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Harper bluster and bravado over the Wheat Board

In case you missed it, (and if you were away on vacation, you might have) Harper was in Saskatchewan over the weekend belting out a speech to the party loyalists trying to claim how western farmers were all against the efforts to prevent his government from basically dismantling the Wheat Board (and that is what it is – in anticipation to some of the conservative blog readers who will protest about 2 options; past history and studies show the CWB becomes a not viable option with 2 desk choice. It may as well be dismantled, which is the entire point of the Tories trying to do it the way they have – so they can kill it indirectly).

Far and Wide has already shown that to be another Deceivin’ Stephen attempt to mislead on the issue, so the only thing I’ll add is that in the last round of elections for the CWB’s 5 seats that were up for vote and are elected to the board by farmers – I’ll say that again for my conservative apologists on here –ELECTED by farmers – 4 of the 5 reps which were elected were in favour of maintaining the single-desk choice as the CWB now is, and there is a majority of the 10 member reps from the farmer’s section of the board that supports maintaining that for the CWB. Harper of course will try not to let that inconvenient fact get in the way of his propaganda blitz.

The only other thing I get out of this highly partisan speech (besides the fact it shows yet again Harper is a sore loser) is that Harper seems resigned to the fact he’s going to need a majority government to do his change (hence his reference to possibly waiting to next season to attempt this again), rather then appeal the Federal Court decision to the Supremes, where it would likely be defeated as well (in general, judges have this thing about people actually following what the law says to do – darn activists that they are).

The farmers who oppose his intent to eviscerate the CWB (and there is a large plurality of them in Saskatchewan as Steve V. noted) would do well to remember that when an election is finally called.

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14 comments to Harper bluster and bravado over the Wheat Board

  • abrown

    Of course Harper won't take this decision to a judicial appeal. Mulroney tried the exact same thing (remove barley exports from the CWB mandate by an "executive action") in 1993. His illegal manouver was stopped by the courts then; Harper's trip down deja vu lane has met the same fate. It's an ideological thing, you understand. Ideology over good governance. Surprise, surprise.

  • Follow up. How could I forget. The CWB board member in question is Ken Ritter, the CWB's chair.

    From back in Oct. 2006 – http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20061015/tories_cwb_061015?s_name=&no_ads=

    Ritter, who has farmed near Kindersley, Sask., for 35 years, <b>was elected a Canadian Wheat Board director in 1998 on a dual marketing platform</b>.
    Now he believes it's unrealistic to have the wheat board become just one of many grain marketers that would compete with grain elevators, rail companies, and large multinationals.
    <b>"I probably didn't have enough information</b>, to be perfectly frank with you," said Ritter. <b>"I didn't understand all the things the wheat board does and achieves, nor did I understand how it would fit into a competitive world without its single desk." </b>
    He now says it would be all but impossible for the board to come up with the infrastructure it would need to compete.
    He also says western Canadian farmers would end up competing against each other for business, which could result in lower prices.  

  • Great job on the CWB issue with this post and the previous ones as well.
    Just wanted to add that one of the farmers who was elected to the CWB's BOD on the 'choice' slate switched to the pro-CWB side. Can't recall his name or province of origin at the moment. But, essentially he was all against the CWB monopoly because he believed the marketing choice rhetoric but changed his stance once he had access to more info about how the CWB actually operates. Only then did he realize the benefits.

    I'll post again as soon as I dig up his name.

  • Nice try at conspiracy theory Wilson. Harper needs to send you better talking points. Why should Dion or for that matter Layton comment? All Harper was doing was trying to pep up his right-wing partisan crowd

    And the BQ is on record I believe as opposing the changes to the CWB.. so again.. go get better talking points Wilson. I'm sure they are fairly non-busy at Harper's constituency office – they'll be happy to give you a hand to get more Tory Kool-Aid.

  • KC

    I could be wrong but I think Harper would have to appeal to the Federal Court of Appeal before he could go to the Supremes.

  • It's interesting that it doesn't seem to bother "billg" in the slightest that the plebescite was essentially rigged. It's all okay as long as it was a manufactured issue that will serve the Conservatives well in an election. Okey-dokey then. Nice principles there Bill! Just wait until the farmers start to realize that the prices they're getting aren't all that they were cracked up to be (at least for a large percentage of them), then we'll see what a popular vote-getter this is for Harper.

  • wilson

    'The only other thing I get out of this highly partisan speech (besides the fact it shows yet again Harper is a sore loser) is that Harper seems resigned to the fact he’s going to need a majority government to do his change ''

    PMSH needs the Bloc to pass the changes, not a majority.
    Dion has not commented on the CWB since he said he would reverse any change to the CWB monopoly made by Harper.  
    Add to that, the forcefulness of PMSHs words,  it makes me wonder if, since the books are now open via the Accountability Act, theres some messy stuff we are not YET aware of.

  • Harper is #2

    Harper has been invited to speak to the Australian parliament on Sept 11. Sure, the Japanese PM said "no" and everyone else will be going home after the APEC summit.

    Still, we are #2! Bravo Harper, I say.

  • slg

    There's a good website that gives a history of this and other issues relating to Harper.

    http://www.harperindex.ca/index.cfm

     

  • Billg claimed:

    [quote comment="6735"]Regardless of mindless hatred the right has for Dion, or the left has for Harper, this is just another election issue that can hurt Mr Dion…..as planned.[/quote]

    Yea.. those 45% of Saskatchewan farmers who voted to retain single-board and were the largest plurality in that province  really will go out of their way to hurt Dion over this, eh Bill? The same in Manitoba too, I presume?

    Nice attempt at trying to pretend you're non-partisan about this.. but thats all it was – a nice attempt.

  • Annie asked:

    [quote comment="6733"]I may be wrong, but did the 1998 Wheat Board Act, not say that the farmers have all the say about the Wheat Board and the government should have no say at all ?[/quote]

    The farmers have 10 elected members of the 15 member board. The government retains 5 of them.

  • billg

    Regardless of the same tired old rhetoric from the right, or RT's comments, and as I have commented before, this was and is a set up for the next election, thats it..thats all.  Bravado and Bluster?  Isnt that every successful politician?  The National Post has a great editorial about the CWB.  Regardless of mindless hatred the right has for Dion, or the left has for Harper, this is just another election issue that can hurt Mr Dion…..as planned.

  • I may be wrong, but did the 1998 Wheat Board Act, not say that the farmers have all the say about the Wheat Board and the government should have no say at all ?

  • If you look into the mechanics of that "election" it was a complete farce. This coming from a man who natters on about "democratic reform" all the time. The plurality for retaining the CWB's "single-desk" vs. those wholly opposed to it was overwhelming, but the third question for a dual-system (the "cake and eat it too" option) allowed Harper to claim the vote was in favour of making changes that would effectively kill the viability of the "single desk" monopoly. Not to mention the wording of the question was, as one pollster put it "diabolical." Some champion for democracy. And he wants to make changes to the Senate… methinks not!

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