(Regina, May 24, 2012)  Bill Gehl a durum and wheat farmer near Regina and the chairperson of the western farm group The Canadian Wheat Board Alliance says both farmers and rail workers are being victimized by the loss of the farmer controlled Canadian Wheat Board.

Gehl observed:  “our Canadian system was not perfect, but it did represent a balance of interests between farmers represented by a powerful farmer controlled single desk Wheat Board and the largely foreign owners of the two railways.  However that balance has now been removed and the field is tilted in favour of foreign shareholders.  This is especially galling because the railways have just received a revenue cap increase of 9.5% under the current system.”

During the debate about killing the CWB some analysts warned freight rates could increase between 25 and 50% once the revenue caps are removed because the farmer controlled CWB was the single most powerful supporter of the rail revenue cap system.  Without the single desk CWB, freight rates will move closer to American levels.  “The first sign of this was the recent effective takeover of CP Rail by New York based Pershing Square Capital Management based on their expectation of increasing revenue from the company,” explained Gehl.

“Why should farmers and workers have to take less to allow foreign owned companies to take more money out of Canada?” asked Gehl who called on the Minister of Labour to chose the side of Canadians, rather than foreign controlled management.

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