(CWB Region, February 27, 2012)  The farmer-elected Directors of the Canadian Wheat Board are very disappointed that a recent Manitoba Queen’s Bench judgement took six weeks to reject an injunction protecting farmers’ right to vote on fundamental changes to the Canadian Wheat Board.  These changes were implemented by Ottawa in defiance of a December 2011 Federal Court ruling by Justice Campbell.

“Our application for an injunction was to halt the implementation of Bill C-18 and provide some stability and clarity until all the legal issues were resolved.  Although Justice Perlmutter has ruled against an injunction there are other cases out there which still bring into question Bill C-18’s validity,” said Kyle Korneychuk, a former Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) Director from Saskatchewan.

“In our view, Justice Perlmutter did not give consideration to the context of how the Wheat Board Act was amended in 1998 and the evidence we presented regarding the understanding in the farm community that we would have a vote.  This understanding was reflected in the intent of Parliament at the time that Section 47.1 was passed,” said Bill Woods a Director elected by farmers in District 4 in Saskatchewan.  “That farmers would have a vote is something the vast majority of farmers in the west have taken for granted since we first started electing directors to run our Wheat Board.  This is what Federal Court Justice Campbell recognized in his December 2011 decision.”

Bill Toews, a farmer elected Director from Manitoba went on to explain that “grain marketing is a zero-sum game and each forward contract with a private company means the value of the Pooled accounts are diminished, and ultimately farmers get less money, so the damages to farmers and their Wheat Board are more than speculative.”

Allan Oberg, former chairperson of the Canadian Wheat Board and an elected Director from Forestburg, Alberta observed, “overall we are very disappointed by the decision.  As elected representatives of the farm community we stand with Justice Campbell’s view that our democratic rights have been ignored by the Minister of Agriculture.”

Mr. Oberg went on to note the farmer-elected Directors were consulting with their legal counsel on avenues to affirm the rights of famers to vote on changes to their Wheat Board.

“Of course it is not too late for the government to do the right thing and hold a vote of farmers under Section 47.1.,” concluded former CWB chair Allen Oberg.


For further information:
Allen Oberg
Bill Woods
Kyle Korneychuk
Bill Toews

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