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Tories’ court appeal groundless: CWB

The Canadian Wheat Board is confident that the federal Conservative government’s appeal of the July 31 court decision which upheld the single-desk marketing of Western Canadian barley will fail.

“The judge’s ruling was very clear…any changes to barley or wheat marketing must be made by the process set out in the Canadian Wheat Board Act,” said Ken Ritter, chairman of the CWB’s board of directors. “Changes cannot be introduced by mere regulation.”

Ritter said there are no legal grounds for an appeal.

“We had a very strong case when we launched our judicial review and we received a decisive decision… We are confident we will win the appeal,” Ritter said.

Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz on Thursday announced that the Canadian Government would appeal that federal court ruling.

Among other reaction from farm groups, the National Farmers Union called the Tories’ decision “a waste of taxpayers’ money,” while the Grain Growers of Canada applauded the move. “It is crystal clear that there are substantial financial
gains for producers in an open market and the sooner we get there the sooner we can put those extra dollars in our pocket,” said GGC president Ross Ravelli.

Ritz said nearly 30,000 western barley farmers voted in a plebiscite earlier this year with 62 per cent wanting to decide how to market their own barley.

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