By Gerald Nedjelski, The StarPhoenix July 4, 2011

The Conservatives hate the Canadian Wheat Board. It starts with Stephen Harper and goes all of the way down the line to every prairie MP who was elected in May.

So, it’s no surprise to hear they want to get rid of the CWB’s single desk and that they want to do it soon as their friends in the grain industry will let them.

Still, it’s hard to stomach some of the comments that come from Gerry Ritz when he responds to those who won’t just stand by while the government steamrollers the board out of existence. All this added investment and innovation that he’s talking about when the single desk is gone – where’s it going to come from, and who will it benefit?

I know that buyers won’t be paying any more for our grain when there are 50,000 of us selling wheat and barley on our own, instead of through the CWB.

And since when is it “excessive fear mongering” to want producers to have our say?

Ritz is afraid of how grain producers would vote if we were asking a clear question on how we want our grain to be sold: On the open market or through the single desk?

Any delays caused by a producer vote would do a lot less to damage the board’s “competitiveness” – as if Ritz really cares about that – than the Harper government’s pigheaded determination to have its way.

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