Canadian Farmers for Justice Updates

web posted October 1997

Creighton leaves as CFFJ advisor

Dan Creighton, who has served the Canadian Farmers for Justice for two years as a key advisor both in and out of court, has left the group to pursue other matters.

Creighton's service to the group and economic freedom was invaluable and he will be sorely missed. Good luck to Dan in his future endeavors!

NCC takes wheat battle to Ottawa

For the first time ever, The National Citizens' Coalition took its media campaign opposing Wheat Board corruption to Ottawa.

"Our plan is to run a radio ad blitz in the West where Goodale lives and in Ottawa where he works," says NCC president David Somerville. "One way or another he will get the message." The NCC's radio blitz, which begin on September 22, attacks Goodale's plan to require the wheat board to pay the fines of any of its employees convicted of crimes committed on behalf of the board.

The ads make the point that a number of Canadian corporations have signed an International Code of Ethics which pledge them not to engage in bribery or other corrupt practices.

"It's crazy," says Somerville. "Goodale should be forcing the wheat board to ban corrupt practices, not encourage them." Somerville also notes that the CWB conducts multi-billion dollar deals in total secrecy with third world countries and that the board isn't even subject to the scrutiny of either the Access to Information Act or the Auditor General.

"What is Goodale trying to hide?" asks Somerville.

The radio ads will run in Ottawa, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Feds introduce changes to CWB Act

The federal government introduced changes to the Canadian Wheat Board Act in late September which it says will make the agency more accountable to farmers. The amendments do nothing to end the board's monopoly on grain sales.

"(The bill) will provide more democracy, more accountability . . . and more producer control over the Canadian Wheat Board's present and future mandate than has ever existed before in the last half century," said Ralph Goodale, the minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board.

Under the proposed amendments, for the first time, the wheat board will be run by a board of directors. There will be 15 directors in total, and 10 of them will be elected directly by Prairie farmers. The remaining five, including the president, will be appointed by the government.

Goodale's new legislation was immediately attacked by the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association and by Reform Party MPs.

The association, which wants to see an end to the wheat board's monopoly entirely, said they don't like the clause that would allow new crops such as canola and flax to be brought under board control.

"It flies in the face of every industry trend that shows farmers want more risk management tools," president Larry Maguire said, promising to fight to have the clause deleted from the bill.

The wheat growers also plan to continue their fight to delete barley from the board's control, Maguire, a Manitoba farmer, added.

Reform Party MP Jay Hill said his party will try to delay the vote on the bill and "ensure that there is enough debate."

"Farmers are looking for more freedom of choice, and we don't see this in this bill," he said.

The new wheat board bill will allow farmers to remove different types of grain from the board's current single-desk system but it sets conditions that could be difficult to meet:

The directors must recommend the change; the Canadian Grain Commission must approve an "identity preservation" system to protect quality standards, and if the proposed exclusion is "significant", there must be a vote among farmers to approve it.

Write and demand free market rights for Western Canadian farmers!

The Canadian Wheat Board
423 Main Street
P.O. Box 816, Stn. M.
Winnipeg, MB
Canada
R3C 2P5

Telephone: (204) 983-0239 / 1-800-ASK-4-CWB
Fax: (204) 983-3841
Email Address: cwb@cwb.ca

Ralph Goodale
Department of Natural Resources Canada
21 - 580 Booth Street
Ottawa, ON
Canada
K1A 0E4

Telephone: (613)996-2007
Fax Number: (613)996-4516
Email Address: rgoodale@NRCan.gc.ca

Want to find out more about this group of farmers fighting for the right to keep the efforts of their production and the right of free trade? Visit CFFJ's site at http://www.cffj.com.




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