The CWB issued quotas in which they dictated when, how much, and for what price you could sell your grain for. You could not sell anymore than the quota stated. Our elevator manager would call every time the CWB put a quota on. My dad would complain about the commie outfit that virtually controlled the producer. He would have loved to have the choice of when, to whom, how much, and at what price to sell his grain. I'm sure if he would have had choice, he actually would have made a profit. Some years he operated at loss, some years a profit but most years he was fortunate to break even. (He farmed for over 40 yrs.) I don't know how farmers actually make it anymore with the expenses and all.
To have a successful farming business you need to have a free market just like any other business. So are producers finally going to have choice? I sure hope so. It would be long over due.
Stephen Harper has managed to silence one of the most vocal and activist groups battling against his plan to give prairie farmers the right to opt out of selling their wheat and barley through the wheat board. Namely, the Canadian Wheat Board itself.
The board’s directors had, since the Tories’ election, been running a relentless campaign to protect their “single-desk” marketing monopoly. They regularly funded studies and surveys that invariably concluded the CWB’s model was the most profitable, most popular manner for grain marketing; when Ottawa held a plebiscite in 2007 that resulted in a majority of barley farmers voting for marketing choice, the directors launched a publicity campaign undermining it as rigged and irrelevant; they urged farmers to write the agriculture minister in protest.
That may have all stopped, permanently, after the Supreme Court on Jan. 22 declined to hear an appeal from the board that challenged an order from the government requiring it to stop using members’ money to fight political battles. The board’s directors had initially succeeded in getting a federal judge to find what it called a “gag order” to be illegal and unconstitutional. An appeals court later ruled that to be a mistake. With the directors’ last resort, the Supreme Court, declining to intervene, the appeals ruling stands.
Whatever deregulatory levers are available to them, expect the Tories to use them to the maximum extent: Mr. Harper first came to Ottawa promising an end to the Wheat Board’s monopoly and has only vowed steadfastness in that mission following a number of subsequent setbacks. This, his first tangible victory on the file, can only re-energize the Tories’ resolve.
They will still need it: with the Wheat Board’s opposition dispatched, the Tories must now find support from Parliament to proceed with any changes to the way the board operates. The Prime Minister will likely find no support from the NDP or the Bloc, who were convinced to see any deregulation as a threat to their own supply-managed agricultural industries.
Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff has made conciliatory sounds toward Westerners since becoming leader; farmers will be watching to see whether he, now, will choose to make himself the last real hurdle to ending the Wheat Board’s monopoly. (h/t) Kevin Libin
The question is now, will Mr. Iffy support it? It would be nice to finally see the end of a single desk marketing entity. So Mr. Iffy where do you stand? Do you support the farmers right to choose?
Women get the right to choose. Why not the farmer? I urge everyone support a Farmer's Right To Choose! Support choice! Call your MP and demand they support choice for farmers when it comes up in parliament.