CWB should have remained Canadian
Re: Ritz should not be in Ag Hall of Fame, op-ed by Ian Robson, (WP, Nov. 15).
I am 200 percent in agreement with this article.
As a Canadian MP and agriculture minister, Gerry Ritz should have been promoting all things Canadian.
Instead, (the Canadian Wheat Board’s assets were sold to a joint American-Saudi operation). A few years ago I was informed that there is a rail line in Australia owned by farmers. I was told when they quit farming they also quit ownership. If there was a positive income, they shared in it.
Here in Canada, we are constantly giving away to other entities.
I do believe the Agriculture Hall of Fame is Canadian. Therefore, he should be barred from entry forever.
We farmers could have owned the Canadian Wheat Board and all its assets to our benefit. There could have been other Canadian ownership. That includes all sectors of Canada, including First Nations ownership, small business, etc.
This country is not perfect, but I am proud to be Canadian and I will always put Canadians first.
Delwyn J.J. Jansen
Cereals Canada not farmers’ voice
It is good the media does its job and publishes letters and articles providing differing points of view on farm issues. Under the Harper government any person or organization that opposed the government viewpoint was criticized and usually marginalized.
Cereals Canada supporter Henry Vos criticized Stewart Wells (WP July 26) for pointing out the inconsistencies of Cereal Canada’s position on the discovery of genetically modified wheat in Alberta (July 12).
Ironically, Vos, a seed grower and longtime opponent of orderly marketing, stated farmers needed only one voice on farm issues.
To somehow think Cereals Canada provides that one singular voice for farmers is an insult to farmers. With only seven farmer members out of a board of 18, it would be hard to convince anyone that this group is the voice for producers.
Cereals Canada, with its representatives from chemical companies and Grain companies, promotes corporate sector views while holding high their small catch of farmer directors who can hardly claim to represent the majority of farmers.
Vos’s attack on Wells because he has a differing view than Cereals Canada is thick with irony. One must remember it was Vos and Jeff Nielsen, while on the CWB board, who were cheerleaders for Harper killing the CWB. Remember their “dual marketing” idea? It turned out it only benefited Saudi Arabia and Bunge who got the CWB.
Farmers were not properly compensated for the loss of the CWB and its tens of millions of dollars in assets, all of which were all paid for by prairie grain farmers. In contrast, Wells has worked hard to get compensation for farmers for a long time.
Independent agricultural economists estimate prairie grain farmers have lost approximately one-third of the value of the prairie wheat and barley crop each year. Essentially, this money has gone to multinational grin companies — all in the name of “marketing freedom.”
Vos states that farmers need a single voice, but that voice cannot be Cereals Canada. It has a corporate dominated board and organizational structure that does not even allow farmers to debate policy or vote on it.