No, the Wheat Board’s not in the Constitution

Because it’s a little difficult to find on the Web, I’ve uploaded a PDF copy of the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench decision on the former CWB directors’ application for an injunction against the demise of single-desk wheat and barley marketing. It contains setbacks within setbacks for the directors’ case: their constitutional argument that the dismantling of the single desk violated the rule of law isn’t serious enough to be considered, says Justice Shane Perlmutter, and even if it were, it doesn’t meet the urgency test for injunctive relief. Perlmutter’s take is, needless to say, very different from Federal Court Justice Douglas Campbell’s.

No, the Wheat Board’s not in the Constitution

  1. Interesting, and thank you to Mr. Cosh for posting the judgment (i read up until the obiter part). It was of course open to the court to find s. 47 wasn’t at odds with repealing the wheat board itself, although it certainly does violence to the nature and history of the provision. And in the end requiring a POSITIVE vote of the farmers would have been unenforceable (whether s. 47 could have been saved by removing ss. (b) or even merely the words “in favour” isn’t really addressed here – the limits of manner and form was an issue I meant to look more deeply into but never got around to).

  2. Two months ago I wrote this comment in response to Campbell’s ruling:

    There are four big mistakes made by the judge:
    1. A government cannot
    create legislation that binds future governments, which was obviously
    not the intent of section 47.1 of the CWB act. Parliament cannot make
    laws that declare themselves to be immune from the actions of future
    parliaments.  Laws cannot protect themselves.  Only the charter and
    parliamentary convention is binding on future parliaments.

    2.
    Only parliament makes the laws in Canada.  Laws are not changed by
    individuals or groups other than parliament.  Farmers are not in control
    of the CWB act. Parliament is not restricted from making legislation
    that changes previous legislation.

    3. The courts cannot rule
    against new legislation before it is passed unless there is imminent
    injury that grants standing, and in this case no imminent injury exists.

    4.
    The judge obviously misinterpreted section 47.1 of the CWB act which
    refers to actions taken by the CWB to add or remove regulated grains
    from their control, not actions by parliament to change the CWB act.

    Obviously this judge has political leanings in his rulings.

    These
    things are so fundamental, it makes me think the judge should be
    removed from the bench for ignoring the laws to advance a political
    agenda.

    Justice Perlmutter, in his ruling, is clearly in agreement with what I said back then.

    1. He agreed that the CWB act, like any other law passed by parliament, cannot make itself immune from future governments.

    2. He declared that there is no special standing to the CWB act that makes it immune from parliament.

    3. He declared there is no standing to grant an injunction, for several reasons, one of them being the failure to prove imminent injury.

    4. He agreed that section 47.1 was being misinterpreted, it was intended
    only to actions regarding adding or removing grains to CWB control.

    His ruling reinforces my opinion that Campbell should be
    removed from the bench for ignoring the laws to advance a political
    agenda.

    • Maybe he’s just a bad judge? You don’t seem to have proven that Campbell’s ruling was made on the basis of advancing a political agenda. You have fairly reasonably proven, with the help of the new decision, that Campbell’s ruling was a bad one. But if the basis of your argument to remove him as a judge is that he’s advancing a political agenda, you’ll need more direct evidence than a bad ruling.

      And what exactly would be the test or indicators for removing a judge on the grounds that s/he is advancing a political agenda? That type of thing seems potentially open to a lot of abuse. Perhaps we should just stick to evaluating judges on the soundness of their decisions, which you had been doing a decent job of anyway.

      • He’s certainly not dumb enough to indicate his motivations for such incompetence.

        The fact that every one of his mistakes were in favour of the plaintiff (and thus against the government) are certainly suggestive of something more than a coincidence.

        What other motivations could there be? Could he really be so incompetent? Or could it be he had real motivations for making such mistakes? Yes, it’s difficult for me to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he had political motivations. However, to me, that is by far the most likely explanation.

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