These comments are direct quotations from the Hansard documents.

CWB Charges Farmers

Mrs. Carol Skelton (SaskatoonóRosetownóBiggar, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, in 1989 the Iron Curtain fell in Europe and democracy brought a brighter future. It celebrated the ability of people to decide how they wanted to conduct their own lives. They buy and sell their property and products in a free marketplace, a marketplace that ensures they get a fair market price.

In 1996 Canadians were charged for freely selling their farm products. Now they are going to jail charged, not by a Communist hold out, but by the Canadian Wheat Board.

Why does the government defend the Canadian Wheat Board in its undemocratic actions instead of our prairie grain farmers?

Mr. Paul Szabo (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, first, the people need not break the law to have their voices heard, and that is the point: Do not break the law; change it.

The member should also acknowledge that 85% of western farmers support the Canadian Wheat Board.

Mrs. Carol Skelton (SaskatoonóRosetownóBiggar, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, I can say that I am one of the members in the House that has the Canadian Wheat Board permit and I understand it more than he does.

The government is jailing our grain farmers for selling their own grain a decade after Communism fell. The Prime Minister offered advice to the Ukraine. He said that monopolies were not worthy of a great nation and a great people, that we must create a class of entrepreneurs to break away from the Communist legacy.

Why will he not follow his own advice and get rid of the Canadian Wheat Board monopoly?

Mr. Paul Szabo (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, two-thirds of the board of directors of the Canadian Wheat Board were elected by western Canadian farmers. If western Canadian farmers want to change the Canadian Wheat Board, they have the means to do it and they should take care of the problems that they have.