Looking forward to an open market

Canadian farmers feed the world, and they deserve the freedom to make their own business decisions. As I have said from the start, no expensive survey can obstruct Western Canadian grain farmers from having the same rights as farmers in other parts of Canada and around the world.

This week, the CWB will announce the results of their expensive survey.

The board will say the results give legitimacy to their traveling road show, fear mongering and defeatist approach. The board will insist that only a percentage, namely the percentage that supports them, have the right to choose how everyone markets their grain. Mr. Oberg will say that without a monopoly to control farmers, the grain industry will shrivel up and cease to exist. Farmers know better.

Farmers know that both the ballot question and distribution list were seriously flawed. The CWB refuses to recognize that every farmer, regardless of whether they support the monopoly or not, should be able to choose how they market their grain. The board will fail to remember that even their own survey this spring said that when given the choice between a single desk, dual market, and open market, 58% chose either a dual market or an open market.

Our government’s top priority is the economy in which the agriculture industry plays a vital role. We know that an open market will attract investment, innovation and value-added jobs. Farmers can be confident that our government will continue to work with the entire value chain to ensure a smooth transition to Western Canadian grain-marketing freedom.

Gerry Ritz

Agriculture minister