Some thoughts about the loss of the Canadian Wheat Board pre-2012.
Bernie von Tettenborn,
Western Producer, March 12, 2015

The old CWB sold only Canadian grain. It was branded as Canadian and with its advantages had good markets.

The multinationals sell grain from the U.S., Argentina, Brazil, Australia, Russia, Europe and also some from Canada but it isn’t promoted as a Canadian brand.

Because the big grain companies work on volume they promote the seeding of high yielding varieties and yet the quality of the grain in a lot of these varieties is not up to the Canadian standard that we are known for.

The CWB worked with Canadian grains for the benefit of the Canadian farmer, and all profits went back to the farming economy.

Now the profits of the prairie provinces are going through the multinational companies to offshore shareholders.

We used to hear a lot from the free marketers about all the benefits of getting rid of the CWB. But it appears they got more than they bargained for because we don’t hear from them anymore. If they were happy they would let us know.

We are told we can’t get the old CWB back because of agreements. What are we, a colony of another country? We have our own country and our own government and we should be able to legislate what is best for our own economy.

The U.S. labelled us as hewers of wood and drawers of water and have treated us as such. After the free trade agreement, they gave us a real shakedown with lumber and it was only after prime minister Stephen Harper gave a big write down that we were able to export lumber again at a fair price.

We saw the same thing with livestock (cattle and pigs) with the implementation of COOL, which has cost the Canadian livestock sector billions.

Another resource that is penalized is oil. We have only one (main) market and have to take what they will give us (which is a discounted price).

The same with grain. We used to see high prices in the U.S. and wished we could access that price also. Now with the free market we are still looking at higher prices across the border. What happened?

The assets of the old CWB were paid for with farmer money, but were expropriated by the Conservative government, which is now looking for a large company to partner with to give the “Ritz Board” and all its assets (gained from farmer equity) to. They stated at the breakup of the old CWB that the assets needed to be done away with by the end of 2017.

In the meantime, they are trying to build more facilities to make it more enticing for a takeover.

This has all come out of farmers pockets, to the detriment of the prairie economy.

Bringing back the old CWB or an entity like it is not impossible, it just is going to take some backbone.


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