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Bills Threaten Democratic Power, Quality Control of Wheat Board

C-46, C-39 would give Ottawa unilateral power, favour grain companies.

Bills Threaten Democratic Power, Quality Control of Wheat Board by GrainAction.ca

Twin pillars of the Canadian grain economy stand threatened by federal policies. Legislation has been tabled in Parliament to make fundamental changes to the Canadian Wheat Board and the Canadian Grain Commission.

These two institutions have been operating in the interests of producers for decades. If the federal government has its way, all that will change...

The Canadian Wheat Board is run by a Board of Directors with the majority of seats democratically elected by farmers. Current laws require Ottawa to consult the Board before changing law that founded the Wheat Board.

Ignoring or circumventing the principle of farmer control is an illegal act.

In spite of this, the federal government has attempted to undermine this principle on several recent occasions. Farmers and Canadian courts prevented these attempts and now the government has launched a new war on farmer control with the introduction in Parliament of proposed amendments to the Canadian Wheat Board Act (Bill C-46).

Bill C-46 would give Ottawa unilateral power to make decisions about barley marketing without the need to consult farmers. Barley growers would lose the right to determine how their product is marketed. The legislation would give the government the unilateral power to make this decision.

The legislation would also force the Canadian Wheat Board into a needless and costly arbitration process to settle disputes arising from commercial grain handling agreements. This could cost farmers millions of dollars every year. As the CWB's Chief Operating Officer put it, "this legislation would essentially take money from farmers and hand it over to the grain companies."...

GrainAction.ca is a campaign to protect Canada's grain producers and sustain the Canadian grain economy.

Links and sources
  GrainAction.ca

Posted: April 01, 2008

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