|These comments are direct quotations from the Hansard
Farmers Cannot Sell Wheat
David Anderson (Cypress Hills - Grasslands, Canadian Alliance): Madam
Speaker, I am a prairie grain farmer. I can grow wheat, but I cannot sell
it. Federal law makes it illegal for any prairie farmer to market wheat
without a licence from the Canadian Wheat Board.
I would like to market my own wheat. I can market canola. I can market
oats. I can market lentils, canary seed, flax and rye, but not wheat.
I have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in land and machinery.
Each year I purchase thousands of dollars worth of fuel and fertilizer to
see my wheat seeded, harvested and stored in my grain bins, but once it is
there I cannot sell it.
I can log on to the Internet and buy or sell items of any kind. I can
trade my vehicle, buy a horse, get a loan, or purchase land, but I cannot
sell my wheat.
I can travel around the world in a leaky air balloon, risk my life in
extreme sports, gamble away my assets in a casino, engage in high risk
business deals or try my luck on the stock market, but I cannot sell my
I am free to choose which political party I will belong to and which
religion I will adhere to. I can quit working, quit taking my medication
or even quit eating, but I am not allowed to sell my wheat.
Mr. Rick Casson (Lethbridge,
Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, a travesty of justice is taking
place, not in some third world country, not in a communist dictatorship,
not under some oppressive regime, but right here in Canada.
A group of farmers, the very same people who grow the food we eat, have
been sentenced to go to jail for selling the wheat they grow on their own
land. This unjust situation exists only in western Canada and could not
happen in Quebec, Ontario or the Maritimes.
This is due to the monopoly of the western Canadian Wheat Board, supported
by the Liberal government, the Minister of Agriculture and the Minister of
Public Works. The claims the government makes to have the best interests
of farmers at heart ring hollow as 14 farm families prepare to face the
reality of their breadwinners being incarcerated. These farmers should not
be going to jail for doing what farmers in the rest of Canada can do
I call on the government to end this insanity, to end this extremely
tragic situation, and to bring an end to the monopoly of the western
Canadian Wheat Board. After all, are not all Canadians equal?