After the 2006 election our government’s first Bill was the Federal Accountability Act. This Act was a direct result of the lack of transparency and accountability of the Federal government that was exposed during the”sponsorship scandal”. The Act gave powers to the Auditor General to follow taxpayer’s money -- no matter if received by First Nations organizations, the Canadian Wheat Board, CBC, or any other Crown Corporation (which was not totally accessible to the AG in the past).
The Canadian Wheat Board was established many years ago to assist farmers to market their wheat and initially served the farmers well. Unfortunately over time, this Board has become very politically motivated and a review of the appointees reveals the political patriotism that existed in the past. Our government wanted farmers to have access to the financial workings of the Canadian Wheat Board and ensure there was transparency and accountability to the farmers the Board served. This is why the Act gave the Auditor General access to CWB’s books.
It is not mandatory for Ontario and Quebec farmers to sell their wheat to the CWB, but it is for the farmers on the Prairies and BC. Our government’s commitment to farmers is to give all farmers the right to sell their wheat to the buyer of their choice. Our government’s current Bill C-18, will give farmers freedom to make their market decisions for their wheat. The Bill does not eliminate the Canadian Wheat Board; on the contrary, the Board will continue to operate as a competitive choice for farmers to market their wheat. Other grains such as barley and canola were not included in the Board’s mandate and farmers are marketing these products without any problem.
The latest news cast made the statement “Conservatives set to eliminate the Canadian Wheat Board.” This is false reporting as I have explained.
Farming is the backbone of our Nation. Our government’s goal is to work with farmers to ensure Canada has a viable, competitive and sustainable agricultural sector.
Colin Mayes, MP- Okanagan Shuswap