Then we told them the trade deals were written in stone

Then we told them the trade deals were written in stone

The March 5, 2015 Saskatoon Star Phoenix published an article titled “Trade deals no impediment to restoring CWB” which made the simple point that national interests always trump international trade deals.

Why is restoring the single-desk CWB essential for western Canadian grain farmers? The great infrastructure of the international grain trade has not changed at all since 1900. There are still four giant companies that buy and sell what amounts to all the marketable grain in the world market. There are still thousands of individual farmers in western Canada isolated from that world market by great distances, mountains, and oceans. This is why the single-desk Wheat Board was created in the first place and why restoring it is essential for western farmers

In the grain industry economies of scale are crucial, which is really why there are only four giant grain companies. A single-desk working for western farmers is a way for western farmers to have some counter-balancing market power by gaining economies of scale through orderly marketing.

Given the robbery from farmers’ grain cheques documented by this organization and others since the single desk was killed there is no credible argument to be made against reinstating a single-desk Wheat Board if the interests of western farmers are important.

However, some people feel that the restrictions created by the single-desk were philosophically unacceptable which is fair enough. However is the small and arguably illusionary freedom they gained worth the costs to western Canadian farmers and our economy we now see?

You can read the article on trade deals in the Star Phoenix by clicking here, or read it on this web site by clicking here.

To quote Alberta farmer Bernie von Tettenborn in last week’s Western Producer:

“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 answer to Mr. von Tettenborn’s question is we are still a democracy and we can democratically choose how the economy is managed and for whose benefit. All it takes, as has been said, is a little backbone.

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