Christian Conservative Christian "Independent"

I'm an evangelical Christian, member of the CPC, but presently & unjustly exiled to wander the political wilderness.
All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Barley Bill to bring down the House?

Time for the Liberals to put their money where their mouth is. Legislation is set to be introduced to finally give Western barley farmers a choice when marketing their grain.

We promised farmers that we will bring them choice in the markets for grain, and the Liberals, and many on the left, have attempted to stop us at every turn. Now that our efforts have been rejected by the courts (incorrectly, I believe), it's time to put it into legislation.

Mr. Dion, it's your move. We firmly believe that farmers want this choice... and I think the electoral results in those three provinces (Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba) attest to that fact. The bill is set to be introduced very soon. Your options are either "YEA", or "NAY".

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  • At Fri. Feb. 29, 04:41:00 p.m. EST, Blogger Dylan said…

    Without US and EU subsidies on grain coming down, Canadian farms will be destroyed in a "choice" market.

    For someone who lives in the GTA you sure have a high opinion on agri-economics.

    If you want to know why the CWB is good for farmers, as long as the EU and US are subsidizing their agriculture, read "Omnivores Dilemma" by Michael Pollan. Pollan doesn't make an case FOR subsidized or monopolized grain, but what he does do is explain the downward spiral of worldwide grain prices and North American agri-economics.

    If you care about our farmers, I mean really care about them, then let's not "let them free" of the board when prices are high just to let them flood the market and therefore drive the price down putting more farms out of business.

    It's simple market economics, really.

    PS - And speaking as the grandson of a farmer whose family has farmed in central Sask for nearly a hundred years and as an Albertan living and studying in Manitoba, people across the prairies aren't voting CPC just because of their belief in market choice, it's far more complicated than that and more often than not, they vote CPC out of a huge displeasure with the federal Liberals.

    Don't think the CPC is so special, they've been winning by default.

  • At Fri. Feb. 29, 06:06:00 p.m. EST, Blogger Thucydides said…

    The simple fact of the matter is the Wheat Board sells wheat, barley etc. at below market prices, depriving western farmers the full benefit of their efforts.

    Since this costs farmers billions of dollars in lost income (not to mention millions of dollars of lost tax revenues), I can't imagine why anyone not directly connected with the wheat board or a recipient of heavily subsidized wheat would support this.

  • At Fri. Feb. 29, 08:20:00 p.m. EST, Anonymous Joe said…

    Actually Dylan the CWB does nothing to stave off foreign subsidies. There are other subsidy programs CASE used to be one but the CWB is definitely not a subsidy. What the CWB does is it takes a good guess at what it will be able to sell a given years wheat for on the open international market. Then it takes off a certain amount as a failsafe and calls the result an 'initial payment'. This is the amount paid to the farmer when he brings his alotment (quota) of grain to market. At the end of the fiscal year the CWB tallies its actual sales receipts deducts the initial payment, administrative costs etc and then issues the final payment. About the only time I can think of the CWB subsidizes anyone is when it loans money, usually to a foreign nation, so that nation can buy Canadian grain. Although the western farmer benefits from the increased sales the real benefificiary is the foreign nation because the loans are often forgiven.

  • At Sat. Mar. 01, 07:44:00 p.m. EST, Blogger Dylan said…

    Joe, I never said the CWB was a type of subsidy or that it subsidizes farmers. I never said it staves off foreign subsidies either.

    I'm saying that it keeps our farmers competitive in a world where the OTHER guys are using subsidies to keep their farmers in the global market. Without a monopoly OR subsidizing our grain LIKE the EU and US do, our farmers would die out. And quickly!

  • At Sat. Mar. 01, 08:43:00 p.m. EST, Anonymous Joe said…

    Well Dylan we are going to have to agree to disagree. I have been following the CWB for years and have observe that the amount paid Canadian farmers is always less than the amounts American and European farmers receive for the same crop.

    If you can explain how limiting the amount an individual farmer can sell, then limit that farmer's marketing options and fixing the price a year in advance is helping the farmer I'm all ears.

  • At Mon. Mar. 03, 12:19:00 a.m. EST, Anonymous Bazoo said…

    Dylan: Please explain how paying Western Canadian Grain Farmers about $1 less per bushel for their commodities helps them compete in a Global market. While you are at it please also explain why grain producers from Ontario and Quebec aren't beating down the CWB's door to be allowed in. Why are Western Canadian farmers able to successfully market their off board grains and oilseeds at a profit all over the world without CWB intervention? The only crops that have been profitable in recent years are the off board grains and oilseeds. You have no business telling me where I can sell my crop.

  • At Tue. Mar. 04, 10:46:00 a.m. EST, Blogger JeffDG said…

    Here's one question that I like to ask everyone who says the CWB is so great:

    Are farmers so stupid that, given a choice, they will flock away from the great CWB into a lion's den of open markets?

    If the CWB is such a great deal for farmers, they should not fear competition, as they'd win that competition. If on the other hand, they're primarly worried about making sure their mandarins are well employed, and not getting the best deal for farmers, then monopoly is the only way to go.


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