This week the western electronic farm press has been all a twitter about a juvenile illustration in an advertisement from Gerry’s Con Wheat Board.  Call me a bit skeptical, but whenever something as vulgar as this gets shouted from the roof tops, I wonder what is being done behind our backs.

One obvious thing is the quiet announcement that the Wheat Board building in downtown Winnipeg has been put up for sale.  Anyone who has toured the CWB building will know it is full of 80 years worth of artifacts and gifts from grateful western farmers and customers.  These range from the simple to the ornate and ridiculously valuable.  Up on the seventh floor there was a very large display case housing many of these artifacts and of course the CWB Library was full of many priceless books and documents.

Some of these gifts, like a large picture depicting grain loading from a prairie elevator into CWB hopper cars and made entirely from various grades and types of wheat anSilver Necklace (Algeria)d durum seed by prairie farmer R. W. Boyson are irreplaceable works of Canadian art.  Others, like a gold and brass plate from Syria or a large exquisitely handcrafted silver and orange necklace from Algeria are expressions of gratitude from people for the honesty and fair treatment which they could only get from the Canadian Wheat Board.  Last year, for example, the Algerian press carried reports of highly contaminated durum being dumped by a French company on their port authority – something that would never happen with the farmer controlled CWB and the quality control system Harper has wrecked.

Since the Harper government has given itself permission to seize things, this writer wonders how many of those artifacts will end up walking out the door and how many others will simply end up in the garbage?  Sources close to the old CWB tell me that the library was vandalized several weeks ago.  Not a surprise since in this writer’s experience semi-literate thugs seem to be more the rule than the exception in Harper’s Con world.

So where will those hundreds of valuable artifacts go while too many people are tweeting about a 1940’s style cheesecake cartoon girl in a short dress straddling a fence?  One thing is certain.  Under Ottawa’s legislation the appointees running the Con Wheat Board have no responsibility to anyone but Minister Ritz and he calls all the shots – at least for now.

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