Stand firm

I sincerely hope (agriculture minister Gerry) Ritz does not waver in his and the federal government’s commitment to end the Canadian Wheat Board monopoly on wheat and barley.

Of my immediate circle of producers that I know well (these operations range in size from 3,000 acres to 25,000 acres – a good cross section of the group of producers who grow the vast majority of grain in Western Canada) there isn’t one of these producers who are not clamouring for the right to make their own decisions on marketing wheat and barley as they already do successfully on canola, pulse crops, oats and other crops.

In addition to the highly rational arguments to end the antiquated concept of the CWB already in existence – excessive administration costs, non-transparency of activities to the real owners of the grain, subpar marketing performance, high compensation of executives/management with no tie to performance, and the abject inability of producers to time their own cash flow under the pooling system – I can now add the following: (CWB chair) Allen Oberg’s whiny infomercial inundating cell and home phone lines of producers (I got three last night) imploring us to ‘vote right’ in the so-called independent vote – more of producers’ own money being used in a day late/dollar short attempt to convince them to vote for retention of the CWB.

If there were truly a value proposition Mr. Oberg would not have to go to such lengths to try and swing the result. And let’s not forget the vote results on the CWB’s specially crafted questions do not have any binding effect in any event.

Stand firm Mr. Ritz. The somewhat non-vocal majority of real producers who produce 80 percent (maybe 90 percent?) of the grain in Western Canada are behind you. Ontario farmers do just fine selling their own cereal grains; their western Canadian brothers and sisters are just as smart and progressive.

I doubt theProducerwill publish this letter but I guess we’ll see.

Chris Selness,Regina, Sask.

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