Canadian Farmers for Justice Updates

web posted November 1997

Members of business group back dual marketing, survey indicates

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business has yet another membership survey it says proves broad-based support exists for an end to the Canadian Wheat Board's monopoly.

About 60 per cent of the federation's members in Manitoba and Saskatchewan who responded to an August mail survey supported giving farmers the option to choose who markets their grain.

"That was the part of it that jumped out at me," federation spokesman Dan Kelly said in response to the results.

Almost 10 per cent, or 850 of 9,000 federation members in the two provinces replied to this latest survey.

Kelly said the survey's main goal was to see how important the farm sector remains to small businesses in the two provinces.

"Is it as relevant in the broad scheme of things in Manitoba and Saskatchewan as it has been in the past? I guess the results suggest to me it is."

Not suprisingly, Saskatchewan businesses were at the top of the list when it came to ranking the impact of agriculture on their operations.

Almost 55 per cent of those who replied to the survey said a healthy agricultural sector was crucial and another 33 per cent ranked it as important. In Manitoba, 67 per cent ranked it as crucial or important.

"Manitoba has a large manufacturing trade and more developed retail and wholesale trade than Saskatchewan but a great deal of that is as a result of agriculture," said Kelly

Kelly noted support for ending the wheat board's monopoly was strong even in Winnipeg, where the federal grain marketing agency is based.

Almost 59 per cent of businesses that replied to the survey in Winnipeg supported freedom of choice for farmers. The concept drew its greatest support in Saskatoon where 70 per cent backed ending the wheat board's monopoly.

Canadian Farmers for Justice spawns splinter group

A group of former members of the Canadian Farmers for Justice have branched off under a new organization called the Canadian Farm Enterprise Network. The new group plans to move into another direction by ending their tactic of challenging the Canadian Wheat Board Act by conducting cross-border shipments of grain. Instead, the new group will support Dave Bryan and his lawyer Art Stacey in their challenge of the Act.

CFEN says that the case is of fundamental importance to all Canadians as it challenges the federal government's confiscation of Western Canadian farmers' grain. Their main argument is that under the British North American Act the government has not right to force farmers or anyone else to give up their property without due process. This case will establish, says CFEN, once and for all whether Canadians have a right to property.

Another reason for the split was the cancellation of the vote on the Ontario Wheat Marketing Board. CFEN feels that there is an opportunity to work with farmers in Ontario who want the right to market their property on their own and have been denied that right. With a new direction "more Ontario farmers who might have been put off by the CFFJ and its tactics may be interested in working with us to free all farmers of government imposed buying monopolies."

"Our new name reflects the fact that we are working to rebuild the enterprise and initiative that has been destroyed by the CWB over the last half century."

Hoeppner Lawsuit dismissal proves confiscation -- Manitoba Appeal Court rules "CWB has no duty to farmers"

Jake Hoeppner, a Reform MP from Southern Manitoba, and a group of his neighbours are suing the CWB for gross incompetence and fraud in the handing of the 1993 Feed Wheat Pool.

Echoing the arguments of the Federal Government lawyers, the three Appeal Court judges dismissed this case on the grounds that the CWB has "no duty of care to farmers". A lower court judge ruled that "the purpose of the CWB is to provide 'economic betterment' to farmers was seriously flawed" they decided. The only mandate of the CWB is to provide "orderly marketing" on behalf of the federal government. No farmer can protect his or her interests or hold them legally accountable.

"If the Federal Government's Board can take my grain without any duty what-so-ever to me or any farmer and only to to them, that's confiscation of private property," said David Bryan of Central Butte, Saskatchewan. "Property rights are totally outside the jurisdiction of the Federal Government. Although they have the authority to regulate trade and commerce, that is not what it happening here. They're not just regulating, they are expropriating without due process."

Ottawa's new amendments to the CWB, former Bill C-4, makes no substantial changes to the legal duty of the CWB. In fact, the new directors will be legally required to carry out all instructions of the Minister or be charged. All government orders are "deemed to be in the best interests of the Board."

"Although Mr. Hoeppner will likely appear to the Supreme Court of Canada, the position of the Federal Government is quite clear," continued Mr. Bryan, "Their Wheat Board buying monopoly has no duty of car to farmers -- only to them. I intend to now use their words against them in my constitutional application on behalf of farmers and their property rights. We believe our grain is ours, not theirs."

Bryan's case will be heard in February.

