Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Privateer Runs Wheat Board

The Conservatives have pulled their coup on the farmers run Wheat Board.

And in firing the current CEO his replacement is pro privatization, pro corporate monopolies. Strahl made his firing public complete with staged rally.

Gosh the PM reads the biography of Stalin this summer and we get an autocratic PMO. Wonder what Strahl was reading this summer?

How To Stage Nuremburg Rallies, maybe.

Agriculture Minister Chuck Strahl has moved on an opponent of his plans to end the monopoly of the Canadian Wheat Board.

He fired Adrian Measner, the board's president and a 34-year veteran of the organization, on Tuesday.

"It's time for the wheat board to make a buck for Canadian farmers and to quit fiddling around in the political game," Strahl said.

The minister made his announcement at a staged rally west of Winnipeg. Farmers who oppose the wheat board's current monopoly on international wheat and barley sales surrounded him.

Greg Arason, a former wheat board president, is the interim president. Arason supports the government's plan to end the board's monopoly.

Mr. Arason was President and CEO of the CWB between 1998 and 2002 and prior to that was CEO of Manitoba Pool Elevators. He has served as a director of a number of agri-business companies and industry associations including CanAmera Foods, Can-Oat Milling, The Chamber of Maritime Commerce, Canada Grains Council, Prince Rupert Grain, Westco Fertilizers, Western Grain Elevator Association, and XCAN Grain.

For more coverage of the Wheat Board from the Left see Buckdog.


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Larry Gambone said...

Reason number 2958 why having the state in charge of things is not a good idea. If the WB was an independent coop institution the state could not impose a corporatist at its helm. We are paying the price of statism with all this "privatization" (really corporatization) of public institutions. If these public institutions had been turned over to the people - genuine socialization - rather than held on to by the state these gangsters could not get their hands on them.

eugene plawiuk said...

Chuck Strahl Harpers gunsel. You are of course correct this is what geniunine producer worker cooperatives are, independent of the state.

Anonymous said...

Eugene, why does the CWB apply only to western farmers and not eastern farmers? Seems like a problem to me.

eugene plawiuk said...

Maybe because Tobbaco and Tomatoes are their cash crops. Farmers in Ontario tend to be large scale operations, larger than many Western Farmers. And as such tend to benefit from being corporations. Not so the Prairie farmer who goes from bank debt to bank debt, much like the Maritime Fishers vs. the B.C. fishers.
Though it seems funny to me that folks that say they speak for farmers are trying to stop the farmers from speaking up for something they forced the government to create, a producers pool.
And the reason for the pool is called the Great Crash, when prices went from boom to bust, coupled with the dustbowl Prairie farmers never again wanted to face the real market forces of capitalism.
Today grain prices are high, but like all commodities they are subject to the whims of the market. And while dual marketing, or direct selling as it really is, may appear great now, with prices high, wait till the market crashes.
Watch the crying and gnashing of teeth begin when that occurs.

Anonymous said...

I don't agree with your premises. Western farms are known for their large scale operations. If tobbaco and tomatoes are their cash crop then should they get a CTTB then?

If farmers could sell what they produce at an open market then farmers would get more money. This is basic economics 101. This issue is strictly ideological the only farmers supporting this are union farmers.