Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sore Losers

With almost religious zeal, the Conservatives continue their assault on the Canadian Wheat Board. Back to the courts, for another sound defeat:
Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said Thursday the government will appeal a federal court judge's ruling that the Conservative cabinet overstepped its authority in trying to end the monopoly.

"We in the government have not hidden the fact we are disappointed with the decision of that federal court," Ritz said while standing next to grain bins at farm in Balgonie, Sask.

Instead, lawyers have been asked to file an appeal in the Federal Court of Appeal. Ritz couldn't say how long that might take, but said it will happen well within a deadline date of Oct. 10. He was also vague on the legal details, but insisted that the government's arguments "are solid and defensible."...

"What this shows from the Harper government is absolute arrogance and contempt for the courts and for Parliament," said Wayne Easter, the Liberal's agriculture critic.

"What are the legal grounds for this appeal? They haven't mentioned any of those," said Easter.

"These actions create further uncertainty, damage the credit rating and certainly damage Canada's international reputation abroad when a government will not abide by a court decision and the law of the land."

The CWB does not believe there is a strong legal ground for an appeal.

"We had a very strong case when we launched our judicial review and received a decisive decision," Flaman said in an interview in White City, Sask., just outside Regina.

I don't claim to be a lawyer, but from all appearances the original ruling was pretty unambigious about proper channels for "reform". I don't see how an appeal could be successful, but if the Conservatives want more bad press, let the political tin ear guide.

Actually, this appeal looks more like bitter stubbornness, than a coherent strategy. The government knows Parliament isn't an option, nor is the CWB democratic process, so rather than just give up, the sanctimonous press on.

This issue represents the best case example of what type of government we would have if the Conservatives were to achieve a majority. On this file, we see the repressed ideologues forget the appearances and the poll driven makeup. No respect for process, manipulation, smears, dishonest choices, bully tactics and now sore losers, with a vindictive streak. As it relates to the CWB, this is the real "new" government, uncensored and hardly attractive.


Anonymous said...

I'm just curious why someone in Ontario would even care about something that does not concern them if it was not for political reasons?

Steve V said...

I'm just curious if you had the same view about the sponsorship scandal in Quebec?

BTW, do you sell barley, because by your logic only those that do should have an opinion?

lance said...

Such venom! If it's so 'tin-ear' there shouldn't be much to worry about.

Anon's logic is sound, barley producers were asked, remember?

(You just knew that I would be in this thread, no?)


Steve V said...

"Anon's logic is sound, barley producers were asked, remember?"

Yes, they were asked, to which a professional pollster described the questioning as "diabolical". Sounds like clarity to me ;)

Anonymous said...

Will you be lobbying the Ontario Wheat farmers that their product should fall under the same restrictions as the Canadian Wheat Board farmer's? If it is such a good thing they should certainly be part of it.

Ontario wheat production for the 2006 crop year was estimated at 2.5 million tonnes.

Steve V said...


Thanks for taking the time off the field to respond. How is the harvest looking this year?

wilson said...

"What this shows from the Harper government is absolute arrogance and contempt for the courts and for Parliament,"

Excuse me, but appealing a court decision is the right of any person/government.
The Liberals NEVER appealed a court decision???

Steve, Adscam used taxpayer money, not Quebec money, and flamed the fires for Quebec separation; so yes, it was a concern for all Canadians.

If Dion is so against Western farmers selling their own grain, why not campaign on mandatory inclusion of Eastern farmers....sounds like a winner to me!!
Dion is more interested in the business (keeping Liberal buddies employed) of the CWB than the farmers who (60% voted FOR market choice) want the same rights as Eastern farmers.

Liberals hide behind court rulings. But you can not hide from the common sense appeal that ALL Canadians should be treated equally.
In simple terms, one Canadians will grasp easily, if Western grain farmers can be jailed for selling their OWN grain (Liberals have thrown farmers in jail for this), then so should Eastern grain farmers.

Anonymous said...

What is it that the Conservatives don't understand about democracy, rule of law, parliamentary procedure and open and accountable government?

They should be careful - it might open a can of worms they don't want revealed.

Steve V said...

"But you can not hide from the common sense appeal that ALL Canadians should be treated equally."

Which is why the CWB has a democratic process, wherein every farmer concerned has the opportunity to vote for candidates that reflect their point of view.

Anonymous said...

just so you know steve...alot of farmers out west planted barley because of what they thought was going to happen....the courts have stopped that. This might be one for Garth!

Steve V said...

"alot of farmers out west planted barley because of what they thought was going to happen"

Or, maybe, just like the rest of the country, they did so because the prices are extremely high and they saw profit. Many farmers here have added more barley and wheat this year, not because of the CWB, but because they see good economics. If your argument had any real substance, you wouldn't see the same trend country wide.