In an interview this morning Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said “we’re not ever going to be ideological about the economy; we have to deal with the facts as they are presented to us.”

It must be frustrating for a Finance Minister who says he looks at the facts to be surrounded by so many in his government who are ideologically driven.

For example, Minister Flaherty’s Parliamentary Secretary Ted Menzies and Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz have chosen to ignore hard economic facts about our Canadian Wheat Board.  Facts like:  since 1990 there have been 14 international trade tribunals which found the Wheat Board returns a premium to wheat and barley farmers in the west and is a fair trader.

I can just hear their spin doctors saying “what’s an international trade tribunal?”  In fact they are a judicial style hearing usually conducted by the US Department of Commerce under international trade law.  In these tribunals every Wheat Board sale and representative private sales are compared under oath, behind closed doors, with a gaggle of lawyers from all sides cross-examining.  On 14 occasions the Wheat Board has won the day for farmers and Canada.  At one hearing the Wheat Board even saved cattle feedlots in western Canada.

The hard fact is these tribunals show the Conservatives are going to destroy the financial value of Canada’s most important farmer-owned and controlled organization.  Without the Wheat Board farmers will lose revenue to the five giant foreign corporations that now control the grain trade in the rest of the world.

You can’t get much more ideological than that.

Comments are closed.