November 4, 2011 – News Release

I was pleasantly surprised to see both Henry Vos and  Jeff Nielson resign from their Wheat Board Directorships” Bill Gehl, chairperson of the Canadian Wheat Board Alliance said.  “It was always puzzling that they ran for a Board position on a platform of giving away our CWB’s principle asset, the single desk and could still have a clear conscience about signing their oath of office.  It is rather like a board member of the grain handling company Viterra contending the company should give away its chain of grain elevators.“

Opponents of the single desk have consistently made CWB Directors elections into referenda on keeping the single desk and farmers have rejected them 80% of the time.  For example, according to the Myers Norris Penny vote count, Mr. Vos won by only 31 votes last year.  This summer almost two-thirds of grain farmers voted in a plebiscite to keep the single desk.

Gehl went on to observe “an intelligent and principled critic of any organization is the best friend that organization can have, and over the years the farmer elected directors have responded to concerns by implementing pricing and payment options which allow business flexibility to farmers while still preserving the single desk.”

“The resignation of the two directors makes it appear they were simply there to destroy our CWB’s reputation and they were already on record as being opposed to its principle asset, the single desk.  Perhaps they hope Mr. Harper will do their dirty work for them so they can evade personal responsibility for the consequences.  It seems obvious they did not discharge their fiduciary duties to the farmers who own and fund our Wheat Board, so good riddance to them” Gehl said.

He concluded by saying “last night Mr. Harper’s rubber stamp Commons Legislative Committee moved the process along without addressing any of the substantial concerns about destroying our CWB.  They have endorsed what amounts to the nationalization of a farmer owned, financed, and directed corporation, and the negative repercussions will resonate in the west for decades to come.  We support the farmer-elected directors of the Canadian Wheat Board and their defence of our farmer-owned company against this seizure by the Federal Government.  Unlike the two directors who resigned, they are fulfilling their fiduciary duties to our organization.”

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