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October 28, 2017 4:46 am

Takeover of Canadian Wheat Board – We are becoming strangers in our own land

Thursday, April 16, 2015 @ 3:55 AM

Once there was a Canadian Wheat Board that was truly Canadian-owned and based, and whose job was to market the grain of Canadian farmers, especially in the West. 

Since coming to power in 2006, the Harper government has waged an all-out war on the Wheat Board as a public enterprise, purging its farmer directors and replacing them with government appointees, overturning legislation in place for decades, refusing to recognize the vote of its farmer members, and putting the organization on the road to complete privatization.

Well, the Harper government has finally got its way.  The announcement has been made.  As of July 2015, the Canadian Wheat Board will now be majority owned by a giant privately-owned company, G3 Global Grain Group.

But there is a huge irony here.  While the Harper government is rabidly hostile to the concept of state-owned enterprises in Canada, it is allowing a foreign state-owned company to be a major partner in taking over the Canadian Wheat Board.

And just who might own that state-owned company?  None other than the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  Indeed, the G3 Global Grain Group is a partnership between SALIC Canada Limited, which is 100% owned by the Saudi government, and Bunge Canada, which is a subsidiary of the global agri-business Bunge Limited.

The global agri-business companies have always had a problem with the Canadian Wheat Board.  They didn’t like all those farmers banding together in a common front.  Now they have finally triumphed – with huge help from the Harper government.

What chance will independent Canadian farmers have now to get a fair price when they are under the thumb of a giant company backed by the oil-rich Saudi government and other global agri-business oligarchs?

This is just one more indication that we no longer have a national government.  Indeed, it is a government of the global oligarchs, by the global oligarchs and for the global oligarchs.

We need nation-building in Canada, not nation-looting.

Peter Ewart is a columnist and writer based in Prince George, British Columbia.  He can be reached at: peter.ewart@shaw.ca








Didn’t he say you wouldn’t recognise Canada when he was through with it? I predict 2 more terms and the job will be irreversibly done.

God help us. First China, now Saudi Arabia.

Nobody does hyperbole like the whining left. This site is going to tank if the bias of the editorial board doesn’t reflect the constituency. But we all knew this was going to happen eventually.

The point is that the independent Canadian farmers don’t HAVE to sell to the wheat board any more. They can sell their grain wherever they want. Under the old rules the ONLY place they could sell their grain was to the Wheat Board.

According to the logic of prime minister Harper and Ethical Oil, this outrageous sale makes Canadian wheat “unethical”. What to do? Import ethical wheat from the United States?

@gitterdun is dead right…Canadian farmers now have a choice. they can sell their grain to EITHER the wheat Board OR to a private buyer of their choice. Oh my how the Lefties hate the word “private”. By the way, an overwhelming majority of farmers support the new options, and they are making more $ than ever.

Absolutely, gitterdun. If Canadian wheat farmers WANT to band together to sell THEIR OWN wheat there’s no longer anything stopping them from doing so. They don’t HAVE TO sell to the CWB, or the entity that’s taking it over. The arguments for keeping the CWB as it was, a marketing monopoly that controls the prices the farmer gets and quantities the farmer will be allowed to produce, are spurious socialistic deceptions designed to ensure that the REAL problems concerning supply and demand ~ the ‘money’ problem, basically ~ is never examined or corrected.

Actually since the demise of the CWB, many farmers are left with grain in their bins, since the CWB has no power over the railways anymore, the prices they receive has gone down since CWB has lost marketing power, and foreign buyers have started to complain about the quality of Canadian wheat, as there is little oversight on quality anymore. This is a slow motion train wreck, the full horror of this situation will not dawn on Harpers supporters until it is much too late to do anything.

Now the Ontario Liberals are selling off Hydro 1. Took a page right out of the BC Liberals playbook. Don’t feed me that nonsense that they aren’t the same party. They all are. It is the TD CEO who is Wynne’s privatization guru.
The silly electorate in Ontario won’t own the hydro infrastructure nor will they be able to have a say at what the rate is set at, but they will be able to purchase beer in supermarkets.
This will peel even more votes from Justin Time for another whuppin” federal liberals.

Gitterdun is right. Farmers now have the ability to sell their wheat to anyone they chose including the US Market.

