Douglas in Ottawa

October is the month we give thanks for our good fortune, celebrate Tommy Douglas’s birthday, and Co-Op week.  Like the Wheat Board, cooperatives are businesses run by and for people and their communities, not shareholders and bankers.

October 20th is the birthday of Tommy Douglas, one of Canada’s most respected politicians.  It is also the day the Harper government spit on his memory and the farmers of western Canada, by invoking closure to limit debate on their legislation to kill the Canadian Wheat Board.

They have also spit on Parliamentary tradition by misusing a little known procedure called a Legislative Committee, to bypass any House of Commons Agriculture Committee hearings into this bill.

This vile action effectively locks the doors of our Parliament to the people of Canada who have concerns about the killing of an organization run and paid for by farmers.

The Harper government is ignoring the democratic voice of farmers in the recent plebiscite where the majority voted to keep the single desk.  Now they are ignoring Parliamentary tradition too.

Their legislation over-throws the democratically elected farmer-directors of the Wheat Board and replaces them with five government appointees who obey the Minister of Agriculture and have no obligation to act in the interests of farmers.

Protests are erupting across the prairies and the Courts will soon have an opportunity to indicate whether these moves are as unlawful as many legal scholars say.


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