Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

November 30, 2011 14:14 ET

Marketing Freedom Will Create New Opportunities for Manitoba Wheat and Barley Industry

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - Nov. 30, 2011) - Once the Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act is passed, the Manitoba wheat and barley industry will be able to seize new economic opportunities.

"Our Government intends to bring marketing freedom to Manitoba wheat and barley farmers by August of next year," said Minister Ritz. "An open grain market will attract investment, encourage innovation, create value-added jobs, and build a stronger economy not only here in Manitoba, but right across the country."

The Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act recently passed third reading in the House of Commons, and has been introduced in the Senate. In his remarks to the Manitoba Chamber of Commerce today, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz reiterated that once the Act receives Royal Assent, Western Canadian farmers will have the right to sell their wheat, durum and barley as they choose, whether that's individually or through a voluntary Canadian Wheat Board.

"Our Government acknowledges that there will be a period of adjustment for the Port of Churchill when the Act is passed," said Minister Ritz. "We are taking action to ensure that the Port continues to be an important northern shipping route and an important option for farmers who must ship their grain to market."

The Government will support shipments of grain, including oilseeds, pulses and special crops, through the Port of Churchill and continue to explore short term initiatives to support the ongoing operations of the Port. The Harper Government's commitments to Churchill include a $5 million per year shipping incentive, over $4 million to help maintain the Port, and the extension of the deadline by two years to complete ongoing Port infrastructure improvements. In consultation with all stakeholders, the Government will continue to explore all options to ensure a strong future for Churchill and the Port of Churchill.

The Government's top priority remains the economy, in which agriculture plays a vital role. The Western Canadian grain industry already contributes significantly to the national economy, but marketing freedom will increase its economic potential and unleash the entrepreneurial energy of the sector.

Working with Western Canadian grain farmers, their organizations and provincial partners, the Government 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.

Contact Information

  • Media Relations
    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario

    Meagan Murdoch
    Director of Communications
    The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz