General

Government to proceed with Wheat Board despite ruling

Federal Court called the legislation illegal

Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz says the Conservative government will pass legislation dismantling the Canadian Wheat Board’s monopoly, even though a Federal Court ruling on Wednesday found that he broke the law by not consulting grain farmers first. Ritz said the government is “disappointed with the decision,” adding that it will appeal the ruling. “This declaration will have no effect on continuing to move forward for freedom for western Canadian farmers,” he told the Winnipeg Free Press. Opposition MPs and senators are slamming the government for pushing through Bill C-18, despite the ruling. “The Government of Canada can’t say ‘I’m disappointed in the decision, but I’m going to barrel on anyway,’” Liberal Senator James Cowan told Postmedia news. “Even this government isn’t above the law and the court decision.” The Conservative legislation, which has long been part of the party’s platform, will end the Canadian Wheat Board’s monopoly over the foreign sale of wheat and barley by Prairie farmers. On Wednesday, Ritz pledged to push the bill through before the end of the year.

Winnipeg Free Press