Western Barley Growers Association

September 12, 2011 15:37 ET

Western Barley Growers Association: Wheat Growers Reject Results of Undemocratic CWB Vote

SASKATOON, SASKATOON--(Marketwire - Sept. 12, 2011) - The Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association completely rejects the results of the Canadian Wheat Board's phony plebiscite.

"This vote was an illegitimate exercise," says Kevin Bender, President of the Wheat Growers. "The results should be given no credibility whatsoever."

The Wheat Growers are fundamentally opposed to the idea that one group of farmers should be allowed to vote away the property rights of another. The Association had called on farmers to boycott the vote.

"The low turnout shows many farmers agreed that this was a meaningless exercise," says Rolf Penner, Manitoba Vice President of the Wheat Growers. "I completely reject the idea that my neighbour should have any say over how I market my grain."

The Wheat Growers note only 34% of the wheat ballots were returned in support of the CWB monopoly. On barley, the figure was 29%. The vast majority of farmers either voted in support of the open market or did not participate at all.

While rejecting the whole premise of voting away property rights, the Wheat Growers note the CWB survey completely violated the "one person, one vote" principle that is characteristic of all democratic votes. Landlords who rented land to more than one farmer on a crop-share basis would have been eligible to receive multiple ballots.

The Wheat Growers note there were over 66,000 wheat ballots mailed out, even though Statistics Canada numbers suggest there are no more than 20,000 commercial grain farms in western Canada. This means several farms either received multiple ballots or a large number of ballots were sent to landlords and other non-farmers.

"We urge the federal government to ignore this meaningless survey and move full speed ahead toward giving us our grain marketing freedom," says Bender. "We are very excited about the opportunities that will be created under an open market."

Contact Information

  • The Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association
    Kevin Bender
    (403) 350-4949

    The Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association
    Rolf Penner
    Manitoba Vice President
    (204) 746-0129