Video: Winnipeg Save the Canadian Wheat Board Rally

Posted: October 30, 2011 in In Solidarity, Winnipeg, Nibbling on The Empire
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Against the wishes of most western farmers, and in defiance of laws that they are sworn to uphold, Stephen Harper and his Conservatives are poised to destroy the Canadian Wheat Board. In truly Orwellian fashion, the Tories describe this as “democracy,” all the while invoking closure on Parliamentary debate and refusing to hold the farmers’ plebiscite that is required by federal law before any such major change can be made to the status of the CWB.

The CWB has been a bone of contention in farm policy circles for decades. While a loud minority of western grain producers have been clamoring for an end to the CWB monopoly on wheat and barley exports, most farmers continue to support the Board, as evidenced by several CWB Board of Directors election results and a recent CWB-sponsored plebiscite. The reason for the Board’s enduring support is that it works for farmers, as opposed to private grain companies who exist to maximize profits for their shareholders.

Urban Canadians have yet to wake up to this issue, though this is starting to happen. The Council of Canadians is prominent in the coalition of organizations leading the fightback. What we city slickers need to get our heads around is that this is, first and foremost, a battle for democracy. It is a struggle against growing corporate control of our food and the relentless corporatization of agriculture that is destroying rural communities.

One one level, the issues are complex. You can get a crash course by watching the video I produced along with my WCTV colleague Ken Harasym. Follow that up with visits to the web sites listed below and you will be well on your way.

On another level, it is very simple: like us, farmers are part of the 99%. We gotta stick together. Occupy that, Stephen Harper!

Links

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Comments
  1. Glenna Miles says:

    Excellent presentation! It is straight from the farmer to us. No mistaking the message. It’s the good fight. If every farmer who wants to retain the CWB put up a BIG sign on his/her property that said they would NEVER vote CONSERVATIVE again in their lifetime if they lose the CWB it might give their local representative pause to consider their own future.

  2. Garry says:

    get your facts straight!
    `first of all they are not destroying the CWB they are only removing the single desk selling.
    `second they are not breaking the law because they are not removing wheat or barley from the wheat board , I repeat they are only removing single desk selling ,the monopoly, so they don’t need your approval or mine again as they already got it May 2nd,nor are they breaking the law.
    `third closure is the right of the government and all governments have used it when opposition parties create unnecessary delays to passage of bills.there is plenty of time allotted but when the opposition keeps repeating the same arguments over and over then closure makes sense.
    `fourth the plebiscite was about as flawed as any voting could be.61,000 ballots and 51,000 permit books.Worse the CWB sent a ballot to anyone who ever owned a permit book and guess what some dead people received ballots,some have never farmed for years received ballots,they got votes ???
    so you can put the plebiscite argument to rest

    • Democracy Now! says:

      @ Garry, get YOUR facts straight !
      Stop regurgitating Ritz’s propaganda against the CWB – Bill C-18 is clearly designed to dismantle the CWB – the marketing agency only functions as a single desk.
      Due process requires for Bill C-18 to be vetted for content by the Agriculture Committee.
      Farmers have the right to vote via plebiscite on the future of their farmer-owned and directed Canadian Wheat Board single-desk. Why is the Harper Government not listening to what the majority of farmers want? Who benefits?

  3. Garry says:

    I am not quoting Ritz ,I read the act ,I suggest you do the same.and while your at it read bill C18.

    what the CWB is doing by using my money to challenge the federal government is breaking their mandate of all money returned to farmers minus marketing costs thus breaking the law.

    CWB had a great chance to earn farmers trust and two directors quitting CBW didn’t help, now in my opinion it is time for this socialist bureaucracy to learn democracy

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