Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

June 09, 2008 19:09 ET

Government Calls for Unanimous Consent to Send Barley Legislation to Committee

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 9, 2008) - The Government of Canada is calling on opposition parties to fast-track debate on legislation to give Western Canadian barley producers the freedom to make their own marketing decisions. Today the Government will ask for unanimous consent to send the legislation directly to the Senate Committee on Agriculture for immediate discussion.

"Western Canadian farmers have had enough of the Liberals' foot dragging and they are demanding action on barley marketing freedom," said Agriculture Minister Ritz. "Western Canadian farmers have delivered loud and clear demands for barley marketing freedom and this Government is committed to getting it done."

Through Bill C-46, this Government will give Western Canadian barley producers the right to choose whether to market their barley on the open market or through the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB).

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Government believes farmers are the ones who should be voting in CWB director elections. The previous Liberal government gave ballots to bankers, landlords, and retired producers. Bill C-57 will make sure Western Canadian farmers who actually grow crops are the ones eligible to vote.

Western Canadian farmers are again demanding change in the CWB's recent survey produced by Liberal-insider and Ralph Goodale advisor David Herle. Mr. Herle's numbers show that nearly 70 per cent of Western Canadian farmers want barley marketing freedom. In fact, Mr. Herle's report says: "dual marketing is the preference among farmers for barley marketing. If they cannot have a dual market, most would prefer an open market to the single desk."

"Ralph Goodale and the Liberals say they want 'fair and clear' information before they respect the will of Western Canadian farmers and support barley marketing freedom," said Minister Ritz. "How much more fair and clear can the evidence be? The survey from Ralph Goodale's own Liberal-insider David Herle proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Western Canadian farmers are demanding barley marketing freedom.

"Prime Minister Stephen Harper and this Government are committed to delivering barley marketing freedom for Western Canadian farmers."

Contact Information

  • The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    Margaux Stastny
    Press Secretary