Agriculture

Canadian Wheat Board privatization news suggests economic needs taking a back seat

The suggestion that the federal government plans to give away the assets of the Canadian Wheat Board to a multinational corporation instead of selling them to a farmer-owned group is not a surprise. Since the federal government announced that it was ending the Canadian Wheat Board's monopoly on selling Canadian wheat, there have been a number of serious problems.

Grain transportation crisis shows hands-off approach doesn't work

In the first full year since the Canadian Wheat Board lost its monopoly on selling Canadian grain, a grain transportation crisis has developed.

The Toronto Star reported that 50 ships are waiting to load grain in Vancouver, while grain silos on the Prairies are full. Japan is buying wheat from the United States instead of Canada.

End of Canadian Wheat Board monopoly blamed for delays in shipping grain

The federal government's decision to end the Canadian Wheat Board's (CWB) monopoly on selling Canadian wheat is being blamed for delays in shipping grain to market.

A Saskatoon Star Phoenix editorial pointed out that:

“In the past, wheat farmers could depend on the Canadian Wheat Board to battle for them when it came to putting pressure on the rail companies to get the grain to market. When the board had a monopoly on selling grain overseas, it also held considerable market influence.”

Possible role of pesticides in honey bee deaths reminder of need to consider full impact of decisions

Over the last three years Canada has lost 35% of its honey bee colonies. Other countries are experiencing similar problems.

The losses being experienced by honey bee farmers will not just be felt by honey producers. It's estimated that one-third of all food we eat depends on bees and other pollinators to mature.

Facts missing in supply management debate

As with too many debates on economic issues in Canada, in the debate on supply management the facts are being pushed aside by ideological assumptions.

The best example is the amount Canadians pay for milk compared to other countries. Canadians actually pay less for milk than consumers in Australia and New Zealand - like Canada, these countries don't subsidize dairy farmers - but you would never know that from reading most opinion pieces opposing supply management.

Response to Proposed Amendments to the Canada Grain Act in regard to the Canadian Grain Commission

Brief from the National Farmers Union outlining the role the federal government, though the Canada Grain Commission, plays in ensuring farmers are treated fairly when selling their grain and how this is being undermined.(http://www.nfu.ca/briefs/2012/proposed_CGC_changes.pdf)