Grain barons toast Minister Ritz. May not be exactly as illustrated

Yesterday, deep in Alberta oil country Minster Ritz announced the Wheat Board was “yesterday’s solution to yesterday’s problems.”  Now this is progress of a sort.

Minister Ritz has finally admitted that the CWB was created to address problems.  What problems?  Why the fact there were just two railways and five giant grain companies that were gouging farmers on freight rates, grading, marketing, and even payments.  Farmers created the Canadian Wheat Board to solve these problems.

Wow, have things changed since then!  Now we have just two railways and five giant grain companies that control 80% of the global grain market.  It’s just like yesterday, only this time Minister Ritz has no problem with that.

What he does have a real problem with is democracy and the rule of law.

Over the years farmers have always voted to give 80% of the CWB’s Directors seats to single desk supporters.  And this summer two thirds of farmers voted to keep the Wheat Board which our ancestors worked so hard to create.

So to fix problems he alone seems to see, Minister Ritz has introduced legislation to destroy our CWB.

The first thing this legislation does, if passed, is dismiss the farmer-elected directors who run the CWB.  They will be replaced with five government appointees who will answer directly to Minister Ritz.  The new legislation also makes it plain the appointees are to act in the interests of government, not farmers.

In Minister Ritz’s mind that fixes the problems with too much democracy at the Wheat Board.  So that only leaves the leaderless Liberals, the inexperienced NDP Official Parliamentary opposition, and the rule of law in his way.

Friends of the Canadian Wheat Board have launched a court action to stop Minister Ritz’s drive to make the fatherland safe for multinational grain companies.  But farmers and those who like to eat need to let their members of Parliament know that government “walking over” farmers to use the words of Prime Minister Harper, is not acceptable.  Perhaps it is time to dismiss Minister Ritz instead?

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