Canadian Farmers for Justice

web posted July 1997

CFFJ Speaks on the Election

Western Canadian Farmers sent a message to the Liberals that their policies on agriculture are completely out of touch with today's farming realities. While the Liberals have doggedly supported status quo marketing arrangements, Western farmers have sent a clear signal that they will no longer tolerate the jailing and charging of fellow farmers who sell their grain, all done in the name of saving a marketing monopoly, the CWB, from the forces of change.

It is clear that Western farmers were also dissatisfied with a Minister who waited until rational discourse on grain marketing was no longer possible, who ignored his own panel and belittled farmers by threatening them will all-or-nothing marketing scenarios. Frustration grew to the point where farmers of all regions spontaneously descended on Regina, Manitoba during seeding time to quietly ask Mr. Goodale's constituents to not vote for him. It is to be hoped that the Prime Minister stops listening to Goodale for advice on Western farm policy. His stature in cabinet should decline, almost costing the Liberals their majority by losing so many rural Western seats.

"While it has been suggested that opposition to gun control was the only factor that drove the West's preference for Reform, it should be noted that there were plenty of other parties also opposed to the Liberal's gun law. Yet particularly in rural Western ridings, people turned to a party which also had a clear stance on the future of grain marketing -- namely that farmers should have a choice. This is a strong rebuke to the inflexible, all-or-nothing attitude reflected in the policies of former Agriculture Minister Ralph Goodale," says Carol Husband of Wawota, Saskatchewan.

High profile Wheat Board supporters such as Marlene Cowling of Dauphin, Bernie Collins of South-Eastern Saskatchewan, and Glen McKinnon of Brandon were replaced by Reform MP's who favour a voluntary Canadian Wheat Board. Jake Hoeppner, MP from Portage Lisgar, in his first term dedicated himself to examining what he feels is a secretive and corrupt grain marketing monopoly. His pursuit did not hurt him at the polls, in fact, support for Liberals and the NDP policies garnered less than 30 per cent of his riding's vote.

Who Speaks for the Western Farmer?

Prairie farmers in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are now represented almost entirely by Reform MPs who stand for farmers' choice in grain marketing. The Liberal Party in Saskatchewan was reduced to Mr. Goodale's urban riding. Several NDP ridings are mainly urban.

Cheerleading for the CWB will have to come from those who are not affected by it, such as MPs from Eastern Canada who have no moral authority to impose on the West policies which explicitly exempt them. Real farmers like Mr. Hoeppner, Charlie Penson and Leon Benoit are examples of MPs whose wheat production is expropriated each year by the Canada Wheat Board. They are in the best position to judge why this institution must be made voluntary.

If the Liberal Party wants back into Western Canada, and if the Liberals wants Western Canada to truly prosper, they will have to heed the message sent by the West and adopt policies that are more in tune with the needs of today's Western farmers.

Plans for the "Andy 500" Continue

The CFFJ continue to plan the "Andy 500", a convoy of trucks that will bring wheat across to the United States so that farmers can sell their own wheat without government interference. This act has been declared illegal by the federal government.

The CFFJ are justifying their action on several grounds. First, a recent Winnipeg Queens Bench Justice upheld the acquittal of David Sawatzky on the grounds that he was not required to provide the Chief Officer of Canada Customs an export license granted by the Canada Wheat Board.

Second, that Canada Customs as failed in providing a copy of a regulation issued by the Minister of National Revenue which requires that wheat and barley are required to be reported under Section 95(1) of the Customs Act, and third that Canada Customs has not provided the form with information about exporting wheat.

The CFFJ has concluded that they are now able to export wheat as anyone else can to the United States. On July 1 they will return from the United States with a convey of empty trucks. The CFFJ says that they will conduct this demonstration with respect for the rights of all, and will notify the RCMP and Canada Customs of their conclusions and intentions.

The CFFJ says that if they are breaking the law, then Customs is required to provide in writing an answer to their request for information. Customs has failed to provide this answer and CFFJ believes that this failure to do so flows from the fact that the law is not available to support the blocking of the exportation of wheat by farmers and producers.

ESR will provide an update on this demonstration for free market rights as soon as its available.

Canadian, U.S. Grain Producers Hold Summit in mid-May

U.S. and Canadian grain producers have urged the United States to stop subsidizing grain exports and called on both countries to stop distorting trade through various policies. Those policies include the U.S. Export Enhancement Program, a dormant subsidy scheme that could be reactivated, and the Canadian Wheat Board.

The grain summit also recommended that Canada move to free-market cash buying and selling of wheat and barley either within or without the Wheat Board.

The recommendations are aimed at state, provincial and federal legislatures and designed to ease cross-border grain trade.

This is the first time that U.S. and Canadian grain producers have met face to face to give a grass roots push to trade liberalization.

Muldoon III

Judge Francis Muldoon makes his third appearance in Enter Stage Right!

This time learned Federal Justice comes under fire by people in his own profession. It seems that the Federal Court of Appeal has ordered a new trial in a case involving band membership of thousands of native women because it says Muldoon displayed "a reasonable apprehension of bias" in his ruling and conduct in a 79 day trial.

The Federal Court itself is under attack too. Long delays, secret meetings between judges and government officials and other allegations of bias are surfacing.

