Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

November 28, 2011 11:34 ET

Western Canadian Grain Farmers One Step Closer to the Marketing Freedom They Want and Deserve

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 28, 2011) - Canada's Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz was joined by Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Bob Bjornerud and Alberta Agriculture Minister Evan Berger today to welcome Third Reading and the final vote in the House of Commons on the Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act.

The Governments of Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, representing the production of more than 80% of wheat and 90% of barley in Western Canada, expressed today their support for giving Western wheat and barley farmers the right to choose how to market their grain.

"Western Canadian farmers have waited far too long for the freedom to market wheat and barley that they pay to plant, spend months to grow and tirelessly harvest," said Minister Ritz. "All Members of Parliament should pass this legislation as quickly as possible so that farmers have the certainty they need to start planning for next year's crop."

On November 4, C-18 was reported back to the House of Commons for Report Stage. Today, the bill will conclude debate and will be read a third time before the final vote. The C-18 Legislative Committee completed its study and hearing of witnesses from across the grain value chain of the Bill on November 3. Two amendments were made by the Legislative Committee to increase the operational flexibility of the interim Canadian Wheat Board and give it equal opportunities to that of other grain companies.

"Western wheat and barley farmers want the same ability to make business decisions as farmers do in eastern Canada," concluded Minister Ritz. "I expect members of the House to do the right thing and pass this bill so farmers can get one step further to having the marketing freedom they so desperately want and so justly deserve."

Minister Ritz urged Directors of the Canadian Wheat Board to work cooperatively in the best interests of all farmers and CWB staff by focusing more time and resources on making sure the voluntary wheat board has the best possible opportunity to succeed.

The Harper Government's top priority remains the economy, in which agriculture plays a vital role. The Government will continue to work with Western Canadian grain farmers, their organizations, provincial partners and the entire grain supply chain on an orderly transition to marketing freedom.

Contact Information

  • Media Relations
    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    613-773-7972
    1-866-345-7972

    Meagan Murdoch
    Director of Communications
    The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    613-773-1059