RE: CWB offering new crop prices, contracts now, The Manitoba Co-operator, April 5, 2012, by Allan Dawson

Grain Growers’ executive director Richard Phillips tactlessly comments in this article farmers  need to use the CWB or lose it.

This idea coming from Phillips is ironic  and quite frankly  foolish.   Phillips was a cheerleader for his Conservative patrons as they crippled the CWB by removing  most of its powers including the single desk. The CWB is now just another grain broker without  access to the complete elevator system and no ability to allocate rail cars. This is because the CWB cannot get all the grain companies to sign handling agreements beneficial to farmers. So it is basically impossible for farmers in many areas to move grain through the CWB when they don’t have access to a company willing to handle CWB grain.  It is dishonest to blame farmers for not doing business with a CWB that cannot physically handle their grain.

If Phillips subscribes to the use it or lose it philosophy, than why doesn’t he apply it to his own organization?  Why not have public policy meetings so farmers can direct the Grain Growers group to do things farmers want – not what the government wants? Why didn’t they support the right of farmers to vote on the changes to the CWB, instead of acting like Conservative lackeys? Why does the Grain Growers hide behind the its phoney membership of industry-dominated check-off organizations?

If the CWB fails, it cannot be blamed on farmers, period – full stop.  We never got our right to  vote because folks like Philips thought farmers weren’t smart enough to pick our own future.

The current legislation ends the CWB in less than five years.  We can thank the Conservatives, as well as characters like Phillips who acted as their mouthpiece for setting the CWB up for a fall.  I hope Mr. Phillips enjoys his day in the sun being rewarded by having the Minister’s ear.

Kyle Korneychuk,   Pelly, Sask.

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