(Regina)  The Farmers of the CWBA support the legal action by the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) to stop the Harper administration’s illegal theft of their organization and the illegal expropriation of the benefits provided by our CWB to western farmers.

“We are very pleased our elected directors are taking their duties to us seriously and defending our democratic right to manage our own marketing system,” Bill Gehl, chair person of the Canadian Wheat Board Alliance said.  “The majority of grain farmers see Minister Ritz’s legislation to kill our Board as an illegal procedure designed to take away our legal right to have a vote on any changes to our Board and we are all very pleased our Wheat Board is taking legal action.”

Gehl went on to say “Not only is this an illegal procedure, it amounts to a violation of our property rights by illegally expropriating the extra dollars the Wheat Board generates and returns to farmers.  Everyone understands the importance of brands and trademarks in marketing.  Yet Ritz’s draconian legislation also expropriates the brand value of the high quality grains we have developed and which have little value to us without the sophisticated marketing system which delivers that high quality to customers and returns the value to farmers.  This aspect of our Canadian Wheat Board marketing system is unique in the world and creates our market niche of serving high end, high value customers and having farm producers, rather than company shareholders, receive the extra revenue.”

“For urban people if Ritz succeeds in killing our Wheat Board, they can no longer have confidence that the grain in all the bread, pasta, and most of the beer they consume is grown by Canadian farmers under strict quality controlled conditions.  The private corporations to which Ritz intends to give control of our basic food stocks will have no economic incentives to capitalize on using our high quality grains in Canadian food processing.”

Ken Larsen, a CWBA member from Alberta, observed “over-throwing a democratically elected farmer-Board of Directors after it has been endorsed by a farmer plebiscite and replacing them with government appointees is a giant step away from basic democratic principles.  This part of the legislation establishes a terrible precedent with grim implications for all Canadians.”


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