Four Groups Registered As Third-Party Interveners

The 2010 Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) election has been uncharacteristically quiet this time round.

In 2008, there were allegations that federal government improperly engaged in the election when several Conservative MPs used their offices to mail letters urging farmers to elect candidates opposed to single-desk selling.

There was also controversy over changes to the voters’ list, followed by complaints that the form to apply for ballots contained an error.

As of Nov. 18, four groups had registered as third-party interveners in the current election – the Alberta Grain Commission, the CWB Alliance, National Citizens Coalition and National Farmers Union.

Before spending money advertising in CWB elections any group or individual must register with the election co-ordinator as a third-party intervener, election co-ordinator Ian Craven said in an interview last week.

Several single-desk supporters have complained to Craven that consultant John De Pape should register because he’s blogging about the CWB and the election. But Craven said since De Pape is not spending any money to post his blog he doesn’t need to register.

De Pape said in an interview he’s not paid to write the blog, nor is he advising any of the candidates during the election.

Swift Current-area farmer Stewart Wells, who is running in District 3, contends De Pape is spending money and should register. Websites and Internet domain names are not free, Wells said.

De Pape said his daily wheat board blog will likely be issued monthly after the CWB election is over.

CWB ballots must be postmarked by midnight Dec. 3, 2010.

Real Voice for Choice is no longer active, said one of the organization’s cochairs, Larry Bohdanovich of Grandview.

The group formed to support single-desk candidates in the 2006 CWB election was also active during the 2007 plebiscite on barley marketing and during the 2008 election.

Several of the organization’s leaders passed away, while two others were elected to the CWB in 2008, Bohdanovich said.

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About the author

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Allan Dawson

Allan Dawson is a reporter with the Manitoba Co-operator based near Miami, Man. Covering agriculture since 1980, Dawson has spent most of his career with the Co-operator except for several years with Farmers’ Independent Weekly and before that a Morden-Winkler area radio station.

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