Marketing Freedom Legislation Will Liberate Western Grain Farmers

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Lethbridge, Alberta, October 25, 2011 – Western Canadian wheat and barley farmers will have the freedom to market their grain and will no longer be treated as criminals for selling their own grain after August 1, 2012.

“The Harper Government is promising farmers a future in agriculture where they can make their own business decisions,” said David Anderson, Member of Parliament for Cypress Hills- Grasslands, Saskatchewan and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food for the Canadian Wheat Board. “I was thrilled to meet with the 13 farmers sent to jail in 2002 for refusing to sell their wheat to the CWB. This Act will give them and the rest of Western Canadian farmers the freedom to choose how to market their grain, whether that’s individually or through a voluntary Canadian Wheat Board.”

The Marketing Freedom of Grain Farmers Act, once it receives Royal Assent, will allow farmers and grain companies to immediately enter into forward contracts for the purchase or sale of wheat, barley and durum for execution after August 1, 2012. The Act will also allow an interim Canadian Wheat Board to serve as a voluntary marketing entity, supported by the federal Government, while it transitions to full private ownership.

“The economy is a top priority of our Government,” said Mr. Anderson. “An open grain market will attract investment, encourage innovation, create value-added jobs, and build a stronger economy, not only here in Alberta, but for all of Canada.

Working with Western Canadian grain farmers, their organizations and provincial partners, the Government of Canada is committed to an orderly transition to market freedom which includes a viable, voluntary pooling entity, as part of an open and competitive Canadian grain market.

Additional information can be found at www.agr.gc.ca/freedom.