AG MINISTER GERRY RITZ “WILL BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR HIS DISREGARD OF RULE OF LAW,” SAYS FEDERAL COURT

Saskatoon, Sask. – The National Farmers Union (NFU) says that today’s ruling by a Federal Court judge in Winnipeg, is vindication of what it and other farm groups have been saying all along. The judge ruled that Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz is breaking the law by trying to remove the Canadian Wheat Board’s (CWB) single desk, through the introduction of Bill C-18 into Parliament, without holding a plebiscite for farmers. The NFU and its allies have stated repeatedly, over a period of several months, Ritz is breaking the law by denying farmers their democratic right to vote on the future of the CWB’s single desk.

“The judge has confirmed that Ritz is in violation of the Canadian Wheat Board Act. It is now incumbent on the Harper government to reconsider its actions with respect to bill C- 18,” stated NFU President Terry Boehm.

“The judge has made it completely clear that in all enlightened democracies, the democratic process must take place ‘within the constraints of the law.’ We are completely in support of that process,” said Boehm.

“The Harper government’s ludicrous statement that it will appeal this ruling is a slap in the face to the majority of Western Canadian grain farmers, who have consistently expressed their desire to maintain the CWB’s single desk. It would be better if Ritz just admitted that he is appealing this case on behalf of the handful of transnational grain companies that dominate the world grain trade,” stated Boehm.

“The judge’s ruling clearly states that ‘the Minister will be held accountable for his disregard for the rule of law.’ I have no doubt that Canadians will ensure that Ritz is indeed held accountable,” concluded Boehm.

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