Hasty report underscores government’s failure to plan for future: CWB chair
Allen Oberg, chair of the CWB’s farmer-controlled board of directors, issued the following statement regarding the report of the federal government’s working group on the transition to an open market, released on September 28.
“The farmers of Western Canada expect and deserve serious analysis and planning from a government that is dismantling the most powerful farmers’ marketing agency in the world. There is no plan or vision. Instead, with billions of dollars at stake and the clock ticking, this report simply tells us to hope for the best from the open market.
“The working group has not offered farmers concrete solutions to the inevitable marketing and logistical problems created by the Harper government’s rush to deregulation. While the report acknowledges there will be challenges, it suggests that open-market forces will sort everything out.
“Farmers are now being asked to accept at face-value that their marketing interests will be served and protected by a handful of American and European multinationals that control the global grain trade.
“This is unconscionable. The federal government is abdicating its responsibility to farmers while trying to blame the CWB itself for its own demise. This is occurring despite farmers’ vote, in the recent plebiscite, to retain the benefits of the current system.”