Farmers for economic freedom
Updates from the Canadian Farm Enterprise Network and the Canadian Farmers for Justice
Yet another farmer jailed
On Thursday, January 15, a young Manitoba farmer appeared in provincial court for sentencing after being convicted late last year for the crime of exporting barley without a Canadian Wheat Board permit. Clayton Desrochers, who was unable to present character references from a former Prime Minister and Supreme Court justice, was sentenced to 60 days in jail, a year's probation, fined $2 500 and must surrender his truck to Customs. Desrochers, who celebrated his 24th birthday days after, is the third Manitoba farmer who has come in for special treatment by the federal Liberal government.
"This past week, the Ukraine announced that it would no longer force its grain farmers to sell part of their production to the government. The same week Canada jailed a farmer for what the Soviets called 'an economic crime'. I never thought I'd say it, but I wish Grandpa had stayed put," said Shane Hertz, am Oyen, Alberta farmer.
"The American writer who called Canada a 'pleasant little totalitarian country' hit the nail right on the head," said Norm Calhoun of Lumsden, Saskatchewan. "When Alan Eagleson was in court for bilking clients out of millions of dollars he was able to present character references from former Prime Minister John Turner, former Supreme Court Justice Willard Estey, and assorted members of the clerical and business elite. For that he received a six month sentence and will be out in 90-days. Clayton will serve a sentence two-thirds as long because he wanted to sell one load of barley worth $500 that he took all the risk in growing.
"The people at the Canadian Wheat Board who shipped barley to Japan contaminated with deer feces continue to collect their six figure salaries and enjoy their rich perks while Clayton is languishing in jail," charged Greg McIntyre of Darcy, Saskatchewan.
The CFFJ is still around
The confusion as to who represents Western grain farmers got a little clearer in mid-January. Many had assumed that the Canadian Farmers for Justice (CFFJ) had disappeared with the rise of the Canadian Farm Enterprise Network (CFEN). Not so. Enter Stage Right received a fax from CFFJ last month which, apart from blasting the jailing of Clayton Desrochers.
The group says that with the departure of several of their members, who went off to create the CFEN, CFFJ regrouped. Other farmers, says CFFJ, either plead guilty to charges or simply left the group.
Unlike the CFEN, says CFFJ, they wish to fight for the rights of farmers to sell their produce to anyone, including the Canada Wheat Board. The CFEN, charges the CFFJ, is seeking to destroy the Wheat Board itself.
Choose your sides I suppose, but Enter Stage Right, in the interests of a unified approach, would like both groups to adopt the common cause approach. Both are seeking the right of the farmer to sell their grains to whomever they wish. Better to have two groups pushing in the same direction then two groups knocking each other, each pushing diagonally.
The CFFJ held several public meetings at the end of January in Saskatechwan and Alberta to explain their approach to the fight against the Canada Wheat Board. We'll try and keep you updated on the activities of both groups.
Farmers ready for court challenge of CWB
A recent story which appeared in newspapers across Canada:
Everyone should be concerned about the draconian way the federal
government compels western farmers to sell their grain through the Canadian
Wheat Board, says a group battling the board's monopoly powers. "This
wheat board issue is not just about wheat; it's about Canada," Jim
Pallister of the Canadian Farm Enterprise Network said Wednesday. (January
The CFEN and CFFJ needs your help! The battle against the Canada Wheat Board can only continue with your support.
Write the following and demand free market rights for Western Canadian farmers!
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