg farmers will destroy the fabric of Canada's farm sector, and with it all hope of food security and food sovereignty.
HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO:
1. Send an email to your MP** telling them you support the rights of western Canada's grain farmers to uphold the market protection afforded by the Canadian Wheat Board's single desk sales authority, and refer them to this web site.
2. Copy it to MP Chuck Strahl at Strahl.C@parl.gc.ca
3. Copy it also to Stephen Harper at Harper.S@parl.gc.ca
Its time for the farm community to stand together, flex a few muscles and tell these newcomers in Ottawa that a government that doesn’t respect the rights of Canada’s farmers does not have the support of Canada’s communities. Call your MP. Demand respect for farmers. This is the hill to take or die on. It is about Canada.
Take the time to send an email Please.
** Don't know your MP's email? Get it at http://webinfo.parl.gc.ca