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Wednesday, 09 March 2016 16:34

Farmers not happy with marketing freedom

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On Feb. 16, NDP leader Thomas Mulcair asked Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay, “When he would restore the Canadian Wheat Board,” now the evidence is in that the private grain companies had taken $6.5 billion from grain farmers in the last two years. 
The Minister’s answer must have shocked Mulcair and certainly should have shocked western farmers.
Yes, he said the Wheat Board had been sold (reminding Conservatives a contract is a contract) and he would not be seizing assets, no matter how they were disposed of from G3, which is the combo of Saudi Arabia and Bunge, one of the world’s giant private grain companies.
The fact this response triggered a standing ovation from Conservative MPs speaks volumes.
In October 2011 Liberal Agriculture and Agri-Food Critic Frank Valeroite, and Liberal Deputy Leader and former minister responsible for the CWB, Ralph Goodale said, “The government’s decision to kill single-desk selling is a clear violation of the Canadian Wheat Board Act, which insists on democratic producer control.
The Act also insists that any changes to the CWB must be made in consultation with their Board of Directors and with farmers directly, something this government has blatantly refused to do.”
When Bill C-18 was recently tested in the federal court, Judge Douglas Campbell, on Dec. 7, 2011, ruled Ritz violated terms of the existing CWB Act by failing to hold a vote among producers about his proposal to end the CWB’s monopoly on wheat and barley sales.
In other words, the CWB was then “illegally gained goods.”
What in fact MacAulay, and the Liberal government is saying is it is OK for corporate interests to keep ‘illegally gained goods” leaving grain farmers to suffer the consequences.
In spite of the Liberal election promises, we now find the Trudeau government and the new Minister of Agriculture, like the “Emperor with no clothes” stand revealed as no friends of Western grain farmers.
Don’t tell us the majority of us are happy with “marketing freedom,” because there has yet to be a referendum that proves it.
Joyce Neufeld, Waldeck

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