I have not seen or heard of to many farmers complaining about the demise of the CWB. Most of the complaining comes from the NDP (Whats new).

It matters little who owns the wheat board or other Canadian companies, because 80% of Canadian companies are foreign owned.

Canada and farmers went to huge farms years ago, and the idea that there are still a bunch of small wheat farms around is an urban legend. Much like suggesting that we still have sawmills in the bush, and lots of small independent planer mills.

Times change, people change.

I suppose if those “whining silly leftists” could be persuaded (brainwashed) into changing their misguided ways and vote for the Conservatives (claimed to be the hijacking Reformers in disguise) they would instantly be welcomed into the fold as wise and valued followers.

What is this reformers nonsense? They formed a party and allowed the brown envelope carrying buffoons from Mulroney’s decimated party to collect their pride and join a winning team. If the PCs who were obliterated from the Canadian political scene want to return to the wilderness with no support, turn in their cards and become Greens. They take anybody.

Buyers of Canadian wheat are increasingly complaining about quality ever since Ottawa changed how its biggest crop is sold and inspected, raising the risk the world’s third largest exporter will lose sales to rivals like the United States.

Problems include underweight shipments, lower-than-expected protein content and gluten strength in the wheat, and even the occasional mixture of wheat with other agricultural products.

In October, Singapore-based Prima Group found 850 kilograms of peas in a 25-tonne wheat shipment. A metric tonne is the equivalent of about 1,000 kilograms (2,200 pounds.)

“We don’t know what’s going on in the system here,” said Prima advisor Derek Sliworsky in Winnipeg, who said that while not all Canadian wheat shipments suffer from poor quality, “we don’t have these problems from other origins.” Prima buys between 500,000 and 1 million tonnes of Canadian wheat a year to produce flour at its mills in Singapore, Sri Lanka and China.

Problems have grown since 2012, when Ottawa stripped the Canadian Wheat Board of its centralized role in marketing wheat, said Sliworsky, who used to work for the wheat board. The following year, Ottawa cut one-third of the workforce of the Canadian Grain Commission, the agency responsible for quality.

Randy Dennis, the commission’s chief grain inspector, also said that since 2012, buyers have increasingly complained about the quality of wheat exports, especially about gluten properties

In 1993 the PC party was decimated into having only two seats in Ottawa. The Canadian voters made that democratic choice! The PC dropped from 169 to 2 seats. This was the result of an election, not a hijacking! You mentioned a Reform hijacking in previous posts, so that is where it came from.

Obviously people have different opinions of what hijacking means. Pardon me for having the audacity of mentioning and questioning it!

From The Western Producer

At the website of another grain company, the bid for No. 1 CWRS 13.5 percent protein at an elevator in central Saskatchewan leaves out the MGEX price and simply states its basis is -C$13 a tonne, or -35 cents a bushel for a net price of $196.07, or $5.34 a bu.

Again, the basis bears no resemblance to the actual difference between the futures and cash, adjusted for currency.

Just south of the border at Berthold Farmers Elevator in Berthold, North Dakota, the website paints a much clearer picture, relying on simple arithmetic. It posts a basis of -US50 cents from the futures of $5.69 to arrive at a cash price of $5.19.

Converted to Canadian dollars, that’s a basis of -62 cents and a cash price of $6.43 per bu., or more than $1 more than the Canadian elevators.

A suspicious mind would say the Canadian grain companies are trying to hide something, such as an outrageous profit margin and failure of the arbitrage that was supposed to balance Canadian and American grain prices following the end of the CWB monopoly.

‘This site is going to tank if the bias of the editorial board doesn’t reflect the constituency.’

Jimmy is bang-on – this site has become a shill for the loopy left and no longer reflects the sensible opinions of the majority of northern British Columbians.
Comrade Ewart’s regular diatribes speak volumes about the editorial oversight of 250 ‘News’ – throw out socialist softballs and stories critical of the federal and provincial governments and let the dipper whingers fill the comments page with the usual clap-trap.
It’s not ‘news’ – it’s a systematic vendetta against the centre-right.
Hey loopy left – develop some real policies and a workable economic agenda, convince people of your views with rational argument, secure a strong electorate and form a provincial or federal government.
In the meantime, stop complaining.

