Bear wearing sweater reading "I Heart CWB"(April 8, 2022) Since the Harper government killed the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) in 2011-12 the Friends of the Canadian Wheat

Board (FCWB) has contended that the assets of the CWB were wrongly given to G3 Canada Ltd.  Remember that G3 is a partnership of the giant multinational Bunge and the Government of Saudi Arabia.

Two years ago, the Manitoba Court of Appeal agreed with the argument that the CWB’s pool accounts held farmers’ money.  As a result of that ruling, Justice Martin of the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench gave a green light to proceeding with the Class Action against the Government of Canada and G3 Canada Ltd.  The Class Action seeks the return of $145 million of farmers’ money and $10 million in punitive damages, plus interest—no small amount by any measure.

It would not have been possible to reach this stage or even begin the legal challenge without the tireless fund raising and commitment of a large network of farmers from across the prairies.  The CWB Teddy Bear you see adorning this page was given to the first donors who kicked in money for legal and other fees.

Despite this favourable ruling, it is not the time to rest. Now begins the truly hard work: demanding documents, analysing them, and convincing a Court that former Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz did commit misfeasance in public office.  Will the Government of Canada be transparent and provide documents and testimony in an expeditious fashion or will there be attempts to stonewall, delay, and draw the process out?

Stay tuned.

Disclosure:  I have been involved with the Friends of the CWB for almost 20 years.

Here is the news release from the Friends of the Canadian Wheat Board:  

Queen’s Bench Justice Martin certifies Wheat Board class action 

(Swift Current, April 8, 2022) On April 5, 2022, the Honourable Justice Martin, of the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench, certified a Class Action lawsuit brought by Manitoba farmer Andrew Dennis against the Government of Canada and G3 Canada Ltd.  The lawsuit alleges financial irregularities occurred during the privatization of the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB).

Mr. Dennis is acting as the representative plaintiff for farmers who sold wheat to the CWB’s pool accounts in the 2010/11 and 2011/12 crop years.  The Certification of the Class Action represents the Court’s authorization for Mr. Dennis to move forward with his claim on behalf of farmers.

“We will, at long last, have an opportunity to ask the Court to rule on whether the Government of Canada or Minister Ritz unlawfully manipulated CWB accounts, depriving farmers of money rightfully owing to them,” Mr. Dennis stated.

The lawsuit alleges former Minister of Agriculture Gerry Ritz committed misfeasance in public office by unlawfully sheltering $145,000,000 of farmer’s money into an account that could be transferred to the Wheat Board’s purchasers in connection with the Wheat Board’s 2012 privatization. The Manitoba Court of Appeal accepted in a 2020 ruling that if this money had not been sheltered by the Government, it would have been paid to farmers.  The claim also alleges that the CWB is liable to farmers by not paying them the full amount required under their contracts.

“Now that Justice Martin has directed that these questions surrounding the handling of CWB finances must be answered, farmers can expect clear answers from the upcoming court case” remarked Stewart Wells, Chair of the Friends of the Canadian Wheat Board. “We have maintained for over a decade that the Government of Canada and CWB took money that belonged to farmers and sold it as part of the asset base taken over by the Crown and then provided to G3 Canada Ltd. the nominal legal successor to the CWB, and owned by the multinational Bunge and the Government of Saudi Arabia.”

Anders Bruun, one of the lawyers acting on behalf of Mr. Dennis concluded by noting “We are also seeking $10,000,000 in punitive damages plus interest on the full amount claimed for this misallocation of funds. We will be providing full details of this lawsuit and how eligible wheat farmers may benefit in the near future.”

For further information:

Justice Martin’s judgment and other background regarding the class proceeding can be found here:


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