It is a fact that all summer the prairies have been buzzing with the news the Conservatives intend to destroy our Canadian Wheat Board.  Farmers were outraged that the federal government said they would ignore the law and simply dissolve the CWB by repealing the legislation.

Farmers and their elected CWB Directors repeatedly asked Minister Ritz to obey the law and hold a binding plebiscite among farmers with a fair question asking if they truly wanted to end their Wheat Board.  However, the Minister refused to obey the law, so the farmer elected Directors of the Wheat Board announced their own plebiscite among wheat and barley producers.

From day one Minister Ritz heaped contempt and scorn on this basic exercise of democracy which made many wonder what he was afraid of.  But farmers did not listen to Ritz.  They came out in force across the prairies during the start of a busy harvest season to question CWB Directors about the effects of losing the CWB.  One group of farmers took the Minister to Court and dozens of farmers wrote letters to the media and their MP’s expressing their opinions on the subject.

Farmers voted in droves in the CWB plebiscite.  The overall turnout was 60% of eligible voters growing both grains, something which would certainly be the envy of any Alberta politician where the last voter turnout was a mere 40%.

Now the facts are in, and the results are clear for both wheat and barley.  Farmers want to keep our single desk Wheat Board.  It’s time for the government to listen to our message:  ‘hands off our Wheat Board!’

–  Bill Gehl,
Chair, CWBA

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