Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Here We Go Again

The Conservatives are threatening the Canadian Wheat Board once again, with ideological zeal, that attempts to usurp process, not to mention democracy:
Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz issued an ultimatum to the Canadian Wheat Board yesterday, saying he intends to introduce legislation to end the board's monopoly on barley sales with or without its support.

After meeting with major players from the barley industry yesterday, Mr. Ritz urged the board to back the government's efforts to create an open market for barley at its meetings in Winnipeg this week.

Mr. Ritz said having the Wheat Board onside would remove any political barriers to getting legislation passed. At present, the opposition parties are in favour of maintaining the board's monopoly power.

The minister's request puts the board in a difficult position because it would be contrary to the Canadian Wheat Board Act for the board to approve deregulation.

Ritz, like his predecessor Stahl, presents a stunning lack of respect for democracy. The CWB board is ELECTED by members, it is not some detached regime that isn't representative:
A majority of the farmer-elected directors is in favour of keeping the monopoly,

If you want to change the monopoly, there is an easy route, a novel concept called ELECTIONS. If, as Ritz posits, the board needs to change, then the farmer have the means to bring that change about. The fact that the directors are mostly "pro" monopoly translates to a simple fact- the grassroots majority supports the status quo. Why the government can't get that basic truth through their ideological heads is quite amazing.

People can argue the merits, the pros and cons, but it all boils down to one fundamental- there is already a mechanism in place to bring about reform, and that mechanism is called DEMOCRACY. What the government suggests is really an affront to free choice, ironic given the arguments for opening up the system. When the farmers actually elect pro-choice directors, then the debate is real and honest.

14 comments:

Concerned Western Farmer said...

"If you want to change the monopoly, there is an easy route, a novel concept called ELECTIONS."

Wrong.

If you want to change this monopoly all you have to do is force ALL farmers in Canada to be under the CWB. It will never happen though, the rest of Canada - particuraly Ont and Que farmers - would not go for it. I would give it three weeks before it would be abolished.

Example:

Look at the grain prices in three places: [28/01/08]

Ontario ..... $9.10 Canada dollars
Montana ..... $9.95 Canada dollars
Sask [CWB] .. $7.22 Canada dollars

Yes that is fair in your eyes because you are NOT under the CWB. That is about a $2.00 differance, but what do you care.

You say it is good that Ontario farmers get $9.10 wqhile CWB farmers in Sask get $7.22.

What do you not see wrong with this picture?

I say the farmers under the CWB should have a choice. Those that want dictatorship can stay with the CWB. Those that want to sell their own grain should have a choice. Since you live on Ont you do not know of the reality of the CWB. You should ask farmers in Ont and Que if they would willingly go under the CWB in which there is no choice in selling their grain.

" ... simple fact- the grassroots majority supports the status quo"

You make that statement without an election by the CWB farmers input. [But then you do not like the results of a previous election by members of the CWB.] So much for democracy.

It is a sad thing that Dion said if the CWB were abolished he would bring it back. I guess it is the only thing that the Liberals can have in place to punish us Western farmers for not voting Liberal.

I know you are going to go on a rant because not everybody agrees with you. Please consider that farmers want a say on how we sell our own grown grains. Some of us have been fined and placed in prison for the right to sell our own product. Again ask the Ont and Quebec farmers if they would be under the CWB where they will have no say in marketing at world prices.

Steve V said...

Oh bull, with the WRONG. Vote in people that share your viewpoint, it's that simple. The fact the dissenters can't speaks VOLUMES about the supposed grassroots support.

Anonymous said...

Funny isn't it - It was the Conservative party that put in the Wheat Board in the first place.

Shows you just how right-winged and controlling the Harper government has moved the CPC party.

Do it our way or else? Ah, this is Canada and we have voting mechanisms for this sort of thing.

We don't need this dicatorship stuff.

wilson said...

Saskatchewan just voted out the pro-CWB government.

What does that tell yah?

The CWB is goin' down, down, down.

Getting rid of the CWB also knocks down provincial barriers.

As concerned western farmer points out, I too would like to see a bill go before that house where the CWB is all inclusive or gone.

How would the Libs and Dippers argue 'against' bringing in Ontario and Quebec to the wonderful world of the CWB monopoly?

Steve V said...

"Saskatchewan just voted out the pro-CWB government.

What does that tell yah?"

