AUGUST 5, 2011

(REGINA)- The Canadian Wheat Board Alliance (CWBA) today invited MLAs and MPs from across the Prairies to show they support farmers’ right to have a say in the future of their marketing organization, by attending upcoming regional meetings about the CWB’s future.

Six meetings are being held starting Monday August 8 in Regina. Farmer-elected directors will be on hand for a frank discussion about the implications of the federal government’s plans to introduce legislation that would gut the CWB. The legislation would remove the single desk on wheat and barley and is expected in just weeks, when Parliament resumes.

“Farmers need to know exactly where their elected representatives stand on this issue,” said CWBA Chair Bill Gehl, who farms near Regina. “These changes are major and irreversible and they are about the future of Canadian farms like mine.”

Invitations (attached) are being sent to MPs and MLAs across the Prairies and the Peace District of B.C. Individuals who have declared their candidacy in the upcoming Manitoba and Saskatchewan elections are also encouraged to attend.

Farmers, through the CWB, are currently conducting a Prairie-wide plebiscite that asks them to vote on maintaining the single desk marketing structure for wheat and barley.

“The federal government is thumbing its nose at legislation that gives us farmers a right to have a say before ANY changes are made to the CWB,” Gehl said. “That’s undemocratic and it’s also downright reckless. It threatens farms across the Prairies that benefit from the clout we enjoy today because we market together through the CWB.”

The CWBA is committed to providing farmers with the information they need to make informed decisions about how the federal government’s proposed changes will effect the CWB, their farms, their returns and their ability to compete in the global marketplace.

“This is a busy time of year as farmers get ready to harvest but we’re not about to let this issue just fall off the radar,” Gehl said. “We’re determined to hold each and every MP and MLA accountable for their position on this issue.”

Bill Gehl, CWBA Chair
Cell: 1-306-537-3899 

Who We Are:

The Alliance is a politically non-partisan organization focused specifically on the Canadian Wheat Board.  Members of the Alliance recognize the advantages the Board brings to producers through the single desk and price pooling, quality assurance through the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC), as well as the important role the CWB plays as an advocate for farmers in transportation, producer cars, and on the world stage in trade disputes and negotiations.  The Alliance draws memberships throughout the west.

Dear Member of Parliament/Legislative Assembly

An important debate is going on across the Prairies regarding the future of the Canadian Wheat Board. This debate affects both rural and urban communities.

We’re inviting you to join the discussion and to support farmers right to choose their marketing organization, by attending one of 6 upcoming town hall meetings. These meetings will bring together farmers and concerned Canadians to discuss the implications of dismantling the CWB – one of the country’s most important institutions.  A full list of dates and times, as well as a brief backgrounder, is attached for your convenience.

As elected Members of Parliament / Legislative Assembly we know you are interested in staying on top of issues that affect the livelihoods and broader economy of your constituents.

We look forward to your attendance.

Bill Gehl
CWB Alliance, chair on behalf of CWBA members across the Prairies

*See what meeting is closest to you:


Regina, SK Aug. 8 7 p.m. Travelodge, 4177 Albert St.
Saskatoon, SK Aug. 9 7 p.m. Saskatoon Inn, 2002 Airport Dr. 
Oak Bluff, MB Aug. 10 7 p.m. Oak Bluff Recreation Centre, 101 MacDonald Rd.
Dauphin, MB Aug. 11 7 p.m. Ukrainian Orthodox Auditorium, (8th Ave. Hall), 304 Whitmore Ave.
Medicine Hat, AB Aug. 15 7 p.m. Medicine Hat Exhibition & Stampede (Higdon Hall), 2055-21st Ave. SE
Camrose, AB Aug. 16 7 p.m. Camrose Regional Exhibition (CRE)- Gold Room, 4250 Exhibition Dr.

At a glance

A snapshot of the CWB’s importance

Why the CWB is important for farmers

  • It returns better than 98 per cent of sales revenue to the Prairie farmers who produce our grain
  • It provides them with returns between $4 billion and $7 billion annually
  • It allows them to compete in a market dominated by a handful of multinationals
  • It means they can compete against grain from heavily-subsidized nations like the U.S.

Why the CWB is important for urbanites

  • It guarantees Canadian families have access to locally grown-grain products like bread, pasta and beer
  • It maintains some Canadian control over our food system
  • It has kept GM wheat out of Canada

Why the CWB is important for economy

  • It provides hundreds of jobs across the country
  • It’s one of Canada’s largest net foreign exchange earners
  • It supports the farm economy by providing farmers with higher returns

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