Conservative Bill C-18 to kill the Canadian Wheat Board is the death of the
family grain farm, says the Green Party of Canada. “This bill will result
in greater consolidation of prairie grain farms and the destruction of the
prairie rural economy. Farm consolidation means a loss of families, closures of
schools, and the loss of small town Main-street businesses,” said Green Leader
Elizabeth May, Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands.
Canadian Wheat Board was formed to protect prairie grain farmers from unfair
buyer monopoly practices by providing a single desk where all grain sales must
be made. That single desk mechanism ensures that every farmer has a chance to
deliver grain, regardless of size, distance, or political connections. Without
this market protection, the grain monopoly buys from a select few farms and
ignores the rest. Less privileged farmers are forced to sell below market
price and soon go out of business.
have seen this farm consolidation before. A stark example is what
happened with hogs in Manitoba. In 1995, Manitoba’s 5000 hog producers
lost their single desk protection. Immediately, the buyer monopoly began to
exclude many farmers and dealt only with a selected few. Within 15 years, 94%
of hog farms are gone. Today there are only 300 hog farms. The same will
happen to prairie grain farms within 10 years.
like to deal with large orders and they want short trucking distances. This
eliminates the medium-sized family farm and even eliminates the big farms if
they happen to be farther from the market. In 2011, there are 4000
Manitoba wheat growers. Without the protection of the single desk, most of them
will be gone within the decade.
the Canadian Wheat Board is short-sighted and betrays rural voters.
Promises of market choice are false. In fact, this bill will take away the
farmers’ power to choose,” said Kate Storey, Green Party Shadow Cabinet Critic