by:  Leo Howse
Porcupine Plain, SK

The terms Canadian Wheat Board and CWB have been synonymous for 75 years. CWB was a recognized brand name around the world signifying a consistent and reliable supplier of high quality grain which added value for farmers. Agriculture Minister Ritz took that all away. Without farmer approval he destroyed the single desk CWB and confiscated all the assets which belonged to farmers. He then grabbed the money from the farmer’s CWB contingency fund, added taxpayer’s money to the mix and created what is best described as the “Gerry Ritz Grain Company”. He invariably calls his new grain company the “cwb” which sounds and looks a lot like CWB.

This identical acronym is not a coincidence. Ritz has steadfastly insisted that the CWB is still there for those farmers that want to use his “cwb”. He has fooled the public but farmers see through his charade. He has even been trying to convince the courts that the CWB has not been destroyed which is crucial to his smoke screen defense in the law suits.

The fact is, only the real CWB added value. Its brand earned premiums for farmers on grain sales. It defended farmers against railway abuses. Its integrity and reliability was recognized worldwide. It added efficiency to grain handling and transportation. It advocated for farmers. All profits went back to farmers. That is all gone now. The Gerry Ritz Grain Company called “cwb” does none of the above. It does not add value for farmers.  Ritz’s “cwb” is not the real CWB because it is just a grain company. So really, the CWB no longer exists. If Ritz was being honest he would stop calling his new grain company the CWB because it’s not even remotely similar to what he took away from farmers.

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