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“Voluntary CWB” code words for open market

As the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association continues to agitate for a voluntary CWB (“Volunteer CWB would be democratic,” Feb. 18), they need to ask themselves one question.

If such a thing was workable for farmers, why would it not be in place today?

The CWB is a single-desk marketing organization. Without a single desk, you have a different sort of marketing system. It is called “the open market.” This may be the preferred choice of the WCWGA, but it is not what most farmers want.

I know, because they elected me to the CWB board of directors on a crystal-clear platform of support for our collective marketing system. Without the single desk, could the CWB transform into something else that would still have value for farmers? And what would it be?

As CWB directors, we have studied this many times, looking at the various options. We have no doubt that the CWB could not exist in the same form or deliver the same value as it does today.

A voluntary pooling system could be tried without the single desk, but would end up very marginal (for evidence, look to Ontario and Australia). A grain brokerage is another idea, but it could not add value either, particularly in a market environment dominated by large grain companies who own all the elevators and port facilities.

In the most likely scenario, our talented CWB staff would simply be hired by the grain companies and the CWB would not exist. As farmers, we’d essentially end up working for them too, instead of running our own marketing organization like we do today.

That’s not a future I look forward to. But that’s the reality of the “voluntary CWB” (apparently the new catchphrase for the equally imaginary “dual market.”)

Be careful what you wish for.

Bill Toews, Director CWB

Kane, Manitoba be replaced with a below-ground septic field, a holding tank or any other system that will be approved by government inspectors.

The cost to install a septic field is estimated to be in the range of $15,000 to $30,000. This cost must be paid by you, the landowner, before you can sell or transfer your holding.

Government officials, so far, have not been able to supply absolute, proven data to support the environmental benefits of a below-ground septic fields over pump-out ejectors.

We all want to protect the environment, but this legislation appears to miss the mark.

It’s never too late to try and change government regulations or legislation.

Your local R. M. councillors spoke strongly against this legislation at the AMM annual meeting which was attended by several provincial cabinet members.

Now it’s your turn!

If Manitoba farmers and other rural residents do not speak loud and clear to the politicians who enacted this damning and costly legislation, septic ejectors will be gone and thousands of your dollars will also be ejected when you try to sell your farm. Tell your friends and neighbours and send your letters and emails opposing this unfair legislation to:

Premier Selinger, [email protected]

The minister of conservation, Bill Blaikie, [email protected]

And the minister of agriculture, Stan Struthers, [email protected]

Please forward letters to Manitoba Co-operator, 1666 Dublin Ave., Winnipeg, R3H 0H1 or Fax: 204-954-1422 or email: [email protected](subject: To the editor)

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