Thursday, October 12, 2006

Wheat Board and Politics

The federal government recently moved to stop the Canadian Wheat Board from running ads pomoting its monopoly.

It's a good move.

Here's a news release I sent out today on the subject:

NCC Applauds Government Move to Stop CWB Political Advertising

(October 12, 2006)The National Citizens Coalition says the federal government was right to stop the Canadian Wheat Board from engaging in political advocacy.

“The Canadian Wheat Board has no business using its resources to promote its own political agenda,” says NCC vice president Gerry Nicholls. “It is supposed to market grain not peddle propaganda.”

The Conservative government ordered the CWB not to directly or indirectly spend money on advertising that would also promote its monopoly.

“Many of the CWB’s ads promoting the monopoly were also thinly disguised endorsements for the Liberal Party,” says Nicholls. “A government agency should not take partisan stands.”

Nicholls also rejected arguments that the government move was “anti-democratic”.

“What was anti-democratic was the Wheat Board’s political advertising,” says the NCC vice president. “It’s anti-democratic to force western farmers to finance a political agenda they may not support. And many farmers do not support the monopoly.”


rondi said...

I was wondering when you were going to post about the Wheat Board. This is so fascinating.

Miles Lunn said...

Even as a Liberal supporter I do support a dual marketing system since I believe in choice and also it has been done in Ontario and works there. That being said, we could always call the Liberals bluff and put it to a referendum by secret ballot and since I think there is a good chance going to a dual marketing system would pass, this would silence the criticism. That being said, to avoid free-riding, I think if someone leaves the Wheat Board, they shouldn't be allowed to fall back in when prices drop, otherwise once out, you stay out.

I though have often wondered how much credibility the Liberals and NDP have on this file considering almost every seat in areas under the CWB's jurisdiction went Conservative and often by large margins.