for Justice Updates
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
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.
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
Write and demand free market rights for Western Canadian farmers!
|The Canadian Wheat Board
423 Main Street
P.O. Box 816, Stn. M.
983-0239 / 1-800-ASK-4-CWB
Department of Natural Resources Canada
21 - 580 Booth Street
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.