This is for VOR and Jimmy
First off I’m no more lefty…loopy lefty…or whiny lefty than either one of you!
So let’s get off the name calling when someone has an opinion that doesn’t jive with yours or the righty extremists that have hijacked what used to be a centre right conservative party.
Oh, and by the way I’m not a Greenie either…so you can drop that one as well.
So lets get down to the heart of the matter, perhaps instead of name calling, opinion bashing, etc etc….why not make a rational argument for your opinion rather than simply resorting to attack mode.
Judging from what the Cons spend most of their advertising money on, attack the other guy rather than defend your record and your position seems to be the standard MO of the Cons, so I should not be surprised, yet it disappoints me that normal discourse and differences of opinion can not be the norm rather than the exception.

Oh, one more thing…Perhaps the Conservative Party of Canada should come out of it’s closet and call itself what it really is…The Reform Party of Canada…but perhaps that would not attract enough people without extreme right wing views to make them a viable party would it???

I normally pass directly over Peter’s cloth cap socialist gruel but clicked on this one as it was under “news” banner but quickly decided that it was little different than anything else that has come off his Underwood on the commune.

Clearly not a news story and should carry “views” banner, perhaps just an over site in the trying times at 250 after Ben’s untimely passing.

The p[problem is the loopy right has shot itself in the foot. Their great leader is on the way out.
So give us some good news and maybe the loopy left will have to hold its mouth and you could go on whining about bad drivers.

That would be the Conservative Party of Canada. Not the Progressive Conservative Party. Is that too hard to understand? Not the same party at all. The Reform party would never agree to nominating Senators, that was the cornerstone of their platform. Did you forget that?
After Harper cozies up to Quebec over the next year, courting all those faux dipper votes, you will think the PC’s have returned to stick it to the West again.
The disenfranchised PC voters are not really conservative voters, because it was their refusal to unite the right that allowed the Liberals to rip off the taxpayer for a decade.
They were the original useful idiots. Next.

You could fertilize a field with some of the posts originating from “Abby”. Oh wait…

It has been my observation the most ‘op eds’ are first put up on this site as ‘News’ and then moved to ‘Views’ five or six hours later. Why all the fuss today?

Jimmy Hughes says, “Nobody does hyperbole like the whining left.”

Oh, I don’t know Jimmy. The whining right is like an oo-ah bird. With the right wing flapping all the time it flies in ever decreasing circles and is in danger of disappearing into itself.

A long time ago when this site first started the whining right was fully represented with numerous posters who attacked anyone on the left if they had the temerity to express an opposing view. I was one of the very few people on the left who participated and was constantly under attack with personal invective and insults, much like the whining right does now. Now that the left is more evenly represented, the whining right is complaining. Tough. It will not destroy this site, it will strengthen democracy by letting all voices be heard. Keep it the way it is.

Prince George denies that Harper and his supporters hijacked the Progressive Conservative Party and amalgamated it with the Canadian Reform Alliance Party, or CRAP (remember that). Have you conveniently forgotten that Peter McKay ran as leader for the Progressive Conservatives, promising faithfully that he would not amalgamate the party with the Alliance under Harper. When the election was over he did what he had guaranteed he would not do and the Conservative Party as we have it now was formed, dropping its “progressive” nature. Forgive me for asking, but if that deceit is not an example of hijacking, then what is it?

Oh I am touched by the whining left’s concern over the governing party of Canada. Pour some energy into nominating viable candidates with a coherent platform and maybe you can play along at home too. Next.

Once again Jimmy responds with snide invective instead of posting something with substance. Pathetic.

Hey Jimmy…all this invective…and you still have not expressed your reasoning why it is a good idea to have the Government of Saudi Arabia control the CANADIAN WHEAT MARKETING BOARD! Do you have an opinion…does Stevie let any of his Righty Minions have an opinion or an original thought of their own??? I thought not…and to use your idiotic sign off….NEXT!

How far back do some people have to go to substantiate some of their arguments.??

I matters little to-day what happened with the Conservative Party over the years. Lets keep in mind that it was the Conservatives themselves (or a large majority of them) that voted against the Mulroney Government and sent them into political oblivion for many years,.

