Westman United Announces Rally on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011,  in Support of Democracy & the Canadian Wheat Board

 Brandon MB, October 20, 2011–Farmers and Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) supporters will gather on Saturday in Brandon to condemn the Harper Government’s anti-democratic legislation to dismantle the CWB. Bill C-18, seeks to eliminate the CWB single-desk and replace the ten democratically-elected farmer directors with five government-appointed directors responsible only to Cabinet. The legislation was tabled without conducting a producer plebiscite as required under Section 47.1 of the Canadian Wheat Board Act. Recently CWB’s own plebiscite showed that 62% of wheat and 51% of barley farmers want to retain the single desk marketing advantage.

“This legislation is reckless, ill-conceived and fundamentally undemocratic,” said Larry Bohdanovich, a grain producer at Grandview, MB.  “The CWB is farmer-owned and controlled.  We elect our own directors and pay its operating costs.  All revenue less operating expenses is returned to us.  What private grain company can match that?”

Wilf (Butch) Harder, a farmer at Lowe Farm, MB, and a former CWB Director says:  “This government is moving quickly towards the total deregulation of grain marketing and transportation.  If we don’t stop this, farmers will end up competing with themselves for the benefit of the big grain companies and the two railways—both regional monopolies.”

Manitoba Agriculture Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Stan Struthers said “This rushed, careless legislation takes a heavy-handed approach which will hurt farmers, their families and the economy as a whole. We won’t just stand by and let them rip the CWB apart. Minister Ritz is putting ideology ahead of everything else. This bill is both regressive and anti‑democratic.”

Speakers: Keynote speakers: Fred Tait (farmer organizer NFU), Andrew Dennis (Farmer), Larry Bohdanovich (Farmer), Drew Caldwell (MLA), BDLC representative.

Supporters: Westman farmers, National Farmers Union, Friends of the Canadian Wheat Board,  Canadian Wheat Board Alliance, local and provincial politicians, the Brandon District Labour Council and a diverse group of local and regional Canadian Wheat Board supporters

When: 2:00 – 4:00 p.m., Saturday, October 22, 2011

Where: 8-223  18th St N Brandon,  – Constituency Office, Merv Tweed, MP Brandon-Souris, MB

Contact:  Patrick Desjarlais (lead organizer) patrickdesjarlais@hotmail.com 1-204-724-5387

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