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Post CWB-Monopoly Road Map Going To Ritz Soon

Aroad map for transitioning the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) to an open market will be in Agriculture Minister Ritz s hands soon.

An Agriculture and Agri- Food Canada (AFFC) working group set up in July was to submit its report Sept. 15. Ritz had not received it as of Sept. 17, an official in his office said.

Ritz promised to introduce legislation this fall to end the CWB s monopoly Aug. 1, 2012. Presumably the legislation will answer some of the questions regarding the conversion, including what it any support the federal government will provide a post-monopoly wheat board.

The CWB had not been told what assistance it can expect from Ottawa CWB chair Allen Oberg said Sept. 12.

We, as an organization, need to know what s on the table before any type of options could be developed going forward, Oberg said.

Asked in an email why he hasn t said what support the government will provide, Ritz replied: If Mr. Oberg was truly interested in putting the best interests of farmers ahead of his own and working on the way forward, the CWB would have accepted the offer to co-chair the AAFC working group.

Oberg has said Ottawa should cover the costs for winding down the CWB, including expenses related to broken contracts, and employee pens ions and severances.

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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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