CFFJ after the split-off group

The CFFJ reports that it has re-organized itself to insure that the legal rights of farmers are protected and to collectively adjust to the provisions of the World Trade Agreement which Canada agreed to abide by on January 1, 1995. "Many of us were extremely surprised if not shocked to learn what the effects of this agreement can mean to the income of a farmer and we are determined to test these matters as soon as possible.

A new steering committee and finance committee have been established to adjust to the ongoing changes. The group says it is more determined than ever to complete the mission which have rise to its beginning, which was to prove that the monopolistic powers of the CWB are unlawful and that they are against the Public Order in that these powers are not enforceable in a Criminal Court. By that, they mean that it is not a criminal offense to export their own wheat or barley to the United States or anywhere else.

CFFJ responds to the CFEN

The CFFJ stated that it has decided not to participate in Dave Bryan's constitutional challenge because Bryan was not charged under the Canada Wheat Board Act. The group says it feels that Canada Customs did not confiscate the grain exported by Bryan, but rather his truck was seized for allegedly failing to comply with the requirement of Section 95 of the Customs Act. Bryan apparently believes that Customs has the right to charge and convict for these charges, something that CFFJ does not believe.

Other matters

A story is beginning to unfold as to what really took place in Brandon, Manitoba which caused seven members of the CFFJ to plead guilty to offenses that the group maintains are not offenses that the Parliament of Canada created. This situation could turn out to be another benefit to the CFFJ members when the facts are exposed. Prior to the seven guilty pleas in Brandon the CFFJ had one issue left to deal with the Courts and that was the charge of failing to provide in writing to the Chief Officer of Customs an export licence granted by the Canada Wheat Board. The group has now determined from the Brandon pleas how the Crown is attempting to get past this issue. As a result of this information the CFFJ has now drafted a new Constitutional Application to deal with this. It will be filed in the near future and most likely can be heard within a month to six weeks from the date of filing. Lawyers are not required as the farmers filing the application will simply file the Application and the written Argument in the Court of Queens Bench seeking a declaration that:

The offense charged does not constitute an offense under Canadian or International Law and it is not criminal according to the general principles of law recognized by the community of nations -- all of which is contrary to the section 11(g) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The ground for the application are that Section 95 of the Customs Act does not create the requirement to report the exportation of wheat or barley "in writing" in any form what-so-ever as the Minister of National Revenue has not complied with the mandatory requirement of Section 95 (1) and (4) of the Customs Act in that the Minister has not by regulation created the requirement to report wheat or barley in a prescribed form containing the prescribed information.

The Minister of National Revenue cannot prescribe a form containing the prescribed information for the issuance of a Canadian Wheat Board Licence. Parliament has vested this power exclusively to the Minister responsible for the Canada Wheat Board, Ralph Goodale.

Sound fiscal management by the CWB?

The CFFJ has discovered that the CWB is indebted to an amount exceeding $6.5-billion. The financial report issued by the CWB relates this to sales of grain to Russia and Poland some 15 years ago. Two former high profile Federal Cabinet Ministers have been under the understanding that this debt was not only guaranteed by the Federal Government, but that the debt had either been forgiven by the Crown or that it was borrowed from the Crown. The CFFJ jas now learned that this did not happen and have been advised by the CWB's Executive Director of Finance that this money was borrowed from the commercial markets in the form of 90-day notes, but refused to tell where this money has been borrowed. It would seem logical to conclude that the interest on $6.5-billion over a period of 15 years may well amount to an accumulated debt in excess of $15-billion.

Has this been charged to the farmers of Western Canada? Is this why the CWB is confiscating so much of the profits which rightfully belong to the farmers? Where did they borrow this money? Do they have an order in council which provides for a guarantee from the Federal Government? Is it possible that this $6.5-billion plus interest has been borrowed in Saskatchewan, giving ruse to some mind-boggling debt within the Financial Records of the Saskatchewan Government with its Super Crown Corporation known as Crown Investments Corporation which transacts 40 per cent of its undisclosed total income? Is this why Saskatchewan Credit Union Central presently appears to be in liquidation under the control of the Alberta Credit Union Central? Is it possible that the Federal Government and the Saskatchewan Government intend to extract these billions of dollars from the farmers in the designated area?

This could well be why Ralph Goodale is attempting to bring in other grains under the amended Wheat Board Act.

The CFFJ needs your help! The battle against the Canada Wheat Board can only continue with your support. All cheques should be made payable to:

Canadian Farmers for Justice
Attention: Ron Duffy
R.R. 4
Lacombe, Alberta
T0C 1S0

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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