It is these same Conservatives/Reformers/Alliance/ etc that now support he Harper Government.

That’s the main difference between an NDPer/Liberal. Conservatives can and do change their vote if the situation calls for it.

My guess is that most people who voted Conservative in the last election will do so again, and that will result in another Conservative majority Government. I know that this doesn’t sit well with the NDP/Liberals but that’s life in the fast lane.

Even if the Liberals and NDP form some sort of leftie alliance, it will still be a horse race.

The NDP is crying the loudest because they know that they will lose seats in Quebec and therefore lose their coveted position as the opposition. The Liberals will pick up a few seats, and become the opposition, and that will be that.

A question to those who are complaining that there are too many left wing views on 250news, are you suggesting that restrictions be placed on posts because of the political views expressed. If so, is that not political censorship? Is that really the view of the right wing in Canada, to censor free speech? I was always of the opinion that the right wing was as committed to free speech as is the left wing. Was I wrong? I hope not.

The CWB was put in place in the depression era. It had a purpose then. That was several generations ago. Herb making arguments about quality is red herring. It will be the same arguments when they finally get to the dairy and poultry boards. It’s bazaar that farmers who take all the risk are required by law to sell to the board. Several went to jail for their right to sell their wheat to a whoever they chose.
I was a member of the cwb for 5 years. I crop shared land in Saskatchewan. What I found was the old timers liked the board. They had lived their whole lives with it. The younger guys, not so much. They saw more opportunities for their product. Being a member i was interested in what farmers thought. I found the farmers in Alberta I talked to hated it with a passion. I think one could say that split reflected the political leanings of the provinces. SK has put several NDP governments in power, that would never happen in Alberta.
Bottom line, CWB was a union that farmers were forced to join if they grew wheat in the prairie provinces. It was an anachronism that had served its purpose. Harper ran in the election with that platform and won a majority. I am disappointed the poultry and dairy boards haven’t followed the same route. They are currently major roadblocks in trade negotiations which could and likely will exclude us from joining the biggest global trading pact being negotiated. Should we risk this so a small group of farmers get an inflated price for their product while Canada’s consumers continue to pay some of the highest dairy costs in the world? Do you think single mothers on welfare would like lower prices?
Canada has to adapt. That means change. That means these boards have got to go.

There was paragraphs when I typed the last post.

The CWB is a dinosaur, a relic, meaningless to successful farmers and even less to me. Why should I care if a group of foreign businessmen purchase it? That would be xenophobic… would it not? Next.

To the whining left: No-where did I advocate silencing anybody’s voice, but rather asked for a balance from the editorial board, and even that wouldn’t reflect the true conservative nature of the local readership. People might think I was a closet progressive if I advocated stifling a dissenting opinion. Oh the Humanity!!!

Hey Jimmy .. is that you outed on Gangsters Out Blog? If not, you might want to consider a better alias although the views you share here and the views of the guy outed on the blog do seem to have a lot in common.

Wow, what an educational response! Thanks to this site and the comments made; I feel much more informed about this issue.

Ammonra:”Prince George denies that Harper and his supporters hijacked the Progressive Conservative Party and amalgamated it with the Canadian Reform Alliance Party,…”

The Reform Party ran on its own platform and agenda. If Conservatives were sufficiently disenchanted with their own party and deserted it by voting for another party how can that be called a “hijacking”? Nobody forced them to vote Reform. There was no hijacking. Hijacking means that a process was seized and its outcome redirected away from its original intent. In fact some hijacks are illegal acts, such as seizure of airplanes and/or vehicles. I doubt that Conservatives allowed themselves to be duped into abandoning their party and voting for hijackers.

I am not objecting to historical facts and democratically conducted election results. I remember seeing Harper and Mulroney shaking hands, congratulating each other and smiling broadly when Harper finally won his majority as a Conservative leader.

I saw a picture of Rumsfeld shaking the hand of Saddam Hussein . Hmmmmmm.

Prince George….you actually have your facts wrong.
Today’s Conservative Party of Canada is the result of the old Canadian Reform Alliance Party merging with the old progressive Conservative party. After the merger the Progressive Conservatives ceased to exist, and the Reformers effectively took over the show. Peter McKay the last elected leader of the PC party, betrayed his members and went back on his word that he would not seek a merger with the reformers.
So yes, my old party, the Progerssive Conservatives were hijacked by the reformers.
I personally had never voted reform prior to the merger / hijacking, and I never will. Extreme ideologies whether of the left or the right are not the best path to a prosperous and unified nation. Our best years as a nation have always been when we had centre right governments.

