Letters to the editor – April 21, 2016

Report misrepresented

Remarks have been misattributed to me in The Western Producer twice in the last two months. These false attributions are confusing to your readers and greatly devalue the work I have done examining the impact of limited grain handling and transportation capacity over the past three years.

This week’s article regarding a recent CWBA report by Laura Larson, includes the following false statement about my research: “The paper appears to support previous claims by CWB supporters and by agricultural economist Richard Gray, suggesting that the elimination of single desk marketing has cost prairie grain growers as much as $6.5 billion in lost income over the past two years.”

I never made this claim either directly or indirectly in research.

My public report, which can be found on the SWDC website (http://bit.ly/1U3rTEt) showed that the lack of grain handling and transportation capacity relative to exportable supplies resulted in much higher export basis levels and an estimated $6.5 billion loss producers loss over the 2013/14 and the 2014/15 crop years. Notably, my report also shows that export basis levels were normal during the 2012/13 crop year, the first year of CWB elimination. In current 2015/16 crop year basis levels have also returned to normal.

While the CWBA wants to attribute the loss to the lack of the CWB single desk I did not make this claim in the cited report.

Finally, I need to say that I’m not interested in reopening the CWB debate. What is important going forward is to make sure we have policies and institutions in place to create the transportation system that will allow the agricultural sector to continue grow and prosper over time.

Richard Gray
Saskatoon, Sask.

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