A report in the Oct. 14 Manitoba Co-operator
announced that the Canadian Chamber of Commerce recently passed a resolution at its annual meeting in Gatineau, Quebec calling for an “amendment to the CWB Act supporting voluntary marketing of wheat and barley.” It further “called on the minister to use his powers to instruct the CWB to issue no-cost licences for domestic or export shipments of wheat and barley products.”
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce, while made up of many businesses – has many large companies as members that are themselves monopolies. For the past 20 years, businesses have maintained a single- minded focus on buyouts, mergers, and takeovers for the purpose of creating monopolies for themselves and eliminating competition.
So why is the CWB, the farmers’ monopoly, such a problem for the Canadian Chamber of Commerce? And why is it their business anyway? Second of all, given that chamber resolutions are rarely reported on, why is this particular one newsworthy – other than for its patently obvious intent to impact the 2010 CWB director elections?
Also, it would be interesting to know how the Winnipeg Chamber voted on this particular resolution. With the fate of the Australian Wheat Board (without its single-desk) as a firm indication of the result of the loss of single-desk selling, the city should be concerned that the CWB, like the AWB would be eliminated overnight as a major player in the grain trade. With it would go 500 high-paying jobs in Winnipeg – along with Winnipeg’s status as a world grain trade centre.
At a recent photo op/media event in Winnipeg, the prime minister announced an untendered expenditure of $16 billion for new fighter jets that would bring 100 jobs to Winnipeg. That versus zero expenditure for 500-plus jobs looks to me like the type of economics that brought the United States financial system to its knees in 2008.
Beverly Stow Graysville, Man.
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