Yes, that is why the government lost the election. You are one STUNNED cookie, seriously.

Steve V said...

"The CWB is goin' down, down, down."

Why aren't the farmers, the people who have a stake, voting for the anti-monopoly candidates??? That is where the argument ALWAYS falls apart, the bitching, the why doesn't Ontario join, the hurting the poor farmer, all the nonsense.... Farmers have a voice, and it is represented by pro-monopoly directors. Sounds like simple democracy from here, and something which all the antis can't seem to address, or choose to ignore.

Wayward Son. said...

CWF - "Look at the grain prices in three places: [28/01/08]"

Is these true? (I don't see a link) Is this normal for the prices to have this big of a difference? The following is 10 years old, but it says the opposite was found over a 14 year period:

Upshall said the evaluation of the CWB released February 13 by
agricultural economists Daryl Kraft, Hartley Furtan and Edward
Tychniewicz, Performance Evaluation of the Canadian Wheat Board,
demonstrated clearly that over the last 14 years, Prairie producers
have received a significant premium because of the CWB's single desk
sales strategy.

"This study shows clearly why the large majority of Prairie producers
support the CWB. The facts show us that a $265 million per year
($13.35 per tonne) premium for wheat was gained because of the market
power brought to producers by single desk selling through the board."


I am with Steve on this one. If farmers wanted out of the CWB they would vote in anti-monopoly candidates. The fact that they haven't speaks volumes to me of the benefits the majority feel they are receiving from the CWB.

Wayward Son said...

Here is a link for my quote above.

http://www.gov.sk.ca/news?newsId=cf309d89-9570-481a-ab87-389ae5651ca1

Anonymous said...

"How would the Libs and Dippers argue 'against' bringing in Ontario and Quebec to the wonderful world of the CWB monopoly?"

What no smart comment on this... for once?

just_wondering said...

With the CWB democracy is a very loose term. they give any-one who owns land and has a permit book a vote. it should be only producers who vote and even then it should be on the amount you deliver to the cwb.or at the very least a minimum threshold. It's not a co-operative Grany vote in the old folks home should not cancel mine unless she is selling the grain.

Concerned Farmer said...

The barly producers did have a vote and wanted out. they won, but the CWB said no ..... they want monoply ... so the govt said they will help producers get what they voted for. Is this not democracy?

When the wheat farmers have a free vote and say they want out/choice, and a majority vote wins, should they not get what they want?

So much for your defination of democracy. You would rather see them stay under the CWB and the rest of Canada farmers are free to do as they like.

Again, ask the Ont and Que farmers if tey would like to join the CWB. I already know that they will not - freedoms taken away - something that you do not understand.

Steve V said...

concerned

Why not have a yes/no question? Why try to skew the results, giving people a ridiculous third option? Look, every pollster or academic who looked at those questions determined they were "dishonest" and "mischevious". The fact the government had to resort to playing games, instead of a straightforward question speaks VOLUMES. You can spin those numbers both ways, I could say a vast majority favor the CWB. It's ridiculous. Up or down, yes or no, what are they afraid of???

Miles Lunn said...

I'll admit the issue has always been divisive on both sides. I guess the biggest problem why no matter what happens will never end this debate is supporters of the Canadian Wheat Board generally believe in the idea of collective rights and that if most are in favour it is fair that everybody even those opposed by part to ensure it functions.

Opponents of the Wheat Board believe in the idea of individual rights and argue that in a free and democratic society, no one should be forced to belong to an organization they don't want. Otherwise they argue the Wheat Board should be allowed to exist, but those who want to go outside should be allowed to.

I tend to side more towards the second, but I can see both sides of the arguments and that is why I think this issue will be around for years to come no matter what happens.

I should note though that 5 of the 15 are appointed by the government so in theory, it is possible to have the board go against the majority of farmers both ways. There is also the issue that most in Manitoba support the monopoly, a slim majority in Saskatchewan do, while the majority in Alberta oppose it, so one could argue if Ontario and Quebec can be excluded, why can't Alberta where most of the opposition to the board is, while allow Manitoba and Saskatchewan where most support it to stay in.

Anonymous said...

concerned western farmer shows the typical conservative idiot method of calculating farm gate returns.

Deduct freight from the CWB price, but conveniently forgot to deduct freight from the U.S. and Ontario farmer price.

Freight costs in the United States are almost double what they are in Canada.