Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words and the attached cartoon from 1929 is a good example.  It shows a farm grain truck labelled  Wheat Pool breaking through a fence and toll booth erected by the private grain trade.

It was not long after that, in 1935 farmers succeeding in getting their 100% Pool when the Canadian Wheat Board Act was passed by a Conservative government led by R. B. Bennett, from Calgary.

Farmers then had direct access to customers around the world without paying fees to the private grain trade.

In fact the law forbade the CWB from keeping the profits (“retained earnings”) from grain sales which had so enriched the private trade.  The CWB returned every dime of sales, less operating costs, to farmers.  It was a rare year when less than 99% of grain sales did not go back to producers.  This will end if Ritz has his way

Already Gerry’s new CWB, run by his own appointees after the illegal dismissal of farmer-elected directors, is making noises about profits.  These can only come from one place:  farmers’ grain cheques.

So the irony is that the Ottawa Conservatives have succeeded in erecting another barrier between western farmers and the world market.  Gerry’s new grain company will no longer be anything but another grain brokerage.

So how much “profit” is Gerry’s new Grain Company going to take from farmers over the next four or five years before his appointees sell it off?  In fact, the CWB’s current audited statement shows this year it has squirreled away $102 million of farmers’ money into a contingency fund; a fund under a cloud from class action law suits.

What do Gerry’s appointees running his grain company plan to do with this money? We’ll never know because Gerry’s appointees only answer to him and never have to stand for election or be accountable to farmers.  If the courts allow this to continue, the CWB will be just like any other grain brokerage taking profits for itself out of every farmers’ pocket.

The barriers are back up, but farmers are already working to break them down again. Register here to help.  You can also make a donation here or donate here.

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