(Ottawa)  Dean Harder, a young farmer from Lowe Farm, Manitoba, stood up in the visitor’s gallery of the House of Commons and addressed the assembled MPs.  Mr. Harder’s actions reflect the increasing frustration and desperation farmers across the west are feeling about the Harper government’s unlawful attack on the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB).

Holding signs that read, “Save the Single Desk” and “Lies” he pointed out that the proposal to kill the Wheat Board was not about freedom.  He charged the Harper government with using lies and half truths as excuses to kill the CWB.  In a loud clear voice he said “You are not speaking for us.  Taking away the Wheat Board is not freedom.  Freedom is not giving control to multi-national companies.”

Referring to the short circuiting of due process in the House of Commons by the Harper regime Mr. Harder said “You do not know what you are doing.  Take your time on this bill.  It is too important to rush.”

Before he was escorted from the gallery by security staff for his non-violent protest he demanded what farmers across the west have been demanding and are now in court to secure:  our right to have a vote on the fate of our CWB as guaranteed under the laws of Canada.

“We want our vote” Mr. Harder said and a majority of farmers and all those who value democracy and due process across Canada would agree with him.

Harder in front of Parliament

Commenting on the protest, Gilbert Ferre, vice-chair of the Canadian Wheat Board Alliance observed, “Mr. Harder’s frustration with how this issue is being handled is understandable.  We are also very frustrated and angry with the Harper Government’s unwillingness to listen to farmers or consider in any sort of serious way all the implications of killing our Canadian Wheat Board.  We are calling on the Senate of Canada to fulfill their duties to Canadians by being the Chamber of sober second thought.  We expect them to conduct hearings across western Canada so farmers can have their voices heard.”

Ferre concluded by saying “not only is the livelihood of Canadian farm families at stake, but so is the future of our high quality Canadian grain along with the integrity of our food system.  This needs more careful consideration than it has received to date.”

Comments are closed.