Jimmy must be a political operative from Ontario here as a paid shill to lower the political discourse. No insight on local issues, lots of Ontario centric political talk, and he’s on a mission to make Harper a hero and everyone else a zero.

As for the comment by Prince George that Jimmmy sugestion for censorship seems to fit a pattern of Harper people censoring speech and opinions based on political affiliation. Well yes, this is the cornerstone of the neo-con play book.

Nationally, we have the CRA investigating non profit charities for political advocacy and targeting those that oppose the neo-con agenda’s… Harper is pushing hard for C-51 to deploy federal spy agencies on Canadians that may have views they deem a threat to the ‘economy’… the CBC budget has been axed, and only international media gets to speak to the Prime Minister.

Internationally it gets even worse. Harper calls Netanyahu Canada’s number one ally… and yet Netanyahu has nearly a third of all Palestinian elected officials in prison under a new law he had passed that allows him to detain them for up to 6-months with no trial or charges… and then rounds them up for any critical opinion expressed of Israel and their policy on the Palestinians. Its one of the most insidious forms of institutionalized political censorship known in the world today, and is a cornerstone policy to enforce an apartheid policy without a political voice to oppose them.

Then we have Harper’s allies in Kiev that are out right assassinating any elected representatives or journalists that speak up on behalf of the Russian population… broad day light murders in the street, or they just go missing. Its an epidemic of hate based crimes for political thought that undermines the claims that the Kiev coup was about free speech and democracy in Ukraine. Of course this new Kiev gets its inspiration and full support from their benefactor Steven Harper who does nothing to rein in the extremists from using physical terror to get their way politically… not even a word of concern.

We look at how the conservatives under Harper run an election, and its all attack and innuendo and its just how the neo-cons operate.

Jimmy just carries on the tradition with his Southern Ontario drawl making his main man Harper proud.

My take on the Canadian wheat board is that a majority of farmers voted against having it disbanded and Harper did it anyways… because democracy is only a means to an end for Harper… and only applies when it agrees with him.

I’m sure Zimmer would be nodding yes right behind Harper when they came up with the idea to sell its assets to the Saudi royal family… you know at a time when they are committing war crimes in an illegal war on Yeman… to say nothing of arming, financing, and indoctrinating isis to unleash terror on their Shia foes everywhere. Patrons of Israeli foreign policy everywhere should be rewarded with public Canadian assets Harper would nod back to Zimmer.

The way I see it was that the CWB was established at a time when Canadian governments valued free enterprise verse the scourge of the time monopoly capitalism. With the rise of the world zionism taking control of the global media and the political party apparatus in the west over the last 50-years since the JFK assassination we have had a vested interest of globalist banksters putting out talking points and propaganda to sell the ‘neo-con’ agenda that undermines our economic foundations built on the free enterprise model. We are now back to the rise of monopoly capitalism the world over and their biggest oligarchs have a get of jail pass waiting for them in Tel aviv.

The CWB was a free enterprise institution because it was equal opportunity to anyone that wanted to enter the business of farming and have a market for their product. It protected the rights of new entrants, and made fair access to markets free from intimidation or any prejudice price fixing… a farmer didn’t need to know international markets, or marketing, or shipping logistics… a farmer could focus on their core interests in their farm, and its efficiency, and how they can compete as a farmer raising up the standard with their fellow farmers rather than a race to the bottem.

Its like health care, or primary education, or national public highways… these are free enterprise enabling public institutions and ideals because they enable business to compete on their core competencies and not their connections to health insurance providers, or locating in only towns that have educated town folk, paying the burden for the full cost of infrastructure for their individual shipping needs.

The concept of free enterprise I think builds up the middle class and enables anyone to enter into a small business and by this standard the CWB was a cornerstone of Canadian free enterprise that was thrown under the bus by the Harper conservative government… because at their heart neo-con shills are global monopoly capitalists with their only true allegiance being to money and a foreign country.

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