Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Wheat Board supporters lose key legal battle
Supporters of the Canadian Wheat Board which used to have sole power to market some grains in western Canada lost a legal battle when the Federal Court of Appeal overturned a lower court ruling that said that the Conservative government had broken the law when it took away the monopoly over wheat and barley sales without holding a plebiscite on the issue.
When the Conservatives originally passed legislation stripping the board of its monopoly supporters of the Wheat Board filed a lawsuit claiming that producers had to vote on any such changes. A lower court agreed last December but the government appealed. The Appeal court said there is nothing wrong with the government in effect changing its own law through parliament.
Justice Mainville wrote:"I am of the view that none of the arguments advanced by the respondents or the interveners can sustain an interpretation that would preclude the minister from introducing in Parliament legislation which would fundamentally modify the CWB's mandate or which would lead to the repeal of the CWB Act," This is the final nail in the coffin of the Board. The U.S.and big international grain companies had tried for years to destroy the board using international trade rules but always failed.
Farmers by electing the Conservatives have destroyed an institution that served them well. When the Wheat Board conducted its own survey a majority wanted the powers of the Wheat Board retained. However, Conservatives obtained large majorities in rural areas of the prairies and the Conservatives made it clear and a campaign promise that they would curb the power of the Wheat Board. The donations will come pouring in from the giant international grain traders. For more see this article.