Harper Government Introduces The Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act

OTTAWA, Ontario, October 18, 2011 – Today The Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act was, Bill C-18, was tabled in the House of Commons. Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz introduced a Bill that would give Western Canadian wheat, durum, and barley farmers the freedom to market their grain as they choose.

“This is an exciting day for Western Canadian grain farmers,” said David Anderson, Member of Parliament (Cypress Hills-Grasslands) and Parliamentary Secretary for the Canadian Wheat Board. “Many farmers have waited decades to see this take place. This legislation will finally give Western Canadian farmers the same rights and opportunities as other Canadian farmers – the right to grow, market, and sell their own crops. We need to have this legislation passed quickly so that farmers can start making their own business decisions.”

The Canadian Wheat Board was established by Parliament in 1943 when Canada was committed to supplying inexpensive wheat to Britain during World War II. The legislation tabled today will, when passed, remove the monopoly of the Canadian Wheat Board and give marketing choice to all farmers, returning to farmers the right to market their wheat and barley in the best interest of their individual farms and businesses.

“Make no mistake – this government’s actions will result in more investment and innovation in Western Canada. It will result in value added jobs and a stronger economy,” said Anderson.

Farmers will have the choice of whether to sell on an open market or through a voluntary CWB. The legislation, upon receiving Royal Assent, will allow an interim Canadian Wheat Board to act as a voluntary marketing entity, supported by the federal Government while it transitions to full private ownership. The legislation will also immediately allow farmers and companies to forward contract for the delivery of grain after August 1, 2012.