Clayton Ruby, an outspoken Toronto area lawyer and former defender of holocaust denier Ernst Zundel, says that "failed politicians and party hacks" have been appointed as judges by the government and that the Federal Court has been used as a dumping ground.

"The quality of the appointments has not been to a standard we expect. That court seems to have very little sense it serves the people."

That was very much in evidence when Muldoon ruled in favour of the government in the farmers vs. the CWB. While Muldoon was technically correct, since the Charter of Rights does not expressly protect the right of property, one would have expected he show a leaning to freedom. Perhaps his particular bias is against that.

Creighton vs. Mainella

Daniel Creighton is not a lawyer but he has served as a legal advisor for the Canadian Farmers for Justice in several court cases. Creighton recently wrote a letter to Christopher Mainella asking him to show exactly where in the law it was required to obtain a Canada Wheat Board license. The response from Mainella was less than illuminating:

Dear Sir,

  Re: Your letter of May 10, 1997

The law as of today's date requires all exporters of grain to obtain a Canada Wheat Board license. An exporter of grain must stop at Canada Customs prior to departure from Canada and report in writing their export of grain. They must also provide to the Customs Officer at the border a copy of their Wheat Board License. A failure either to report or to provide the license is an offence under the Customs Act. (his underline - ed.)

I must remind you that you are under Court order not to provide legal advice to anyone in the Province of Manitoba. I am forwarding a copy of your letter to counsel for the Law Society of Manitoba for their information and action as it would appear you are violating that Court order.

My office does not agree with any of the interpretations of the law as set out in your letter. Nor do we concur with any of your opinions about the law as it currently stands. Anyone who follows your advice risks civil forfeitures of their vehicles and criminal charges.

Yours truly,

Christopher J. Mainella (signed)

Here's is Creighton's response (note: all underlining and emphasis is Creighton's - ed.):

June 16, 1997

  Attention: Christopher J. Mainella
  Re: Your letter dated May 13, 1997

Your letter of May 13, 1997 did not provide the answer to the letter written to Canada Customs. I repeated my request to Canada Customs in a further letter dated the 25th of May, 1997. Again Canada Customs has refused to answer.

Therefore I must again ask you on behalf of the Canadian Farmers for Justice to provide me with the following:

a) A copy of the regulation made by the Minister of National Revenue which requires that the exportation of wheat and barley are required to be reported in writing to Canada Customs prior to exportation.
b) A copy of the prescribed form containing the prescribed information for the creation of an export license for wheat and barley as described under Section 95(4) of the Customs Act and Regulation 3 of the Reporting of Exported Goods Regulations.

An export license is in written form and as such it must be reported in writing to the Officer of Canada Customs in accordance with Regulation 3 of the Reporting of Exported Goods regulation. However, Section 95(4) of the Customs Act states that "where goods are required to be reported in writing they shall be reported in the prescribed form or in such form containing such in form containing such information as is satisfactory to the Minister (Minister of National Revenue). No where can I find a regulation made by the Minister of National Revenue which requires that wheat and barley shall be reported in writing by way of an export manifest or an export license which leads me to conclude that there is no requirement to report the exportation of wheat or barley to Canada Customs.

Therefore I submit to you that the reason you are evading answering this question is that the answer to the question emphatically reveals the fact that the Minister of National Revenue cannot issue Canadian Wheat Board Export Licenses for wheat and barley and as such he has not prescribed the mandatory forms or the requirement to report the exportation of wheat and barley to Canada Customs by the farmer/producers of western Canada.

I remind you that in the McMechan/Cairns trial the young lady from Canada Customs testified that a farm truck loaded with Canola was not required to stop and report to Canada Customs. Therefore it is clear that the requirement to report the exportation of wheat and barley must be in accordance with Section 95(4) of the Customs Act.

If you are of a different understanding then I welcome your written answer to this letter and I challenge you to prove me wrong. I am requesting this information on behalf of the Canadian Farmers for Justice and I suggest to you that you have a very serious obligation to properly answer to the above.

Given the fact that members of the Canadian Farmers for Justice have served extensive time in prison, have had their trucks seized, their houses broken into, have had to unlawfully pay illegal buy back charges and have been deprived of the right to receive a much higher return on the same of their wheat and barley -- all of which now appears to have happened for that which is not a violation of law.

To top it all off you are now threatening me that if I tell the truth about these matters you are going to report me to the Law Society of Manitoba on the grounds that I am violating a Court order. The Court Order you have obtained states that I am not to portray myself as a Barrister or a Solicitor. I have at all times lawfully acted as an Agent with the consent of the Judges of the Courts in which I presented myself.

I suggest to you that it is high time that you unwind these matters and that you publicly apologize to the Canadian Farmers for Justice for this incredible abuse of power which would be considered to be a Criminal Breach of Duty of a Public Servant.

If you do not immediately answer the specific questions in this letter then the Canadian Farmers for Justice will take it that you concur with our conclusions and that the Canadian Farmers for Justice are free to export their own wheat and barley.

Daniel P. Creighton (signed)
On behalf of the Canadian Farmers for Justice

I realize that people not familiar with this situation aren't likely to understand some of what is written about. It's the tones of the letters that you should compare. Mainella's is a dismissive note, and threatening at that, while Creighton argues in reasoned lines.

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