(Regina – July 26, 2012)  The non-partisan farm group Friends of the Canadian Wheat Board announced it had instructed its legal counsel Anders Bruun, to seek leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada regarding a Federal Court of Appeal ruling overturning a December 6, 2011 ruling by Federal Justice Campbell.  In that ruling Justice Campbell found that the Federal Agriculture Minister had broken the law by introducing legislation ending the single desk selling responsibilities of the Canadian Wheat Board.

“This case is bigger than farm policy and has important implications for all Canadians” noted Stewart Wells, chairperson of the Friends Group “because it raises fundamental questions about whether government is above the law.”  In his ruling Justice Campbell quoted Alberta’s Chief Justice Fraser that “The rule of law is not the rule by laws where citizens are bound to comply with the laws but government is not.”

“The law seemed clear and the Minister of Agriculture had reinforced the expectation that any changes to the Wheat Board would be subject to a farmer vote when he assured a March 2010 public meeting in Minnedosa, Manitoba that a vote would be held before any changes were made.” noted Bill Gehl, a Board member with the Friends of the CWB and chairperson of the non-partisan Canadian Wheat Board Alliance, a group of farmers who supported single desk candidates in elections for Wheat Board Directorships.

Gehl concluded by noting “the legislation in question is especially pernicious when you consider that in every farmer-election for Wheat Board Directorships, 80% of those elected favoured retaining the single desk selling authority of our Board.  So this new legislation not only appears to be a violation of the rule of law which needs to be addressed but it is a clear affront to the democratically expressed wishes of farmers.”

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