Public meeting in the heart of grain country sends message to Ottawa

(Raymore, Sk., March 10, 2014)  The Canadian Wheat Board Alliance hosted a large meeting of prairie grain farmers yesterday in Raymore, Saskatchewan.  By an almost unanimous vote the meeting passed a motion demanding the Federal Minister of Agriculture immediately conduct a vote on the restoration of the farmer-controlled single desk Wheat Board.

Long time Saskatchewan MP Ralph Goodale addressed the meeting and observed that the prairie price of all grains had declined by almost fifty percent and this amounted to an estimated loss of five billion dollars to the western farm economy.  One audience member angrily pointed out “we can’t afford another year of this!”

Stewart Wells, a former farmer-elected Director on the Wheat Board, explained to the meeting that with the single desk farmers got 85% of the port price for grain while the latest information shows that although international grain prices remain high, the grain companies and railways have reduced western farmers’ share to less than 40%.

Kyle Korneychuk, spokesperson for the CWBA, said “farmers have now seen in their bank accounts and grain bins how the Ritz system of grain marketing works.  I think that is the reason they gave such a firm message to Ottawa and the Opposition politicians attending the meeting that they want to exercise their right to vote on the marketing system they have to live with.”

Liberal Ralph Goodale, along with the NDP Official Opposition’s Agriculture and deputy Agriculture Critics Malcolm Allen and Ruth Ellen Brosseau got the message loud and clear during the meeting that farmers wanted a vote now.

“Local MP Andrew Scheer did not respond to our invitation, however both Goodale and Allen promised to take the message that farmers want a vote on the single desk back to Ottawa” said Korneychuk.  Allen observed that “more and more farmers are coming to see the private grain trade as the problem and the single desk as the solution and they want a vote now.  We will do our job and take that message back to Ottawa.”

Korneychuk went on to say “I was pleased to see Ms. Brosseau, who hails from rural Quebec, taking such an interest in western problems.  She clearly indicated to me that she understood that the single desk wheat Board was as important to western Canada as supply management is to Ontario and Quebec dairy farmers.”

Korneychuk concluded that the meeting was sending a clear message to Ottawa.  “If Ottawa can step in and seize the assets we built up in the farmer-controlled Wheat Board without compensation and issue orders to the railways with threats of draconian fines to back them up, as they did on Friday, there is no reason they cannot honour a democratic vote by farmers to re-instate their farmer-controlled single desk Wheat Board.  Farmers want a fair vote.”

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Raymore Resolution:

– Whereas the pre-2011 Canadian Wheat Board played a key role in coordinating grain shipments, and
– Whereas the single desk selling advantages of the pre-2011 CWB returned 85% of sales values to farmers’ pockets, as opposed to the 40 to 50% returned from the private trade at present,
Be it resolved that this meeting go on record asking the federal government to immediately conduct a vote of farmers regarding single desk selling of western wheat and barley.


Who We Are: The Alliance is a politically non-partisan organization focused specifically on the Canadian Wheat Board.  Members of the Alliance recognize the advantages the Board brought to producers through the single desk and price pooling, quality assurance through the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC), as well as the important role the CWB played as an advocate for farmers in transportation, producer cars, and on the world stage in trade disputes and negotiations.  The Alliance draws memberships throughout the west.

One comment

  1. Congratulations are due to the Canadian Wheat Board Alliance and its committee members in District 7 for pulling this meeting together, and forcing public attention on this massive problem, that the government is proclaiming powerlessness to resolve.
    If there had been a proper business plan associated with the destruction of the Board, then the current problems would have been obvious.
    Maybe some Conservative, somewhere, might have said, “maybe we shouldn’t do this!”.