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NFU wants CWB election co-ordinator replaced

The ballot application form had contained a “catch-22” for permit book holders.

The National Farmers Union (NFU) wants the Canadian Wheat Board to fire elections co-ordinator Ian Craven of the accounting firm Meyers Norris Penny.

In a Nov. 5 letter to CWB president and CEO Ian White, NFU president Stewart Wells accuses Craven of undermining the current CWB election by mishandling a flawed application form farmers who are not on the voters’ list must use to get a ballot.

Wells also asked White to “remove” any CWB staff responsible for reviewing or drafting the form.

The CWB hires an independent co-ordinator for director elections.

The application form, which has been corrected, contained a “catch-22” for permit book holders removed from the voters list for not delivering grain to the CWB during this or last

crop year. Farmers were asked to legally declare, among other things, that the land listed on the form was not the same land listed in their permit books. In most cases it would be the same land.

Confused farmers who called Craven for clarification were told to cross the offending line out. Wells said most people wouldn’t consider al ter ing a legal document and therefore may not have applied for a ballot.

In an interview Nov. 6 Craven said he explained to Wells the mistake was made while updating the form and had been corrected.

Craven said he has declined to discuss the matter further with Wells because the form is part of a court challenge the Friends of the Canadian Wheat Board launched against the government alleging the improper removal of farmers’ names from the CWB election voters’ list. [email protected]

About the author

Reporter

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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