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Archive for August, 2007

We Shall Overcome

The end of the Wheat Board did not come about this week. A government obsessed with executive power has had their decree from the Ministry of Agriculture overturned.

“Barley Freedom Day” did not arrive yesterday. Agriculture Minister Chuck Strahl is disappointed, and so are the grain farmers who believe the Canadian Wheat Board should no longer have a monopoly to market Prairie barley exports.

I’ve always been a big supporter of the Wheat Board. What I don’t understand is why there is no respect for people who need the Wheat Board to survive. Barley is a livelihood for so many small farmers in the prairies. I don’t question that the Wheat Board costs barley farmers money in times when there is a high barley price, but the inequality in prices over time, and the inequality in terms of access to markets make the Board a better choice than a free market.

This appears to be a crusade on behalf of the big corporate farmers. They are able to fulfil the fole of the Wheat Board within themselves, while individual farmers are not. As the Globe says, two thumbs up for democracy, and another two for the Judge responsible, Madam Justice Dolores Hansen.

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