The federal government has introduced an act to change the voters list for Canadian Wheat Board elections. The Grain Growers of Canada, representing a broad cross-section of grain groups, is applauding the proposed changes. Groups such as the National Farmers Union and Friends of the Canadian Wheat Board are calling it another attack on the CWB. There have been no shortage of attacks by the feds and Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, but these proposed changes are reasonable. The legislation would give voting rights to those who produce 40 tonnes of grain and those who are entitled to 40 tonnes under a crop-share arrangement. Forty tonnes is only about 1,500 bushels. If you have less than that, you shouldn’t get a vote. Other grains besides wheat, durum and barley are named under the Canadian Wheat Board Act, so a farmer could be producing 40 tonnes of canola and still get a vote. The critics are all over this saying that if you haven’t been delivering to the board you shouldn’t be voting in board elections. Having the CWB affects all aspects of the grain business, so every significant grain producer should get a vote. However, the proposed changes may not pass in time for the next CWB election anyway unless there’s some cooperation in the House of Commons. I’m Kevin Hursh.
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