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Monday, December 06, 2010

The Canadian Wheat Board Explained

"The Conservatives don't have the balls." Amen, brother. And all to appease Quebec.

Posted by Richard Anderson on December 6, 2010 | Permalink


Why is the fellow standing in the middle of the street?
Its a five minute conversation,
he's gonna get run over if he doesn't pay attention.
and he's a mid day drinker

Posted by: 419 | 2010-12-06 7:03:09 PM

Typical of Ottawa statist mindset. And only applying penalties to farmers in AB, MB, and SK, shameful. Of course, being the ball-less eunuch he is will allow this to continue, as the intention of the wheat board is to ensure that prices remain artificially low for Quebec and Ont. No doubt, Harper has already sold himself to their influence.

Posted by: AB Patriot | 2010-12-06 10:00:53 PM

Is this video factually correct? Is there source documentation to look at? Wikipedia has a different explanation of events.


Posted by: Canadian Liberty | 2010-12-07 7:59:34 AM

The wikepedia post is a bit incomplete. All it says is "January 21, 2010: Supreme Court of Canada sided with the federal government in its 2006 order barring the board from spending its money on lobbying."

The case was far more significant than just spending money on lobbying.

Here is a link to the appeal court case talked about in the video. The same one that the supreme court ruled on.


and here are the relevent excerpts

[47] Turning to the first step, subsection 18(1) is very broad. As noted, it authorizes the government, through the auspices of the Governor in Council, to direct the Wheat Board with respect to the full range of activity conducted by the Wheat Board.

[48] Counsel for the respondent argued that the 1998 amendments implicitly limit the broad grant of authority set out in subsection 18(1). He referred in particular to the fact that the Wheat Board ceased to be an agent of the Crown or a Crown Corporation (subsection 4(2)), that the majority of the directors was henceforth elected by producers (subsection 3.02(1)), and that the Minister responsible for the Wheat Board was bound by statute to consult with the board of directors and conduct a producer vote before introducing legislation affecting the monopoly created under the Act (section 47.1).

[49] These changes do point to an increased role for the board of directors. However, when these amendments were brought, subsection 18(1) was not only preserved but strengthened. Beyond subsection 3.12(2) which sets out the directors’ duty to comply with any direction given pursuant to subsection 18(1), subsection 18(1.2) was added to provide that compliance with a direction is “deemed” to be in the best interest of the Wheat Board. At the same time, the directors were relieved from liability which could arise from such compliance (subsection 18(1.1)).

[50] When regard is had to the 1998 amendments as a whole and the fact that since that time, the majority of the directors are elected by producers, it becomes clear that subsection 18(1) was intended to provide the Governor in Council with the authority to direct the Wheat Board on any matter of governance in the event of a disagreement with the board of directors. By requiring that this authority be exercised formally and in public, by Order in Council, Parliament ensured that the government would be accountable politically for the use made of that authority. The repository of the power and the mode of its exercise reinforce the broad scope of the authority set out in subsection 18(1) and Parliament’s intent that the government should retain the ultimate power to decide in the event of a disagreement.

[51] I should add that given the importance of the 1998 amendments, the fact that the power to direct has never been used over the Wheat Board’s objection and that directions have been resorted to sparingly (21 times over the last 45 years) (Measner Affidavit, Appeal Book, Vol. I, p. 74, para. 17) is of no significance for the purpose of this proceeding.

Posted by: Farmer Joe | 2010-12-07 8:34:53 AM

Here is the money quote,

"it authorizes the government, through the auspices of the Governor in Council, to direct the Wheat Board with respect to the full range of activity conducted by the Wheat Board."

Posted by: Farmer Joe | 2010-12-07 8:36:52 AM

So if the government of the day has the power to direct the board with respect to the full range of its activities. Which we can see from the court case it clearly does. Then there are all sorts of things the Conservatives can do to free western farmers from the CWB shackles.

For instance it could order the board to give all western farmers the same ability to buy back their grain for next to nothing as it already does for organics. Better still it could order the Board to grant all western farmers zero cost buy back licenses like it already does for every other farmer outside of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Or any number of smaller steps could be taken as well. But the conservatives have instead chosen to do nothing with the power they have. They should be ashamed of themselves.

Posted by: Farmer Joe | 2010-12-07 8:46:43 AM

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