Wheat board controversy put to rest by Amanda Brodhagen


Junior Member
The Federal Court of Appeal ruled that Ottawa did not break the law

By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com

The controversy over the existence of the Canadian Wheat Board has been stirring since the Conservatives had promised to end the monopoly when they came into power. On Monday, the Federal Court of Appeal overruled that Ottawa did not break the law when it stripped the Canadian Wheat Board of its monopoly, touting that there is nothing to prevent the government from changing its own law in Parliament.

?I have found nothing in the record which leads to the conclusion that the repeal of the single desk as a whole or of the [Canadian Wheat Board Act] in its entirety were somehow made conditional to obtaining the prior consent of the CWB or of grain producers,? Justice Robert Mainville wrote in the ruling.

This was after a lower court had ruled back in December that Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz legally should have held a plebiscite vote among farmers before introducing the legislation. The monopoly over grain in Western Canada has been a safeguarded since the 1940s with farmers obliged to sell their wheat and barley directly the board. Putting an end to the wheat board has been on the Conservative agenda chopping block some time, and they have always maintained that farmers should have the option of selling their grain independently to whomever they choose.

More at http://www.farms.com/news/wheat-board-controversy-put-to-rest-53127.aspx


Junior Member
Ritz Welcomes CWB Ruling

Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz is celebrating a victory in the courtroom.

The Federal Court of Appeal on Monday struck down an earlier ruling that said Ritz broke the law when introducing legislation ending the Canadian Wheat Board's single desk without holding a vote among farmers.

"We see this as a tremendous next step. It builds on everything we've done to this point to make sure that western Canadian farmers have the ability to grow their crop and make the choices as to how they market it, just like their cousins in Ontario have always enjoyed," says Ritz.

He says he doesn't believe the ruling is worth taking to the Supreme Court.

"This was a unanimous agreement between the three judges. They came out strongly in their ruling. I'm not sure how someone appeals a unanimous decision. There's no thread left to pull," says Ritz. "Having said that, knowing the other side, that's really all they have left."

Ritz says he's celebrating the changes with producers.

"For many of them its been decades, for a lot it's been years, and when you talk to the younger farmers, the generation that do their marketing as the GPS steers their combine down the field, they're celebrating this with us," he says.


Junior Member
CWB lines up handling deals with Viterra

Canada?s biggest grain handler and five other companies have now committed to move Prairie grain on behalf of CWB.

Viterra on Thursday announced a new agreement to accept deliveries of grain that farmers commit to CWB contracts at all its locations across Western Canada. The agreement also includes port handling services, the Regina company said.

"This agreement provides growers with access to the CWB pool programs for wheat, durum and barley, and to Viterra?s comprehensive logistics network across Western Canada," Fran Malecha, Viterra?s chief operating officer for grain, said in a release.

Winnipeg-based CWB also announced handling agreements with Mission Terminal, West Central Road and Rail, Delmar Commodities, Linear Grain and Agro Source during a news conference Thursday in Regina.

"The handling agreements we have reached to date provide farmers with the assurance of multiple locations to deliver their grain, with more on the way," CWB CEO Ian White said. "Farmers should now be able to move ahead and sign CWB contracts with confidence."

Read more at http://www.agcanada.com/daily/cwb-lines-up-handling-deals-with-viterra-others/